- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
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.
Cover art by Lee Kent: https://www.artstation.com/leekent
This story is being published on Royal Road, Tapas, and Scribblehub.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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Just finished Book 1 and this is a most enjoyable story. Unike a lot of class-based novels, the class and skills are not the focus of the story but are seemlessly woven through the plot and assist in driving it forward. The characters are well-written and the action scenes lively. A great offering and I encourage you to give it a read!
- half a star for weird sexism
Supposedly this world is sexist, but you only ever see it every 50 chapters for a paragraph. It's slightly jarring but is not too bad you can just ignore it.
This is an awesome story! one of my favorites.
P.S. Forgive my English it's my second language
Warning: Review will include spoilers.
Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is a fun and satisfying romp through a world of magic and danger, filled with daring-do, heartfelt friendship and heroic tragedy. Humanity is far from the top dog - they are a people besieged, relegated to a relatively small corner of the earth, a single capital city and fortified towns. Enter Elaine - reincarnator extraordinaire, total ditz, and this story's erstwhile protagonist.
Now, I will say that the first... two to three chapters were a bit off-putting. Mostly, it was due to bad editing - sometimes a lack of punctuation after quotes, or usage of asterisks where they're not needed - minor stuff like that that gives them a pretty unprofessional feel.
Selkie, if you're reading this - edit those first few chapters! I know you're capable of better, because those kinds of mistakes quickly drop off into nonexistence. You've gotta put your best foot forward! You should do the same for your Kindle books! Honestly, if you can afford it, it would be worthwhile to get an actual editor to go through them, but even a second read-over and edit by yourself would result in a dramatic improvement. Again, those sorts of things only happen in the early chapters, so please don't obsess over it. Just clean-up those first chapters and continue doing what you're doing. I say all this as a fan of your writing, who almost missed out on your work because the quality of the first few chapters doesn't represent the rest of your work.
ANYWAY, that aside, I really enjoyed the story so far. Elaine's choice to go the healer route has made things very interesting, as it's the only place where her scientific earth knowledge wasn't REDACTED by the god who reincarnated her. She's a very passionate, principled, brave, and daring character, and her imperfections also serve to highlight her qualities. She's not hungry for power and money, which serves to differentiate her from a lot of LitRPG protagonists, but she's not any kind of pushover either and still seeks to find ways to secure her own protection and finances in a world that tries to limit her independance.
I think the sexism of the world is actually rather well done, as well. It's not gratuitous, and shows how women still manage to exert power and influence from within a sexist system, and those that strive stand outside of it. The reasons for that sexist society are actually pretty internally consistent. Sure, with stats an levels, women and men have a rough parity on force. Theoretically. But how it actually plays out is that there's an endless war against a never ending wave of monsters, and humanity has to regularly throw young men into that meatgrinder. Women are spared because, well, if you throw women through the meatgrinder, how the fuck are you gonna get new people to throw into the meatgrinder next generation? And who's going to take care of all the real work that still needs to be done on the homefront? Also, when the way to achieve superpowers involves risking your life against monsters, with a high fatality rate, it makes sense that men would participate more in that sort of activity. Biologically, men are more likely to take part in high-risk professions and activities, and are in general more aggressive as well. A lot of men die in the process, but at the end of that the ones who survive are way more physically powerful. Of course, when they come home, that discrepancy in power would effect large societal shifts, such as the sexist society portrayed here. It's actually a lot less sexist than it could be, as it still recognizes and makes use of the women who are exceptions, instead of suppressing them. Makes sense, what with them needing every warm body they can get.
Elaine's ditzy nature was sometimes offputting, more so at the beginning when it felt like an excuse for her not knowing basic things about the world so that there could be some timely exposition. After the basics of the worldbuilding were out of the way, her ditzyness felt more natural and even a little endearing. It made the minmaxer in me cry, but honestly as far as character flaws go it was well executed. Reading the same omni-competent min-maxer protagonist can get old.
All the rest of the cast of characters were wonderful, one of the most fun and interesting parts of the story. They make most scenes enjoyable and add a good deal of tension, because Selkie ain't afraid to pull a GRRM on you. It all came together for a fun and engaging read.
My biggest gripe is that I'm all caught up!
I'm enjoy this story quite a bit. The restrictions inherent in the system are a nice touch and the fact that class advancement/choice is tied with knowledge, experience, and exposure adds some flair with a believable reason for the MCs fast growth.
On the topic or sexism I don't think it feels shoehorned into the story but it also isn't what I'm reading for.
I've seen a lot of peope complain that the mc is too annoying, or that she is too childish, but to me thats what makes her a good character. She isn't Mary Sue #100. No she is a person with flaws, insicurities and doubts. The problems she encounters, and the way she deals with them in a flawed, baised way is indicitive of her being a person.
The fact that this is about a healer mc is great. Too many times do I see the mc being a great warrior or master wizard, but rarley a support class, much less a healer. Because the mc is a healer, we see thing in a whole new light, like the worries and priorities of characters. Mages would priorities being in the back, blasting away, warriors would priorities being in front, taking hits and dishing out damage, but a healer? their priorities would be keeping the team alive, and keeping themselves alive. A relativley simple task that can get complicated real fast.
For example, how do you heal someone when you don't know where they are hurt or what hurt them? I also like the way healing is handled in this story. You can't just pour mana into someone then they are healed. You need to know where they were hurt, how they were hurt and what hurt them before you can heal properly
The fact that characters come and go is also nice to me. Just like in real life people come and go, friendships come and go. Though I must admit it can be a little annoying when characters you think will be important just...vanish, never to be seen again.
Overvall, its a great story that is made even better by how much diffirent it is from its competition. I highly recomend it for someone who is looking for a little more than just another generic fantasy novel.
The basic premise is something I'm sure everyone on this site has seen before: someone reincarnated into an RPG-style fantasy setting. Despite this, BtDM manages to be an engaging read, to me at least.
To get it out of the way: This story isn't much of a typical "Power Fantasy", so if you're looking for harems, an overpowered main character, or every choice the MC makes being "optimized", then I don't recommend the story to you. Elaine actually feels like a child for much of the story, not just some creepily "rational" adult reincarnated into a child's body. The amount of comments I've seen on chapters of this story criticizing it for "stupid" decisions is obscene. These characters are not perfect robots to project your wish fulfillment on, and that's okay.
There are also some Interludes set in the future of this world, that readers often seem... divided over. Personally, I like them well enough, though the first one mirrors Elaine childhood a bit too closely IMO. I'd say that there hasn't been enough content or context of them to really judge yet, though that hasn't stopped some people from flaming, obviously.
Style: The story is well-written, and the RPG elements strike a good balance of easily understood and expansive, and are integrated well with the story overall. As an avid Brandon Sanderson reader, I approve of the magic system.
Story: The MC is a magical Healer who takes a binding Oath at a young age that forces her to help others and to not be the instigator in any fights, leading to some interesting character interactions and conflicts. She eventually multiclasses into a Mage for some combat capabilities, but her main Role is always Healer and support.
The plot is a bit aimless, which is something of a given for a character who's core motives are "help people" and "be cool like my mentor figure". The first few arcs bounce around a lot, but it eventually settles into Elaine joining a fairly regimented organization, which helps a lot with the plot progression.
The problem I have with the plot is the society of the world itself. Humans live in a loose expy of the Roman Republic, complete with rampant slavery and women being treated as property. There is a scene in a gladiator arena where a guy promises to rape his female opponent in front of the audience before killing her, and the audience of thousands all cheer. And then... all the main characters and organization are all completely okay with gender equality, and see slavery as cruel. There seems to be no big feminist or pro-freedom message behind it, the society we're supposed to root for and care about just really sucks it seems. Other societies in the world don't seem to follow this, just the one we're supposed to actually really care about it seems. I'd say the overall story makes up for it, but stuff like that is definitely not my cup of tea.
Grammar: No complaints
Character: Characters generally aren't very deep, though a few actively have me invested. They often do a good job of subverting expectations, which I appreciate. The MC is often scatterbrained and emotional, though determined, which I definitely prefer to the scores of overly-"rational" MC's this site is often flooded with.
Summary: Overall a pleasant reading experience. I've put in my RSS feed to keep up with. A Healer and blaster-style-Mage MC is interesting, and the world and RPG elements are generally really well done. The human society sucks IMO, but overall, Elaine's adventures of trying to help people in a messed up world are engaging. I appreciate all the thought Selkie obviously put into this, and am eagerly awaiting more.
So, when I had a friend that I thought might be nudged into reading the LitRPG genre, this is the fiction I recommended. Why? Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is one of the most wholesome fictions I've read in this genre. The MC, while often naive, idealistic and prone to avoiding responsibility, has a loving family and friends and acts with the best of intentions. In many ways, it is these flaws that drive the story as well as make her more human. Oh, and my friend is totally hooked!
The story resolves around a reincarnated girl from Earth who ends up in what amounts to be the Roman Empire with dinosaurs and a serious ant problem. This world has magic and, while the MC loses most of her technical knowledge of Earth in the transition, she keeps just enough to have an advantage and perspective over her peers. The magic system has good depth and I personally really like the interplay between elements. Early on, the MC makes an oath that becomes an important skill that drives both her advantage as a healer and places SIGNIFICANT disadvantages on her that help to drive the plot in many instances; these restrictions are one of the major points that distinguish her from other major "healers" in the genre. The work is original, generally light-hearted and very enjoyable.
I've noticed that a few other reviews have called out issues that I personally don't agree with so I'll (not so) quickly give my thoughts on those as well:
Sexism in a system world? There appears to be an assumption amongst reviewers that because people are equally capable in a world where they have stats that sexism wouldn't exist, or at least not be prominent, in this world. I feel this is an oversimplistic view that is reducing the cause of sexism down entirely to a root of men being physically stronger than women when far more factors are involved, such as how pregnancy factors into danger aversion and how a society lacking in women will take longer to recover than one lacking in men. The setting is also based upon the Roman Empire so a level of sexism should be expected. If the author is guilty of anything here, its that she made sexism a major theme at the start of the series but drops it later on without the institutional issue being resolved. Then again, we've hardly resolved the issue ourselves and the constant butting of heads that would require to make headway would make for a somewhat tedious story.
The other criticism I see goes along the lines of 'How dare the the characters make illogical, impulsive decisions with long reaching consequences!' Eh, people do that all the time. For the class decision that seems to have people riled up, we had a lot of foreshadowing over her desire to pursue a certain set of abilities for fun, had the character acknowledge, both to herself and her friends, that it was probably a bad decision AND had her get taken to task for it in the story. She then nearly has something very unfortunate happen to her because of it. This certainly isn't an issue the author wasn't aware of; it was a well thought out decision that limited the specialisation of the MC in favour of utility and gives her an additional something to strive for once her healing specialisation has gotten to the point where there is no vast need to improve upon it. More importantly, it was a decision for the MC to set aside optimisation in favour of fun!
There's two things I dislike here, however thats 119 chapters in, so two things is really decent.
1) warning for two specific character deaths, childhood friends, should have been properly given. It wasn't bad, not here, but after a death in worth the candle made me not read any further in three years now, I am a bit sensitive about this now too.
2) the author needs to step up their visual character descriptions - but they are aware of the issue.
Here's the thing however:
Even though impactful deaths haven't been warned off properly before and the character description is lacking.
You don't notice it, you just keep reading. There wasn't a chapter or a series of chapters that were boring enough that I could stop reading!
This is not something I anticipated, I am pretty hypervisual and would have expected to need the lacking details to form an image in my mind.
I don't, however, I only get reminded of this issue every 20-30 chapters, which means the author does his writing well enough, that it just carries me along!
Of note is also the fact that the author mentions having the plot mostly figured out, knowing the what he will do, which is frankly making me doubt my own abbilities.
From what I can gather, the outline is massive, the magic system extremely well done and even the stats calculated in a way that they make sense and also don't just break everything.
Superb reincarnation/litrpg. Of the many I have read on RR, BtDM has had the most consistent (excellent) pacing. Book 4 is just as tight, exciting and fun to read as book 1. While the quality of writing does improve over time, it starts with very high marks. No noticeable grammatical mistakes, good editing, etc.
the characters are interesting and unique - I find that this story strikes a wonderful balance between "I'm from the modern era and know everything you don't" and "I'm in a fantasy world and won't use my brain to solve problems". The MC is distractable and a little scatterbrained, which leads to some very human mistakes. No super-OP MC who coldly analyzes every situation, and could be replaced with a heartless robot and no one would notice.
The core premise of a reincarnated hero who would rather heal and help than murderhobo their way around the world is a refreshing take on a genre that threatened to get stale in its infancy. I hope more writers take note of this story, and think of their own takes on "magic powers = pew pew pew".
I hope to keep reading this story for a long, long time!
A joy to read, with interesting characters that don't tread straight into mary-sue territory, an interesting setting and world building, decent pacing and a great style from the author.
Less dark than the opening few chapters promise, which is fine for me though I wouldn't mind reading that aspect explored that a little more. The slavery and misogyny, and their related politics, play a fairly minor roll compared to what I was originally expecting after the first handful of chapters. Plenty of room for that in the upcoming arc (Academy), we'll see how that goes.
I would also like to see more exploration of the broader world, but that'll need to come later. The next story arc is looking like it'll be fairly static. That's speculation of course. To be honest, there's rarely a story I don't want to see more exploration of, so don't take that as a demerit so much as my own personal preferences.
I love the elemental wheel as a concept, a lovely improvement on the basic "earth air fire water" archetype. I'm interested in seeing more of how that impacts the world and story.
All in all, a great addition to my RSS feed, one I eagerly look forward to reading upon each release.