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Lilla, a vedalken raised among the Gruul Clans, joins the Legion as a double-agent in her search for revenge. Maverick, son of a famous skyknight, seeks to prove his worth beyond his lineage. During the parade celebrating the new year, Mav and Lilla come face-to-face with Rocman, a fictional vigilante come to life. This masked 'hero' turns the city upside-down, taking the law into their own hands, exacting vengeance according to their own twisted goals. Mav, Lilla, and their comrades work to uncover Rocman's secret identity and bring them to justice.
Rated: T - Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering Ravnica. M/F, F/F
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I think the character-driven story makes this stand on its own outside of being based on MTG. I am famliar with the setting, so I can't say how accessible it is for unfamiliar readers. It's just in the beginning of the story but there is a promise of character-driven mystery and adventure to come.
The prose flows and gives insight into the action and character motivations. I think it is a bit info heavy in some parts, and repetition of information comes up. I know the Guild culture is an embedded part of the Ravinca setting, but I think for the reader it could be more efficient in the details of the setting.
I think the style and characters are interesting enough that the information could be parcelled out slower to create more tension. I believe in Lilla so I could have waited longer to find out exactly why she's in this position and why she hates Boulder Tooth for example.
Lilla is my favourite so far. She has an interesting motivation, and I feel for her, trapped as she is the situation she has found herself in. I can see myself pulling for her in her mission.
Very good. I think similar to the style point above the use of adjectives could be toned down a bit, especially with the amount of specialised world-building language like the Gruul and Boros and individual culture.
The characters and fun, they have motivations and it will be interesting to see Mav and Lilla interact more.
This is actually the first fan-fiction I’ve ever read haha, it’s usually not really my thing honestly. To quote the author on the very first chapter -
„This novel is based on a Dungeons & Dragons adventure(...)The tale is set in the Magic: The Gathering plane Ravnica(…)“
Now then. I have never played D&D and I have never played MTG. I’ve never even seen either of them being played, so this was a very interesting story for me to read as you can imagine
As of this review, there are twelve chapters, though the first one is an ‚introduction‘ glossary to the setting, which I was more than thankful for as you can imagine.
Just to get it out of the way, I found no spelling or grammar mistakes and it looks like the story has been well trimmed and polished.
The writing style is fluid and it keeps up a good, but manageable pace. One thing that I’m not used to is that the author likes to jump around between characters a lot between chapters, which did disorient an old geezer like myself a little, but they always made clear from whose perspective we were now seeing things. It ends up being interesting, because these characters aren’t a million years apart, but rather we see them come together fairly quickly. This makes it hard for me to say who the ‚real‘ protagonist is, but since Lilla is the one we see first and also the most of, I’ll say it's her. Which is good, because she’s my favorite of the characters, I appreciate someone with a ‚get it done‘ attitude.
It will be interesting to see how the characters end up colliding later on, as they’ve more or less just met, as their personality types are wildly different from the looks of things. There are one or two cliches buuuut, I think that’s to be expected given the ‚inherited‘ setting.
All in all, I would say that you shouldn’t let yourself get scared away by the fan-fiction tag if that’s not your jazz. I’ve never heard of any of this stuff and I was able to follow the entire story right off the bat with no complications. It’s a good read, plenty of action right off the bat followed by some strong inter-character work. It’s definitely worth giving a fair shot!
Wow! I am throroughly impressed with all of the moving parts of this story. Initially when I started reading I was worried about catching on to all of the lore that is customary with DnD and MTG which I am totally oblivious too. But like you said it is still totally accessible to the reader. The dialouge is clever and rich, something I feel like I struggle with so I really enjoy it. All the different sects, races and so on really flesh out the world nicely.
I don't typically read stories in this category, but it definetly has that customary feeling I imaging DnD writing would have. Yet, it is uniquely well crafted and has that homage to those series without feeling like derivative. And that is not a bad thing, I really enjoy it, and it is actually quite well written. I really am impressed with all of the different machinations of this story and how charcters relate in ways that feel fantastical but grounded in the world.
As far as grammar goes I am sure there are some small errors, but I am certainly not invincible to these so I cant really pick at any errors fairly.
Really enjoying the journey so far, I find tense relations between the MC and people like Bouldertooth to be palpable in their frustration/anger. I think I would reccomend this story even to a person like me who knows nothing about either DnD or Magic which is a testament to the story itself.
This may be a fan fiction but it stands on its own legs. As some others have stated below when it comes to fan fiction you're usually treading on murky waters, but from what I read that isn't the case here. Now I'm not sure I'm the most qualified person to bring this up because I know very little about this IP and its world, but as someone who genuinely enjoys fantasy it was a very solid read. While I enjoyed the characters and especially the plot there were some aspects of if that I thought could use some more explaination as far as world building is concerned. However, I'm not sure if this story is purely for the fans of this existing world or just for everyone. With that said if I were the author I wouldn't change anything if it's the later because it's so well written. Perhaps expanding the Visual Glossary section would help mitigate this problem for future readers.
Overall the author clearly knows what they're doing so I recommend it.
Overall: a good introduction to the ever-expanding D&D world.
Style: personally, I enjoyed the timely separated paragraphs–short but loaded with information, just enough not to encumber your reading; it's quite an engaging read. As the chapters continue, you will find yourself won over by the author's well-established style composition, which is mainly 3-4 lines, in addition to engrossing dialogues and an impeccable flow. The only drawback for me was italicizing a whole chapter, which I found unnecessary.
Story: the plot develops at a steady phase. There's a good amount of timely imprinted detailing. Detailed characters, detailed setting, detailed action, etc. For someone like me, slightly unfamiliar with D&D and Magic: The Gathering, it was easy to catch on who's who and what's what. Though, for someone like me, it would have been nice to get a reminder more often: "oh, so he was a goblin," having thought he was another race for three whole chapters. On a positive note, this doesn't ruin the marvelously unfolding plot by a longshot.
Grammar: comprehensive. I like the variation of the long and short phrasings. You dip into the MC minds, learning just enough to pique your curiosity. Deep dive POV expressed practically.
Characters: interesting personalities that might seem stereotypical–but are they? The author pulls the lever and takes us on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs and emotions. In the end, I found this the most enjoyable. You'll also find an abundance of well-depicted background characters relevant to the story; each character clearly has a purpose. Potential 'ships? Yes.
Everyone: "how much showing, not telling does the author utilize?"
I will start by saying that I was warned this is fanfiction, and despite that fact, I fell in love with the story and felt like I was well aware of what was happening, who was who and had a clear understanding of the roots of this story. So that deserves major props, PennedUpMuse. Not many can make fanfiction seem so natural!
Now, to break it all down...
I commented on this in the story because it blew me away, but I love this author's style. It was, by far, one of the best aspects and I envy the prose this author was able to put across the page. They are a master with their words, and the flow of each sentence and sequence made sense. Well crafted, and little error regarding consistency as well. Beautifully written, and that is the truth :)
I found nothing wrong with grammar. While I am not picky with this, it felt very polished and overall I had a fantastic time reading this. Good job here as well.
The story is what earned the 5 stars for me. Destiny is a scary thing to face, and the author placed the reader in a place where they felt that fear. The characters presented on the page are responding to this fear realistically, and everything is set up at a natural pace that feels neither rushed nor slow.
I can see how the two archetypes of these characters will contrast (and compliment) each other to make a truly riveting story. The author knows how to move the audience, and with such vivid characterization, it will be hard to pull your eyes away.
As hinted above, the characterization was phenomenal. It helps that the author knows when to provide immaculate detail and when to suggest microexpressions and anxiety, but overall I felt connected very quickly. That is something that is so crucial with these stories that are chapter-on-demand, but it's difficult to do without sacrificing the pace of the story.
I congratulate the author on figuring out a way to build characterization, build suspense, and build the plot in a way that harmonizes it all in the end.
I specifically enjoyed the way the author conveyed Mav's frustration in chapter seven. The little details about how he is fidgeting, moving, and interacting with the world is the way good writing should be.
I am unfamiliar with the origins of this fanfiction, but that does not mean the story is confusing to me. The author makes sure to convey any information required to understand the happenings of this world, and they convey it well. That said, hidden in these first seven chapters is a promising story that deserves to be read.
It deserves to be enjoyed, commented on, and applauded. It starts with a beautiful style and keeps ahold of you as a reader with the interesting plot build-up and creative characterization. I would like to see this transfer with the side characters, but it is still very early on. I am sure important side characters will come to play.
Read this story if you want a fascinating fantasy that takes what is known, and twists it to become something new. The start to something that is surely a breath of fresh air.
Overall, this is an enjoyable beginning to a fantasy story, that uses familiar elements alongside solid writing and good characterisation to create a great opening to the story. I look forward to reading more!
The author's prose here is solid, with some clever use of 'in-world' similes and a reasonably strong voice that helps create a very readable story. The biggest weakness here is an over-reliance on adverbs where a strong verb would make the impact of a sentence much greater. This is really begins to stand out when adverbs like 'stealthily' begin to be repeated.
A few, incredibly minor mistakes but by and large the grammar is pretty spot on.
The story being told here doesn't seem at this point to be anything new, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. From what I can tell the two main characters will meet up and join forces so to speak as the wider story opens up, but what is set up so far is a solid and enjoyable take on some tried and true story archetypes. There's more than enough here to make me want to read on.
And speaking of the two main characters, they are well characterised and likeable pov characters, and I've thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the story through them. Much like with the plot, the archetypes feel familiar, but the characters have enough of a personality and are written well enough that they seperate themselves from feeling run of the mill. As yet, the same cannot be said for the side-characters, the clan chiefs from the first several chapters feel a little closer to charicatures or 'npcs' than actual characters, but we are given relatively little time with them on screen, so this may improve.
This story is solid in a way that I hardly see on this site. Immediately, I was drawn into the conflict with a character I could sympathize with, and whom had definable and understandable goals.
The prose is solid. Easy to read and understandable, which is a lot harder to do than people like to think. I did not notice any major grammar errors. The world feels magic/steampunk-ish, which is always a fun combo too.
I think what stuck out most to me was I had NO idea that this was a fan fiction until I glanced at other reviews. (The authors might have said something in the notes, but I tend to skip those because I like to have the story speak for itself.) I've read a lot of fan fiction with the serial numbers filed off and it often doesn't work because in fic there are shortcuts taken because the audience is already familiar with the world and doesn't, for example, need a character's motivation spelled out our a familiar area described. Anyway, what I'm getting at is this story had none of those pitfalls. I instantly immersed in a world that was easy to visualize with characters who had their own motivations and I never once felt left behind. Again, I wouldn't have known this was not a wholly original world.
So the prose and style are solid. My only complaints right now are minor. There are more POV's than I generally like except in epic fantasy. I'm not 100% where the plot is going. It feels like it could turn into a fun team up or party fic which is good, but we're only 11 chapters in so I don't see it happening yet. It feels like I'm just getting to know someone before we change POVs. These are personal nitpicks which is why I only deducted a half star.
The story is only beginning but it has a solid start and feels like it is building into something epic.
Fan fiction is likely one of the most concerning tags I can see on a fiction, even when the writing quality is high and well edited. That is because a lot of authors do not fully form their own plot, characters and world when using an existing one. That frequently leads to an inferior or ill thought through understanding of all those aspects of the story.
This fiction both does and does not fall into these traps. It does establish its own characters, telling their story rather than any I recognize from Ravnica. This may be because the source material primarily exists as a campaign and card setting for Wizards of the Coast, making it something closer to lore than a story itself. It is easier to avoid existing characters if the primary source is not narrative.
However, there is a serious issue with establishing its own world or interpretation of the world. Even in a fan fiction that relies on the readers knowing the world, it is necessary to reiterate that lore.
This is because the authors way of seeing the world will vary from the readers. Without this, it becomes hard to connect with or follow the narrative.
I know the lore of Ravnica fairly well, but find it increasingly difficult to engage with the story as it gets farther and farther without doing this vital part of world building.
It is a lot like if you write a novel set in the real world, but never do anything to explain the area the protagonist lives. Even if the reader knows about life on 21st century earth, not establishing the way the narrative views it makes the story hard to read or understand.
This led into the problem with characters. I was hopeful when characters originally were introduced, but grew frustrated over time. The narrative does assign motivation and backstories to them, but only in passing comments that come across like a wiki bio. Ironically, or maybe deliberately, they feel as fleshed out as the backstory notes of a new d&d character.
It takes increasing effort to remember who each character is and anything about their motivations. I feel nothing for their struggle or desires, because I only vaguely know what they are. The product is something that works as a report of events, but is not remotely character driven.
The story is hard to assess, because following it is so contingent on style and character quality. Without a distinct image of the world or the characters, I am left uncertain what the priorities in the story even are.
Unfortunately, grammar is the main selling point of this fiction. It flows incredibly easily, written as if a strict middle school teacher from the 1950s was editing it. It sticks to the rules often to the point of losing any personality.
I find this unfortunate because, in my experience, grammar is the least important factor in the quality and readability of writing. Avoiding true mistakes (such as typos and anything that makes a sentence harder to understand) is important to the readability of narrative.
However, narrative differs from writing an academic essay or business email. From my experience as an English major and avid reader, narrative benefits from deviant writing styles.
It tends to be writers who have only gotten as far as learning the English rules or have a primary background in non-narrative writing who create something this sterile. Narrative writing is, at its core, assessed by the interest of the reader. Adapting your writing to become distinctive is required to engage most readers.
Overall, I originally stopped reading because it is hard to read. Nothing catches the mind or paints a distinct image. The words flow past, and soon you don’t want to continue.
Narrative writing, fiction or non-fiction, is based more on creativity and novelty than correctness. By sacrificing interest for flawlessness, it lost me as a reader.
All that said, this is my experience and analysis of that experience. I am trying to put into words what I felt and explain what in the story made me feel that way.
Not every reader has a problem with ill defined worlds and characters, and some may find the strict correctness appealing. So, you may still enjoy reading it. I can only convey my experience.
I first reviewed this fiction almost a year ago, relatively early in. At the time, I rated it fairly well, because it had good potential and seemed to be setting up to avoid the pitfalls of fan fiction.
However, I gave up on the story shortly afterwards, due to problems that developed or were not moved past. I actually stopped following, which I very rarely do.
I recently noticed that my review was quite inaccurate to my overall experience. Since I prefer to keep my reviews helpful, I decided to read the rest and rewrite my review based on the current story.
To be honest, It doesn't really seem like a fanfiction to me, It feels like a story devoted something and It seems It's actually going for something, unlike other fanfictions where the goal is just to satisfy their own desires and not aiming for a plot at all. I already have a firm grasp of Magic: The Gathering's lore and character backgrounds beforehand when I read this so I'm not really affected but you don't really need to know anything to be able to understand this piece as the author spends actual time to explain things and all. The Read felt smooth and not clunky at all, maybe because the grammar is nice and all. Anyway, if you're looking for a nice MTG and D&D fanfiction with some serious thought to It, this might be for you