Leaves of Terranthir
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
Leaves of Terranthir is a gamelit blend of ARPG, action, fantasy, and slice of life.
It's inspired in part by some of my favourite games, borrowing in themes, sense of exploration, and aesthetics from the Soulsborne and soulslike genre, mixed heavily with arpg itemization from Diablo/PoE style games.
While many may remember their Soulslike experiences as nothing more than suffering, I personally loved the sense of progression, to prevail over challenges and monsters that seemed impossible to defeat at first.
If any of that seems interesting to you, do check out the first chapter and let me know what you think.
Cheers, and thanks for reading.
Cover by Baconstrap.
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Alright. Let me start this off by saying STOP COMPARING THIS TO AZARINTH. It's a different story and it deserves to be reviewed as an independent fiction, not "Azarinth Healer but with X, Y, and Z"
It starts how any other litRPG starts, with some random dude awake in the middle of nowhere in his pajamas. Common? Yes. Boring and worthy of a 2.8 story score? No way! I think people need to give this story some time to develop into its own, because Rhaegar is clearly setting up a high power ceiling right off the bat. He even says in the description that it's inspired by the soulslike genre, and there's a big fat slice of life tag on top of it. I actually debated giving it a 4.5 myself, but I realized that I wasn't giving that tag as much weight as it deserved. This story is supposed to start 'slow' (slow in parentheses because there's already been a bunch of questions introduced and fights fought), because that'll only make the payoff that much more satisfying.
Alright, rant over. Now onto the MC. Is he a wimp? Not really, and even if he was, there's nothing wrong with that! This story seems to be all about a wimp slowly growing in power until eventually he can go head to head with the giants that once crushed him in a single blow. He's supposed to be afraid, because who wouldn't be afraid of getting impaled for the umpteenth time by cold steel? His backstory, while little, is weaved in nicely to give him a bit of motivation and character, and I personally think it's really cute that he's so determined to adopt that dog.
As for style, the descriptions are a little sparse for my taste, but that lends itself to the fight-heavy style that this story seems to be going for. The MC's thoughts are laid out in first person italics (like "Damn. I should have eaten that corndog while I had the chance") while the rest of it is in third person limited, and while I prefer going third person deep, this is once again just personal preference.
Alright, now for grammar. As always, my shortest section. There might have been an error or two, but not enough to distract me, and certainly nothing that makes it unreadable. 4.5, and I might change that to a 5 if it smooths out later.
Overall, just STOP COMPARING IT TO AZARINTH. If you do, I think you'll really enjoy this story. One thing I will say, though... we really gotta work on that cover, Rhaegar.
From these first 10 chapters I have gotten exactly what I wanted. Mystery, Action, a sense of progression driven by the main character, and most importantly, an author who strings these elements together in an expressive mannner.
This novel is definitely a slow burner, which so happens to be what I often look for.
The authors track record is of consistent quality, and I see no reason for this being any different, esspecially if they have a new bunch o' passion in this new project.
Worldbuilding is brilliant.
Setting is delicious.
It's delightful as a slow burn lit rpg. Masterfully done.
however I am just unable to feel any emotion coming from the mc (between the lines). his emotional state is clearly stated and underscored several times. his human reactions to the situations very reasonable.
But i cannot smile with the mc, laugh with him, be glad for him or weep with him or be scared for him or anoyed at him, or the situation or monsters he face. I can read it but i cannot engage in it.
Leaves of Terranthir is a fantastic transfer of the themes that make the souls games so much fun from video game to written format. Rheagar understands better than most fanfiction writers that what makes the souls games special is the particularly grim atmosphere and the way that's brought to your audience.
Review at ch. 8
The story looks good, very promising, well written and with lots of unanswered questions (which I like). Progress is slow, but I think that helps getting in the shoes of the protagonist.
Although I havent played the game referenced by the autor, I think I know which genre he means. In my opinion game and book are 2 different things and I dont mind genre so long as the story captivates me.
Good job so far!
Mc acts human which is a fairly rare thing in litrpgs,
I really like the grim atmosphere if you were going for undead-burg vibes than you nailed it.
The focus on items instead of something traits or titles is fairly unique seems well done.
as of chapter nine, I have seen decent character development which bodes well for the future.
For those unaware (all three of you), Rhaegar is the author of one of the best ongoing stories on Royal Road, a piece of original fiction titled Azarinth Healer. This story is nothing like that one.
It is an isekai, so in that manner they are the same. As the description states though, this story is based on the Souls genre of video games. Our MC is thrust into a hostile world with no explanation and nothing but the PJ's he fell asleep in, and soon enough he doesnt even have those.
I have full confidence that this story is going to be fantastic. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but that's okay. My only concern is whether or not our MC will ever meet other people to interact with. A story in which the main character only talks to himself is a very difficult one to write.
Now for a breakdown to explain the individual sections.
STYLE: Rhaegar has a fairly distinct style, which some people do not like. I am a fan of using spacing and formatting to achieve emphasis, but I can understand that it interrupts flow sometimes. 4 stars for this reason.
STORY: It is a little early for this, but I trust Rhaegar to have an intriguing and interesting story for all of us.
GRAMMAR: Very few mistakes, although you will find the occasional typo, spacing, punctuation, or usage error. Nothing that distracts from the story.
CHARACTER: This has been an excellent part of this, admittedly, short novel so far. Our MC has reacted almost perfectly to his new environments and I look forward to him learning and adapting to it.
I highly recommend that you read this story, although maybe wait till there is some more content for you to sink your teeth into.
There's not much to say yet.
If you have read the previous Authors story, then you pretty much know what you are in for.
The negatives include- disjointed sentences, random callbacks to conversations or thoughts half a chapter ago, mismatches dialogue, people talking very strange for no reason at all.
The positives are often inventive storylines and unique setpiece battles. The author can move the story and plots along at a very good clip if he has a mind to, but can often get bogged down in meaningless side quests.
Time will tell.
Style: OK, so I'm not a fan or the style. The pacing is extremely slow, meandering and absent-minded. It's hard to tell whether the chapters are just short, or the pacing is glacial sometimes because you'll have gotten to the end and while there are a lot of words, and ramblings to get through not much actually happens . There's some exploration, and a lot of description interspersed with rambling, but that the end of a chapter it can normally be summed up as 'killed a few zombies, got potions.' and then 'killed a few zombies, got equipmrnt' and then 'killed a few zombies, used crossbow' thats about 3 or 4 chapters covered. So yeah, I'm really not a fan of this rambling style. It feels repetitive and boring. Not to mention some things just don't make much sense, like when he points out how 'antiquated' the crossbow looks compared to a modern rifle... Like yeah? Obviously? And this little snippet:
Luckily, the second thing he confirmed was that aiming the crossbow was almost comically easy. There was a reason rifles with higher loading times took over bows as the preferred weapon to arm soldiers with.
Its just... Wrong in so many ways. I'll list a few here. Firstly he's complimenting the crossbow for being easy to aim and then saying that that's why... rifles(?) replaced... bows(?). Neither of which are a crossbow at all. Not to mention early rifles were iconicly bad at aiming, so bad in fact that the military doctrine was to form lines of riflemen who would stand clumped up in groups a hundred meters from each other and shoot until one side had to back off.
No rhaegar, the reason firearms replaced tension based weaponry was because they were easy to USE (not aim specifically) and that they could penetrate plate armor whether they were fired by a peasant or a noble.
Nothing to do with being easy to aim. All to do with being able to use untrained and still kill an armoured opponent.
Story: Too early to judge fully, but the setting at least seems interesting and non-generic. Enough 'unique' things have come up that I'm interested to say the least. That said, considering how /many/ chapters there are I'd expect more, but I'm putting that down to the style more than anything else. The magic tree, the castle city, the little bits of lore picked up. It's a nice mystique and setting.
Grammar: The grammar is good. Rhaegar is an experience writer who has a handle on this, no complaints.
Character: Once again, too early to tell for the most part. Having the main character use a dog which he hasn't even adopted yet as a core motivational force is a bit... not great. Also the temper tantrum early on where he threw away some metal boxes and broke a window felt contrived and more like an attempt to try and convince the readers that the MC was experiencing emotions in way which perhaps the rambling monologues had failed to do. I wasn't really a fan of either to be honest. We'll need to see characters interact and how they make decisions to actually judge this.
So, i love this author. But i really don't like this story (so far). For the time being it's too slow (i find slow burner not suitable for serialized story), and the MC is a whimp.
The MC is even preventing me from enjoying the universe and ambiance. Given the fact that i'am a sucker for souls-like i think it speak a lot about how useless the MC feels to me. For the time being he has nothing going for himself, no cleverness, no tactical or analitical mind, no strenght of mind or body what so ever.
I already ranted a lot about that on patreon, i just think when people start to read this they should know the it's a slow burner, and they should completly ignore the fact that they know that author. Because it's so removed from his earlier work that it has created a schism between what i was expecting and what i got.
Summary. Good writting quality, story with a lot of potential. But horrible MC and very slow burner.