[Participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
Book 1: The Legend of Tot
Claud Primus, a self-declared master thief, has a simple goal. To live forever. It's a rather easy task, for miraculous objects called lifestones are able to extend one's lifespan. These lifestones are best found in the treasuries of nobles, lovely resorts that Claud pays a visit to every so often. Unfortunately, one of those nightly visits go awry, and Claud is forced to escape with just a single lifestone and a box in hand.
Normally, that's when things die down. The guards yawn, the gates close, and the night continues.
But this time, the night isn't that forgiving. A dozen schemes result in the murder of someone important, and with a convenient scapegoat — Claud — at hand, it doesn't take long for him to be framed as a heinous criminal, wanted for the indirect murder of someone high up...and it just gets worse from there.
Book 2: The Moon Lords' Rise
As ordered chaos sweeps across Licencia, Claud leaves for Julan Barony, intent on making some profits there. Accompanied by the erstwhile heiress of Julan, a fellow member of the Moon Lords, the two plot against the barony's wealth...as well as a promise to bring about its downfall. Meanwhile, back home, the Moon Lords have busied themselves with digesting their gains. Eyes, however, are beginning to turn to this proverbial fish in a small pond.
The fishermen are coming.
When they cast their hook, what will Dia and the others do?
Book 3: Murders under the Moons
In the sleepy town of Nachtville, where Claud and Lily are forced to stop at, a set of nasty murders occurs. Victims scream out in fright, before a spear falls from the sky to end their suffering. Cowed and cautious, the master thief and his partner slink in the shadows, their objective that of home...
A new task, however, has fallen on Dia. With a trusty helper at her side, she has to set off towards Nachtville itself, to solve the mystery Claud had abandoned. Faced with an enemy whose sole skillset is geared towards killing, how will they succeed?
And what dark secrets will they find?
Book 4: In the Dark of the Moons
The year has ended. The four months of the full moons will soon be followed by two months of the new moons. Duke Istrel's ascension is around the corner.
Amidst this political upheaval, Count Nightfall, Licencia's strongest defender, has been called away. The Moon Lords' largest task yet — to protect Licencia in the absence of its ruler — has begun. And yet, trouble is unrelenting. A distinguished personage, one that Claud fears, has been found dead in the county, his brains dug out and his body disemboweled. The inquisitors of the White Church have been dispatched to investigate and apprehend the murderer...as well as the person behind this puppet.
Tormented by a call to fight, Claud directs his eyes out of the city, looking for the puppetmaster. Skulking in the shadows, the master thief will soon confront his greatest foe yet.
A foe just like him.
Book 5: Moonlit Tides and Darkened Seas
Synopsis: A new era has begun. For the privileged, the sands of time dribble away for every passing moment, counting down to the arrival of a entity of mythical proportions. The night now harbours shadows and fog, and operatives of the Moons and the Dark clash in shadow. Claud, as usual, is investigating a spate of nasty disappearances in the city, but little does he know what these disappearances truly mean.
And yet, a tide is coming. When it finally breaks, what will he do?
Book 6: Secrets in Shadow
Synopsis: The person behind a strike that would enter the annals of history flees his home, bringing with him the person closest to his heart into a new land and into a new world. Having left Istrel for the first time in his life, the two of them attempt to settle down in foreign lands, only to be caught in the middle of hostilities between two mighty powers grappling for dominion.
Yet, none of that has anything to do with him. Following his desires, Claud eventually makes his way to the fabled Celestia Ruins, a fragment of another world. Bearing witness to truths he cannot yet comprehend, he returns from his exploration, a small break away from the machinations of destiny. One thing, however, is for certain.
Destiny will not wait for him.
Book 7: Reddest Rage
Synopsis: Destiny churns on, heedless of mortal machinations, and Claud watches as the battlegrounds between the Moons and the Dark are drawn up. With the forces of the great Dark occupying Lostfon, Claud comes to a startling realisation — that he may have very well be a murderer of heinous proportions. Grappling with that realisation, he struggles to prepare for his Second Tutorial...
Back in Istrel, Dia finds herself confronted with a perennial truth. Even in a time of writhing destiny, the machinations between nobles never cease to end — and unfortunately for her, the group once known as the Moon Lords are forced into dealing with a petty squabble between two counts. What they didn't account for, however, was the startling discovery they would soon make...
And the shadow of the Red God's Holy Son behind it all.
Book 8: Darkness Descends
Synopsis: Nightmares haunt the horizon as Claud sinks and awakens from a seeming dream. What was once illusory begins to play out before him, in a way he cannot imagine. Dia, forced to wield arms, begins and ends a battle that opens her eyes to the vast dangers that lurk in this sundered world. Under the banner of humanity and divinity, she beholds the silent, forgotten protectors of Orb...but there is no forgetting the battle between the divinities.
The Dark descends, the Moons writhe, and the horns of war blow once more.
But this is not their battle.
Book 9: Moons Muster
Synopsis: As more and more events fall into place, Claud finds himself desperate. Not for himself, but for the person who has turned into his world. Armed with the knowledge of a certain future, he approaches the only person that could possibly help him in his time of need, trading information for a promise of help. With that as solace, he returns to the grim task of understanding and seeking, revisiting an ancient, shattered fragment of another world...unleashing changes that he never knew was possible.
Back in Istrel, Dia and the others must now navigate around a familiar spirit, who seeks to investigate the death of his master's Bearer. With them as prime suspects, the Seekers of Life must move carefully...but the Coloured Gods are not the only divinities eyeing them closely. The Moons, bristling from repeated defeats, are looking for new recruits, and the Seekers of Life are prime cannon fodder.
Above all, destiny marches on, the unfeeling clock a warning to all.
The Trial of Aeons will soon arrive.
Book 10: Destiny Divine
Release frequency: one every few days or something, I guess.
(This work is also being serialised on Webnovel under the name Revile as a trial run)
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First, the Good:
- The writing/editing is much more polished than the majority of the stuff published on RR. I appreciate authors who take the time to proofread their work.
- I read a lot on RR, and sometimes, it can feel as if there isn't a lot of difference between characters across a lot of the stories here as the characters often have a sense of sameness in that they're blase and kind of jerks. The characters in this story standout as unique individuals.
The Somewhat Good/Somewhat Bad:
- The humor. I much prefer a light-hearted tale to grimdark, and the humor in this story definitely lightens the mood. On the other hand, the comedic aspects didn't really resonate with me, making parts of the story just seem silly. While I like light-hearted, I don't care for silly. Obviously, though, this is a big YMMV element. What I find annoying, you might find hilarious.
- LitRPG lite. If you come to RR looking for LitRPG, you're not going to find the elements in this story satisfying. There's little progression and the system is very minimalistic.
- Unfocused Story. While the characters have clearly defined goals, their plan for reaching their goals is very wishy washy. They switch focus from one thing to the next too easily, and it's not always clear how their current path is supposed to resolve the overall plot.
- Lack of Satisfying Moments. Again YMMV, but while I found the story readable, I didn't find it satisfying. Take for instance the end of the first arc. Another author might have chosen to have drawn out the protagonist's struggle against the Big Bad and really shown off the ingenuity and grit involved. Instead, the whole thing was resolved anticlimatically with a deus ex machina. As a reader, it just wasn't satisfying. To be honest, this type of situation is pretty common for webserials where the authors aren't known as meticulously plotting out ways to manipulate their readers' emotions. For most of the stories that I enjoy, though, I find the progression satisfying enough to keep reading. This story really had nothing for me.
Usually when I find a story to be readable, I reach the end of the posted chapters before making a decision whether to mark it as "Not Interested" or to continue reading later. I ended up stopping reading this one a few chapters early when I realized just how bored I was.
TL;DR - I found this a little too unsatisfying, but the writing is decent quality. Check it out; you may like it a lot more than I did.
Its a good story, with deep interesting lore but it lacks ambition. its very slice-of-life, the short term plotlines dont tie into the main overarching story and are very small time, slice-of-life-ey. you may enjoy it for the lore and magic system (which is great) but the plot quickly changes from something cool, to lacking gravitas and is not epic at all. if you like slice-of-life youll enjoy this.
- The magic system is unique, amazing and enjoyable
- the system and skills leads to unique and interesting combinations and makes everyones skills feel important.
- the MC's personality and occupation is enjoyable, and great to read
- him being so far out of his depth but also lucky and improving is great to read about
- the worlds characters are interesting and unique
- the MC outwitting his 'betters' is fun, smart & great
- the underdog, against all odd, genious master thief trying to chase his dream of immortality.
i ended up dropping it because the story diverges from the main plot and goes on tangents and short term adventures that pale in comparison to the amazing main plot for lenghty periods of time. the first 5 chapters are the best in the story. after that it goes into things that feel like "filler episodes"
- in short, the initial story about a masterthief with mysterious skills, who is a bit of a genius, and underdog, in an amazing world, full of interesting skills and characters, having to face things wayyy out of his league.... is abandoned for a much, much, lesser story.
this amazing, unique, fun, top trending level plot.....is completely ignored, the story ends up focusing on boring side-plots and story tangents that do not add to the main plot. its like a ferrari being ignored for a bicycle. it may get better as the plot continues. going to revisit this later because there is a lot of talent here and i think some of the authors later stories should be amazing.
if the whole story was like the first few chapters this couldve been a favourite, as i personally like epic stories. this is held back by a lack of ambition. murder mysteries and empire building is boring to me personally. if you are into slice of life, and empire building, this may be for you.
I have given this story a middling score of three stars, because while it is sufficiently entertaining so that it kept boredom away as I read it for the day... it's not such that I feel at all compelled to continue.
Not to say that I won't continue reading it if I get sufficiently bored enough again. I'm just really very "Meh.." about this one.
The story and writing style were ok, though I should probably put under these categories, the fact that there were many small inconsistencies. Eg. Día says that she will give him the note book as soon as she gets it off her friends, only to produce it from her pocket to give to him later on in the same shopping trip, and not in a "I forgot I already had it" kind of way, but the author forgot that they already wrote that she didn't have it kind of way. (Many little moments like this)
Grammer is fine for the most part, but could use some work to just refine the use of words (Not sure if that makes sense sorry, and I can't think of a specific example off the top of my head) Basically work on sentence structure and vocabulary.
The characters are well thought out for the most part, but in some ways that just makers it more glaring when the are big inconsistencies to them.
Such as the MC, who is frequently said to be 1, a survivalist, and 2, someone who will go to great lengths to avoid conflict and violence, just randomly agrees to take out the top mob bosses in the city, and become a mob boss himself..... also, another inconsistency in that scene, was the fact that Día was the one to make the proposition, but by the end, she was the one saying "We accept".. I think it was because he was the one who asked if her friends would join too, and she was speaking as a group, but in that case it should have been "They accepted" because Dia's participation was never the question.
.... sorry if I rambled, I'm half asleep and going to go all the way asleep now.
This is a more of a [Comedy] story than a [Fantasy] story but is missing the [Comedy] tag. It starts off pretty good with a great opening chapter and after that drags down into boredom with very little action. The characters are...strange and weird and regularly make irrational decisions. The MC isn't really a [Master Thief] but a happy-go-lucky lifestone-stealing guy who mostly bumbles his way through things thanks to his [OP Skills]. Now His bacon is now being regularly saved by a [OP Magical Box] that also keeps upgrading him. I stopped reading after he and the female MC and her sidekicks suddenly decide to become [Crime Bosses].
On the plus points, the writing is good. If you can suspend your disbelief and ignore all the strange actions and weirdness of the characters, you might enjoy the story.
What we have is a world that is ruled by corrupt, power-hungry, egomaniacal, sadistic bastards. Dont even think about annoying one of them, let alone actually pissing one off. Dozens of innocents will die if some aristrocrat is in a bad mood while strolling through town. Its a harsh world. A bit unrealistic perhaps, but it is the perfect setting to make a first class felon look like a saint.
I love the characters. I mean sure, some side characters are rather single dimensional, but the main characters are awesome. Im absolutely cheering them on with every chapter. If i were to rate this novel based only on the interactions between the characters, then this would be hands-down first rate work.
The story is good. Really good. Its clear the author has a talent for this sort of thing. Its mostly a drama broken up with some action and the authors quirky humor. He seems to be a natural at working with the tension to make the story flow.
When it comes down to the details of the plot there are a few issues. A couple of logical inconsistencies. A little forced in places. Some deus ex machina and one super convienent deus ex archa. Overall none of them stand out so much as to detract from the story, but they do exist.
There is a system, but its a super chill system. If youre not really into litRPGs then this might be doable for you. The main isnt the OP type and i seriously doubt there will be power creep issues later on. Its just not one of those stories.
The real travesty and why i say there is no justice is that this story isnt getting any attention. Trust me, it is far more worthy than many of those stories that are getting attention.
I had first come across this story when I was looking in the new updates section and I have read over 150 chapters straight. The world building is incredibly detailed and I couldn't help but feel as if it is a real world as I read through the stories. All the characters are real with their own motivations and what drives them, and the protagonist is actually, quite weak, with higher powers he cannot even imagine trying to kill him, and doing his very best to fulfill his humble dream of living forever.
Great world-building. Every aspect is being fleshed out through character interaction and the eyes of the cast. There is no wall-of-text forced on the reader.
Both the locales, the ordinary people and the organizations that function there seem natural considering the effect of magic. Wish the author was more descriptive of buildings or clothing etc. How everything is affected by everyday magic and all that.
Characters, both the main two characters and the rest of the "named" cast, are very interesting.Their thought process and actions are consistent and natural. No forced stupidity to further the plot.
One of the reasons this novel shines is the knowing look it gives when it comes to the human psyche. The wry humor of the first chapters that reminds of Terry Pratchett's diskworld series is unfortunately not present later on. More caustic and often cynical humor would really help this novel shine.
When it comes to plot and pacing all i can give is praise. It's a constant flow of new images of places and people. From fighting assassins to quiet dinners with friends to flying through the clouds, everything is presented at such a steady pace and "density" it's a real treat to read. No fluff or irrelevant stuff to pad the word count in this novel.
No forced encounters to further the plot or deus ex machina saviors (cute "box creature" included.It's not some kind of random character that just happens to save the MC). It all makes sense considering the world-building and characters.
There are a lot of other authors "couple swap" reviews for this novel. While usually that means the novel is some kind of vanity project for the author and a waste of time for the readers....there are exceptions. This was a real treat so far. Well done author. Keep up the good work.
p.s Story really picks up a lot later. Just read chapter 243 and the main plot arc is still ramping up. This is a slow burn type of story. Probably the antithesis of a classic xianxia.
Overall, incredibly well written. The story currently follows a crafty, and intelligent protagonist who is escaping from what seems to have escalated from a petty theivery to nations most wanted for murder. But the way it is written makes the reader feel immersed in this world with magic, unique spells and litrpg setting. The litrpg is also excellent, there are no idiotic blue screens taking up half the page shoving down meaningless numbers down the readers throats. I am suspecting an idiotic romance along the way which I may have to knock some stars down for later especially if it takes away from the story. Each charecter is very well done , very 3D have their own motives and persona. Upto ch 20 thusfar it is a 5/5
Sub-title: Wait, no, you’re too badass to be Robin Hood
The style is full of energy and quick-paced, description, dialogue and thoughts linked flawlessly for an exciting effect. The content of the descriptions, in particular, is very good, giving enough to the reader to immerse properly in the action without creating a flood that would slow the whole pace down.
Another very good point is that the author knows when to tell, when to show, and when to only imply things.
5 out of 5
Nothing to say, zero, nada, niet, rien.
5 out of 5
The plot kick in right away and the tension is properly managed, the lows and highs flowing just as well as the description supporting them, all with a logical structure without any apparent plotholes.
5 out of 5
The MC is described as a thief and, throughout what I read, the author does a great job at building and reinforcing this vision, using details or side thoughts of the character to build him in a natural, yet comprehensive, way.
The second MC, for the tiny amount I’ve read about her, look really promising, by her own character and the interaction she and the thief could create.
5 out of 5
A perfectly balanced mix of preparation and action, Thief of Time is a great novel about a master thief following in instinct and stealing life itself from the hand of corrupted nobles.
When even the title of your thief novel is stolen, you can be sure this will be a treat.
5 out of 5
- Stray thoughts :
Seriously, why is this so underrated? This just doesn't have the followers it deserves
I mean, it’s just better than my own novel that hit Trending. I really don’t understand.
Okay but, seriously, this has the exact same name as one of Terry Pratchett, , which really made me laugh when I realised this XD
Welp, that need a proper Romance alright (tho nearly any novel need a proper Romance imo, but this one even more since there's already a proper dynamic that could be grown between the MCs I think)
Great story. Uses a system sparingly and effectively. Giving 5 to make up for another review that gave a low score even though they say its a 5/5. I would rate the story 4 or 4.5. The only issue is really how implausable the princess side story is. I like the side story a lot, but it feels forced to me. Maybe add in some more plausability by having a culture that is more likely to show respect by mimicry? If there were more people that mimic nobles and named people as a sign of respect, then id be more willing to accept 3 characters that all mimic the princess being in the same inn.... I mean a few references in inns to those Damn noble mimics. Even fads of copying different people's clothing and mannerisms... Or it being common for people to copy their idols skills would drastically increase my ability to believe that the side storys plausability. Maybe press more into the experienced bootlickers being copy cat specialists or something....Anyway, its a great story. Well worth the time.