Wizard Tournament: Humans Need Not Apply

by JDFister

Original ONGOING Action Fantasy Mystery High Fantasy Magic Male Lead Strategy

Draevin the elf is a top contender in the annual wizard tournament, he's even won a few times. In all his years he's never seen a human enter. Can humans even do magic? Everyone in this tournament is fighting for something and only the best of the best can win. This year's tournament is looking like it could change everything.

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Author
JDFister

JDFister

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TheOne&Only
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An amazing story by an amazing author.

Reviewed at: Chapter 20

I'm updating my review as I've been following this story since the beginning. It has really gotten so much better than it was in the early chapters. Right at Chapters 9-10 is where it really started to pick up and get exciting and it's only gotten better since then.

Style-- The writing is clean and easy to understand. I never feel lost. The dialogue is snappy and interesting. The choice of making the perspective character an unreliable narrator that follow a different character who is the secret "main character" (even though this isn't obviously apparent from the outset) has been really interesting.

Grammar-- Perfect. Nothing else to say. I haven't found a story on here with such clean grammar.

Story-- This is I feel the biggest strength of the writing. The world building is a mix of some established fantasy tropes and some new twists that feels really fresh and interesting. The world the story is set in feels alive like few other stories I've read. Things are happening all over politically to the point it's hard to keep track of everything, but the central plot grounds the story. This story doesn't dick around spinning its wheels like so many others. It always seems like something is happening every chapter that's building towards something big. Little foreshadowed moments have shown up multiple times to reveal stuff I just did not see coming but was obvious in hindsight.

Like when Peter is revealed to be an illusionist in Chapter 10. The pieces were all there! The illusory wall in chapter 1, the empty mana potions, the flicker when he sat on The Pot... just so much.

Character-- These are just some fantastic characters. I love to hate Draevin, but in the later chapters his edges are starting to soften and I like to see that growth. Peter is just a sympathetic nerd with a chip on his shoulder that can't stop geeking out about all his magic knowledge. Sylnya's brash and rude, but actually soft-hearted underneath it all (even if she seems to be willing to kill people most easily). There are multiple antagonistic characters that each have their own styles and motivations and the interplay is so fun to watch. None of these characters feel like they're falling into unimaginative tropes.

 

As ztaylor says in his review: this story is "some seriously good fantasy." If you like a good mystery you're going to like this story. If you like action you're going to like this story. If you like interesting fantasy world-building you're going to like this story. If you like political intrigue you're going to like this story.

If you like reading you're going to like this story.

Thresslen
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Really fun story with well written characters and interesting premise and a good pace to it. Definitely recommend!

Nameless32
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Elves Will Be Elves

Reviewed at: Chapter 5

Let me just start off by saying "Wizard Tournament: Humans Need Not Apply" captures this story dang near perfectly. The two main things you get right off the bat are that 1. There is going to be a super important wizard tournament, and 2. Humans are non-magical weaklings. By themselves, these aren't the most original tropes, but the way that they are combined and presented in this story offers a very unique experience.

Like a previous review said, this story's prose and grammar are very polished. There aren't any awkward sentences or things that trip you up - just smooth flowing words that lead from one paragraph to the next. The dialogue also serves to highlight the defining traits of the characters.

Which leads me to my next point. I really like the diversity here when it comes to characters. It's not often we get a "snobbish" MC that works, which only makes this story stand out even more.

Spoiler: Spoiler

And might I add that I love the fact that Draevin is the only elf that speaks "high and mighty" like, and that all the others speak like total bros? I'm also super intrigued with Peter, because he's who you would expect to be the MC in this type of story.

All in all, fantastic read. Polished prose, interesting characters, and a unique spin on established concepts. If you're looking for a story that knows its roots while still keeping thing fresh and different, maybe give this a try!

kentrak
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GOOD FUN, WITH THE PROMISE OF DEPTH TO COME

Reviewed at: Chapter 15

What it says on the tin is what you get, but it's done extremely well.  Tropes are both adhered to and subverted.  You have the classic races of fantasy plus a bunch more, showing that some thought and creativity were put into it.  At this point, 15 chapters in, it feels a little like a reconstruction of a fantasy adventure/tournament story (that is, in anime terms if Evangelion is a deconstruction of the genre, Gurran Lagan is a reconstruction, where the essential bits are included as expected, but each ramped to 11).  There's bood, there's gore, there's wild fantasy races and extremely powerful artifacts, and there's a bunch of secrets going on and nothing is really known at all yet, but there's promise that you'll get something interesting out of the plot at the end too.

ztaylor
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Some Seriously Good Fantasy

Reviewed at: Chapter 10

Style - Moves at a great pace. Its never boring or slow, that's for sure. There's just enough room for the prose and snappy dialogue, which both flow beautifully! 

Grammar - Nothing to complain about, didn't even find any minor errors. Great job!

Story - From where I am right now, its a little early to tell, but I can see wherre its headed. Things seem to be heating up right now, though, and like I said, the first few chapters seem to be building up, while from 9 onward is where the story seems to get going. 

Characters - Our main character, and two other side characters, are getting the spotlight right now, with the MC being the most developed. But I think the author will develop these other two with time.

I'm excited to see where this goes! Great job author. 

DS75
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Excellent fantasy, incredible characters

Reviewed at: Chapter 21

Been following this on reddit since he posted it, and it's been an absolute blast the entire time. I always find myself hoping to see that notification pop up that says he's updated it once more. There are very few continuing stories I follow these days, and this will definitely be one of them until it ends.

Here's hoping that won't be for a long time.

freir
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It has been a while since I read something so good

Reviewed at: Chapter 21

Seeing the story from the perspective of our "elf MC" works well for feeding my curiosity with more and more questions. After 21 chapters the story didn't lose any steam (I could even say that it has gotten even more interesting), and if the author manages to keep it from getting stuck in a dead end, or losing its momentum, it could become something big. For now the author has shown much potential and I hope he knows where he is going with this story.

Grammar: Better than most authors in here. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but there aren't many people pointing out any errors in the comments, so even back when the first chapters were published the grammar must have been good.

Characters: I read some comments complaining about some characters being stupid, but for me they are quite realistic, considering the world they live in. The Wishes of every contestant are also a very nice way of showing the theme of the story.

Style: Only 4.5 because I have to agree with some people calling it generic. But this is just me, I don't really like to give anything a perfect score, if it doesn't seem to me absolutely perfect.

caerulex
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I've thoroughly enjoyed this story so far. JDFister has created a mystery situated in a tournament setting, which is already a fairly unusual twist on an oft-considered-overdone tournament trope.

Draevin is a hilarious narrator and an excellent perspective through which to see the mystery and drama unfold, and I appreciate how his unreliability is an intentional plot device.

There's a good deal of death, politicking, and mayhem in this book, but it's all very tongue-in-cheek (i.e. announcer very simply says, "X died" when someone is gruesomely murdered in a duel).

Grammar is excellent, but there are a occasional mistakes with respect to punctuation. Nothing that breaks immersion so I'm still going to keep full marks.

Style is great: the prose doesn't get in the way, while Draevin's narrative perspective is consistent throughout.

One element that might not appeal to some people is how self-aware the book is. Dark/black humor can be found throughout, with characters acting over the top and the only human, Peter, looking on in shock/disapproval. A good example of the kind of casual dark humor in this book is:

A scene where a man says his wish is to bring back the dead children killed in an orphanage fire. The crowd jeers at him and he's shortly drowned and blown into meat chunks by his opponent, a disparaging hydromancer.

In sum, this book is hyper-self-aware, seems well-planned, and is a work I have high expectations for. Highly recommend, especially for people who like mystery and dark humor.

Stratothrax
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Beautifully written. Humanity, Fuck Yeah!

Reviewed at: Chapter 21

It's not often I come across a story that really blows me away but hot damn if this one did and then some. If you like the kind of story where the main character uses their wits and intelligence to overcome an environment filled with powerful and arrogant foes then this will be right up your alley, add a side of 'humanity, fuck yeah' and it really gets the blood pumping.

Story- The story is unrelenting and the brutality of the world seems to mirror that. The plot has a wonderful pacing to it that keeps your attention and interest, a steady drum beat of building intrigue and absorbing complexity.

Characters- Genuinely interesting and three dimensional with multiple facets to their personalities. The plot takes the perspective of a non-human for now which is an interesting decision but I think a good one as it gives a cleaner view of the world they inhabit and a better understanding of why our human character is special, as well as slow-rolling the reveal of his abilities which is quite enjoyable. The dialogue is some of the best I've come across on Royal Road.

Grammar- perfect, no complaints here.

World building- Excellent, the story uses tropes but it subverts them well and is able to make them feel fresh and interesting quite deftly. All the usual suspects are here, Elves, Dwarves, etc with a few twists here and there to make you read twice and want to know more.

Style- A fun style that doesn’t take itself too seriously while at the same time knowing how to inject tension at the right moments. The prose is enjoyable and easy to read and digest.

100% worth the read. 👍

van
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Just read in one seating.  So riveting, specially since its a novel point of view. I am enjoying Draevin's story, altho he is not the main protag, his bias and commentaries makes the discrimination really real and part of the world and common sense of the universe. Which makes it beautiful when it gets thrown out of the way because of the MCs very existence (i am rooting for Peter! btw)

Loveable douchebag, and its really great since

we, as readers, get to experience how to be cheated and get pulled in the tricks and mystery of the MC, which makes his OPness harder to measure, and his fights more exciting coz there is always a surprise!