Thief of Time
[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
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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Opening /Story - What a way to start a story. We begin their fo time in medias res, with the self-proclaimed chivalrous master thief - Claud Primus - running from the site of his latest score. I love how the author places the audience in the middle of the action while still delivering the necessary exposition so we quickly understand what's going on.
Style - It seems to me that the author is has a clear understanding and grasp of their own style as we see them use it to great effect. The exposition and worldbuilding are seamless and well-integrated in the narrative of the story. The author knows what story they are trying to tell and does a good job of doing just that.
Grammar - The grammar was very good. No errors found at all which is really quite impressive.
Characters - At first glance Claud the mater thief didn't really stand out to me. There wasn't much that drew me into liking his character. I still am trying to figure out why he does what he does and why he wants to live forever. There is a lot of potential here though, as he seems to be a chivalrous thief akin to robin hood. And admittedly, as a fellow apple juice fan, I found myself caring more about him as the story went on.
I think the author's biggest strengths are their worldbuilding abilities. I found that I kept reading just because I wanted to find out more about the lore, magic, and history of this world. (I wish you had a wiki page I could read through, lol)
AMAZING! That pretty much sums it up.
Style: Absolutely wonderful. I appreciate that this story is written with a strong sense of chronological order and the perspective stays consistent so it is easy to follow and you don't get lost along the way. The scenes flow together beautifully which makes for a delightful read.
Grammar: The grammar is impecable, as the title of my review states, this is probably the best story I've ever read on this site. From the first sentence of the first chapter, I could already tell that this story was going to be a winner. I do not have any complaints about the grammar at all, in fact, I wish I was as half as good as this author at parsing out my sentences.
Story: AMAZING, WONDERFUL, CAPITVATING. Need I say more? I was wonderfully surprised when I started reading, and before I knew it I had read like 12 chapters! The story sucks you in and paints such imagery in your mind, I can't wait to keep reading!
Character: Claud has a good foundation, we are able to get a good sense of his character and his morals right from the get-go. My favourite character though, is Dia. There is just something so intriguing about her, I feel like I can relate to her even though I have never been a bounty hunting ex-princess. She's just delightful and I am excited to see how her character develops.
Overall, this story is worth the read! :)
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.
This style is great, with a rather straightforward plot, and entertaining if simple characters. It’s a laid back story with some humor mixed in and a rather interesting perspective on life.
The story is in essence all about a big misunderstanding being blown out of proportion while the Main Character both reaps the benefits and suffers the consequences of his misfortune.
The skill system is interesting, though I feel like there isn’t enough emphasis on how it might affect a society of common people. While the main character does mainly interact with those more powerful or interesting, it’d still be cool to learn just what a skill like farm would do at a high level or something like that. It seems more like a society was built and then skills were added when it comes to the lower levels then the other way round.
There is also a cultivation aspect to the story (kind of). More fantasy like in its growth aspect, but still mainly about physical power. It’s quite an interesting addition, especially the cost of advancing each level.
Not really qualified to speak on it. I’ll just say that it’s more than good enough to be able to read without getting shocked because of some weird grammar. Everything follows smoothly.
The main character is quite interesting with a heavy emphasis on living forever. It allows for many funny moments, and makes advancing the plot easier. His desire to live forever and do so through stealing “time” makes it easy to push forward plot points without any continuity issues. My only issue with him is the lack of backstory, it’s been a full book and I still no nothing about him or his past. All we are told is that he is a master thief with some odd skills, and nothing else. There needs to be more scenes of him reminiscing over a drink, or some sort of flashback.
Now my problem with the story is the side characters. They are all a bit too one dimensional. The rich guy wants to get richer. The arrogant countess is arrogant. Sure occasionally there are a of couple moments of them being deep, but otherwise there is no real character growth. The only growth is in Día and that can all be explained away by her usage of ‘Experimental Potions’ (which is the biggest cop out on growth I’ve ever seen in a book) Even if you dig deeper into characters as the story goes on like with Lily I feel like you need to show some more natural growth over time rather then some random moment of depth which is ignored later.
Overall a great book, which needs to focus on developing its character. It’s an easy entertaining read, which while it won’t leave your brain itching for more will still keep you entertained for hours. Definitely recommend.
Environments and characters are described well; I thought that some of the more destructive magic could have afforded to be described with more gravitas, but I never felt as if I had a difficult time picturing what was happening. Conversations flow and feel natural, overall it is pretty competently written. The magic system is very video-gamey, as expected of Gamelit; there seems to be some hints of lore for why this is, which I hope the story gets into more later on - this seems to be for the most part a more classically written fantasy, so the Gamelit elements can feel a bit jarring, with the video game elements there without explanation. Characters, even though they might be very competent, don't feel pointlessly overpowered, which is nice.
It's an intriguing story, and well-focused so far: A thief pulls off a seemingly mundane heist, and ends up as the scapegoat for the death of a ruler and lots of political intrigue. The mystery helps in keeping the plot interesting; the stakes are reasonable and don't get blown up in magnitude way too quickly. I'm a little confused by the recent introduction of the princess; it's not exactly clear to me what the motivation behind her being used as a scapegoat is, or why she thinks her only option is to go and find the thief herself - to prove to people who certainly know they were lying about the cause of the ruler's death that...they were lying about it? Either I missed something, or the princess is kind of an idiot. I've given it a read over several times, and I'm still a bit puzzled about the explanation behind what's going on with the princess and her brother, and why she thinks this is a good plan (Chapter 8.) Since its seems like such a big moment in the story, it might be worth taking a look at rewriting that to clarify things.
No mistakes noticed here; pleasantly easy to read.
The author does a good job of giving side characters personality, which is something I always appreciate, because it makes the world seem more alive.
The main character, the master thief, kind of comes across as a hypocrite - he sympathises with the poor and downtrodden, but doesn't really seem to feel that much torment or guilt that dozens of them get tortured and killed because of the actions he took. I don't know if that was intentional, but it does make him seem a little callous and insincere. (Which isn't a bad thing, if that's what you were aiming for.) He vows revenge on their behalf, and does get some on the people who torment them, true, but I would think it would be a pretty heavy thing to see people you sympathize with get tortured by the dozens because of something you did.
The princess, by this point I don't think I've seen enough of her to really get a feel for her personality. (Honestly, the crone she talks to is way more entertaining than she is, at least by this point.)
Well-written, competent Gamelit fantasy with an interesting mystery plot and a world that feels well-imagined and alive. Biggest downside right now is the somewhat clunky introduction of the princess. But it's worth noting: While in other stories, such a puzzling introduction of a second major character might be a breaking point for me, but here the story is otherwise well-written enough that I could ignore it to move forward with the plot.
Edit: Changed "LitRPG" to "Gamelit" since that seems more accurate with how the genres are described on this site. (Sorry, I am a bit unfamiliar with these genres and where their boundaries are!)
The grammar is perfect, didn't find any mistakes.
It's a litrpg, the author makes it very light and didn't burden the reader with numbers or blue boxes, which was a plus for me. The words the author used are colorful and the sentence structure isn't repetitive at all. Again, a plus.
The start of the story we were shown the MC in peril. He showed his skills and abilities which serve as our initiation of how the gamey part of the world work. Our MC is a thief, he stole things. Hell, he made it his life's work by stealing things. He got away but conveniently become a scapegoat for something he had nothing to with it. The twist was shown in the synopsis which is quite unfortunate.
In the story, the disparity between the rich and the poor seems to be the centerpiece, how it correlates why the MC chooses to be a thief. The flow of how the MC escapes from the pursuers and blend into the masses is in the fine line of detailed and fast. The author has done a good job of trimming the unnecessary parts.
Claud has a solid foundation as an MC. He's an accomplished master thief, he has 20 years of experience in the business, we know his moral compass when he deals with the thugs under the employ of the government. Need more screentime before passing the final judgment but it's a good making for an MC.
Dia is where I felt a bit of a seesaw. Initially, she's shown as a naive princess and hard to like a princess but in the next chapters, the author showed me her naivete can be likable. Sure she conveniently got help like it was deus ex machina at the start of her journey but I enjoyed her story in the following chapters. Her naivete still remains but that's what character development all about isnt it?
You're still reading this? Don't. Read the story instead!