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- Traumatising content
After fulfilling the duty all arch necromancers are tasked with, Sylver Sezari was not expecting to ever wake up again.
But he did.
And after crawling his way back into the land of the living, he’s alive once again. In a strange land, a strange time, and with a strange floating screen in front of his new face.
Either through plan or chance, he’s alive again, and planning to enjoy himself to his heart's content.
-The story isn’t grimdark, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows either. There will be lighthearted and positive moments, as well as some sad ones. That being said, it’s a whole lot more light than dark.
-This is a LITRPG story.
Chapters are published every 2 days at 21:00 GMT.
-It can get very GORY. I’m somewhat desensitized to gore and violence. So while the story isn’t full of gore for the sake of gore, it can get a little too descriptive.
-The MC is a necromancer, so corpses and decay, and all the things that come with it, will be mentioned from time to time.
-I’m a huge fan of Egyptian, Slavic, and Greek mythology, so expect quite a bit of that. That said, so much is altered, you’ll be hard-pressed to guess how exactly it is being used.
-Despite being ‘immortal’ the MC can die. In the event he does, the story doesn’t end, simply time skips forward. Which in some cases is going to be worse than just dying.
-I love plot twists, as much as I love red herrings and Chekhov guns. Deus Ex Machina’s not so much.
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I waited until the end of this arc to review, just to make sure it stayed high quality all the way through. It really does.
The magic system here is not easy to parse. There's little exposition. But it is entirely appropriate as the main character has a very sound understanding of magic, better than the people actually alive in the time in which the story takes place. You get bits and pieces, both from before the 'system' and after, and it's clear some things have changed. So Sylver is either unsure, and he doesn't like not knowing, or it is taken for granted. We've gotten to the end of the first novel and i've not seen behind the curtain, and this is very much appreciated.
What is also appreciated is the scope for power-creep. Sylver is barely capable of 2nd teir magic. I assume it goes up to eleven. But even if he starts burning through this it wouldn't matter because normally he resolves things through simple cunning. It's less "your power is overwhelming" and more "where did you go? *stabbing noises from behind*".
Sylver is entirely believable as a person, just like the rest of the cast. Even more remarkable, he is believable as an ancient necromancer waking up in a changed world. That takes some serious writing chops and i'm going to have to leave it at that because even mentioning some of the other characters would be to spoil their concepts.
This is a story that goes in an entirely different direction than I thought it would. And just keeps doing that over and over.
Large back story that is still developing and yet never feels unplanned. A lot of them feel spur of the moment, yet this has never come across that way.
Great job world building and character building.
Read up to chapter 40 and so far so good! Funny at times and dark at others, I have been very pleased with the story so far.
The plot has been kept interesting all throughout the novel and it does not look like it will be dying down anytime soon so I strongly recommend reading it.
Props to the author for writing one of the best new novels around this website!
Despite essentially being an "reincarnated in a LitRPG world" story, it begins relatively strongly with several mysteries and unusual elements. However, all these elements quickly fall to the wayside in favour of a fairly generic OP Isekai story with time travel elements. By this I mean:
1) The MC is a generic "edgy good guy"
He freely and indiscriminately tortures, enslaves or otherwise harms people on the "bad guy" list with very loose criteria for getting on that list. As an edgy good guy, whenever he sees "women and children" (more on that later) in harm, he first waffles internally about how he totally would be fine with leaving them to die but then goes and risks his life and his mission to save them anyway and even pays for their food and lodging afterwards…
2) "Bad Guys" vs "Good Guys"
"Bad guys" are plentiful, obvious and typically suicidally stupid – with a dash of protagonist centered morality thrown in to ensure that people he meets favourably are "good guys" and people opposed to him are "bad guys". Finding acceptable targets for his projects is as easy as throwing on some giant fake jewlery and walking around with a scantily clad woman. Evil men will fall for the bait in droves…
As for their idiocy? In a recent fight, he assaulted a generic villain base full of hardened criminals and enslaved women and children. Each enemy was nominally stronger than him. He "solved" this by challenging them to one-on-one duels while the others watched. It worked…
3) Nonsensically sexist world
Oh those poor women: There are some female bad guys, but there’s also a strong sexist bias in how the world apparently works. Despite the system giving everyone superpowers and despite woman being just as strong as men, they are somehow still presented as damsels in distress while men are seen as vile predators. It’s not quite a Xianxia world in this regard, but it comes close.
4) MC is generically OP
The MC is as powerful, knowledgable, skillful and lucky as required. Despite being a necromancer, he knows every magic style. Any challenge can be solved by this one weird trick he knows. He keeps stumbling upon exceptional people who then become his OP allies… This one sort-of part of the premise, so it’s not unexpected.
5) Interesting bits are lost in a sea of side-story.
The fic started with a couple of mysteries: How did MC come back to life? What happened to his friends and that time-travelling enemy? Where does the system come from? How does the system work?
At chapter 39, I feel like those questions are still on the MC’s mind, but on the meta level, they have fallen to the wayside in favour of giving way too much detail about the day-to-day busywork of traveling from A to B, of fighting the next group of totally generic villains, of rescuing another group of faceless women and children… It’s tedious and uninteresting.
In summary, my most constructive suggestion would be to focus on the actual plot and work towards that. Instead of trying to convey everything the MC does, try summarizing stuff that does not add anything new. Entire chapters could have been summed up with a single sentence without losing any important information. Choose your goal and work towards that.
The MC is riding on a horse so high he can barely see the ground.
He is at the same time a heartless mass murderer that won't hesitate to do inhuman experiments on you if you so much as steal a loaf of bread, but will also go through great lengths to save some little girl or "protect those who are his".
In essence, your standard murderhappy-but-righteous Xianxia MC: it's perfectly fine for him to commit what he considers makes others not even human, which largely involves being in his way in any form, but he isn't scum like his targets because... he is the MC, I suppose?
Either own up that you are evil or be actually good. Don't keep dispensing moral judgment while rocking up the evil counter to the max.
More xianxia elements include how everyone in his way is a murdering rapist and he has yet to fail to punch way, way above his weight class, and levels don't really matter to him.
The worst part is that this all drags down some pretty interesting elements. What's up with this system? Who's the woman in white? Why can't he recall Lola? What's the needle? How did he survive? Was the system the end of the world the traitor reincarnator was trying to stop?
But the little bits of that we get are amidst extremely stilted character interactions.
Characters are divided in two categories: friends of the MC and unrepentant scum of the earth. The difference isn't in actions or character, it's just in how much he likes you and in how much one could threat his Chad-ness.
To sum it up, there are hints of interesting things going on, but it's largely Xianxia MC with a coat of paint. The interesting bits were enough to keep me hooked till the
But the faults in the writing started showing more and more: modern words and terms and analogies, stilted dialogue and interactions, flat or highly confusing descriptions (the fuck was going on during the whole climax of the cat arc? Who knows), one-dimensional and repetitive characters we don't care about, spelled out know-that-you-know dialogue, little to zero tension, others being massively dumb, the MC acting like a generic 20 year old edgy Isekai instead of a calculating old man, etc.
But it did keep me going for some twenty-something chapters, so hey. There's something there, just need to cut away the inconsistencies, edginess and give characters some depth.
To start off, I loved the prologue. It was badass, emotionally charged, and it established Sylver as a character.
I wish I could say the same for any other part of the book.
The grammar is good, the style is nothing to write home about, and while the supporting cast is unrealistically willing to befriend eccentric young men who do weird shit to bodies, it's generally decent. This would have been a good, if unremarkable story, if not for one thing; the plot.
here be spoilers
So what's wrong with the plot? A lot of things, honestly, and it seems to get proggresively worse.
First, we had the cat arc, which the author had ripped from The Ancient Magus' Bride down to the damn island covered in miasma.
After that, we got the prison arc, which was just bad (and slightly incoherent) in general.
But then the author decided to finally grace us with a proper antagonist in the form of the Grey Mane, an evil organisation extorting high level mages and running things from the shadows.
Except nope, they're actually called the Black Mane, and they're a relatively small group of gangsters controlling some land with nothing but villages on it. Sylver, seeing the easy exp left out for him by the author, makes up a bullshit excuse, makes unreasonable demands of them (having their leader kill himself), and then when they don't give in to his ultimatum, he starts murdering them. One camp at a time. All of which, we get the "pleasure" of watching.
But the best is yet to come, in fact it's waiting right around the corner with a massive mallet, ready to bash your brains out.
You see, Sylver, despite being an immortal achmage, cannot perform even the most basic of divination spells. Thus, while trying to ambush a bandit camp, Sylver walks straight into an ambush. he survives because his opponent is shit at ambushing, and barely wins the fight. Unfortunately, his little scuffle has now woken the rest of the camp, a problem which he solves by... Challenging them to honourable duels, one at a time.
This works. And he wins. And that's why I dropped the story.
Oh yeah, and Sylver is a schizophrenic sociopath, so that's something.
I'm struggling with this one. The nuts and bolts of the writing are mostly fine, but the overall structure suffers.
MC is an op, mature master wizard from a previous life, but you wouldn't know it without the prologue because his actions and 'voice' are any generic mid 20s isekai protagonist. Maybe this helps people who want to self- insert but it pulls me out of the story every time I remember he is supposed to be an extremely wise and powerful necromancer who even had his own apprentices.
There is no driving goal so far other than get strong(er). MC can do op magic and physical combat and facerolls everything, so there is no tension. He never feels even slightly close to in danger.
The interactions with other characters are limited so it's basically just a generic wizard investing inconsequential points (because he can already fight very high level monsters and do all the spells he wants) and cruising effortlessly through a few action scenes and gathering money.
I think with a stronger driving force behind the narrative, a more thought out character, and more balance the story could have a lot of potential but right now I have to say pass for everyone but the worst power fantasy types.
The mystery plot is what has been most interesting to me too. Chapter 54 was very intriguing, but then chapter perfectly 56 illustrates the lack of focus of the MC and story, when the MC explains his current high priority goals, which are TEN confusingly different things, mostly all focused on murder and abusively 'righting wrongs' done to him - how DARE anyone get in his enslaving murder hobo (aka wonderful necromancy) way?
Anyhow, it was interesting to see the MC be relatively in touch with his emotions and with himself. He often *seems* to be fairly coherent in his planning.
As a power fantasy, the starting premise is interesting: the MC spent centuries mastering necromancy, dies by betrayal and then is mysteriously brought back to life centuries/millennia later, where his world has been transformed by the arrival of a system.
So people now learn magic the lazy way, with the help of a dumb system, whereas the genius / hard working MC has spent centuries mastering magic the hard way, without a system. (Although honestly, I doubt that everyone would be so dumb as to only level their skills through the system without EVER bothering with theory or practice)
It should be fun to watch the MC own the lazy system-bred mages, but where it fails is that the magic and power system is far too large and incoherent. The world also is too large and incoherent. I have no idea what was most powerful before the system, or now after the system, and neither does anyone else it seems (or at the very least it is so incredibly complex that it would take for ever to explain). Are the true dangers other magicians of type xyz, or high elves, or specialized classes working in combo, or demons, or gods, or what? Will the MC ever learn this information or care to share it with us so we can know the bounds of the realm? It seems boundless, unfortunately (ie: it feels like the author expands on his world willy-nilly as the story progresses).
The plot is meant to be pushing the MC to take risks, but the motivations are not enough to warrant desperate action, yet the author needs the fights to feel gripping so they end up far too often desperate.
Unfortunately, since the magic and system are so ill-defined, the MC winning his desperate fights just feels like magic mumbo jumbo justifications pulled out of nowhere (but vaguely fitting the aesthetics of a necromancy/magic world).
Ironically, the major benefit of having a system (ex: major increases in power and ability, especially at low levels) is entirely missing, since the MC is already OP. I was expecting him to get more OP, but no, instead it seems like every system benefit is ultra weak and disappointing, and the MC himself is, for whatever reason, completely clueless about how to make good use of the system.
Probably worst of all are the relationships (bland NPCs, bland dialogue) and weak antagonists. I liked the MC trying to build deeper relationships, but I feel the author rushed a key scene?
It was jarring when the first awkward 'friendship request' ended up with the couple being actually replaced by magic doppelgangers unlike anything the centuries-old MC has ever seen. But when the MC finally gets that couple safely back from his abductors to ask his big question once again, the scene setup is terrible and the entire thing was just a few lines long, then OK, we are done?
Also, some things need to be edited out or better integrated, like for example:
At one point we randomly learn how the MC has this huge language defined for interacting with his shades using hand gestures, but then the author never bothers to include this detail in his story (are we to infer that all communication has been and will be by hand gestures, or that it was just used so briefly?)
Others have mentioned that the MC totally feels like a modern young man rather than a centuries old master survivor. Chapters 55-56 perfectly illustrate this:
Some dumbass higher level sorcerer treats the low level MC like garbage at the oh-so-typical 'adventurer's guild'.
The MC is supposedly centuries old and should have tons of patience, tons of strategies, and the wisdom of much experience.
He could have just ignored the chump and remained focused on his primary goals, or he could have (stupidly still) crippled the chump in some discrete way, but no, his childish emotions DEMANDED that he be respected in public immediately.
He totally freaks out because "Someone stepped on him!".
The whole thing is so bad. The MC has obviously created large problems for himself, but he doesn't care, because his hurt little feelings demanded it, so therefore it was right.
If the MC actually had self-value and self-confidence, then he would have easily just laughed it off. He knows that a dumbass like his antagonist is going to end up wrecked sooner or later from his own stupidity - why care so much about trash, or the opinion of trash, when the world/reality already inevitably takes care of punishing them for being trash anyway?
Furthermore, the MC doesn't seem to have processed the fact that, as a soul-enslaving murder-hobo, people would have valid reason to dislike him publicly? I guess a hateful, twisted person like him can only think to use pain and fear to get 'respect', while continuing to maintain (internally) the delusion that he is worthy of respect.
Anyhow, I think that perhaps the greatest flaw in the story is how the MC only seeks to form unbalanced relationships (ie: relationships with people far below himself = easy, low-value relationships).
It is a good thing to build up strength with people, to take on disciples or employees among weak people in need, but I think it would be interesting if some of these closer relationships were made with people who are of equivalent power and independent intent - at least then the MC's power would increase immediately rather than years in the future, and the dialogue, tension and stakes of these interpersonal relationships would actually become interesting.
Much more pathetic and disturbing are his relationships with enthralled undead. As others have mentioned in their reviews, the MC has incoherent self-serving garbage for ethics and loves to talk about his evil as if it were the best thing ever (never to be improved on or questioned).
To be frank, the story would be infinitely better if the MC realized he needs to heal, change and improve himself. Instead, this is all about creating a weak convoluted world that fits his broken self, which he clearly does not want to ever change. It gets depressing and tiring over time.
Possibly my favorite fiction on RR (out of starting about 20, and reading thousands of pages of 5 or so), and deserving of its own book series (though some light editing wouldn't hurt). Sylver Sezari is a great lead with character motivations other than "become stronger", a problem that plagues other LitRPGs. He's smart, conniving and importantly, quite funny. Though this isn't a comedy, I've laughed reading it more than with any other story here.
What distinguishes Sylver Seeker from other stories is the sheer joy of following Sylver through his adventures, as he out-thinks and outmatches his foes in a much more interesting way than simply swinging his sword better than the rest. The magic and progression system are both fascinating and detailed without getting in the way of the story, Sylver's motivations and morality are endlessly fun to watch play out, as he's smart but ruthless in achieving his goals. I similarly enjoyed Worth the Candle a ton, although WtC can get so exposition-y it becomes tedious. I came back to SS after reading a bunch of Azarinth Healer, which while good, becomes much less interesting once the initial flood of new powers and enemies slows down. By contrast, I enjoy following Sylver's journey simply for the wit and cleverness the author brings to each new quest and encounter. New powers, items, and the like are great, but the writing and plot are good enough to keep things going regardless.
As far as what could be improved, I have two comments. First, the webnovel format requires a bit of handholding for the reader when old characters or plot points are reintroduced. I read the first chapters months ago, so a very quick reminder of who people are or what past adventure Sylver went on with them would be great to jog my memory. Book authors often do the same in each new entry in a series when referring to earlier titles. You're up to 1600 pages now, that could be 4 or 5 books!
Second, I hope the plot continues to be a major driver of this series. Though I don't have any specific reason for concern here, I'm optimistic KK can avoid the pitfalls of other webnovelists. As of Chapter 85 there are some great plot points to come, and often authors will give up on planning the next story arc in favor of setting up cool fights or new characters. The best fantasy book series all have pivotal plots and take the reader on a defined journey. So take the time to sketch things out! I'd love to see this on shelves one day, but the typical webnovel gets way too meandering and drawn-out by crowdfunding incentives or sheer inertia to do well in print. I'd much rather see this story end somewhere satisfying and read the next KingKennit fic than have SS outlive the author's interest in it. After SS, I'd follow you anywhere.
Or, well, he does have a heart. An biological one, even if he did get it from somebody else. Respect to him for doing it.
This here is one of those stories that I like because the MC isn't humane. He isn't somebody I can sympathise with. He does messed up stuff, subjects people to messed up things, and can handle violence and gore without a seconds thought to it. As I said before, messed up as all h*ck.
Grammar and Style fits perfectly in with this, so I'll just be giving this a 5/5 and call it a day.