Charlie Norwood, a goblin-exterminating bounty hunter working in the frontier desert, finds herself embroiled in conspiracy when she stumbles across some gnomish warmechs chasing down an elven prince.
A Fantasy Western.
[Participant in the Royal Road Writathon Challenge]
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When you think about it, westerns are a perfect match for tolkien fantasy. Lots of bandits, lots of "friendly" racism, lots of wasteland and wilderness to act as buffers between pockets of civilization.
In retrospect , im surprised i havent seen it before.
The magic / magitech is a nice touch. Magic feels a lot more magical when its prone to breaking, overheating, exploding, and being prohibitively expensive to repair.
For those of you familiar RavensDagger's work, this is the grittiest yet.
A magitech western (with mechs!) in a world with elves, kobolds, dwarves, gnomes, etc. The world building is good with even minor characters showing hints of backstory and distinct cultures.
The MC is a hard bitten bounty hunter, but not in a moody noir way. She is slow to trust out of a realist approach to the world of the story, not out of teams or misanthropici tendencies. It's a refreshing take.
The grammar, pacing, release schedule, etc is all solid, which is true of all RavensDagger's stories.
I'm enjoying the story and I can easily recommend it.
I don't know how Raven does it, but here is another cross genre genius of a story. Loved the intro chapter, and it has a lot of potential going for it. I hope Raven will be able to keep up with all the stories on their site and give us more Fluff, but this is a nice interlude. Keep up the good work Raven.
Overall: It's looking to be a fun story, with the polished writing and relatively light tone you would expect from one of Raven's (Cinamon Bun, Lovecrafted, Stray Cat Strut, Fluff, etc.) stories. If a story featuring magitech mechas mixed with a western sounds appealing, this story seems, thus-far, to deliver. I'm looking forward to future chapters. If you've enjoyed any of Raven's works (especially Stray Cat Strut), this is definitely worth a shot!
Style: The story is written in actual first person—you can very much see the main character's personality in the way it's narrated. Something that particularly stood out to me as an example was "fist-sized hole through a plate of good steel as thick as your thumb was long". Obviously, this could be specified in centimeters or inches, but that's not how people talk, and you can definitely feel the rough western in the style.
Grammar: This one is pretty self-explanatory. I've seen a typo here and there, but generally very good.
Story: As I typically do, I'm considering world-building part of the story and so far it looks very interesting. As the author says, it's a "fantasy western", which in this case means mixing typical fantasy elements—goblins, elves, magic—with the rough frontiers of a western and magitech. I can't speak to how consistent or thought through it is yet, but it definitely has personality and I'm excited to learn more about the world and see where it goes. The tone feels pretty light so far and with Raven's history, I think it's a fairly safe assumption it'll stay that way—this isn't really a positive or negative in general, but might be one way or the other for some people. The actual story seems like a pretty straight forward "escort mission with detours", but it has direction and serves more as a backdrop for character interaction and adventure, it seems so far.
Character: The characters are fun, engaging, and have continuous and identifiable personalities, so I'm not sure what else you can ask for. They're not charicatures either.
The main character is one Charlie Norwood, a lean mean gal with a rusty magitech mech, she has to survive a fantasy western and everything that goes with it, guntoting goblins with more respect for their ammo than her (which given the state of them is saying something). Elves, and mechs that are sometimes more scrap than machine. Will she make it? Let's wait and see.
I do like a story that is not all action, and that takes time to build a sophisticated world and mutildimentional characters.
Dont get me wrong the action is good, but the journey and the mechanics of trading with the nomads is great.
good frequent updates. what more do you need.
oh did i mention the mechs?
TL:DR; the series is new.
Setting is an original mix of Wild West/fantasy with mechs (not steampunk). Trust me, the author is blending it magnificently.
Too early to form proper criticisms of the characters/story but so far it's very good!
Writer has a lot of experience on several previous novels so character & story will likely develop well.
Worth recommending this series to friends.
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It's stil in early days of this series (ch19 as of review) but this series looks very promising!
The female MC is a grizzled bounty hunter in a rough Wild West setting. Water is scarce and the dusty air will kill you without a rebreather. It's hard surviving in this desert, and so are the people in it.
*Wild West established. Now let's tweak it.
You don't just need a six shooter and a Remington rifle to get by; you also need your 15-foot battle mech. Which has a much bigger a six shooter and rifle. All of which fire enchanted bullets.
*Magitech-Western established. Let's add another layer.
The MC lives in the desert but the world is wide. Elves, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, kobolds, dragons and monsters.
*Expect plenty of fantasy elements. We've barely scratched the surface.
Western-Magitech-Fantasy. How's that for an original setting?
The worldbuilding is going to be amazing.
It's too early to comfortably evaluate the characters. MC has barely talked about her backstory. The larger plot is nascent.
But don't let that dissuade you; Raven knows their way around a keyboard.
RavensDagger is a veteran & prolific writer. They've completed several novels on this site; concurrently pens five series; successfully keeps to a weekly update schedule on each; has earned a large following; and has hit trending on RR.
All this is me trying to say that they are an experienced writer of quality fiction.
LA is both a tonal and setting departure from their other works. All signs point to this being a great read.
It's definitely worth your follow.
I've read a bit of ravensdagger for years on space battles and now here, and their continued popularity is not due solely to how often they update, they put quality work into each chapter. And that quality has grown substantially over time, I might add.
The tone in their works varies on a scale with Firefly on one end and MLP on the other. Very often a strong focus on friendship and wholesomeness, lots of cinnamon bun characters, and an inordinate amount of headpats (ugh for me, but it gets readers); invariably, however, even in the fluffiest of moments there's a healthy respect for realistic ramifications and the harsh realities of existence.
It's early days for this fic but the quality is not at all lacking; the pace is excellent, world building doled out carefully without over- or underwhelming, and characters are getting a rock solid establishment through show-dont-tell storytelling. And so far it's farther towards the Firefly end of the spectrum than anything else I've read, which appeals very much to my tastes. It's easy to get into and so far has staying power to match. Would definitely recommend.
It's a classic western, set in a post-apocolyptic fantasy world, with giant robots and an elven prince named Clin of clan Teast'wood.
There isn't much here yet but the action is on point, the snippets of worldbuilding that get sprinkled around make me want to know more, and it has so for avoided anything resembling an infodump.