Virtuous Sons: A Greco Roman Xianxia
by Ya Boy
The saying goes that when a man is born the Fates weave his destiny and swaddle him in it. Then one day the man dies, and the swaddle becomes a shroud. Heaven moves on.
It is audacity to question the Fates. Olympus is Olympus. The land of men is the land of men. To transgress that, to cross the line of divinity and scale Olympus Mons? To defy the Fates and cast off their threads?
That is hubris. It’s a mark that every philosopher bears plainly on their soul.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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Amazing stuff. I usually don't like reading multiple main character books because I tend to feel it just detracts from what I find important in a story, the evolution of the MC. In this book even though there are two, it's not one of those where while similar they lead different lives or whatnot. They interact and influence each other actively, and the shifting perspectives are smooth enough to lead to no confusion.
Definitely reccomend giving this a go, especially since there's no real depressing feeling from this book, which many 'serious' novels seem to think is a requirement. It does lead you to question your perspective on life, and your position in it though. Which can only be a plus.
This story is one of the few beautiful gems I stay on this site for. In between the thousands of novels that are poorly written copies of each other, there are a few things that are genuinely fresh and exciting to read, and this is one of the most exciting I've seen in a while. It's made me both laugh out loud as well as audibly muttered "hell yeah" on multiple occasions. It's also worth noting that this isn't a lazy reskin of Xianxia set in ancient Greece, but a clearly well thought out and developed answer to the question "what if Xianxia tropes and elements existed in the world of the ancient Greeks?"
The style is really interesting and fun. Ya Boy isn't afraid to use historically accurate terms and leave it up to you to google them or use context clues, and that approach somewhat spills over to worldbuilding. Anything you need to know will be explained, but it might take a few chapters before you really understand it. I love that, but if there's anything where someone might have legitimate grievance, it's probably with that. Otherwise his style is immaculate.
Grammar and spelling are about as perfect as ths site gets. I can't think of a single typo or error I've seen. Additionally, the prose flows like water and is a blast to read.
The story section is a bit harder to grade just as we're only just out of the prologue, however what we have so far is fantastic and I can't wait for the story to unfold. I think the best way to put it is if your prologue is 200 pages of content with more exciting narrative than most of the novels on this site, the rest of the story must SLAP. (Or at least I hope so.)
The two protagonists are the lifeblood of this story. While the setting and reinterpreation of Xianxia are dope and it's technically great in terms of writing, Sol and Griffon are what really make this story. The bromance is strong and god I want it, and both of them are really interesting characters on their own who play off of each other beautifully. The prologue was more focused on Griffon and I can't wait to explore more of Sol, but what I've seen of both of them means that either of them alone are in the running for my favorite Royal Road protagonist, and together they sweep that competition.
All in all, this has the potential to be one of my favorite stories not just on this site, but in general. Ya Boy, please by everything holy don't mess this up, my heart couldn't handle it if you did.
Wonderful, fascinating, unique. This is less a story than a classic epic in its opening act. If the quality continues to stay on this level it will be the best fiction on the website.
The world building is immaculate, the characters compelling, and the prose evokes emotion.
Absolutely worth a read.
A Bromance for the ages! It's refreshing to see a story that has a focus on a relationship that isn't a romance. Many just have the protagonist go it solo but having two friends (?) have a go at the world is fun so far, even if we're just finishing up the prologue.
Style is very good - there are a few times where I wish we'd move through some descriptions faster, or pause to explain something rather than waiting until later, but for the most part the story is just fun to read. Snappy and enjoyable with a good mix of action, plot, and character.
Grammar is great. Didn't notice anything there, but not my forte.
The story is good and obviously a lot of effort put into the worldbuilding. Rome and Greece are mentioned often but while they have similarities to what we know of them it's clearly not just 'our world' here, given everything else going on. I didn't feel as clear as I'd like on how cultivation / progression worked in this story but I have enough of a sense of it to understand why Griffon needed to take the actions he did, etc.
As for characters... Myron is hands down my favorite, honestly. Griffin and Sol are fantastically written but neither draws me in as much as I'd like. Griffon isn't a good person but he's not an evil one either - he is, however, extremely talented compared to most of those around him, and that's engaging. There's a lot more to Sol than meets the eye - and we do learn some of that - but I feel like his character shines a bit more than Griffon does.
Ultimately I love a good bromance - and this is an exceptionally well written one - but for some reason I can't pinpoint it's not making me rabid for the next bit either. I think perhaps it feels a little disjointed in parts, like it's segmented into "scene about cultivation" and "scene with silly bromance fun" and "scene with backstory" instead of feeling like a single whole.
I love Hobbs and Shaw, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, etc. The two MCs fit right in with the other amazing love/hate reluctant best bud stories!
I'm already engrossed with this story and it just passed the Prologue. It's a fantastically unique take on cultivation novels and I am excited to follow this story all the way through!
A melding of overdone genres into an astonishing whole. The author has an innovative idea coupled with good execution that has a promising start. Usually when people attempt stories like this they flounder with either the characters, setting, or plot by relying to heavily on tropes but that is not here. We will watch your career with great interest.
This is the Xianxia story that I've been waiting for. Characters that aren't just a cardboard cutout from others in the genre. A story where plot is more important than numbers, and striving to find freedom from the personal chains that bind are a larger focus than just defying the heavens. Defying one's own fate, and all of the expectations heaped upon, take center stage in this story so far, over the usual tropes of external battles.
Don't get me wrong, you'll still see the epic fantasy, but it's one of the few stories in the genre where the story makes you actually care about the characters. The change of viewpoints is smooth, providing a holistic overview of the events occurring, rather than jarring and splitting the story as so many do.
The story is well written, both grammatically and stylistically, and you can tell that the author has put quite a bit of time crafting this with care. There is a clear progression from chapter to chapter, that leaves you wanting more without resorting to episodic "cliff hangers" like some stories resort to. The quick update rate, combined with the craftsmanship that has gone into this story ensure that it is one that I'll be watching closely!
Virtuous Sons centers on two characters, Lio, the son of the cult (sect) leader and Sol, a captured slave. They soon grow close in a taboo relationship disdained by those around them. The interactions between these two are gold, well written and believable. They both are distinct personalities and are excellently characterized with their own back stories and motivations.
For the most part we see the world through Lio's eyes (in first person) as he looks for the answer to his dissatisfaction with life. He has everything: status, power, talent. And yet something is missing.
Perhaps Sol can help him understand what. Perhaps they can help each other to be something greater.
While this character-driven conflict is at the center, the world is creative and engrossing, an East Asian, xianxia cultivator tale transposed on the Mediterranean. It works astoundingly well. Everything from a typical xianxia seems to map without issue onto this classical Greek variant.
Style is wonderful. Feels polished, professional. Could easily be from a traditionally published book.
No grammar errors that I've spotted, so full marks there.
The story is only just seeming to get off its feet but I love the setup thus far.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this story. I'd recommend it even to people who disdain xianxia/cultivation because it is vibrantly different and creative.
This story twists cultivation in a way I've never thought about. It's fresh, it's new, and the twist isn't the only interesting thing about this story.
This work also has great character interactions and very few grammatical errors.
Decent read, all-in-all, would recommend.
Ya boy is at it again.
Just about bros totally heterosexually grappling with each other and slathering their fellow bros' naked bodies in oil. The chemistry between the two main characters is off the charts. The writing style and the way the author weaves the dialogue is captivating. I also love the unabashed ruggedness of the setting, something you don't really see in Xianxia/cultivation type stories. I do want to mention that I felt like the plot was a little lacking, as not a whole lot happens besides these kids walking around their own house/estate. But I also didn't read super far in, and I still enjoyed the dynamic between the main characters enough to look past it. *Chef's kiss*