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Winner of the 2022 Stabby Award!
Elaine is ripped from this world to Pallos, a land of unlimited possibilities made real by a grand System governing classes, skills, and magic.
An ideal society? What is this, a fantasy novel?
Adventures? Right this way!
A Grand quest? Nah.
Friends and loot? Heck yes!
Humans are the top dog? Nope, dinosaur food.
Healing and fighting? Well, everything is trying to eat her.
Join Elaine as she travels around Pallos, discovering all the wonders and mysteries of the world, trying to find a place where she belongs, hunting those elusive mangos, all while the ominous Dragoneye Moons watch her every move.
Hey! Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is my first writing effort, so please be kind, but don’t hesitate to point out the flaws.
The story starts off slowly, more like a slice of life than action-adventure, but it gets there!
I’m going to be posting M-W-F
I do know how the story ends, and I promise if it ever gets dropped, or I stop doing this, I will post the ending. There will be no random “this is the last chapter” out of the blue.
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It's always a pleasure to find Litrpg where the game mechanics supplement good writing rather than compensate for a lack thereof. The story starts a bit rush and awkward, but the author really hits their stride after a few dozen chapters, and even the early ones are still decent.
The author's handling of sexism grows more nuanced and natural with the rest of their writing. Elaine (the protag) faces a nice mix of personal and systemic problems. She's a bit scatterbrained at the start, but it's kinda hard to tell whether that's on purpose or part of the author learning to write.
The worldbuilding, what little we've seen of it, is well done. Armies fighting an eternal war against monster ants makes a lot more sense than paying poorly regulated mercenaries to keep your country safe (*cough* adventurers *cough*). Julien's reaction to Elaine talking about dragons sells their danger and mystique better than any trite info-dump could have.
Er... two hundred words... The system is a nice mix of original and familiar. The worldbuilding takes some of the practical consequences of certain people being massively stronger/faster/tougher than others into account.
Advice for the author... try to keep the big picture in mind. We haven't encoutered much by way of economics and politics because Elaine hasn't and isn't terribly interested in it, so it's hard to tell if you have a long-term plan or not. I'd recommend the occasional interlude from another character's perspective - lots of opportunity for context and to fill in certain things that the protag just doesn't care about.
Too much slice of life, but no tag added. I just read whole chapter of hatching feeding. I've read passages and chapters about socks, bathing, sex ed which lead nowhere. Occasionally story is really good, shame author focuses on word count instead of plot. First two books have best balance.
And thoroughly enjoyed it.
The story is well written, and decently paced. There were several captivating moments, particularly within the Plague arc, but the underlying story was more than compelling enough, to carry me through the lull between. I will say, I've not greatly enjoyed the interludes, thus far, but I'm hopeful they turn out to enrich the story directly or the world at large.
The work is either excellently written, or even more excellently beta-ed; It doesn't do anything revolutionary with it's grammar, but most don't, so who gives a shit, it gets it's point across.
Probably the biggest complaint I've seen is the characterisation, particularly that of the MC. While at times, particularly to begin with, I'm forced to admit she can come across as stilted and unable to focus on the now, let alone learn from her past, she shows clear growth as the series progresses, and I find the continued improvement in writing, and the author's explanation/examination of her character more than satisfactory.
That all said, I've just finished reading the first 2 chapters of Book 4, and as ever, find myself, hungry for more.
And, just in case the author happens to see this; I'm not sure if you've noticed, but someone appears to have accidentally placed a dragon on your cover art. Terrible mistake I'm sure, but you may want to fix it, before Night starts having a panic attack.
I have a mixed opinion of this story. On one hand its an entertaining story without any major flaws, on the other it's not at all what one might expect going into it.
The title, cover, and description, at least in my mind make the book seem to be more like Azarinth Healer than what the book actually is. I also dislike some of the pacing choices and other small details like that.
Now this isn't to say the book is bad, I would say the oppisite in fact. It's a different take on the genre and is well thought out with interesting charcters. The characters all have solid reasons for what they do and there are no glaring issues in formatting, grammer, or continuity. The world is also an amazing thing, it, at least for me, allows the rder to get a sense of culture and the like and draw compaisons to things like the roman empire.
Basically this is a fun stoy that's less about fighting and more about healing but it isn't represented that way. That's the only real issue I have with the book.
Honestly one of the best novels I've read in a long time. The main character is not ridiculously overpowered, and she doesn't get benefit after benefit.
She works hard, struggles, has a fair bit of luck, but also misses opportunities that would rapidly boost her growth. She isn't oblivious to them, just unable to feasibly attain them. It's just so well balanced and well paced.
Speaking of balance, the main character isn't overpowered. She has a significant boost to her ability, but it comes with some pretty harsh restrictions. It adds a certain depth that I really appreciate.
Don't even get me started on the worldbuilding!!! I absolutely love how the abilities work, once again, very balanced, with a nice bit of variety. It's also remarkably refreshing, considering how different it is from the normal system based fantasy genre.
There is the issue of sexism in the novel, however it is well placed and poignant. While it would be incredible to live in a world without sexism, not all made up worlds won't have it. This novel succesfully integrates a tought topic, and while it isn't a major theme, it is underlying and insidious. It promotes character development, and keeps the character struggling against the glass sealing.
Furthermore, it makes sense in the novel, although many reviews have said it doesn't. Here's the cold hard truth,,, a system doesn't fix everything. Sure, it gives anyone the potential to be just as powerful as anyone else, but that doesn't solve the innate biological skews that develop in a society. Childbearing is a long procedure, and while magic can ease the birthing process, it cannot speed up the development of the unborn child (to our knowledge). Because of that, recouping a population's losses after a war or an attack takes a while. As such, many incredibly socially underdeveloped societies will develop some form of sexism as they progress from Hunter-Gatherer civilizations to the Bronze-Age. In this specific story, when the civilizations were developing, women were likely left at home so they could help rebuild the population if a bunch of men died on a hunt, and thus had less opportunities to level up, resulting in a skewed societal structure.
It is very disheartening to see such blatantly sexist characters, however they do drive the story forward, and it gives this fantasy novel a sense of realism.
I do have a couple more gripes... ((SPOILER WARNING)) After being reincarnated by the god Papilion, the main character soon realizes she can pray to gods or goddesses. That is,, in my opinion, severely undervalued. She hasn't had any sort of existentialism about being reincarnated (although I guess that can be attributed to her relatively relaxed demeanor), or any desire to interact with the god that placed her in this new world.
Conversely, Papilion has seemingly done nothing to check in on his little experiment. Maybe this is because the 16(?) years it has been is inconsequential for a god? But,, wouldn't a god know how much a human can develop in that amount of time? Maybe Papilion took a nap, idk. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to seeing their first interaction!!!!
^^The lack of further Divine Interference does make sense though... I will begrudgingly admit that. I suppose it contributes to the balance of the story, as the character still has to struggle through her shit, and isnt just whisked away due to divine interference. I can appreciate that. HOWEVER, I really just wanna get answers from Papilion!!!! WTF IS THE GOLDEN CROW!?!? I've been dying of anticipation since the first few chapters, and my need to know only grows with each chapter that question remains unanswered 😭😭.
Really like the story and decided to do an advanced review
Style: I find the pacing to be just right, not too fast to leave pieces of the story behind, an not so slow to forget what happened previously. Although i read of pepole thinking the pacing was slow so it might just be me.
Story: I like the direction this story is going and the tradeoffs associated with skills and attributes, the magic system is through and polished, with clear effort put in by the author. The story arcs sre complete and well correlated.
Grammar: As a non native speaker i can't find any errors that break the immersion, but to an english major tis might seem like heresy
Character: All charachters have a purpose and flow pretty smoothly, without lying to themselves, the author is not afraid of killing off some characters if they should die, and there is no evident plot armor
Overall the story is consistent and competently written, the author also expressed a want to finish the story even if he can't spare much time for it.
I can't find anything more to write but i still haven't reached 200 words, i can't even copy paste the review to see at how many words i am
While I do believe this is a good overall story, it had some really rough spots in the begining. If i had to wait days to get through them I probably would have droped. For the first 30-40 odd chapters the MC is stuipidly scatterbrained and trusting. To be fair she's working with teenager wetware so its somewhat understandable, but its still pretty hard to read. She does get better, and makes real progress both in mental disipline (possibly due to skills) and in building truthful and trustworthy relationships. While 'clever' doesn't fit with either the story or the MC, i think she might end up wise when its over.
While in some ways the setting is well thoughtout in how the government handles the massive power dispaarity between high level classers and most people, in other ways such as how magical technology (not even getting into magitek, just how the presence of magic alters the economy) and why sexism is so prevelent when differences in system classes are so much more important is not. recently the MC is getting more involved in politics, hopefully this will come with some exposition to help stabalize the worldbuiding.
The story is well written overall, and while I'm a pretty poor proofreader I havent noticed any grammer mistakes, the sentence structure is nicely varied, and the prose mostly flows well. In particular i find the author has done an good job in managing pacing with in-world time. I don't feel like we've missed anything relevent when performing time skips, and they've keep the stoy flowing and the MCs growth realistic.
While leaning on many standard tropes of the genre, Beneth the Dragoneye Moons is notable in that the MC takes a very restrictive oath early, and while she put too little thought into it, and has perhapse too little difficulty with it, she does have to consider her philosophy and how it works in the violent real world, all the while if she breaks it suffering not only the loss of the power that provides her independence but suffering unknown backlash. that childhood oath ends up a cornerstone in the story in a way thats definitly unuseal.
I was quite suspicious after reading the synopsis. I started the novel some time after Azarinth Healer and thought it was more or less a cardboard copy. Boy was I wrong!
Elaine and Ilea sound pretty similar, but while one is more or less a murderhobo, growing in her own kindergarten, the other has to overcome her own difficulties. She is hobbled by a unique kind of skill, that may give the MC an awesome power up, but the story lives and gets interesting with the MC trying to fight against her own power.
I definitely recommend this story for everyone who is still undecided.
I really appreciate this story because of one simple thing which the vast majority of novels on this site can't manage.
that being side characters that seem realistic in there thoughts and actions as in they feel like they could be real instead of your typical npc drone or random villain background characters.
keep up the good work.
Overall, I can confidently say this is one of the better things I've read on Royal Road of late.
To start with, style which feeds into worldbuilding. To address the elephant in the room: yes, prejudice towards women is very much a thing in this world. Contrary to some reviews, I think the issue of stats building off base states and the war all of humanity is in addresses the reason behind that prejudice existing well enough. Some people are bound to find it uncomfortable, but it seems realistic to me- societal repression doesn't fold over a few exceptions. It's a pervasive source of conflict throughout the story, but not in what I feel is a preachy or unrealistic way. Aside from that, I think the worldbuilding is solid. The author makes mention that there is no 'adventuring guild' because governments aren't fond of losing a monopoly on effective violence, this is another example of an author who has thought about their setting and found some atypical but solid conclusions.
Grammar - it's a solid read, but the author's POV of a reincarnated MC does sometimes lead to some odd phrasing and it's not perfect throughout.
Story- the word I'm looking for is 'dramatic but with common sense'. I actually think the plotline is one of the biggest strengths of the story, but it is probably not up everyone's alley. There is no lack of bandits, monsters, mysteries, and training-from-hell. But the MC is not really a total cheat character and people do die. While the MC's ascent to power is meteoric by local standards, in terms of narrative I'm sure some people will wonder when the asskicking starts, especially given the MC really is a healer first and foremost. The conflicts are more personal to Elaine and her ambitions, rather than immediately pushing to the level where the world depends on her. Overall, it's more like a normal book you'd read than a cheap powertrip despite LitRPG grinding throughout.
Which brings me to character. Elaine, the MC, is not really an unusual character for a fantasy story but she's a bit rare by the standards of Royal Road. There are definitely points in early chapters where 'child brain' seems to be the point behind some mistakes, but this and harboring prejudices from her earlier life are a solid explanation for that. At the same time, nothing she does is really too unlikely and her perspective is more realistic than many MCs. I think the way characters in the story beyond the MC have their own reasons for doing things and react to Elaine realistically rather than all being sympathetic or persecuting is a strength of the series. You can point to most any character with screentime and say 'this is probably what they want from life', and rarely does it involve Elaine.
So overall? Pretty typical fantasy, done well, in a LitRPG setting with a reincarnated character. It's noteworthy that the author manages to blend the latter two things into a setting that feels so realistic. Definitely worth a read.