Sand and Legends
He woke up in the bowels of his crashed ship. His arms were gone, as were most of his memories. Stumbling out of the cockpit, the skull-faced man could scarcely anticipate just how mythical a living human was in these parts - let alone one with a custom body such as his.
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Sand and Legends is a story that knows what it is, something that seems rather rare for RR. While the story so far is not a complex web of intrigue and subterfuge it is a fun romp that echos themes of old westerns and nameless gunslingers; Perhaps most importantly the story seems to have goals and progression in mind for it rather than spinning tires like many stories seem to do, which earns its fifth star.
Of its sins, I'd say that its characters all seem to be archtypes rather than full people, characterization is frequent but seems to have an almost aetherical tone to it. The species that composes near all characters but the MC are explicitly magical as is the setting in general, leaving the story with a frequent use of strange vocabulary and unknown concepts. Readers may find that a glossary or codex to expand the lore of the world to be appreciated, but otherwise doesn't detract from the story itself.
The story indeed is rather simple, especially in comparison to the fantastical nature of the worldbuilding. Probably for the best as readers have much to keep in mind already. I'd not see much issue saving much complexity for sequels or other stories set in the universe.
I'd like to congratulate Akaso on making it into my RSS feed reader.
This story draws from classic western archetypes - the stranger wandering into town beset by bandits, a man with no name and no past taking up the defense of innocents. These are the staples of half a hundred movies, but I can't recall seeing one yet where Clint Eastwood's role was played by a millennia-old purple-glowing metallic skeleton with a gun for an arm. The reader is tossed into the thick of a strange, vibrant world along with the protagonist, and for all that it's strange and alien we have these familiar roles to keep us grounded.
Then, slowly, things begin to build. Flashes of a shrouded past begin to peek through, hints of tragic eons that we begin to understand as the protagonist himself does. Through it all we're presented with armies of reality-warping lizard-people, giant mechs, pit fights, excessive stimulant consumption and more ancient technology than you can shake a livingmetal stick at - with the fantastic visual descriptions of all these further helped along by the excellent art included with the story.
If you like classic westerns or wandering ronin stories, read this. If you like tragic heroes and tortured souls, read this. If you like epic fight scenes, snappy one-liners, inspiring speeches, moustache-twirling villains, hidden mysteries...
You know what, just read it.
Personally, I quite like guns. This story has quite the big gun, and while it's no BFG, its quite the powerful pew pew. Now if you're like me, and like big guns, read this story. It's free.
I do believe, however, that a vast majority of the MC's dialogue could be replaced by the ever immortal words of comic doom guy: "Death surrounds me, yet, in my head, I hear something that sounds like angels. LO, I have found the Holy Grail of Firepower! My eyes can but weep as they bear witness to the Majesty... The BFG 9000!"
Overall good shit mate :)
What happens when you combine Cowboy Bebop, William Gibson, and a little bit of Dashiell Hammett’s The Continental? You get Sand & Legends, a slightly overlooked serial here on Royal Road that has all the elements to hook me personally as a reader.
I’m a huge fan of all this stuff. A nameless cyborg crash lands on an alien planet with his memories wiped, and he has to help the local lizardpeople out while also trying to figure out his own identity. It’s got some minor body horror elements by giving a detailed description of the main character’s bodily functions, and it has some good action scenes. It could coast on the aesthetic alone and it would already be a good enough serial, but it actually has a pretty engaging story, too.
This is another example of a story that probably doesn’t belong among the ranks of Royal Road; the site hasn’t shown much appreciation for stories outside of the specific anime-esque action/LitRPG fold, and the fact that this story isn’t huge yet is pretty sad. But it’s done nicely enough for now, so I’m at least glad about that.
Besides the protagonist, I didn’t connect with the characters very much as far as I read (the first 150 or so pages). And the prose has a glaring problem in that the massive block paragraphs make it difficult to read, especially during action scenes, where the energy is sucked dry by the walls of text. Those are relatively minor issues, though, and this book confidently rides into the desert as one of the better stories on the site.
Well, basically a very interesting cyborg without an arm and memories get sent to a weird undeveloped planet (when compared to the technology he uses).
Searches for repair stuff, meets a lizard, and well then you get action... Handy aliens, red and gold eyes... This seems that's going to be a cool cyberpunk and oldie west ride... Somehow.
Awaiting to see were it goes.
- The POV switches confuse me sometimes but otherwise it's a very good story and I like it
A good story, the author does a great job meshing technology and magic together to form a cohesive whole. The only issue that I can find is that the grammer is sometimes incorrect, but that is only nit-picking.
A great scifi hidden among the fantasy and xianxia that you usually find here.
Well written, desciption and storytelling and grammar is all on point. Worldbuilding is complex and pulls you in.
Plus the cover is 80s awesome.
This story feels like an epic cinematic film, set in the wild west. Except with zero point atomic energy guns and heavy-plate armor berzerker lizards. The action is intense, the MC a mysterious gunslinger with a fabled past, and the universe hinted at as being much more vast than the characters know.
I found this to be a fun read so far with lots of action. The characters, especially the main, are detailed and interesting. Overall it's well written, with only a few minor viewpoint swtiches that confused me momentarily. I recommend you give it a shot (just hope your armor is up to all the bullets and energy packets that are flying around!)
Note: I'm no way up to date with the fiction. I'm currently 9 chapters in. Very enjoyable, action-packed, and fun. Mixed with some really intriguing world-building and a character with a mysterious past. Cool stuff!
Crashed to a wreck, man of no name
Soon finds himself of local fame
Into the action we soon are thrown
A fantastic romp, I don't bemoan
Set on a world, so vibrant, strange
Where even users of physics may rearrange
Your uses of the future deck
Combine lizards and magic, with fantastic tech
Each chapter read, went quickly by
Pushed on through by a proactive guy
Scenes of combat kept me reading
Certain expectations exceeding
While the stakes are swiftly set
My money on armless would be the bet
He seems nigh-invulnerable, so strong
The enemies no chance to last long
I think your prose may benefit
An extra pass, cull words unfit
With so much jargon, things get so wordy
Though I do love things that feel nerdy
Some parts I reread to ensure clarity
Though perhaps this was just a rarity
In times of action, it interrupts rhythm
Movements, characters, difficulty keeping with'em
To conclude, I've enjoy your pace
Captivating story, creatively ace
Just a few things to be tightened
A solid work would then be strengthened