The Price of Power

The Price of Power

by Deaddogsstillbark

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

Payten is an outcast, harassed and bullied at every turn. However, everything changes when a powerful necromancer offers him the chance to escape his miserable life.

But is he willing to pay the price for power? 

*On hiatus* 

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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Multiple lead characters maybe done right

Reviewed at: Chapter Nine: Aftermath

I don't usually like stories with multiple lead characters because I tend to prefer to root for only one person in a story that I relate to. Having different perspectives that are not just opponents but also portrayed as protagonists of their own story is difficult to parse in my opinion. Reading should be enjoyable and conflicted feelings aren't fun for me.

However the backstory and world building for these characters has been detailed enough that I am willing to keep reading and hope that I won't end up feeling torn. The fact that both sides have legitimate grievances and viewpoints make me hope that we will see complicated situations with hopefully cooperative resolutions.

The story quality (grammar, pacing, etc) is relatively high independent of the perspectives. I'm looking forward to what comes next.


A story that shows the passion and effort involved

Reviewed at: Interlude Three John

Overall Score: Enjoyable and entertaining. Descriptions are detailed and meaningful, contributing either to the story or the immersive world-building. There are some parts that hinders the flow, but not in any significant way. I'm glad to say it's harder to find constructive criticism than praise for this novel, and I've been told I'm the nitpicky type. I'll be refraining on doing so because this is the Author's novel, and not mine, and I believe the 'crticisms' I have are merely due to our own contrasting differences as writers, rather than anything specific to the book. In short - this and that isn't something I would do, but it works, so it makes no sense for me to criticise it.

Style Score: The style is very much centred onto a singular character at a time. For Pate, It's his thoughts, his perspectives, his experience. The same goes for Tasha. The consistency of this style made it easy for myself, the reader, to follow and therefore immerse into. It provides a good basis to develop the character's personality, as well as the foundation of different conflicts, both physical and moral ones, that occur further onto the story. Though, sometimes i can be a limiting factor. If a short POV showcasing the MC's uncle and his inner thoughts could be added, it might make the sudden change of attitude in Chapter 2 a lot smoother. The interludes were a good idea, and I like how you placed it inbetween POV changes so as to not disrupt the flow of reading, but I feel like it isn't quite enough to cover some of the real-time changes happening within chapters.

Story Score: If I'd have to venture a guess... Kingdom Come Deliverance (^.^)? Plots and foreshadowing with clear planning involved, progressive development in both the character's growth, and the fictional world at large. Mysteries from the past subtly added into the mix... What can I say? It's not so much that I'm confused by it, but it's definitely there for me to be intrigued with. There is but seven chapters, much too early to properly judge, but I can confidently say that it's promising.

Grammar Score: There's little to comment here. One could tell that you took linguistic choices seriously, and treated it with care. When reviewing, I have a rule with Grammar. If I needed to bookmark or write down a grammatical mistake, it means it wasn't impactful enough for me to remember it, and therefore insignificant to the story. In this matter, I don't have much to mention other than one little thing. Chapter 1 narration mentioned Payten by name a total of 97 times. Quite a lot of the paragraphs started with Payten. The same goes for Chapter 2. Put a little trust in us readers. I assure you, we're able to tell whom you're speaking of without requiring you to mention the character's name each and every time. This is my only gripe with the story, as it breaks my flow of reading, making it feel more like a NPC from a game using an insert-name dialogue script for the narration.

Character Score: Again, too early to judge properly, but the two characters most comprehensively explored, Pate and Tasha, are on the right tracks. Their behaviours are consistent and their personalities clear. Though many backstories are omitted for the time being, there's enough detail provided for future development. Nothing significant felt surprising or out-of-character for the time being, and the bits and bobs added by the interludes indirectly help our understanding of the protagonists simply by contributing to the world-building and providing contrast.



Solid foundation hampered by inexperience

Reviewed at: Chapter four: Roadside Troubles

The story is founded on an overall good basis, but sadly loses a lot of good will through its style, so i will be putting that part of the review at the end because the other parts deserve to shine on their own.


The story is very fundamental, "disliked youth finds he has magical powers" setup, but not done overly melodramatic and it fits into the world nicely as far as it is set up. Sadly, within the first 15k words, very little actually happens due to exposition. 4/5


Nothing wrong or bad but overall uninteresting and not noteworthy. 3/5


The characters so far are believable and well played, their traits are visible but not turned up to ridicolousness. Some interactions feel genuine, however many emotions of the characters are still states just as that. The reader is bereft of any chance to interpret the characters themselves. 4/5


Sadly, the author knows exactly what's wrong with this, even announcing an exposition dump, as if it made the fiction any less horribly paced. There is *A LOT* of exposition in this story and none of it is done via any meaningful world building, character interactions or plot events. the reader basically sits through a ten page textbook article on this world's magic system. At times, the magic system seems to get more attention than the characters or story themselves.

Another thing is that the author has not yet acquired a broad and interesting vocabulary and relies on adjectives and blunt statements too much.

All this however can be fixed by a bit more experienced and well-thought-out writing, if the author invests the time necessary in honing these skills which should be elemental to writing captivating stories.

Overall: 3.5

With experience, this could be revised to be an excellent story with good plot. As it stands now, it is a decent start for a beginner with solid room for improvements.


Quite good, needs character motivation.

Reviewed at: Interlude Five Quith Hardhead :

This is among the better stories I've read on this site, which doesn't mean that much or that little. It's well-paced, though a tad slow for a web novel, is interesting, and while the start of the story isn't great at keeping readers' attention at every point(the author is reworking those parts), structurally and story-wise, it succeeds. Overall, this story is very well written and butchers nothing but is a little boring as far as the content is concerned (picks up later on). If you enjoy this story after Tasha comes into the story(5), you should consider continuing your journey into this fiction. Structurally, this story is not like a web novel and more like a normal novel. I would casually score this as a 4 and analytically score this as a 4.5. (score changed)

Style: I usually put exposition as a style-based factor-The exposition in this story can be a little much on occasion. Do note that the exposition is only a little boring and usually isn't too bad. Still, it affects the style a bit. 
The exposition is by far my largest complaint, and while I think it can be innovated upon to make it better, it is certainly bearable and leaves once the story picks up a little.

Story: The story could really benefit from some more structure at times. I would call the beginning of the story a subversion of the hero's journey. Essentially, the necromancer comes and offers the kid his offer, and they rather peacefully leave his home, with the mutual understanding that that's the best choice for the protag(Payten). Now, of note is that this is by no means a bad way to start the story, but the fact that the beginning of the story isn't dramatic isn't compensated for well. The only goal that the protagonist has is to become a necromancer(so far), and that's about all. He doesn't want to overthrow a king or anything, but because of that, his motivations feel weak. Or, rather, he doesn't have anything to fight for other than his life, which hinders his character.
But I digress for the time being. My point is that while the story itself isn't bad, there is a lack of purpose in the main character's actions as a symptom of a fairly ordinary departure.-I think the author is developing Payten more to fix this issue.

Grammar: At a few times, the grammar gets choppy to the point of confusing me for a few seconds.

Character: The main character was already discussed, but I undigress. The main character's motivations for being a necromancer are literally, well, I have nothing better to do, and that really makes his character...meh. This is why writers normally burn down the protag's house and kill their family. It makes any extreme action they take seem reasonable and fully motivated. As of right now, he's just some kid who has been disliked his whole life and is given the option to have a marginally better one and takes it.
This is why our secondary protagonist, Tasha, is more enjoyable as a character. She was born a commoner and wants to prove to other commoners that they can rise to the occasion and be equals with nobility. Then, long story short, she has her revered master die, and all her attempts to help people fail, and nearly dies before having her hero's journey start properly. (update: her character falls really flat after that point, as she just gets dragged along without making her own choices. Unless the author has a plan for her, she seems really pointless, as she isn't making her own choices, isn't interacting with Payten, and her motivations don't come into play because of that.)
My issues with her are this: the deus-ex-machina betrayed her character a little. She's been told by the universe that her attempts to help others are in vain the whole story, and then they end up resulting in a non-choice for her that results in her being saved.
Notice a pattern?! Both of them didn't have a proper choice, despite having Ideals that would push them to make that choice in the first place. This makes their choices have much less impact. (Doubly so now that I've read past this point, this is the story's biggest issue.

Update: Chapter 17
Payten's side of the story gets more interesting as he learns more, and the stakes are raised for him. His actions in the story have a large impact on the story, and more of his character is explored. The rest of the characters gain more growth, some fun things happen, and overall, the characters are better(not Tasha, as unlike Payten, who does some things on his own, she kind of just does what some noble demands her to do).
The story continues, though I don't have much to say as far as updates to that-no huge developments happen quickly.
The grammar is never fixed. 
Finally, the style doesn't change too much. If you like Eragon, you will appreciate how the story swaps characters. The difference between Eragon and this is that the two main leads fundamentally oppose each other, with their only similarity being a dislike for nobility. By swapping characters, if one side gets boring, we can always look forward to the other, and the story uses this well so far.