Realm of Monsters
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
In a land ruled by vile monsters, where death is common and life is cruel, one outcast endeavors to have it all. While there are many misconceptions related to goblins, such as their horrid looks or lack of intelligence, their small stature isn't one. But, that doesn't stop Stryg from aspiring to his belief of greatness: power, destiny, and food with salt.
When fate drags Stryg from his forest home and into the ruthless city of Hollow Shade he must learn that some monsters live everywhere.
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I like this story. It follows an antiheroic young goblin trying to achieve his dreams in a Realm of Monsters. Stryg is not an idealistic hero who is always brave, idealistic and ethical; but neither is he an Edge Lord who thinks that he is the centre of the universe and anyone who says otherwise or looks at him funny should die. What he is, is a young goblin interested in obtaining power and sex, who has a rather ignorant but pragmatic and somewhat self-centred approach to life. He is realistic enough to know when fighting authority figures much more powerful than him is a bad idea; but still quite willing to hold a grudge and desire to get even with his attackers, particularly if they tried to kill him. Smart enough to bide his time, even if he is not always wise enough yet to judge when are the best or most appropriate opportunities to strike back. Somewhat naïve and ignorant due to his young age and lack of exposure to the greater world, outside of what little his tribe actually taught him. A rather simplistic and barbaric tribe that does not seem to have high educational standards and reside in an area that is sparsely populated by society. He learns and grows more capable as he gains new experiences.
The story starts with him at the end of his “childhood” and reaching the age at which the tribe considers him an adult. He is a bit of an outlier in his tribe as he does not fit in well with the rest of them and is weak in a society that values strength. As he grows in strength and knowledge, he becomes more capable but never to the point where he is OP and far stronger than all around him.
He also eventually goes to ‘magic school’ to become a mage, but not until more than a dozen chapters.
The other characters are interesting and have their own complexities that make them feel more real. This is not a Gary-Stu story where the entire world and characters revolve around the MC. They have their own lives, goals and ideas that drive their actions and make them more rounded and believable.
The writing style is clear and engaging. The worldbuilding is also quite good. The author has built a cohesive and quite expansive world populated with different people, races, and organisations; without falling into the trap of providing walls of exposition that make you feel like you are reading an encyclopaedia. There is also a glossary that contains much of the worldbuilding information revealed in the story, so you don’t have to rely on your memory of refer back to an earlier chapter.
The spelling and grammar are generally good. There are a few minor errors, but most of them seem to have been found and mentioned in the comments and corrected by the author. Being willing to read and act on these comments meant I gave the book an extra star on the style score. And as far as I can tell, the author seems to have noted and responded to most comments where someone has spotted an error (or what they thought was an error). Hope this helps.
The story is still relatively new, so I will update my review as the story continues. If you enjoy this genre, this is a very entertaining story and you should at least try it out. The only caveat being that you have to be willing to read a story with 'dark' elements, such as: slavery, gore, profanity, and sexual (possibly traumatising) content.
Review initially written when Chapter 52 was the latest chapter. Updated when Chapter 75 was the latest chapter.
I don’t have much experience with advanced reviews but I wanted to leave one for this fiction, as it is very good. If I had to give you a quick idea of what kind of story it’s this so far, I’d say it’s about barbaric goblin outcast of his tribe gets stranded in a ‘civilized’ city and cultural differences are made evident quite fast. Now many stories would make the goblin a slave or relegate them to the lower social strata and I was worried the story was heading in that direction when he gets to the city, fortunately it’s not that kind of story, as just as he was about to be made a slave the authorities discover he is a mage born and lucky him this city seems to sponsor every mage born and offer them scholarship in exchange for serving for 10 years once graduated, and raising his social ranking to just a bit under the nobles. After that the story continues with our MC adapting to the Magic Academy and the city Hollow Shade and progressing in his path to become a powerful mage.
The style is straight forward but descriptive enough with the characters and scenes that you can picture them clearly. It doesn’t get in the way and it’s not awkward. Good sentences and formatting. No complains here.
This seems good too, didn’t notice anything sticking out while reading so 5 stars.
It’s nothing new, but in general I just really like magic school stories when they are well executed, combined with underdog MC who is not a wuss it finishes elevating this fiction to for me. Other things to praise are that the world building seems really interesting and developed while not being overwhelming with exposition, which I commend the author on. And while we are still just starting to learn about the magic system it also seems to be quite in deep and well developed kinda hard magic system. I also like that it’s not a lit-rpg as it feels more immersive like a classic fantasy story.
I feel like the main character is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, as he is after all born and raised a goblin. You won’t get a kind, power-of-friendship, shounen protagonist. Stryg is ruthless, doesn’t mind killing when he feels threatened, resorts to violence quickly, he kinda sucks at dealing with people, has anger issues, etc… But I gotta remark that he is not an anti-hero or straight up asshole. You can understand why he act’s as he does and he doesn’t come across as unlikable which is a delicate balance to achieve with this kind of MC. You still root for him and want to see him growing as a character. I think he has good potential character growth ahead, as he slowly learns how to treat with people in a reasonable manner and that maybe goblins CAN have friends. Also I’m invested in seeing him get stronger and become a badass mage after he starts of so weak.
The side characters are also colorful and interesting, to the point that when a POV switch happens (not that frequently) I enjoy reading their perspectives and seeing their reactions to the small barbaric goblin roaming the city.
If something of what I said sounds interesting to you give this fiction a try. I’d say give it at least until he gets into the city before considering dropping it as it has quite a different feel than the first 8 chapters. I’m loving the story author-san, keep up the good work.
The author has done quite a lot of work setting up the setting and laying out interesting characters. The main character is a well-developed outsider who clearly does not fit in, in any society. He is not strong enough for the barbaric culture that raised him and he is too barbaric fr the civilized lands he finds himself in. The side characters are all well thought out and have solid characterization. Overall I would recommend, I find it quite enjoyable.
When I read the story description, I had imagined that this would be another Iron Teeth-type story. There is something about human-adjacent characters that I find to be hilarious, when they have to fight against their urges and are puzzled by everyday society. While both stories have elements of this, Clearmadness does a better job of the humor aspect of this than Frostbird, imo. Frostbird tends to use a human character's explanation to immediately clear up to his goblin character's confusion, which kind of limits the extent to which the reader can enjoy the goblin just being confused and living with misunderstandings of human society for extended periods of time. Similarly, differences of values tend to be resolved more on the human side, the main character is not as stubborn or stuck in his ways as you would expect a goblin would be.
In terms of the story's shortcomings, the characters, and especially the female characters, tend to be two-dimensional. The females who get the most characterization tend to be parasitic social climbers. The men also tend to be social climbers, but they are more likely to want to get to where they're going using their own two hands, not marrying up. There is some non-fade to black sex scenes in the series, and in the beginning of the story sex is basically synonymous with rape. That being said, the story is not grimdark. The main character adjusts well to human society values regarding consent, which I fully appreciate. In terms of the overall writing, the characters, on the whole, are a bit stereotypical. The main character being in a mage academy leads to dialogue that can be a bit of an info-dump.
However, there is still something about this story that makes me want to keep on reading. The spelling and grammar are consistently good. Frostbird does a good job of worldbuilding, taking time with descriptions of novel places without bogging the reader down with too much information. The main character is written well to the point where I am curious about what happens to him. He's not overpowered, although there are some signs that he is going to fulfill a 'chosen one'-type trope. He's also not frustratingly weak, if you can get past the first few chapters.
Overall, I'd recommend this story as being worth a try.
This starts off like an advertisement for the dark side of the force. Harness your anger for magic power, friends are weakness, women are only valuable for fucking and are to be dominated. In recent chapters there are signs that being away from the opressive "might makes right" culture of the goblin tribe is starting to give the MC room to grow. This seems to promise some real potential depth to the MC and the story line. This is worth following.
* This is an edit, as recent chapters have changed my opinion of the story.*
The plot of this story is alright. It's got some moderately original worldbuilding, at least as far as the magic goes, including how that affects society. It has some drama, which is occasionally satisfying, although more often just frustrating.
The MC has really, really strong 'chosen one' vibes. I mean, his village doesn't burn down, but he's disowned by his tribe, he's looked down on and bullied, he gets a big break when it turns out he's special, etc. etc... yeah. It's basically goblin Harry Potter blow-by-blow. The reason I'm reviewing at this chapter is because one of my two predictions for his specialness was confirmed, and I'm a bit exasperated by it; I was thinking for a while that of course he'd
have all the colors of magic.
given his background tropes, and sure enough, here it is.
Oh, my second prediction is:
He's a dragon half. He probably has all the elements of magic, too, as well as all the colors. That special sight? He's seeing magic. The reason the dragon didn't kill him? Yeah.
So that's a bit dissapointing, honesly.
Well, the other thing that bothers me... all the main characters, and most of the side characters, are unpleasant people. The main the trio is basically an idiot, a psychopath, and a rotten noble. The barmaid is a gold digger, and moreover has no plot relevance. Plum was decent, but is probably gone after an event seemingly designed to highlight how awful everyone is. There's hints of character growth, but it's mostly just angst, and it's probably not going to remedy the situation anytime soon.
I don't think everyone in a story needs to be likable. But I have a hard time reading a story where no-one is likable. The plot has made up for it somewhat, but it's starting to feel predictable, so I'm beginning to get bored.
The story's alright overall, I guess. It's not unreadable, but it's no longer fresh, and the bits I dislike are beginning to show through.
..yet this is the first thats believable.
The mc actually reads like he's truly from a different culture/community and this persists, he doesn't become "regular' over night, this makes it both entertaining and believable, i hope it continues for a while still.
The world building is great, though some could be expanded with a line here or there.
- I still haven't got a clear picture of how the goblins lived in the early chapters, in a cave or clearing in the forest? they use tents, so im leaning to clearing, but if its out in the open do they have walls?
but thats all minor really.
The city seems fairly straight forward, districts and divides and all that.
Lore, Realms, Religion, Houses and Factions, some get more attention then others but seem to flow greatly with what the MC is discovering. Surrounding area's will probably be gone into more in the future.
I absolutely love all the various races and it works so well, can't wait for more lore/background.
Only thing that gripes me a little is that most females are either beautiful/pretty or old/kid
The magic system isn't overly complicated yet still exciting enough to want to find out more.
Don't know if this system comes from some inspiration or whatever but i thought red was off for potions, blue (water) seemed more likely. (totally personal not rly anything to do with the story)
i took off half a star because Bril's lovely butt will be sorely missed.
I've only recently gotten into RoyalRoad once more, and boy was I not disappointed by a whole slew of awesome stories that are now sitting snugly in my follow list. Of these stories, Realm of Monsters is my favorite.
I initially slogged through the first dozen chapters, having low expectations for a story with flagrant, admittedly tasteless rape scenes and other erotic elements. I forgave it because it was only as a means to sell a barbaric, savage society of monsters, and I mean that word in a figurative sense just as much as a literal one. Stryg, our main character, is a monster and a non-human lead, done in a way that makes his alien nature very obvious. That said, he is still a human creature at his core, a being that yearns for approval and safety, so it is legitimately heartbreaking to see him suffer and fail.
That said, the story makes his growth abundantly satisfying, and gives him a whole host of supporting characters to really highlight all his best bits, without making the story overly centralized as well. Despite all of Stryg's strengths, he is very much not a Mary Sue and has a lot of room for growth, figuratively and literally.
Once you get past the first dozen chapters, it's very much impossible not to root for our pint-sized goblin hero, so I recommend weathering the story until at least chapter 13.
This story shows much promise and if you like high fantasy you will probably like this one.
The MC is a goblin tribesman from the deep woods that due to one thing or another finds himself in a big city. He gains power, something he always wished for, but now he as to deal with living in society. In this particular society where a comoner is just a step up from slavery, he will question his religion he will need to deal with his abandonment issues, his thirst for power, his loneliness, it's a big city and even powerful you can't cope alone. He is being developed in every chapter due to the need to confront his tribal views with the way the city works and views him in return.
Secondary caracters are all well fleshed out didn't notice any that would seem paper thin (2 dimensional).
Fantasy! For me fantasy can be divided in 3 aspects the magic the creatures/races and magic locations.
In terms of magic it seems simple but deep we know it issome kind of color based system where at birth one can have one or more colors having more colors means you can have more tools and not that you are more there is a magic cost to every spell and backlash if you lose concentration while casting hopefully a chart will one day be available for every single color of magic.
The creatures we know there are several all pretty magical but I won't give spoilers. In therms of races we have vampires, dark elves, dwarfs, goblins, and so one, each seams different enough that they aren't there just for diversity.
Magical locations we only have a few but they are misteryal and epic. We have the city with its dark mysteries specially its walls. We are also told there are other realms and in the past travel between them was possible something to look forward to in the future.
There is a not consent chapter in the beginning that I only read a resume offer by the author at the start of the chapter. My imagination tells me it's pretty bad chapter but I didn't read it and the tags are there so if you are uncomfortable with that kind of stuff the resume alows to pass The story's cover for now doesn't make much sense from what we have read lamias are even more caveman then the goblins and they don't use weapons that can change in the future, but for now it is what it is in therms of the astetic I'm not really sure don't remember too many descriptions of buildings except the wall I kind of imagin them european medieval like but they could be much diferent in the autors mind I'm not sure maybe we will know more in the future. This are my only gripes with the story.
Overall a good story full of interesting things to look foward to in the development of the main character and all the secondary characters. Thank you for reading it is a bit weird how most of the reviews of this story have the same ratio of likes and dislikes I wonder what that is about.
The story is very well written and a joy to read. If you enjoy learning about a detailed world where the details of the world have an actual impact on the world view and beliefs of the characters then this is the story for you. The character growth is also very well done, with each experience over time changing the characters.
The races used in this fantasy world are, so far, all of the traditional variety, but they are not the regular lineup. With each having their own unique twist. The unique combination and origin of some of the races create a unique dynamic. Combined with what appears to be an extensive and detailed magic system that has significant impact on character interaction, culture and society the story gives a feeling of a fantastical world with much to explore. Unlike some stories this stories World Building has the magic system worked into it to affect all aspects of history, culture and religion. It is NOT like some of those stories where it is simply tacked on as an extra.
There's a lot of good stuff here is my point, you will with high probability enjoy the story. There is some NSFW, *ahem*, "stuff" in the story of the romantic variety. As of chapter 46 it has only made a few appearances. The scenes are very well written and enjoyable 😉