Dorothea Atlin is the young, apathetic leader of the neutral territory of Sirpo, a chilly land hovering above the continuously warring factions of Sacer and Ghuria, whose devastating magics have ravaged their people and lands time and time again. Following a shocking attack and a cruel deception, Dorothea grows her conscience and takes up arms, using her self-destructive ability to manipulate the flow of time to ensure Sacer’s victory. Her growing understanding of war and the two factions is guided by Iree Nobelis, the determined and enthralling commander of Sacer’s forces, Ariana Kingfisher, a steely swordswoman of mixed Ghurian and Sacerian descent, and Rhys Tamlin, a kind but haunted soldier who goes to challenge Dorothea’s self-imposed celibacy and join her on a mutual journey of healing from the tragic legacies of the Atlin family and wars between the nations.
Meanwhile, Dorothea’s only friend and deserter from the Sacerian military, Shark Olyen, returns to their homeland to face the family that disowned them and finds more than they bargained for in meeting Cerid Creed, a noble whose duty to his people clashes with his desires in romance and in life, much like Shark’s did long before. As their developing or preexisting loves and differing convictions on how to achieve peace create rifts between these major players, Dorothea experiences a personal revolution that leads her to fight for what she believes is right, no matter the cost.
A slow-burn story that takes time setting up the psychology and motivations of characters for explosive payoff later down the line.
Cover by Ben Arisson, who is also a wonderful author on this website!
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- Character Score
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Overall Score- Although this type of story isn't something that I'd typically read, the portion of text I read was high-quality stuff. It is not something I'm going to go back and finish, but that is no fault of the work. It is just that this type of novel isn't something I read. I can say that many people will enjoy this story because the author clearly puts a lot of work into creating a great story.
Style Score - This story is very dialogue-heavy, which fits this story that focuses on relationships between characters. It also lets you infer the character's intentions and feelings, without hitting the reader over the head with what the character is feeling.
Story Score - So far, nothing wrong has happened in how the story is structured, although I'm not entirely sure how the story progresses in the many chapters that I haven't gotten to.
Grammar Score - The story is well written, without any obvious grammatical errors. The sentence structure is varied nicely, and there aren't any misspellings within the story that I've noticed. Also, the prose of the story isn't pretentious in a way that distracts the reader from focusing on the story.
Character Score- All the characters seem realistic. I did feel as though they seemed a bit too enthusiastic at some points, but overall the characters were good.
The worldbuilding is impressive and doesn't really rely on narrative that much more like It relies more on the "Show not tell" rule which makes It more nice is because the author mastered this kind of writing and used at his/her own disposal.
The story and characters makes you feel important in a way but that one that sticked to me the most is probably Iree. I love her demeanor tbh
All in all, this novel has a tight grip and aware as to how It is a bunch of cliches but uses It wisely for you to have seeping emotions On It... Keep working on this and dont drop It
I really enjoyed the first part to this story but what really sold it for me was the amount of time and passion you can tell that went into it. Even with the use of the special pronouns must have taken research and practice to use.
I really do like the world you are creatijng but in certain places I think you could use more description to really bring me into the world. Just something to keep in mind when you go back over.
I like the use of the pronouns and this could be how they are supposed to be used, but it tripped me up when you didnt use them consistently.
Grammer is something of a weakness for me and I dont really hamper to muich on it. There were no glaring issues when going over the first chapter.
The main character is great and a stark contrast to the other charcters making hewr unique and refreshing. I like her standing her ground for her beliefs in the war room. At times she kind of feels inexperienced in her position but wise in some other experiences. At times the pace of the story can be a little fast making us lose on some important moments. I love the names as well!
There is so much going on in this world but I love chaotic and quick stories. You do a good job opf giving your readers the details without bogging down the narrative. There was a lot of dialogue and information in the first half of the chapter maybe sprinkle in some small action bits too.
I enjoy stories about war from a neutral point of view. I find them quite fascinating, and this story was no different. Though don't get me wrong, I do like a good war story. But every now and then I get tired of the same old war story and I like to dig into the political aspect of it all. The beginning build up did well to establish the politics of it without getting too boring, which is always a big plus.
The characters were strong. I enjoyed the main three that we followed. I felt like they were very fleshed out, and I'm intrigued and nervous about what might happen to them. The backstories we got made them feel more layered, and the dynamics between Shark and Dorthea was wonderful! I really felt a friendship/protection they have for each other.
The grammar was excellent. Nothing jumped out at me, so that was nice. I have nothing to complain about with the grammar.
The style was great. I might have skimmed over some parts in the prologue because I'm a bit squeamish, but depending on how you look at it, it's a compliment to the author to be able to evoke such a feeling.
Overall a great read!
Sub-title: ...in a steady manner. Maybe too steady...
Descriptions are efficient and well-written, and give just enough information to give life to the atmosphere while not cluttering the work, letting place for interesting dialogues and supporting them in their messages.
All in all, a pretty well-balanced and mastered style that wouldn’t make a ripple if published professionally, seeing its neutrality.
5 out of 5
Nothing to say.
5 out of 5.
The synopsis and overall tense tone of the story mixes perfectly with the themes aborded to create a harmonious, stressful read that really gets you in the head of the main character.
In term of actual plot, the premises are standards but well exploited and combined to form a brand-new, fresh story, and the way they’re treated is very interesting, giving it this “spark” needed for each story to be its own creation and not a copy-past of previous novels.
4.5 out of 5
The MC is well-defined by her past experience and, through simple yet logical action, efficiently characterised to give you a human being and not a robot reading a script.
Her internal struggles really put humanity in her, and you can’t avoid caring for her and her family legacy, even rooting for her, even if it felt like this hope is vain.
Besides the MC, the two other “main” characters are very interesting, one being non-binary and with implications in the story.
5 out of 5
A very interesting story with a sad undertone, War of Seasons give you a main character torn between her wishes and her family legacy, and pushed to navigate a bleak, war-plagued world, with all the implication this has. War Never Changes after all.
A gripping novel full of emotions
5 out of 5
- Stray thoughts :
This intro sure is a gut punch.
The rest is a gut punch too. If you’re searching for dramatic tension, this is your work.
For what I read so far, I would say that (imo, and since this section is straight thoughts, I can voice an opinion) the author walk the line of Darkness-induced Audience Apathy very thinly, so thinly, in fact, I shut myself down at what, the 5th chapter?
This shows that this novel can invest you emotionally, but I hope that there will be more, well, hope and happy things in the future. And I am hopeful, because this novel as neither Drama nor Tragedy as tags, so this mean there will be hope, I think ^^’
(Tho beware, I’m made of sugar so I’m quite weak to constant sadness, bleak future and suffering ^^’)
This is some impressive writing. It's full of vivid details, both in the word choices and in the way different characters see their surroundings. The story can feel a bit large in the beginning, and it might get a bit overwhelming at first, but other than that it's a great read once you get into it.
Style: The story is written in third person, with multiple different POV characters. And the way the chapter is written is distinctly different between them, in such a way that's obvious when you read who you're reading from. The prose is also great.
Story: The world and story seem very large. That can be both a hindrance and something that draws you further in, depending on the reader. For me it was a mixture of both, but more and more the latter as I kept reading. It was only really in the first one or two chapters that I felt a bit overwhelmed. Since the world is both unique, and full of things that are happening, it was a bit much to keep track off at first. However once I read a bit further and learned a bit more that feeling of course lessened as well.
Grammar: I don't remember ever finding something that stood out to me as wrong.
Character: I took some time to warm up to the main character, perhaps because I was also busy tryinng to understand the vastness of the world, but she grew on me. Other than that minor gripe, the characters are well realized, feel distinct and realistic, and are most importantly interesting. And with the skill it seems the writer has, I trust that they will also continue to evolve, grow and change throughout the story.
Overall I strongly recommend it. It's really impressively done.
War of Seasons is a War Fantasy that is more of a drama than a full-blown action-packed approached that many other authors on Royal Road used. If you're in for political intrigue, close character progression, and mulling over important questions, this is absolutely the story for you.
While the characters didn't draw me in at first, I warmed up to them pretty quickly. The foundations of these characters have been done many times before. Dorothea might seem like a typical young person with a disdain for the ruling class type; Shark might have a past ze don't want to be recalled; and Cerid might be too naive and black-and-white at times. But then I read on and found that there's way more too them than meets the eyes. The story spends a lot of time molding the characters, and I say that's worth it. Once the stage is set, you'll be seated at the prime spot for the actions to unfold.
One thing that Sara Mullins does exceptionally well is the way they intersperse deep, nuanced dialogues in otherwise casual conversation in a way that makes them flow naturally. I particularly adored the interactions between Shark and Cerid as well as some other conversations like one between Rhys and Dorothea.
For those who are picky, the grammar is sublime and nearly spotless. I think this story deserves more attention than it should, and you might regret it if you don't pick it up.
Ok, trust me when I say that this story is amazing. I am one of the few who have been lucky enough to read it in its entirety, and it only gets better from chapter 2. The twists, the turns, it's all really well done.
Let’s start with the characters. The characters' growths and regressions are incredible. The characters are real, and that’s what made me like them. They acted just like how anyone else would with the same set of circumstances. Some characters broke my heart (you know who I'm talking about, Sara), while others really endeared themselves to me. Rhys Tamlin is best boy - don't @ me. Ariana is best girl - you can @ me, but I will have to fight you.
The mysteries and worldbuilding are also top-notch. We gently get introduced to the Sirpoans, Ghurians, and Secarians before...I really don't want to spoil, but let's just say things go from 0 to 100, real quick, and it's amazing. Sara uses her wonderful prose to describe the world in incredible detail, which really helps with the immersion.
I really can't wait for you all to dive into the wonder, chaos, and heartbreak that is War of Seasons. Trust me; you'll love it!
War of Seasons takes place in a world with a history so rich, it needs its own table of content.
Political intrigue is the name of the game here, and if you're a fan of depth and worldbuilding, well, that's just the cherry on top. The thing I like about this story is its attention to detail, but that same graphic detail can sometimes create a wall of information that's hard to digest all at once.
...that's my only gripe.
If you can take the time to sit down and consume what Sara has to offer, then you will find beauty in-between the lines: a magic of seasons, a complicated world, a plot that winds and develops around a girl with a checkered past and a troubled present. The characters are complex creatures with nuance and heart -- they're likable and exciting in a way only real people can be.
So much thought was put into this, and it's obvious at a glance. I can't even imagine how much outlining was done. The history, the politics, the plot, the premise, everything was given depth before the story even started. I especially appreciate the ze/zer pronouns used for a gender-neutral character (which is the only time I've ever seen neo--pronouns used in literature).
War of Seasons deserves more attention than it's getting, and I hope Sara finds it soon!