The Stained Tower

by Tilted_Axis

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Female Lead LitRPG Low Fantasy Magic Non-Human lead Reincarnation Supernatural Urban Fantasy

The soul seeks eternity.
The conscious seeks existence.
The body seeks exemption.

Now an eerie and spectral existence, in an era centuries ahead of her own, Constance Nightingale finds herself tumbling toward a modern-day Earth on the verge of a system apocalypse.

Constance refuses to lie down and die, yet things are made ever more complicated as she realizes her survival relies on siphoning and collecting Essence from other creatures—a parasite some would term her. Nevertheless, in the concrete jungle, she scarcely understands, she shall struggle and endeavor to improve in hopes of someday becoming an extraordinary presence that Towers high above the deranged city she finds herself.

[A LitRPG hybrid for those looking for something unique, yet familiar.]


Author Notes:

- LitRPG elements introduced in Chapter 5. Start increasing Chapter 7/8. The majority of LitRPG fans that make it to Chapter 8 keep reading.
- This isn't a tower climber story.
- It's written as a first-person narrative. Experience the world through the MC's eyes, thoughts, and viewpoint.
- The MC speaks a tad archaically, but it's simplified. Still, if your English is not that good, this novel may be difficult for you. Archaic elements do ease up after the first few chapters.
- The cover was commissioned for use with this novel only. Artist (Possible NSFW Material)

I want to thank anyone who reads for their time. Any feedback, reviews, or support is appreciated.

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Tilted_Axis

Tilted_Axis

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starvingsloth
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This story is definitely not your usual run-of-the-mill fiction. There are things I have never seen from other Royal Road stories before. Give it a try!

The review contains a minor spoiler of the early chapters.

Plot and Summary - Magic System that feels Fresh - Constance is a young girl from medieval London. She was falsely accused as a witch and executed. Ironically, after her execution, she indeed became a ‘witch’. She got introduced to the ‘System’ in the purgatory. The way the introduction is done is fascinating. Even though I’m pretty sure, this is not the first fiction to try to write the System introduction that way. I don’t know why, but it just feels fresh to me. 

Plot and Summary - Plot Twist - After being reborn, she was later teleported to a place that I did not expect at all. (Although, after reading carefully, it’s stated in the synopsis; I did not read the summary besides the first three sentences). It feels good to experience the twist when you read it (chapter 6). I hope the story contains many such twists in the future.

Plot and Summary - Good pacing - The pacing is okay, not too slow, and not too fast. It seems like there’s plenty of opportunities for the story to delve deep into how the magic works as well as the challenges Constance will face to survive as the witch. 

World Building - Transitional scenes could be better - The author tried to make sure each place Nightingale visits feels distinct and different from one another. Some of it is good, like the setting of the purgatory and the atmosphere around Constance’s execution and revival. Some transitional scenes, though, need more exposition to not feel jarring.

Character - A bit meek - Constance should have experienced a harsh past, but I don’t think it shows in her behaviours. Maybe it’s because it’s still too early in the story, or perhaps I read too much into it. But as of now, I don’t really care for her. My main issue is, she should express more of her feelings. She should be resentful for being falsely accused. She should be more fierce and aggressive to survive better and avoid the purgatory again. Instead, she’s a bit meek and taking it easy (in my opinion). It’s not necessarily bad, but I think it just makes it harder to believe her, resonate with her feelings, or be empathetic with her. (I may be a bit too harsh since the story is still so early, but let's see)

Grammar and Style - Monologues - Another criticism for the story is lack of dialogue. As of now, Constance is often alone. Most of the things she does, she does alone (duh). She only talks to the System (that often doesn’t reply). And she does a lot of monologues. That can get old fast. I hope she has someone to interact with, other than the System.

Grammar and Style - Archaic English - One of the most noticeable things in the story is its usage of archaic forms of English. It might seem strange at first, but the author has done an excellent job to make it still comprehensible to read. I learned a few new words here and there. It also piques my interest in word etymology and how language evolves.

Conclusion - It’s refreshing, in a way. Read this if you’re also interested in archaic English, and possibly unique magic systems.

Final Score - 9/10. Plenty of opportunities to grow into a great story.

J 1
Overall

This is a slightly early review as only 3 chapters are out right now but I love the other novel from this author so I figured I may as well. 
So far this novel is very interesting and engaging, it has an exciting premise and plenty of potential to progress and stay interesting. Spelling and grammar is basically flawless (I'm not that knowledgeable about older English but from what I know the author has done a good job), the character development is great and I'm definetely looking forward to more. Would definetely recommend.

UYScuti
Overall

My luck has been good recently when it comes to late-night updates. I've found some interesting stories that I would have missed earlier in the day. The story solves a mystery that archeologists have struggled with for centuries, so good on the author, and I actually care about the MC. Most people will probably enjoy this, so check it out. 

Razzmatazz
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A very unique story that I found enjoyable. As of this posting there are 15 chapters and I’ve read all of them. The story is about Constance, a rather chipper young woman from medieval England who was falsely accused of witchcraft and hung. However, because [Insert non-spoiler reason here] her death allowed her to actually acquire new powers that she hadn’t had before. Constance has a rather happy demeanor oddly enough considered the rough start we seem to witness her undergoing, but we haven’t had much time yet to dig into her past more, so I’m interested to see how this contrast in her characters plays out over time.

The author introduces their system(s?) here, which use the tables quite eloquently. They are satisfying to read and make good use of space and color in particular. The story uses a lot of ‘ye olde English’ especially at the start which fits the theme nicely. I’m not an Englishman so I can’t be sure, but the writing feels ‘authentic’ to me at least. So the author did a great job there, especially with the voice of the main protagonist.

The catch of the story is that after her ‘rebirth’ our protagonist finds herself in a new place entirely that is revealed via a nice little twist in chapter 6. So far the story manages to keep you on your toes as you’re never quite sure what the next chapter will bring. But the writing and grammar themselves are very consistent and clean.

I enjoy the pacing as well as it keeps you on the hook, but the quiet moments also know how to be quiet and more importantly for how long.

The author also takes the time to make references and add pictures to the bottom of many pages, which is highly appreciated by a non-english native.

 

All in all this is a good one. If you like systems based fantasy, if you like a bit of magic and a bit of chicanery, than this one might be for you. I’ll for sure be keeping an eye on it!

Strif3
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Elizabethan Era witch gets yeeted into the future

Reviewed at: Chapter 10: Copepod Throng

Definitely recommend this, if only for how new and fresh it is, especially for a litrpg.

The writing style is immersive af, Tilted_Axis can definitely set a scene. The very first words of the first chapter drop you right into an idyllic New World sunset. Just before the MC gets hanged. Everything gets described in terms a 1500's woman would use and its very consistent. +1 for authenticity.

The story is my main gripe. Nothing particularly egregious, but like most litrpgs, the system is basically the whole plot (at least as of chapter 10). I don't mind overmuch, since this particular system is actually different from all the rest, but it's something to be aware of.

The grammar is great, the author blends the Elizabethan era english of the MC with the modern, concise english we use today and, despite a few hiccups, it works well. People unfamiliar with this specific way of speaking may have trouble however.

The character is by far my favouroite part of this story, you can really feel her confusion at her new environment and curiosity at the system that saved her life. Her interactions with the futuristic system are always a pleasure to read, since she has a 16th century education and basically every word used is new to her. Very strong character building, full five stars.

Overall this is a definite follow. Read this story

moredread
Overall

A very original story. It will take some odd turns, that's for sure. It doesn't have a simple system. The system is a little hard to fully understand.  

 It starts out as an accused witch and colonial America. She gets burned at the stake even though she wasn't really a witch. After that it gets a little strange. She is returned from the void a changed person. By that I mean she isn't human anymore. I'm not sure wtf she is but she definitely isn't human. 

Now she ends up in the modern world during a system apocalypse. Given that she is more of a monster than a women I think this will go badly for her.

A good read if your into stories that are a little different.  Even though there is a system and she has a class it a not anything simple.

 

 

Camille d'irithyl
Overall

It is the story of a girl who unfortunately had no luck and whose life ended tragically. Yet in her misfortune, a chance presented itself to her when she was somehow reincarnated in a world similar to ours, but the story gives her a dark and magical side that you might usually expect from an urban fantasy.

With as a bonus, a rather unique lit-rpg mechanic, and especially with beautiful windows.

The story starts slowly, as things start to get serious from chapter 6 on, and then the narrative takes on some rhythm.

The narration is very focused on the protagonist and her inner monologues, but this is told in a lyrical way and the author skillfully uses slang and Old English words, which reinforces the immersion in the story. 
Although I tend to think that the flow would have been fresher and lighter if the story was a little more focused on the outside, since this particular choice, especially for a first person narrative, sometimes tends to make the narration feel claustrophobic, which is a shame since the universe itself seems interesting and full of things to discover.

The grammar seems impeccable, but I'm clearly not an expert on the subject, so I don't feel very legitimate to express myself on this subject.

Give it a try!

BTC
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Fresh, unique, well researched and executed.

Reviewed at: Chapter 19: Consumption Testing.

(Full disclosure: I beta and proofread for the author. So small spoilers from reading ahead of what's available on the author's Patreon)

Interesting premise? Check. ✔
Unique character backstories? Check. ✔
Good grammar and style? Check. ✔
Characters that act rationally? Check ✔
Hungry protagonist that gets in trouble because of her stomach? Check. ✔
Entertaining to read? That's a big check. ✔

 

Plot Summery
A world on the verge of calamitous change, a handful of competing groups forewarned, looking to eke out an advantageous position in the LitRPG would that will soon manifest itself on modern Earth. This is the world our 16th century, hardknock, semi-educated, orphan protagonist finds herself thrust into. An interesting premise full of promise, promise that the author succeeds in fulfilling. 

 

A Slow Start In The Sewers
Now, personally I dislike stories that take place underground and that lack social aspects, and the beginning of this story takes place in the sewers and has the protagonist more or less alone, but thankfully the story doesn't stay like that for more than a few chapters. Unlike most LitRPGs, the beginning of the story is a somewhat extended prologue that sets up the protagonist's rather detailed and complex backstory. The pacing picks up after about chapter 6 and stays fast. 

Protagonist
An MC with an actual backstory and emotional range, a refreshing change from the cavalcade of amnesiac murderhobo protagonists. Constance is cautious without being a wimp or incurious. Willing to use force when reasonable while still retaining her moral scruples. Naïve and ignorant to the ways of the modern world without being stupid or being given a learning cheat that totally negates the fish out of water aspect of the story. 


Characters
As in classic rags-to-riches story, our protagonist begins her story alone and at the end of her rope, so to speak. She does eventually find company, though she spends about the first 20 chapters without anyone friendly to talk to. The antagonists she meets are properly antagonistic, acting in in their own self-interest at the expense of Constance's, with goals and agendas at cross-purposes with her own. Conflict arises naturally from this, propelling Constance and the plot forward. No mere cardboard cutout villains here meant to oppose the protagonist and be left in the dust here. The supporting cast, as of this writing, hasn't quite been around long enough to get a good feel for them but their first impression is quite good. Lots of potential.

Style
Somewhat reminiscent of eastern light novels, but good ones like Death Mage. A cut above in the genre. Easy to read and entertaining. A good mix of clever dialogue, action, and exploration. The beginning is a bit heavy on Constance talking to to herself due to her being alone, but that changes later on. The author has a decent vocabulary and the archaic English that Constance talks in is interesting without being clunky, and you can tell that the author has done their homework with the smattering of mostly accurate historical facts spread throughout the story. 


Grammar
Pretty much flawless, you can really tell the author has a Grammarly subscription and a proof reader.  😉

Stillness
Overall

I can't really judge on the story so far and the grammar is fine, but I really dislike the writing style of the author. The story is to much in the head of the main character. What might be conveyed with an action the author feels the need to have the MC explictly tell the reader. Same thing with adverbs, take them out. There needs to be more detailed description. I can't get into the story because I keep seeing poorly constructed scenes. Too be clear, the olden english is fine. It's the other stuff I have a problem with. Also, chapter two should really just have a time skip. The whole format and writing to indicate the passage of time only ended up wasting mine.