In the VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) Veritas Online, things are getting a little stale. Since the game launched, only one world-wide event has occurred, and that was a year ago in game. The players are having fun, but everyone agrees it's about time for something big to happen. Everybody tends to forget that big things grow from small things, and little things are always changing in Veritas.
The human country of Quarternell is at peace for the first time in...ever. Aspen, a retired war hero, has earned a quiet life together with his animal companions. They're tired of fighting, bigotry, and other people in general. They plan to live peacefully far away from the city. As soon as he figures out this farming thing, he's never going to go anywhere again. Unfortunately for him, his country and his Goddess aren't quite done with him yet.
Rouge_the_Rogue is a casual gamer in Veritas Online. She's just a kid, and her focus should be on school and hanging out with her friends. Emphasis on should. She's pretty good at school, and doesn't actually have that many friends. What she really loves is exploring all the cool ways the developers of Veritas found to make their game unique and realistic. Then she's offered a very special quest and an opportunity to go beyond the average player. She's never been that much of a rule follower anyway....
(Author's Note: New chapters of Legendary Farmer will be released at least three times a week. I keep a minimum of ten more chapters written than I've published, so this should be very reliable, even if I get sick or am on vacation. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing!)
(P.S. This "book" is actually a trilogy, with a lot of things not readily understandable in the beginning. This Synopsis is for Book One: Tilling, which contains chapters 1-50.
Synopsis for Book Two: Sowing (starts after Chapter Fifty)
Zoey has started her summer internship at Veritas Corporation, and she can honestly say that being an adult is boring. Until she starts learning secrets she was never supposed to know.
In game, Rouge is finally making progress on her big quest. Apparently Duke Penbrooke took too long to return to the world, so the world is coming to get him... in the form of a few assassins.
Aspen is going to have to face the life he left behind, and deal with the fact that it's not as easy being 'dead' as he thought. When what he'd hoped would be a short trip back to civilization to resupply turns into a whole lot more, he'll have to fight for his life, his friends, and his kingdom.
Together, they'll all find out that what you sow is exactly what you reap.
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A well written narrative, there are no notable errors in grammar or spelling.
The characters are fun to read and have an interesting dynamic, a farmer who can speak with his animals, and a secretive past, and an impulsive teenager with a great deal of curiosity. Many hints are spread out that suggest a deeper world than we can see. I'm looking forward to seeing where the story will go.
This review is done at chapter 40, the last chapter at this date. It's somewhere around the end of the beginning, I'd guess. Trying to be spoiler free, we've met Aspen, Rogue, and the various beings connected to each, and have some idea of how they're connected.
And in spite of that I don't know where this story is going. Is Aspen going to try to build an amazing farm out past even the slightest hints of civilization? Are they all going to farm just enough to survive the winter, and then head elsewhere? Something else? How the heck did they choose this particular plot of land to settle on? Do they have an emotional connection to this particular place? Is leaving easy or hard? Do different members of Team Aspen have different connection to the place?
Just based on the title, I would expect a story about a guy learning how to build up his farm, and how he deals with various problems that come up. However, what I'm expecting is a story about the evils of racism and capitalism, and maybe the evils of murderhobo PCs. So, we'll see.
That said, the grammar is fine, and the main characters are kind of interesting. And it's a VRMMO story with real world stakes, that aren't about "If we unplug people they will die!" so that's a plus. Recommended with reservations.
TL;DR: Prologue payoff takes a long time. IF that might bother you, skip it and read from chapter 1, but DO read this tale.
Let me start with the worst thing I can say about this story. The initial return for the prologue is more than 28 chapters into the book, and it's pretty minor there. Mostly, it consists of more hints about further developments in the future. This may bother you... if so, just skip the prologue. You can go back and read it later. It's NOT vital to the rest of the story, except to note that it's about a game world where the initial Aspen chapters wouldn't make that clear. OK, that handled, lets get into the great stuff.
Style: This gets ding'd a half-star for the long gap between prologue and tie-in. Otherwise, the prose is nicely mixed word choice, with scattered humor and some dad-jokes (which some may not like, but as a dad, I appreciate.) Also like that I can share this one with my kiddos, which is far less common than I'd like.
Story: Engrossing. There are no gotcha twists to the plot. There's a bunch of stuff left unsaid but clearly implied, and there's a nice mix of mystery and mundane. There's action, but also some calm, peaceful moments. Several touching scenes, and even the classic training montage. These standard elements are skillfully interwoven into a delightful whole.
Grammar: Super clean. Not like hey, it's good for Royal Road, but rather published quality. I routinely find errors in published novels, and the worst thing I've found in this one was a spacing issue that was a preference item more than an error.
Character: Some side characters are not fully fleshed out, but the main cast is all well done, distinct, and human (even the non-human ones). Character dialogue is consistent. The one RL villian is a completely tropish bully, which lands a bit 2d relative to the rest of the cast, which are otherwise excellent work.
The first two chapters have a POV change that doesn't make sense until much later in the story, however it is well worth reading to find the reason. NPC and gamer characters have stories and motivation.
Funny characters, engaging plot and best of all a complete lack of grammatical and spelling errors!
First, a few notes: This is not a story about farming (there is a bit of it, but it's not the focus). It's also not a LitRPG - there's stats and levels, but they're only a minor part.
Instead, this is a story taking place partially in a VR game, and partially in the real life of its players and developers. If you've read Continue Online you will feel a definite deja vu once you get far enough into the story - and you'll also know that I mean high praise when I say that the quality of this story is comparable, too.
I highly recommend reading this story, unless you absolutely want a LitRPG farming story right now. You won't find the characters level their [grow produce] to provide a 5% bonus to quantity and a chance for higher quality goods. What you will find is an interesting game world, well thought-out characters that feel alive, intrigue in the company behind the game, and a far-reaching quest in the game that might play into it.