Isekai Mother

by TheEpicLotfi

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

A new mother that recently hit rock bottom not long before giving birth to a child she never planned to have is whisked to a new world of magic and monsters. Her prodigious intelligence earns her a free magical skill, and though she makes great use of it, little does she know that in this new land, magic is the highest taboo imaginable, and for a good reason. She learns quickly that she will have to be the bigger monster to protect the only thing in her life worth protecting, her child, and with her particular set of skills, there's an unending tide of enemies waiting to have a piece of her.


What to expect:

An unforgiving madness-inducing magic system, secret identity shenanigans, biological magic and therefore body-horror, a barebones and unintrusive status screen system, a genius-intellect self-serving main character.

Trigger warning

Contains mentions and brief descriptions of rape.

Release Schedule

Mondays, Wednesdays and Firdays. 4PM EST-ish

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TheEpicLotfi

TheEpicLotfi

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luda305
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A Fresh Take on Isekai LitRPG Executed Excellently

Reviewed at: 10 - The City of Altaluvia

Through Chapter 6, this is one of the best isekai or LitRPG stories to hit RoyalRoad in a long time. The basic premise is simple:

A mother who has just recently given birth in her war torn country is isekaied and quickly adapts her Earth knowledge into becoming a power biomage in order to protect herself and her baby.

If anything, I have to give kudos to the synopsis for not only being accurate, but tonally correct as well. In other fresh news: 

The protagonist is Muslim and, though I'm a little less clear on this, North African. 

The magic system is fantastically fresh.  Forget the typically, "magical backlash" and "fainting from low MP."  You screw up, you start dipping into Eldritch insanity.  And this is on top of the protagonist's background, which is already tragic. Chapter 4 is absolutely rich in the background, and will provide for all sort of internal drama and psychological issues in the future.  (And while starting Chapter 1 in media res was very well executed, the info dump of Chapter 4, while internally very well-meshed, doesn't mesh with the rest of the story). 

So many little things about the story I love.  Spent several paragraph descriptively calling such-and-such animal: gets fed up and kills it just so the system gives her the name.  In Chapter 1, the panic of the real world flows seamlessly into the panic of being isekai'd which in turns feed into the aforementioned magic insanity problem.  The visualization of the knowledge web.  Actually addressing the "can magic make mass" question.

In other constructive criticism, the scale for attributes is a little counter intuitive.  I.e., what exactly are the normal ranges for adult humans? My current thinking is 5 is the mean, with each point being a half-standard deviation, based on a non-magical population.  But that strongly implies that the protagonist was very weak in the first chapter, and while that makes sense based on pre-story starvation, it's also a little difficult to square with the mildly athletic background information provided. 

Update through Chapter 10: Docking a half-star each on style and story (bring them to 4 and 4.5 respectively), but otherwise leaving the same.

To acknowledge some of the other reviews out there, the story is starting to show some cracks.  Originally, through chapter 6, the protagonist's power curve didn't seem so bad: kill the monsters in the starting area, scare some peasants, and learn the language so we can have some social interaction. Yes, she is super-human to Earthlings, but in the story it was okay.  Then we start having some issues:

First, Lord R (name escapes me).  Minor point, but his name is far to similar to Reza, the protagonist, and I had to re-read Chapter 8 when I mixed them up. Second, it strongly feels like the author wanted the protagonist in that city under a noble, and worked their way backwards from there.  However, the entire set of coincidences that had to fall perfectly in place for that to happen makes it seem like a deus ex machina.  If Lord R was just a little different as a character, if he hadn't proposed to play <chess>, if he wasn't injured and in need of a healing mage, the story would have gone an entirely different direction that could have worked (or killed her).  Third, as others have mentioned, the power curve is a bit wonky.  As I noted above, it fine's through chapter 6, but come chapter 9 and now she thinks she can take on a noble-warrior-physical build?? And eternal youth? The OP-ness is strong. Finally, until the baby starts moving about in chapter 10, I had kind of forgotten about him as a character rather than a prop. So he starts moving and it's kind of jarring; it's almost a Pinocchio moment. 

Still, for their flaws, chapter 7-10 have been entertaining.  That said, where the story is going is shrouded in ever greater mystery.  Through chapter 6, we might have seen some broader arc which was somewhat familiar, just handled differently (and excellently).  But now, I'm expecting the overall plot to go way off the beaten track for isekai.  My current pet theory is:

that (courtesy of a few time jumps once she "establishes" herself) the protagonist goes full Maleficent/evil mage-empress over the next few decades, and her son ends up slaying her.

But I'm kind of pulling that out of nowhere.

KoboldPatrol
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Great premise, some serious issues

Reviewed at: 9 - Ambition and Hubris

Reza, down on her luck and with a new-born baby, is isekai'd to a fantasy world. Because she is very intelligent and highly educated, she manages to unlock magic and quickly gets good with it. Sounds great, doesn't it? Weeeeell yeah, but no! Magic is Banned, Forbidden, and Cut-Head-Off-Illegal in this world, because Eldritch Horror Danger! Oops, well, she'll just have to use her intelligence to find a way to protect herself and the baby...

Style/Story/Grammar: The premise of the story is very interesting and it's awesome to have an MC with such a non-standard background (female + probably North African Third World origin + with a baby!) compared to other stories. The story is told in first-person internal style by the MC with details about her thoughts, but not as a full stream-of-consciousness narration. That means we readers are right there with her and learn what she thinks and feels about her experiences. The descriptions of her surroundings are not too expansive but they are detailed enough to paint a sufficient picture. The pacing is extremely hurried, after less than 24 hours Reza is already off the charts. Grammar is good and there are few typos. 

Character(s): I will only talk about Reza here, because we have barely met anybody else. We learn about her backstory rather quickly and it is both sad and shitty but realistic and very well done. Because of that history, Reza's personality is rather broken and unemotional (except towards the baby). It's difficult for me to connect to her, as she feels a bit inhuman in the beginning and rather alien soon after: manipulative and ruthless like a single-minded machine instead of a real person. With her history as an explanation, that's much more believable than it would be for the MCs of most other stories, but I think it's still too much.

The baby feels more like a McGuffin TBH, just being there, never making any problems except when necessary for the plot. 

The big problem in my opinion: What really breaks my suspension of disbelief is that the MC learns new information so easily. It's always "Problem? -> Flawless solution!" no matter how difficult the problem is: Magic is written in complex glyphs and she knows only one spell? -> No problem, she just reverse-engineers the unreadable code and modifies the symbols a bit and now she knows three spells! She has an idea about how the magic system could work? -> Turns out that that is exactly how the magic system works, without a single fault in her deduction! Don't get me wrong, I really like intelligent MCs, but this is like a 10th century Einstein seeing a car drive by and building a combustion engine within minutes; it doesn't work like that, even with an IQ of 200. I could understand it happening a few chapters in, when her INT has already multiplied to double the world record, but she already does it when she starts at "only" peak baseline human level. Other readers might not have any problem with this, but I don't really see how anything will be able to pose a challenge to her later on. 

This story is great for readers who like absolutely OP MCs. For others, who like me like the suspense brought by the possibility of failure, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Reza's stat growth is just unsustainable IMO, let's see how it will develop in the future. 

Stillness
Overall

I do like this story. The world and magic system are rather interesting. The characters, primaraly the main character, aren't well written however.

I simply don't feel connected to them. I like the idea of the MC having to take care of her baby while strugling to survive in the new world. In practice, the baby doesn't feel like a character, only something she has to regularly feed. The MC talking to the baby would be a great exposition and character delopment tool, but there are only two or three lines of dialogue to the baby in the entire story so far. 

CozyBlankets
Overall

English isn't my first language, so sorry for the weird way I write. 

This story is just starting, but really caught my attention. The beginning is simple but seems to be laying the foundation for a great story. 

It's well written, and flows really well. The main character is interesting, and the system and magic are clear, at least for now, but with a lot of things still left to discover. 

The one thing that really stood out, at leat for me, in the last chapter was the tension you feel at some point. Very well done. 

Also really like the idea of a mother + child Isekai. 

 

Arrakis
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

tl;dr: An intelligently written intelligent MC, unique lovecraftian magic style twist on the otherwise bog standard LitRPG interface, tension for days and no obvious grammatical errors. A top 10 start for me.

One of the better written stories on RR, the phrasing and word choice makes the story flow great and has got to be one of my favourite writing styles I've seen so far on this site. No issues with grammar I've seen so far, almost 100 pages in.

An interesting, unique lovecraftian magic system with the bog standard LitRPG interface. This alone would have made this story worth the read let alone the well written tension of the MC walking a tightrope between protecting her child from external threats and herself from the ever present internal threat of insanity.

The mother is written well, intelligent but also not detached which is something that isn't typically common in stories where usually they fall into the trope of making the hyper intelligent-genius character being emotionally detached. She is believably intelligent without making the character sound edgy or narcissistic with a unique backstory compared to the more average LitRPG novels out there. Something that at this rate is only to get better as the story progresses and more information is teased out through the MC's interactions.An amazing start to (hopefully) a future front pager.

Raimji
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I've seen a boy get transmigrated with his mom to Another World, but a mother on deaths door and to a world where magic is considered taboo no less, now this - this is interesting and unique! The System aspect seems pretty straight forward, but still keeping its alure and mystique, we'll have to see how it unfolds in the late game. The character certainly is someone very far out of the ordinary (one of my favorite aspects of these types of novels) and it's exciting to see how she develops and survives in a world where her best aspect is taboo - all while trying to create a future and a safe haven for her newborn child. 

Overall, there have been minimal to no grammar mistakes (at least that I noticed), so you can enjoy this story without having to stop and endure a brain spasm while trying to understand what the author meant. This novel is certainly something I would recommend following and seeing where it takes us on this unique and fantastic journey.

I'm very excited to see something this original develop and mature into a multi-hundred chapter novel that is something other novel creators can look up to. 

P.S No pressure author, no pressure ;)

qwertonius
Overall

The descriptions are amazing, they pull you in and let you experience the story.

Grammar is excellent, absolutely no complaints there.

The story has hooked me in so far and I've finished all the available chapters in one sitting.

I don't really know how to articulate it but I love the style, the writing is captivating and it feels very real.

There is a tonal shift, I feel, at chapter 6 it isn't unwelcome but it was somewhat startling for me at the time.

One Mage
Overall

Intriguing but the writing is offputting

Reviewed at: 2 - Nothing Beside Remains

The story and magic system seem really interesting but the flow and writing are quite jarring at times with important concepts/character personality traits being too brief to have the impact the author seems to want. For instance, the madness component of the MC's experience seems to be a critical component of the story but the explanation and description are lacking in the details.

MrPoovey
Overall

The prose flows silky smooth with few, if any grammatical errors.

Super engaging, some spots of over explaining the background but it only impresses me with how deep the world building and character motivations go.

The magic system is deep and has something I've never really seen. It's the responsibility of our protagonist to improve on it, it's an incomplete system. I'm eager to see where this leads.

Sansblueye64
Overall

pretty good so far, though its just begining at the moment so i might change my mind later, interesting protagonist, few grammar mistakes, and bonus points for a biomancer mc because we dont see enough of those

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