Bloodshard: Stolen Magic
Magic cannot be given away or rejected; it is as permanent as life itself. Not that I'd know anything about that. Magic is both impossible to obtain and illegal for commoners like me.
So when I unexpectedly witnessed a brutal, deadly confrontation between two nobles, I assumed that was the closest to magic I'd ever get. Until I woke up the next morning with the unmistakable glow of power in my blood.
Unprepared to navigate the nobility's endless maze of deception, strained alliances, and boring parties, my only hope is to hide who I am and somehow discover the truth of what happened that bloody night.
2020 nanowrimo project and [participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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It is really well written and the new magic system is refreshing. I don't usually bother reviewing the books I like, but i have to do it this time. If I want the story to never be dropped it has to have readers, and you get that by good reviews. So here I am.
The book is really well written a lot better than the usual shit on this site, it does not follow the normal plot armour protagonist that never fail. It is a future gem that I implore you to read, for my sake so If not for your own. I don't want the book dropt.
Having that said the author has bin in to writing for many years and it shows. Everything seems well thought out so far.
Sorry for my unstructerd review. Please give the book a try🥺
I'm a huge fan of the Temeraire series for being so believable and integrating the fantasy aspect as just another part of life, and this story feels exactly the same in that regard.
We're not following the Chosen One (which is my main gripe with many stories on royalroad), rather it's just a random guy who happened upon some quite extraordinary circumstances and has his life flipped turned upside down.
As I write this I actually realize the two stories are very structurally similar, and i'm curious whether the author was in fact inspired by Temeraire or wheher it's simply great minds thinking alike.
Bloodshard fuses an interesting and unique world with a competently executed murder mystery. The aspect I enjoyed the most was the dynamic between the parallel noble society and their strange magics and the MC, who's hopelessly out of his depth involved in a conspiracy greater than him. The grammar is generally very good and I didn't notice any errors that adversely impacted the flow of the text or my enjoyment of it. The author writes concisely and evocatively; dialogue is especially good and always sounds genuine and fitting to the character of the speaker.
Overall I greatly enjoyed this story and don't have much of anything to criticise and would recommend it to any who find the theme interesting or enjoy either of the genres being fused. As of this review the killer has been revealed but the whys hows and so on haven't been fully teased out, which could affect my scoring of this story if I find them not up to the standard of the rest of the work. To the author, I commend you in your creation of a very interesting world and compelling characters and would be looking forward to further entries if they happen to be forthcoming.
A clever story, one I cannot fathom as to how it ends. I love the characters, they get better and better. The little intricacies are what makes this a step above the rest and a very fun and engaging read.
The biggest complaint I have is the description of things, I yearn for just a little more in places. Although what's been given is certainly good enough, a bit more tacked on wouldn't hurt.
As far as most mysteries go, this one is a little different than the rest. The method of investigation is not quite what one would expect, for obvious reasons of course. Such reasons are reasonable and shall not be explained here as reading the story will quickly show you why the methods are so "unconventional" compared to what one would usually expect.
Grammar, where do we begin? For now, nowhere; as I do not see common grammatical errors or failure to properly use the english language. Of course there are a few, no one is perfect, and I did spot some random brackets once which eventually were removed from the text. All in all, these things do not detract from the story and one's ability overall to understand what's going on and what is being presented.
But all in all, imperfections recognized and accepted I thoroughly enjoy this story. It has been awhile since I've been so engaged in a piece of literature and am happy to have stumbled upon this excellent work.
Oh definitely a good read. Not what I was expecting at all however. The main character is a young adult? Maybe 23+ or whatever. Expected a story revolved more around power exploration and fascination behind magic, frustration of the lower class etc. instead it's more of a self discovery noble world building focused novel. Still a nice read , but Idk not as satisfying as i had hoped
Overall Score: I'm scoring this a solid 4 for its creativity and content. If you enjoy a murder mystery that put heavy emphasis onto the surrounding world and its social hierachy, then this book will be for you. It's a history and lore galore, each leading to its own corridor of mysteries for you to explore. If I am to be honest, I seldom read novels like this, so I'd have to admit my experience on this genre is lacking. Still, judging on the merits of writing skill, the book's definitely worth a try for those wanting a detailed journey into Sarosa.
Style Score: The style of writing in this novel is fine. Nothing in particular disrupted the flow of the story, but I also felt that nothing in particular stood out. I knocked it down from 4 star because of the interesting choice to allow the MC to remain androgynous. So far, I see no reason for this to be the case. Admittedly, it may become important in the near-future, or a plot point to be used later on. In addition to that, it doesn't really detract the story from its purpose much, but to me personally, I just feel like it was an unnecessary distraction. If you do want to make the MC androgynous, it could be a good idea to make other characters see him that way too, making that theme an intentional idea for the reader to notice, and keep in mind.
Story Score: My lack of familiarity with this genre hinders my review. The author clearly have a planned storyline that he's working on, which must've been a mandatory requirement for such detailed world-building. I will leave finding faults in the story to those who have read until some of the plot points reached its conclusion. So far, clear effort can be seen utilised into carefully-crafted nobility, social maxims and more. The reader learns as the character explores. Keep it up!
Grammar Score: In general, no problems. There are plentiful examples where the author used specific vocabulary for the correct situations. The more varied your vocabulary, the more detailed your expressions. This section of the review is where I generally start nitpicking, and I decided to choose two random chapters I've read, go through it in detail, and discuss a few bits of the linguistic choices. Please read them below in the spoiler section:
"I’d undertaken this task on behalf of my mother, who’d taken ill this last week and, though she tried to insist otherwise, shouldn’t brave the cold to do it herself..."
(This part of review was removed due to my own mistake)
It's a lot. There are four sections in that singular sentence, each section conveying information that relates to the reason behind why the MC did his task, but the relationship is in a weird order. 1 - MC does job instead of mother (present). 2 - Mother is ill since last week (past). 3. Mother insisted otherwise (present). 4. Mother should not brave the cold (Prediction, loosely future). I would advise condensing this sentence, being mindful of the rules of Gricean Maxims. I would actually separate that into two sentences, like thus:
I took on this task, despite heavy resistance from mother. However, I braved the cold in her stead, as she was ill since last week and in no condition to work in the snow.
"Even she wouldn’t dare the winter forest without any of her furs..."
Assuming you meant "... she wouldn't dare enter the winter forest".
"I brought in the final pile, then wordlessly began to take off the damp furs. Mother hung them by the fire, watching me with those quiet not-quite-watching glances, but I was too tired to care. I wanted nothing more than to lie down and fall asleep beside the fireplace myself, dignity be damned, but I knew Mother cared more about appearances than I did. What if someone visited in the morning and saw me curled up on the floor like a stray cat? No, she’d have a fit. So I gathered my coat and started doggedly toward the..."
I have a problem with the expression: "watching me with those quiet not-quite-watching glances". Firstly, you should add a comma to separate the two description of the glances (quiet, not-quite...). Secondly, though I understood what you meant by this, the expression itself felt clumsy. Watching is generally quiet, as you're using vision rather than your voice. Also, not-quite-watching is kind of what a glance already is. There are plentiful of descriptives that can be used instead. Sneaky glance, sideways glance, or peeking.
"The inn had no such drafts, upholstered chairs, a fine desk for working at."
The "no" in this sentence carries forward, so this line would actually suggest that the inn had none of the items mentioned. However, in context, I assume you're comparing Mother's house to the inn, that the inn has no drafts like the mothers, and UNLIKE the mothers, the inn has upholstered chairs and a desk. A simple "instead, it even had..." would clarify that sentence immediately.
"I reluctantly joined his conversation, in which he seemed to be trying to convince Eirn Veyt Novarot that they had to establish stronger assurances between the houses before they inevitably collapsed into petty squabbles, while Eirn Veyt insisted that the only possible solution was to insist that any lessening of the incursions must be a deliberate holding-back in precursor to a single, final, devastating future attack for which we must remain ever vigilant. Whether this claim was true or not, it would unite the houses."
Again, same suggestion as before - this sentence is much too long. This paragraph has 2 sentences, one of which were only 12 words in length. It conveys a lot of information from multiple angles that should've been broken up. Rather than explaining again, I'll give you my take on it as a comparison. My vision isn't necessarily better, but I hope that the restructuring and condensation of the sentence, which is the main point I'm getting at, could help your own style in some way. I'll do my best to keep the original words the same, so it's only the structure I'm changing.
I reluctantly joined their conversation, a debate by Eirn Veyt Novarot against Desten 3. Veyt seemed to be trying to encourage the establishment of stronger assurances between houses, before they inevtiably collapsed into petty squabbles. Meanwhile, Destin (the original says veyt again) insisted that the lessening of incursions was a result of deliberate hold-back, a precursor to a single, final and devastating future attack to which we must remain ever viglant against. Whether this claim was true or not, it would untie the houses.
Character Score: Characters are easily distinguishable by their occupation, behaviour and even location (not so much by their name, destin 1/2/3). There are many names, but familiarising with them is up to the reader to work upon. With so much world-building and lore background for different houses and people of importance, the task is somewhat difficult, but not negatively so - It's just how detailed the characters are, and can become. That being said, with so much emphasis on the differences between common folk and nobles, I'd love to see more focus onto languages and dialects. How do the nobles talk to each other? To commoners? How do they talk when they manipulate, reprimand or command others? There are snippets of this happening in the book, for example when Destin 1 insisted that between family, the honorifics and titles are to be omitted. I'd love to see more interactions like that to truly embed the idea of nobility into this world.
This is an absolute gem of a fiction and I believe that as long as it gains some attention, it will become very popular. One of the most fun and interesting novels on this site, with an intriguing power system. I've currently held back half a star, that too only because I feel that it's too early to be given five stars.
If you like the tags, then read it. Seriously. Don't deliberate so much, just go ahead and read it. You'll thank me later.
The world building has been amazing in my opinion. There are no long info dumps, bits and pieces of information show up where necessary. It has been done in a manner that it is actually interesting to read information. It has a unique power system. The world is well fleshed out by now, only exploring it left. There are, at the time of writing this review, no flaws in the world's concept.
The story has me hooked. The premise was interesting, and it did not go on a cliched route. It was refreshing to read. There have been no plot holes as of now, as far as I remember. Even though it's the author's first time writing a mystery novel, the author clearly has the talent for it.
The grammar is mostly correct, with most chapters without any mistakes.
All the characters are well fleshed out, it is done in a way that keeps me guessing as to who could be the killer. They have theri own desires, their own goals. It's not like those novels where everyone besides the MC is a machine.
Also, the author seems to have a plan regarding where to take the novel and how it will end. So barring any unforseen circumstances, it seems to me that this will most probably not go on hiatus.
I hope that this gets the attention that it deserves, because it's better than many in the trending list. It's almost disrespectful that more people are not reading this.