The Humble Life of a Skill Trainer

by alstonsleet

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy GameLit LitRPG Magic Male Lead Secret Identity

For Joshua Still, Skills were the lifeblood of his business. He wanted to understand them, collect many of them, and teach a few of them. Which was a problem because while his profession of a Skill Trainer was perfectly legal, it was frowned upon by most of the kingdom. After all, it wouldn't do for a non-tailor to teach Tailoring. Or, so says the Tailors Guild.

The same could be said by the Blacksmiths, the Bakers, the Butchers, the Candlestick Makers, the Mages, and every other Guild with enough money and clout to complain. But still, Skill Trainers provide a valuable service, and so he has managed to start his business and keep it under the table. To a degree. With many a bribe. But his quiet anonymous life of research, practice, and training was about to change. When the Baron demands you pay him a visit, you have little choice.

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alstonsleet

alstonsleet

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todd
  • Overall Score

A dark and somehow endearing blast

Reviewed at: Chapter 13

I don't like to review stories before they've reached 15 or 20 chapters, since it's all too common for a promising start to peter out once the author finishes the introduction and enters the meat of the story. That said, I think there's enough content 13 chapters in to get a feel for how things are going to progress, if not where. The premise is that our MC is a universally denounced Skill Trainer. Reviled by every major guild for gleefully investigating the Skills that serve as the foundation for their monopolies and readily teaching anyone for a price. It makes a great setting, and an understandable profession, since who wouldn't want to cram as many skills into their status sheet as they could? The world as it stands is dark in tone, discussing training resistances through torture (and torture for the right price), but leans towards realism rather than grim just for the sake of it. Further, the fact that skills are not just picked up by performing an action, but by a blend of talent and focus, adds a dimension to power growth. Individuals won't necessarily gain power just through time and practice.

While there isn't much material as of yet, given that the storytelling spends a decent amount of time in thought rather than action, it's readily apparent that the characters are constructed beyond a handy cutout. The author tends to favor relatively quiet interactions with hints at deeper thoughts and emotions as picked up by the MC. That said, a solid balance is kept between background thoughts and action in the foreground. It's a balance that works remarkably well for a character that's primary focus is on other individuals and their skills.

Overall, it's unusual premise that's well realized through the setting, characters, and storytelling style. There are some spelling errors throughout, though infrequent enough that they don't detract from the reading. This review may be somewhat premature, but with the primary drivers of the story being character and Skill related, I'm not overly concerned that the author will take the plot off a cliff. I'd be content to read a daily log of training sessions if the characters kept to the same quality. So, while new, it shows a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing where the author takes it.

Misery's End
  • Overall Score

New twist on fantasy

Reviewed at: Chapter 2

Interesting idea for a plot hook, getting paid to torture your clients, and getting bonuses if you get an unexpected evolution from a skill.

xcares
  • Overall Score

A very good read

Reviewed at: Chapter 14

You have to add " so far" to the following
This is a very interesting world. .
Doesn't seem like we will have to read about 2D caracter caricatures.
The system and skills are very interesting

This is a great novel so far...and that is indeed not far enough XD
Hope the writer keeps posting chapters so i can amend this review at chapter 60 or something.

Well worth the "Follow"

glare31337
  • Overall Score

Very Promising Start

Reviewed at: Chapter 9

This story manages to put an interesting spin on a typical system-powered fantasy world with some good old-fashioned guild politics. No, I'm not joking. The uneasy status quo of the Skill Trainers' Guild shares with the rest of the society makes for some solid world-building, and it's a compelling backdrop for the adventures of our MC, Joshua Still, as he attempts to ply a trade that many frown upon. Some might even kill him for it, especially as he begins to uncover secrets to skills he was never meant to learn, let alone teach.

 

It's still a bit early to guess how this story will pan out in the long run, but I'm thoroughly intrigued. If you're a sucker for high-skill Jack of All Trades characters like I am, this story is for you.

Cyoa11aa
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A beautiful start to a beautiful book.

Reviewed at: Chapter 2

Very nice and interesting start to what seems to be a wonderful Litrpg.  to The MC looks to be a new take on a "skill collecting" character. I am very much looking forward to reading more of this book when it comes out.

Zethuron
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Promising take on fantasy story with a system

Reviewed at: Chapter 13

Honestly a very promising story so far, from the very start I have noticed that this story is just quite different, in the good way. Just enjoyable to read, I look forward to where the author will bring this story, as it certainly could be something that stands out.

 

Joshua is indeed a humble man, one who wants to stay out of trouble, to just focus on his work as a Skill trainer and his research, but events make it hard for him to keep doing such, and it does not help that he stands out in multiple ways, due to his general competence, and because of his parents.

He quite gets taken with the flow, as events outside of his control force him to act, and he is not a class strong at combat, just a Trainer, but despite that, he has been handling it all well so far, and one has to remember, that due to his specialization, him helping other people progress is basically his thing.

In general all characters that have been in the story so far, have been well written, with not just having bland personalities,  but actually more than that, with the current best example for side characters being Snowy, of course I expect it to change as the story gets longer, but for now I can see its already good, and that its likely that the author will write them well.

 

The setting seems to be just another one of those classic Fantasy world ones with a system, though in this case there are no actual stats, only skills, so far the author has presented the setting in a  believable way, and still much more is yet to come.

I just love the worldbuilding in this story, its rather subtle, no infodumps and such, but rather a natural developing of the world as the story progresses.

A thing I really like is how the system and skills are done in this story, it’s a rather novel take that I don’t see often in system stories, and here it is especially quite well done. Like how the skills are done here, being part of daily life, things that can change everything about you, if only you have the focus and skill to attain them.

I also like the focus of the plot so far, just the MC living out his life in a normal way, trying to stay out of the spotlight, even if others want to use his talents and make him part of their conflicts.

 

All over, solid grammar and good spelling, only noticed a couple errors that were quickly fixed when pointed out, maybe that sentences could be changed to flow better, but this is basically the rough version of the story, and honestly I don’t find it a problem if the author wants to focus on writing more instead of polishing the grammar to near perfection.

 

Solid writing style so far, it all flows rather nicely, especially for a story written in the first person viewpoint. Well done in my opinion, even though I’m no expert on that, let alone being a writer.

 

Honestly, in my opinion this is the author’s best story so far, and it has just only begun recently, so much more is yet possible in the long term, for better or worse. This also does mean what has been said here, is certainly set to change as the story progresses.

Just a final thing, the author has written many other stories before, with all of them being eventually polished and posted under the Kindle Unlimited plan, which means most content gets removed. Not a bad thing honestly, though certainly something you should keep in mind if you want to start reading this story, also the author works on one story at a time, so it is likely that when the first book of this story is complete, it will be edited, posted on amazon and then the author likely will go work on another story.

If you are interested, just give this story a read, its certainly worth it to spend some time on reading this story as it currently is, especially if you like reading about a MC with a nonstandard profession, like Skill Trainer.

Phil276
  • Overall Score

Very promising start

Reviewed at: Chapter 2

I really like the premise and will definitely stick around to see where this goes. 

LadyLark1
  • Overall Score

Twists and turns

Reviewed at: Chapter 24

Normally I don't write reviews because I'm not very good at it. That being said I'm going to try here because I love this story that much.

The biggest pull for me is that the author chose 2 topics that aren't used as a for us in fantasy genres. One is teaching. The other is skills. In most stories the MC is gaining levels, and skills. Like their eating a bag of chips. They either become OP, or really scary. They, then proceed to bring out a can of whoop ass on there enemies or anybody that's in there way. In this story though the MC is a person that loves learning about skills, and then teaching people those skills. Sure there's a bit of of fighting and politics but it's mainly about the different types of skills, and reading about these characters learning from the MC. To become the best that they can be. Which for me is like totally awesome.😁

The other neat thing about this story is that as you go along. You start to learn all these fascinating things about the characters, and all the twists. That come about, as you go along.

Hopefully this review of mine helps many to read this novel. Thank you author!!!

ThatOneGuy
  • Overall Score

Quick release & high quality

Reviewed at: Chapter 12

This is some of the best writing I've found on this site. Thanks for all your hard work. 

FakeMask
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Like many others said the story has a strong start, the first few chapters were a great read. But after that things go downhill fast.

In 14 chapters the world is not explored in any way, shape or form other than the few bits about the political position of skill trainers in the kingdom, which isn't much. All we're told is that they're hated by everyone, then we get an explanation why and that's it.

Another thing that annoys me is that there are almost no descriptions of the environment, in a single paragraph the main character gets from a carriage to the lord's study, skipping everything in the middle, and then the only piece of furniture that we know exists in this entire room is the goddamn desk the lord's sitting at.

In addition to that, the lack of detail means that foreshadowing is nearly nonexistent and not only do scenes not really flow well, but plottwists just feel like they come out of nowhere.

Also the pace is absurdly quick, this is the most obvious example: the author took some time to explore the main character's ideologies and life style (like how he goes to great lengths to live hidden).But that changes after 10 chapters when he accepts an official position, which makes no sense, in the story those are a few days, he can't just accept to change his entire life like that, without no fucking character growth. Yes, we're told he was lonely, but that's not an explanation for taking such a large decision so lightly! Expecially considering how self aware one of his skills made him.

And that brings us to the characters, which is another can of worms. The MC was actually interesting in the beginning, but he stops being fleshed out after the first three chapters and instead of learning more about him, the same few character traits are brought up and shoved in our faces over and over.

Thenthere is "Snowy" who is honestly one of the most terribly introduced characters in the history of webnovels... the amount of effort that the author puts into describing her body and the weird choice of adjectives (like "buff" and "gigantic") before revealing that she is a girl are off-putting. Expecially because the MC mistakes her for a man, and then her gender is revealed by saying that: "she removed her visored helm to show a surprisingly pretty face beneath". Do you see the problem here? If after that revelation the author had bothere to insert a line where the main character observed her body and realized that it was obviously female that wouldn't be a problem, but that is never done, error that causes an hilarious situation in which the reader can't help but imagine a woman's head on a man's body. Expecially because even after that the author keeps describing her body by insisting on the fact that she's tall and muscular in an exaggereted way, highlighting her male phisical characteristics at every opportunity as he begins to describe her increasingly girly behaviour.

Lastly, one fo the things that really drove me insane was the dialogues, because god, does every dialogue between these two suck. The author was never that good at creating particularly believable conversations, but it wasn't that bad in his other works. Putting aside the fact that he clearly fails at making people speak like normal human beings would, he also has no idea how young people act. Let me explain, in the story we know that Blood-in-Snow is 18 and the main character mentions being slightly older than her. The problem is that during every single interaction they have (that are generally badly written as the author didn't bother to properly establish both characters' personalities before giving a shot at romance) the two act like goddamned preteens. I'm not joking, the amount of blushing involved wouldn't even be acceptable in a manga, other readers may not be bothered by this, but I am in the same age range as these two and it genuinely makes me shiver in disgust, every time I can't help but think if the author really believes this is what young adults are like, guess what? It isn't.

In conclusion, I wouldn't really reccomend to read this fiction, the premise sounds intriguing but the execution leaves a lot to be desidered. That being said, have a nice day.