The Wizard of Quintz
by Ember Lane
Sometimes, a hero hatches from the unlikeliest soul…
Merl Sheepherder is a shepherd, as his name suggests. Except, he isn’t really a good one. He’s often distracted. You see, Merl can see things other folks can’t. For instance, he can see words and numbers hovering over buildings, and if he studies an item hard enough, a golden plaque full of scribble appears. Most every one of his friends, and his enemies for that matter, has three letters over their head. If you asked Merl what they say though, he won’t be able to tell you because he can’t read.
It doesn’t bother Merl too much, but it does his dad. So, when a wizard camps out in a nearby wood, his dad drags Merl to see him. No one could truly predict what happens next, after all, medieval zombies aren’t really a thing, and surely a simple farmhand can’t hold the fate of the known world in his calloused hands?
That would be unheard of.
This is the first book in the series Dead Server 7. It is complete at 200,000 words and chapters will be posted every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday until all are published. It has also been professionally edited.
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I liked the story enough to read through all the chapters, but am ambivalent about recommending this to others.
The spelling and grammar are good and the story concept is interesting and novel to me. In terms of how the plot progresses, the characters are always doing something and going somewhere, but the plot itself rarely moves and (as of the current chapter), still remain a mystery with little new information gained or hints provided. Though this may just be because I do not really know what their end point looks like and whether what they are doing is significant or not, as opposed to just going wherever they are told to.
The characters are not too stereotypical and seem both somewhat realistic and fairly consistent in how they behave (as opposed to random shifts in personality to drive the plot forward). However, sometimes their very consistencies and the MC’s unwillingness to adapt to his changing situation frustrates me. Even though I know a very young illiterate sheepherder is likely to act that way, I do not find realistic very young illiterate sheepherders the most interesting of characters.
However, there was always some humorous dialogue and references to computer games to ensure I never completely stopped reading.
TL:DR version:- story concept is good and remains interesting (with amusing game references), characters are not too bland (but not the best I have ever read) and plot progress seems slow.
There is nothing here I can complain about outside of confusion about why the situation with the elf village and witch didn't end them, the guides decision didn't make sense there given his objective.
That said this story is definitely not for everyone. Mainly because the MCs first objective is learning how the read and as the audience we already know he is going to learn he has a game system of some kind. Whilst definitely a unique thing to observe it's like watching a baby learn to walk in some ways. Some people enjoy it some people will get bored of it very quickly. I'm unfortunately in the later.
This is certainly different. It's plot is kinda hard to describe. It's basicly a couple of redneck country boys meet a wizard ( who doesn't do very much magic.) And they fight a zombie apocalypse.
The story takes place in your basic fantasy land. With evil goblins and tricky elves. There is a system, but so far the only person who has the full system can't read.
I did notice that even though entire groups of soldiers fall the zombies are 3 main characters have no problem taking whole towns of them. Not very believable. Still, it's a fun enough read.
A fresh take on the GameLit trope of getting access to a System. No info-dumps and no repetitive status pages, the MC needs to learn how to read first! The Wizard of Quintz is about what happens when a lowly shepherd is suddenly forced into the life of an adventurer. The group survives without crazy plot armor or OP skills thrown around like candy.
Style and Story: The fights are bloody, but the main story does not need the Horror tag. Just happens that the first sources of danger / exp are zombies. The plot shows the group are not just wandering murder hobos. They travel past rough areas and help others when then can. The setting is not exactly a bright and cheery world. But the group have a world-saving goal and sliver of hope that things will get better.
Grammar: Ember Lane claims The Wizard of Quintz was professionally edited and the text quality backs that up. No spelling errors or strange syntax to distract from the storytelling. The writing is clear on who is speaking or who takes an action.
Character: The author carefully plans the rate of character growth. Merl does not instantly learn to read within a single chapter. Merl does not instantly become a magical spell-slinging powerhouse. Frank and Merl both have interesting backgrounds, and readers discover hints about them through the journey. Seems like Billy is the bland country bumpkin friend, who exists as occasional comic relief.
The original cover design and mention of being professionally edited made me take notice of this title. The Wizard of Quintz is an enjoyable story with plenty of room for future plot advancement. Honestly, Ember Lane writes better than I do. So if you've read my entire review you should take the time to read the tale.
This story is great. I dont know why someone would have complaints other than saying they didnt like the genre itself. I can tell that this is professionally edited and I hope you keep writing since I really like this fiction and I think that if you write another story it will be just as good if you keep up the same quality that you have here. I dont know why it was posted on royalroad than on a more serious site though, but I hope you dont get discouraged by some bad reviews and spelling checks on a cite that has mostly isekai and power fantasies with very few rare gems. BE ENCOURAGED!!!
Also, to the people who are looking to see if they want to read this story, it falls into the more traditional high fantasy genre that actual published authors write. People on royalroad get mad that the pacing is slow and the main character isnt op right off the bat or has the potential for being op, dont worry, im around chapter 17 and I can see the plot about to progress a lot, although I wont tell due to the major spoiler.
Zombie or Zombay ? If you find yourself asking this question you have read a page or two here.
Many will find it funny and lets face it dark humour is what a zombay should be about...maybe ?
I feel like I lost brain cells reading this and i didn't have many spare to begin with.
Perhaps it will entertain those seeking something different.
I'm only five chapters into this story and hope it never ends. Lots of bumpkin humor and misunderstandings lead to chuckles and belly laughs. Perhaps not the best thing to read on public transit if you are like me and burst into laughter at what you are reading. My wife is used to it so I'm ok at home.
Give it a read, you won't regret it for sure. Money back guarantee as long as it is free here on RR.
The title seems to say that one char is the MC, yet the main focus of the story is on a different person, who seems to be the unlikely, unwilling hero. Lots of gore as the small group fights mostly cheap zombies so far. While they don't seem to be as sad as one might think considering all the terrible things going on, the dialogue is spot on otherwise. I am not sure why a different reviewer sayd it is bad? The 2 peasants who lived in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere speak like peasants? How dare they.......
But seriously, Ineresting take take on the basic game lit, if it ever goes anywhere. not only does the MC have no ability to read his status screen, it seems no one in the world knows what that is anyways. Not that it matters because at least a couple of weeks into the story and the one guy trying to teach the MC to read has only made the effort to get to about maybe 6 letters of the alphabet. Very slow burn on this story so far.
The author starts with an original idea: the MC is the only one to see the game UI but doesn't know how to read. He's taught how to read by an apprentice mage.
Unfortunately, it's awful to read. Two of the three main characters speak with lower class peasant language. And the characters speak to say nothing of value for the progression of the story nor for world building. The style of the author is 50% of the text is short sentence dialogue between the three main characters ... Dialogue that is both hard to read peasant speech and boring with nothing told.
Then comes the story ... well, there is none. They seem to be walking toward somewhere and random absurd events happen.
Well, I have to admit, I skimmed throuth the chapters hoping it would become better later, but no. It remains unreadable fluff.
I'm sad to abandon. I loved the idea of the MC learning to read and discovering the UI. But it's far too slow and chapters are 95% boring fluff and 5% learning to read.