Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

After his parents died, Alex Roth had a plan: become a wizard. Through hard work, he was accepted into the world’s greatest university of wizardry—but fate had another plan.

On his eighteenth, he is marked as one of his kingdom’s five Heroes, chosen to fight the land’s great enemy. But his brand is 'The Fool', worst of the marks.

Rather than die or serve the other Heroes like Fools in the past, he packs up his little sister, his childhood friend and her cerberus, then flees for the university in hope of refuge, magic and to unravel the truth about his land’s evil.

There’s one small problem: The Mark tries to ruin magic while enhancing skills outside of divinity, combat and spellcraft.…

…that is, unless he can learn to exploit the hell out of it.

*****

This the first time I am writing a web novel type story, and I hope you like it. I like progression stories and I've always wanted to try and write one like a few of the web novels that inspired me.

Updates Tues-Wed-Thur-Fri-Sat.

There are currently 20 advanced chapters on my patreon as a thank you to patrons.

Join us on discord! https://discord.gg/A4M3CzfWBn

Chapters will be roughly 2000-2500 words.

[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

***

Rating: This story is kind of like a PG-13 movie. There'll be gore and some swearing but not much beyond that. If that changes, I'll warn you. 

Tone: Tone will be a mix of some action-adventure with excitement, comedy, slice of life elements and mystery. I won't be going too dark with this story. There will be mentions of war, some death, grief and violence.

MC: MC is analytical/rational with emotions. He is mostly in control of those emotions. MC will progress in power, eventually becoming very strong. Strong Lead tag added.

Fights: Fights will be detailed.

***

Stuff this story won't have:

- Extreme grimdark content

- Murderhobo plots

- Edgy, anti-hero MC 

- Pacifist MC

- Harems

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
  • Total Views :
  • 11,926,151
  • Average Views :
  • 32,233
  • Followers :
  • 13,913
  • Favorites :
  • 3,774
  • Ratings :
  • 2,944
  • Pages :
  • 3,254
Advertisement
Remove
Go to Table of Contents
Fiction breaking rules? Report
Advertisement
Remove
Author
Achievements
10,000,000 Views
Word Count (16)
12,500 Followers
Fledgling Reviewer (III)
150 Review Upvotes
15 Comments
1st Anniversary
Royal Writathon April 2021 winner
Top List #50
Advertisement
Remove
Table of Contents
370 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Fools and Inheritance ago
Chapter 2: Uldar's Legacy ago
Chapter 3: The Mark's Mocking Grin ago
Chapter 4: Departure and Dogs ago
Chapter 5: The Coins and the Priests ago
Chapter 6: Coin Tricks and Fire Light ago
Chapter 7: Good Dreams and Bad Luck ago
Chapter 8: The Chosen ago
Chapter 9: Telling the Truth ago
Chapter 10: Red Eyes in the Dark ago
Chapter 11: The Goddesses' Wrath ago
Chapter 12: The Traveller's Magic ago
Chapter 13: Walls and Keys ago
Chapter 14: The Sanctum of Doors ago
Chapter 15: The Hive-Queen ago
Chapter 16: The Core ago
Chapter 17: Out into the Light ago
Chapter 18: Using What You Have (Interlude) ago
Chapter 19: The Red Siren ago
Chapter 20: Cookies and Dances ago
Chapter 21: The Spear-and-Oar Dance ago
Chapter 22: Tests by Moonlight ago
Chapter 23: The Nightwatch ago
Chapter 24: Other Dangers ago
Chapter 25: The City at the Center of Creation ago
Chapter 26: Wonders in the Sky ago
Chapter 27: Negotiations in the Hall of Magic ago
Chapter 28: Welcome Home ago
Chapter 29: Selecting One's Path ago
Chapter 30: The Means of Survival ago
Chapter 31: The Chancellor ago
Chapter 32: Responsibility and Paths Forward ago
Chapter 33: The Beastarium ago
Chapter 34: A Clash of Beasts ago
Chapter 35: The Beginning Fruits of Failure ago
Schedule going forward (Today's chapter right after this) ago
Chapter 36: Dummies and Forceballs ago
Chapter 37: The Spell-Joust and the Second Spell ago
Chapter 38: An Endless Forest (Interlude) ago
Chapter 39: The Beginning of Baelin's Test ago
Chapter 40: The Plain of Dust ago
Chapter 41: Predators ago
Chapter 42: Ambushing the Ambushers ago
Chapter 43: The Escarpment ago
Chapter 44: The Bonedrinker ago
Chapter 45: Lessons and Gods ago
Chapter 46: A Pie Party ago
Chapter 47: The Path of Potions ago
Chapter 48: The Art of Asking Questions ago
Chapter 49: The First Classes ago
Chapter 50: Familiar Encounters ago
Chapter 51: Help Wanted ago
Chapter 52: Manipulating Mana and Mind ago
Chapter 53: The World Opening to the Senses ago
Chapter 54: Safety in The Cells ago
Chapter 55: Reflecting on Different Paths ago
Chapter 56: Naming and Sculpting Futures ago
Chapter 57: Terrain and Entourages ago
Chapter 58: Planning Around the Mana Vents ago
Quick Announcement: Patreon Chapters Increased for Higher Tiers ago
Chapter 59: Group Dynamics ago
Chapter 60: Wrangling the Herd ago
Chapter 61: Trust ago
Chapter 62: Glyphs and Quicksilver ago
Chapter 63: Unsafety in the Cells ago
Chapter 64: Benefits of the Talented ago
Chapter 65: Armwrestling Wizard's Hand ago
Chapter 66: The Summoning ago
Chapter 67: Beyond the Material World ago
Chapter 68: The Devil that You Know... ago
Chapter 69: Expanding Perspectives ago
Chapter 70: Different Paths in Life ago
Chapter 71: Gains in Mass and Mana ago
Chapter 72: For and Against Pride ago
Chapter 73: A 'Handy' Breakthrough ago
Chapter 74: Ghosts of the Past I (Interlude) ago
Chapter 75: Ghosts of the Past II (Interlude) ago
Chapter 76: The Path Alone ago
Chapter 77: Fire and Coils ago
Chapter 78: Many Hands Make Light Work ago
Announcement: Final Patreon Tier and Top Web Fiction ago
Chapter 79: An Elemental Battle ago
Chapter 80: Pack Tactics ago
Chapter 81: Fire and Midterms ago
Chapter 82: Challenge ago
Chapter 83: A Mana Monster ago
Chapter 84: Growing Bonds ago
Chapter 85: Chancellors, Ships and Priests ago
Chapter 86: Pirate Tales and Dances ago
Chapter 87: A Fine Evening and Anxious Morning ago
Chapter 88: The Interview ago
Chapter 89: Honours ago
Chapter 90: Isolde's Pressure ago
Chapter 91: The Rally ago
Chapter 92: The Demons ago
Chapter 93: The Chancellor's Power ago
Chapter 94: The Weight of Secrets ago
Chapter 95: The First Meeting of the Cabal ago
Chapter 96: Taking a Chance ago
Chapter 97: Ram's Forceful Guidance ago
Chapter 98: The Cleansing Movements ago
Chapter 99: Family Time ago
Special Announcement: Discord Server! ago
Chapter 100: The Masks that are Worn ago
Chapter 101: Nostalgic Recipes and Warnings ago
Chapter 102: The Festival of Ghosts ago
Chapter 103: Opportunities and Exams ago
Chapter 104: Golem Sculpting and the Sky-Ship ago
Chapter 105: Dryads ago
Chapter 106: The Stand-Off ago
Chapter 107: Haste and Lateness ago
Chapter 108: Secret Analysis ago
Chapter 109: Essence of Dungeon ago
Chapter 110: Preparing to do Horrifying Things ago
Chapter 111: Direction and Redirection ago
Chapter 112: Beneath the Barrens ago
Chapter 113: The Skeletal Ruins ago
Chapter 114: Names Left Behind ago
Chapter 115: Traps ago
Chapter 116: Creeping Doom ago
Chapter 117: Gateways and Redesigns ago
Chapter 118: Unreliable Lateness ago
Chapter 119: The Core's Properties ago
Chapter 120: Design Improvements ago
Chapter 121: Hunt-mania ago
Chapter 122: Rampage ago
Chapter 123: The Opportunist ago
Chapter 124: Lances, Cries and Shock ago
Chapter 125: The Impetus of Death ago
Chapter 126: Consultation and a Leap of Trust ago
Chapter 127: The Chancellor's Reaction ago
Chapter 128: A Proposition ago
Chapter 129: Allies ago
Chapter 130: Forging a Body and Plan ago
Chapter 131: Stealing the Enemy's Weapon ago
Chapter 132: The Forging ago
Chapter 133: The Hunters (Interlude) ago
Chapter 134: The Nest ago
Chapter 135: The Xyrthak ago
Chapter 136: A Cold Delivery ago
Chapter 137: Cuts, Teeth and Mana ago
Chapter 138: The Path of Proper Wizards ago
Chapter 139: Frozen Doors and Crooked Rectangles ago
Chapter 140: The Talk ago
Chapter 141: Rumble in the Alley ago
Chapter 142: A Hunger for Vengeance and Mana ago
Chapter 143: Escape and Hunting ago
Chapter 144: The Beating ago
Chapter 145: Preparing the Specimen ago
Chapter 146: The World's Worst Teabag ago
Chapter 147: The Siphoning ago
Chapter 148: Roth; or, The Magical Prometheus ago
Chapter 149: Hunters' Gathering (Interlude) ago
Chapter 150: Isolde's Dread ago
Chapter 151: Preparing for a Long-Awaited Party ago
Chapter 152: Reflections Under Moonlight ago
Chapter 153: A Dance of Minotaurs ago
Chapter 154: Shadows in the Garden ago
Chapter 155: A Battle of Masks and Claws ago
Chapter 156: Claygon ago
Chapter 157: A Duel in Dust ago
Chapter 158: A Successful Operation ago
Chapter 159: Bouncing Back ago
Chapter 160: Reaffirmation ago
Chapter 161: A Journey From Tree to Tree ago
Chapter 162: The Expedition and the Doodle (End of Book 1) ago
Chapter 163: The Heroes' Struggle (Book 2 Begins) ago
Chapter 164: The Corrupt Fool in Paradise ago
Chapter 165: The Final Hunt of First Year ago
Chapter 166: Rumbling Earth ago
Chapter 167: Earth Magic and New Beginnings ago
Chapter 168: The Final Debrief and Youth ago
Chapter 169: The Migration ago
Chapter 170: Birthdays and Spell-Guides ago
Chapter 171: Blood Magic and Incoming Visitors ago
Chapter 172: The Hydra and the Beast ago
Chapter 173: A Little Magical Botany Class of Horrors ago
Chapter 174: Respect and Questions ago
Chapter 175: Binding Circles ago
Chapter 176: The Power of Names ago
Chapter 177: The War-Spirit ago
Chapter 178: Relations Across the Planes ago
Chapter 179: Messenger Constructs and Limits ago
Chapter 180: New Prey ago
Chapter 181: Kitchen Nightmares ago
Chapter 182: The Rain ago
Chapter 183: Honey & Wine ago
Chapter 184: Wasp and Strange Circumstance ago
Chapter 185: Raging Wasp ago
Chapter 186: The Night of Long Stingers ago
Chapter 187: Reflections on Death ago
Chapter 188: The Patterns and Scripts of Time (Interlude) ago
Chapter 189: Like a Marriage (Interlude) ago
Chapter 190: A Brewing Rivalry ago
Chapter 191: Old Acquaintances and Reunions ago
Chapter 192: Rumours ago
Chapter 193: The First Briefing...and a Big Mouth ago
Chapter 194: Digging a Hole ago
Chapter 195: Beneath the Garden ago
Chapter 196: Magic Mushrooms ago
Chapter 197: The Birthday and the Rainbow Tower ago
Chapter 198: The Talk ago
Chapter 199: Prepping for the Grand Battle ago
Chapter 200: Strange Offers and Strange Summonings ago
Chapter 201: Travelling from the Deep ago
Chapter 202: Debts ago
Chapter 203: Revelations (Interlude) ago
Chapter 204: Chasing Vermin ago
Chapter 205: In a White Room with No Curtains ago
Chapter 206: Alex Roth Goes to Jail (Maybe) ago
Chapter 207: Resolution ago
Chapter 208: Nonaggression and Reading Lies ago
Chapter 209: Scouting Out The Grounds ago
Chapter 210: Posturing ago
Chapter 211: Lightweight ago
Chapter 212: The Prince vs. The Mad Wrangler ago
Chapter 213: The Prince and The Goblin ago
Chapter 214: Super-heavyweight ago
Chapter 215: Four Arms vs. Ten ago
Chapter 216: A Rain of Fists ago
Chapter 217: Mirrored Golems ago
Chapter 218: Vesuvius ago
Chapter 219: Powerlifting ago
Chapter 220: Fire in the Sky ago
Chapter 221: Archers and Cowards ago
Chapter 222: Reverent Archery ago
Chapter 223: Deific Need ago
Chapter 224: Great Hunts on Land and Sea ago
Chapter 225: Loss and Resolve (Theresa) ago
Chapter 226: Melee (Theresa) ago
Chapter 227: The Clash (Theresa) ago
Chapter 228: Heading to The Grand Battle ago
Chapter 229: The Grand Battle Begins ago
Chapter 230: Shock and Awe ago
Chapter 231: Vanishing Point ago
Chapter 232: Confrontation of Arrow and Word ago
Chapter 233: Bait ago
Chapter 234: The Battle of the Grasses ago
Chapter 235: Divine Wind ago
Chapter 236: Cutting In ago
Chapter 237: Double Elimination ago
Chapter 238: The Rising ago
Chapter 239: Fanaticism and Divinity ago
Chapter 240: The Wrinkle of Recognition ago
Chapter 241: The Prey that Fights ago
Chapter 242: Reckoning ago
Chapter 243: Mine ago
​​Chapter 244: The Bonds that Heal ago
Chapter 245: The Bonds that Harm ago
Chapter 246: Getting to Know Someone ago
Chapter 247: Demonic Reconnaissance ago
Chapter 248: Justice and Blood ago
Chapter 249: Life to Mana ago
Chapter 250: Flowers for the Fallen ago
Chapter 251: Memories, Recognition and Inheritance ago
Chapter 252: Grand Gifts and Unholy Friendships ago
Chapter 253: Scars ago
Chapter 254: An Ancient Search ago
Chapter 255: Late Summer Days ago
Chapter 256: Birthdays and Miserable Businessmen ago
Chapter 257: Fingers and Departures ago
Chapter 258: Family’s Parting on the Eve of Change ago
Chapter 259: Finals and Final Preparations ago
Chapter 260: The Usurper Returns ago
Chapter 261: Cycles and Struggles ago
Chapter 262: Greymoor ago
Chapter 263: One’s Territory ago
Chapter 264: Foul Bargaining ago
Chapter 265: The Battle of the Bog ago
Chapter 266: The Prisoner ago
Chapter 267: The Lean Times and Time of Plenty ago
Chapter 268: Uldar’s Apostles ago
Chapter 269: The Fae Wilds ago
Chapter 270: The Fae Lord ago
Chapter 271: The Offer ago
Chapter 272: Interlopers ago
Chapter 273: The First Survey's End ago
Chapter 274: The First Blood Magic Class ago
Chapter 275: Blood and Whine ago
Chapter 276: Patches, Circuits and Knots ago
Chapter 277: The Three Spells ago
Chapter 278: Elemental Experiments ago
Chapter 279: Unexpected Breakthrough ago
Chapter 280: Necessity in Discovery ago
Chapter 281: The Final Hunter ago
Chapter 282: The Arrival ago
Chapter 283: Recognition ago
Chapter 284: A Gathering of Heroes ago
Chapter 285: The Heroes Go Forth ago
Chapter 286: Heroic Battle ago
Chapter 287: The Blood-Hydra ago
Chapter 288: Fire and Retreat ago
Chapter 289: Dungeon Attack Plan ago
Chapter 290: Magical Reconnaissance ago
Chapter 291: The Delve ago
Chapter 292: Hand on Glass ago
Chapter 293: Breaking Walls ago
Chapter 294: Storming the Final Chamber ago
Chapter 295: The Battle of Chitterer Dungeon ago
Chapter 296: Harvest ago
Chapter 297: Sowing the Seeds ago
Chapter 298: Enchantment and Dodging Questions ago
Chapter 299: Brewing Allies ago
Chapter 300: And Just One More Thing... ago
Chapter 301: The Sage Contemplates a Third Option ago
Chapter 302: Reflections and Questions ago
Chapter 303: Aftermaths ago
Chapter 304: Dark Allies and Operation Grand Summoning Ascension ago
Chapter 305: Learning & Teaching ago
Chapter 306: The Evil Wizard Val'Rok ago
Chapter 307: The Spiral ago
Chapter 308: Ugly Behaviour ago
Chapter 309: Partners, Spirals and Tempting Fate ago
Chapter 310: Night Attack and Planning a Trap ago
Chapter 311: Movements in Sanctuaries of Magic and Faith ago
Chapter 312: Learnings in the Market ago
Chapter 313: For Science! ago
Chapter 314: Morning Amusement and Power ago
Chapter 315: Those that Have Faded ago
Chapter 316: An Explosion of Chaos ago
Chapter 317: A Fallout of Dust ago
Chapter 318: The Potential Horrors of Discovery ago
Chapter 319: A Wizard's Integrity ago
Chapter 320: The Set Up of Mercantile Schemes ago
Chapter 321: Dance and Ignition ago
Chapter 322: The Mana Fountain ago
Chapter 323: Sleep Demon ago
Chapter 324: Warping Flesh ago
Chapter 325: A Special Kind of Training ago
Chapter 326: A Moment of Tension ago
Chapter 327: New Sources of Power ago
Chapter 328: Assessing Each Other ago
Chapter 329: A Bigger Fish ago
Chapter 330: Treachery in the Dark ago
Chapter 331: Curtains of Tension ago
Chapter 332: An Impressive Demonstration ago
Grand Announcement: Paperback, Audiobook and E-book! ago
Chapter 333: The Shedding of Filth ago
Chapter 334: Like a Titan From the Tales of Old ago
Chapter 335: A Theft of a Sapling ago
Chapter 336: A Lack of Repentance ago
Chapter 337: For a Price of Three Wasps ago
Chapter 338: An Otherworldly Muster ago
Chapter 339: The Summoner's Commands ago
Chapter 340: The Fruits of Summoned Labour ago
Chapter 341: Make Like a Tree and Leave ago
Chapter 342: The Hunted ago
Chapter 343: A Living Clue ago
Chapter 344: Months in the Making ago
Chapter 345: Considering Dead Clues ago
Chapter 346: Fighting Fire with Fire ago
Chapter 347: Alexander Roth ago
Chapter 348: A "Triumphant" Return ago
Chapter 349: Just Communication ago
Chapter 350: Confounding the Confounding Variables ago
Chapter 351: Ancient Rituals and New Applications ago
Chapter 352: The Origin of Affinities ago
Chapter 353: The Changing Flame ago
Chapter 354: Redundancies ago
Chapter 355: Convenience ago
Chapter 356: One Person's Entrance... ago
Chapter 357: ...is another's wall ago
Chapter 358: Uldar's Guidance ago
Chapter 359: Usurpers ago
Chapter 360: The Challenges of Faith ago
Chapter 361: Challenged Beliefs and Alternate Plans ago
Chapter 362: Suppositions and Stories ago
Chapter 363: Heroic Tricks and Divine Gifts ago
Chapter 364: Convictions ago
Chapter 365: The Next Stage ago

Leave a review

Reviews
Sort by:
JasonFantastico
Overall

The best chapters of this story, writing-wise, are the ones where the main character doesn't appear at all. 

The author is in love with his protagonist and is determined that you WILL love him as well. The guy is a genius at everything, everyone likes him, literally. He's funny, kind, smart, hard-working, etc etc. He has no negative personality traits whatsoever and never makes a mistake. Every idea he suggests everyone instantly agrees with. Any chance he takes always pays off. Any time he needs money, some falls in his lap. Any stranger he meets always takes the time to teach him some rare skill or give him some useful tip. No one ever doesn't like him, and if they do, they are evil and are soon dealt with. No matter what rule he breaks, the teachers just tousle his hair and tell him not to do it again. 

All of his friends and teachers essentially exist just to praise him and have side conversations where they talk to each other about how amazing he is. Professors fight over who will mentor him. Thousand year old magicians think he is rare and amazing and are astonished at how cool he is. No consequence for any of his choices ever negatively impacts him. The story is just him going from the best day of his life to the next best day of his life, over and over. It's frankly just ridiculous. 

He is given a Mark that stops him from being an offensive combatant in any way at all, we're told, and then every chapter of the book he finds a way around that limitation. It's pointless because it doesn't stop him from killing everything he wants to kill. The main character's girlfriend is basically exactly the same thing. They both do something for an hour and are amazing at it, better than the experts. They each put on 20lbs of muscle a month or something silly like that. The whole thing is a fantasy really. 

To me the absolutely worst thing the author does is he constantly makes references to other movies, books, etc and seems to think that makes the book better somehow. Every chapter he will have the characters talk about Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jaws, Frankenstein or whatever and it's so immersion breaking that I can't believe the author thinks it's a good idea but apparently they do and will even add a comment to the start of each chapter telling everyone to check out their cool new reference. I just think that is such a huge mistake I don't know what to even tell you about it. You want the reader to be able to lose themself in the story and the constant references to other works makes that impossible. 

Lately the author has picked up the habit of narrating fight scenes the way the 1960's Batman tv show did, with constant "BAM!" or "POW!" exclamations to punctuate strikes and that is beyond silly to me as well. 

This story is the opposite of "show, don't tell". You are explicitly told everything you are supposed to think about each character. If two people are in love, multiple characters will remark that they are in love. If a guy has a corny sense of humor, multiple characters will tell you that he has a corny sense of humor. If someone is a badass, multiple characters will tell you he's a badass. It would be so much smoother and more organic to just show the reader these things but apparently the author is scared that someone won't "get it" so everything has to be spelled out over and over. 

When the protagonist is not present, as in the chapters featuring the "bad guys," none of these problems are present at all. The narrative is fluid and engaging. As soon as the protagonist pops up, it goes back to being Gary Stu fan service. I know some people will be fine with that but I just can't deal with it anymore. I thought at first it was just a new author getting the hang of things but it's become obvious that it's a series of deliberate choices they're making and it is just impossible to lose yourself in a fantasy story where everyone loves the hero all the time and the hero aces every test he takes and can outmaneuver gods and demons with no problem and basically just has everything go his way 100% of the time.

So basically it's 2 stars for the constant repetitive praising of the hero and 5 stars for the great writing of every chapter the hero isn't in. The problem is that the hero isn't in about 1% of the chapters so there's just too much of the bad stuff to wade through. 

The_Howitzer
Overall

Great read at first, then boring

Reviewed at: Chapter 177: The War-Spirit

UnstoppableJuggernaut has modified an otherwise overdone YA trope (MC is a chosen one of some sort) and combined it the personality of the MC to make it their own unique story. The plot hooks are solid and the first arc of the story was so good that I couldn't put it down! However, the story winds down afterwards by an order of magnitude and devolves into a borderline Mary Sue story whose plot also happens to go at a crawl. 

I honestly think that everything after Alex reaches Wizard College needs to be re-written and condensed. If you can see this UnstoppableJuggernaut, please consider my opinion on this one. I think if you did a re-write, you would make something great. 

The read later on is decent at best and outright boring at worst. With that said, the framework of an amazing story is still there, and I can see greatness on the horizon!

I am only reviewing so harshly because I know the author can do better. I know because I read the first arc of Mark of the Fool and it was awesome! 

Maxsimal
Overall

As with many stories on RR, this one doesn't manage to keep what quality it has in the start.

The key factor in it's decline is that the main character becomes too much of a Marty Stu, and gets far too much plot armor.  Now, there is a lot of build up to this, this is true, which made it worth reading for a while.  But it didn't feel like a book where the MCs only purpose was to be a flawless paragon, they have friends to cover their weaknesses.  That has gotten lost with the latest batch of work, and I find that I've lost any interest I had due to this.

A secondary issue is that it often feels just too tropey and cliche.  It basically trends toward a more and more YA audience, losing any cleverness overtime that make good YA books stand out.

Varus Praetor
Overall

Inconsistent pacing and lack of urgency

Reviewed at: Chapter 108: Secret Analysis

I actually dislike stories like this more than ones that are purely bad.  With an obviously bad story, you don't waste your time.  Here there is enough good things that the flaws feel particularly glaring.

There are two major flaws that are interlinked to really drag the story down and make for a frustrating read.  The story starts with a bang, you have a major threat arise and the MC is dragged into things, but choses to essentially run away in order to grow stronger before being forced to confront the Big Bad.  That's great and makes sense in the context of the story.  What we get after that though is an inconsistent mishmash of training or experimentation that furthers the MC's goal, with slow tangents about cooking, festivals, or sight seeing excursions.  The MC has access to incredible resources that might be able to help resolve his issues with the Mark of the Fool, but does absolutely nothing with them because "he's afraid of people finding out about the Mark."  There is ZERO justifciation given for why he might be afraid, even fear of the priests can't be leveraged because they are banned from the school campus by his demi-god of a Chancelor.

Overall, the spell experimentation is interesting and I enjoy the world, but the MC is a bit of an idiot and it's made explicitly clear that while he's crowing about how great the pie he just baked is, people in his homeland are suffering and the other heroes are facing extreme challenges.  This undercuts any attempt at making the MC seem admirable or brave, he comes off instead as a foolish coward squandering resources that could be used to resolve the threat to his home. A perfect example is that he pushes himself in his potions class to get approval for self experimentation so he can analyze a substance he has.  When all he had to do was just ask his professor to do it for him, there's no justification given for why he should be afraid of her finding out about the substance and in light of the experiments SHE is performing, his worries amount to nothing at all.

Kymmou485
Overall

It ignores what made it unique to begin with

Reviewed at: Chapter 221: Archers and Cowards

The protagonist works so hard to  overcome his weaknesses in magic and combat that he forgets about his strengths. Alex is neither a magician nor a fighter, he is a fool.

This doesn't mean that he shouldn't learn magic or how to handle himself in combat, but that the odds are heavily stacked against him, and he has to put in double the effort for half the gain. Again, he is ignoring what makes him strong.

Alex's mark makes anything unrelated to combat, magic or divinity pathetically easy, by showing him the correct ways of doing what he wants to do.

So then, what could alex do to capitalize on his strengths? He could easily abuse the mark to do things like:

Increase his persuasion skills, skyrim style, and then gather many allies and subordinates; Learn how to read expressions to see if someone is lying; Become a merchant or something and get rich; Learn about strategy and tactics...

There are just so many things that alex could abuse, but I didn't see him even considering these other options, that suit him so well.

This story would be 100x better if Alex stopped obssessing on the weaknesses he can't fix, and learn to compensate them with his true strengths and with other people he can trust.

Alex has to accept this reality or he will never take advantage of his full potential, and the story will never be more than just decent.

MulBe039
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The majority of this story has the main character sitting in different classes learning about magic, using a godgiven power to be better at learning than everybody else.

I can see the author is enthusiastic about this story, and this might very well be exactly what some people might be looking for, but the beginning of this story promises an adventure which never comes and is instead replaced by years of school and magic education without any stakes or exploration.

Everything is extremely predictable and the fights are actually the most tedious part of the story since most of them are part of the curriculum and are therefore won by default.

There are no real stakes in this story or at the very least there never really is a moment where it seems like the MCs or his entourage is in any kind of risk of loosing

If the intended audience for this book actually was 13-year olds, I would maybe give this a slightly higher rating, but the story relies too much on anecdotes from university-life for this to be accurate.

While the worldbuilding is pretty solid and the world of this story  seems interesting, the actions of the characters are pretty boring and repetitive.

The fact that this a story about a guy sitting in school makes the delivery of exposition somewhat believable since there is always some lecture explaining something, but even then there are conversations between characters only for the sale of explaining/advancing the plot.

Grammar is acceptable, tough there are some mistakes here and there, which could be avoided trough simple proofreading.

The author seems to be aware that what ge is cobbling together is essentially a story which is an amalgamation of known tropes, their subversions and hommages to existing work without ever creating anything that is truly their own.

As such, this is a middle-of the pack story, and is rated as such.

TrashWithGlasses
Overall

Excellent introduction, poor everything else

Reviewed at: Chapter 78: Many Hands Make Light Work

 Thi book has a very strong start. There isn't much to say when it comes to this: after chapter 3 or so, I was already invested in the story, it was simply really good. Then, the MC reaches the magic school. AND. NOTHING. HAPPENS. 

Users:  , and , and many others are 100% RIGHT in their reviews; and some even offered solutions to make this an amazing story, like user: . Chapter after chapter, page after page, everything reads like... filler? So you can understand how much relaxed the story became after the intro of the story, the MC's objectives started to be measured in YEARS into the future of his studies... And at chapter 70, he's, like, having classes for 2 months or so.

 Dude, it's even hard to say that the person who wrote the beginning of this book is the same one writing after chapters 15-20ish. I don't know if it was a case of "too-many-Patreons-too-quickly-time-to-drag-the story-as-much-as-possible" or something, but, unfortunately, it became just a boring book, which tries to convince you that seeing the MC looking for a job in a factory is fun.

Skepto
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

If you can look past the logical fallacies...

Reviewed at: Chapter 17: Out into the Light

The characters of the story feel very flat, with little depth to them. It feels as if I'm looking at actors reading from a script, rather than people who each have their own beliefs, morals, and values. Especially a lot of the humor feels very contrived, rather than arising spontaneously. I can't give an exact definition of why it feels this way, but it feels as if the world is rotating around the main character, rather than the main character being a part of the world.

The grammar of the story is impeccable, with no flaws that I noticed. The style of the story isn't something that is bad, but it doesn't greatly stand out either. There's nothing that I can point out that says "Only this author writes in this way."

The story and world building is actually interesting and engaging. The chosen hero concept has been done to death, but this is an interesting take on it, with the main character actively fleeing from said duty. My biggest complaint is that the story suffers heavily from Assumption Syndrome.

Assumption Syndrome is when a character makes a completely baseless assumption, that they couldn't possibly have guessed without prior knowledge, but they turn out to be right because of plot convience. A good example would be Sherlock Holmes. He walks into theoretical crime scene and sees a wine bottle, and immediately guesses the wine was poisoned by a threatened butler, whose family is held hostage by the local kingpen. There's no way anyone could have possibly guessed all that just from seeing a wine bottle, but he's "so smart", so it's waved off.

To list a couple of such instances in the story. 

The main character is attacked by a bug monster, and immediately assumes they must have been the soldier version of their species, and that there must also be a worker version of the species, because of course all bugs are basically ants right? How would a character in a mideval fantasy world even know about ant hive structures?

Another instance is when the main character accidently controls an evil dungeon core and immediately assumes there must be a shadow government organization that is keeping all this hidden. Because obviously the previous heros that went missing had tried the same insane act of interfacing with an evil dungeon core after defeating hordes of monsters, and had been killed off for their knowledge.

If you can look past the many logical fallacies that grace the book, it's a decent read. It's not a litRPG or harem, so it's already unique compared to 90% of the other power fantasies on this site. I don't have a problem with either of those genres, but you have to ask yourself, do we really need another one? Thankfully this novel answers that question with a resounding "No!"

Nameless32
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Edit as of 02/20/2022: This is officially the longest single piece of literature I have ever read. Pretty cool, if you think about it. Excited to finally get back to the ravener plotline!

I swear, Mark of the Fool is going to hit trending HARD in the coming weeks. This story is just about everything you want from a good RR story without the drawbacks that normally come from this format. There's great plot, amazing writing, complex characters, and brilliant fights - all wrapped up in one awesome package. Before I get into that, though, here's some things to note.

I'm a fan of the author's previous works, and had the good fortune of being able to read this story before it got posted here. Thus, I have more to work with than the 60 pages currently up, and might reference vague "future events". The author also has a history of completing whatever he starts, which might be reassuring for those cautious of drops.

Now that I've gotten those disclaimers out of the way, let's get right into things!

Like some reviews before this have said, the prose here is good. Like, really good. Some of the best on the site level good. If I could give this section a 6/5, I would. Normally, RR's writing tends to be fairly minimalistic, and a lot of stories with fancy flourishes end up having the prose detract from the actual story. Not this one, though. All of UnstoppableJuggernaut's writing enhances the story, making the story and characters come alive in your mind in a way I rarely see on RR. It's never too much, never too purple. Just the right amount to make your reading experience 5x better. I swear, if for nothing else, read this story for the actual writing.

Of course, that isn't to say that there's nothing else about this story that's worthwhile. Even if you don't care at all for prose, the story and characters more than carry the book on their own. You could say that the plot of Mark of the Fool is a twice-subversion of traditional fantasy plot. He doesn't get the Chosen One Amazing Hero Mark, and he doesn't go out to fight the dark lord. Instead, the MC carves his own path and tries to evade getting dragged into the grand quest as much as he can. Basically, the MC actually gets to drive the plot forwards by himself, and it only gets better in the future.

He's also much more realistic than some protagonists can be. He's rational and clever, but he still has emotions. For a spoiler example (chapter 3):

We can take the scene where he gets the Mark. At first, he reacts negatively, because he doesn't want any Mark, and especially not the Mark of the Fool. However, after he gets some time to process the situation, he immediately starts testing the Mark's capabilities in order to see what he can do with it, and if he's able to exploit it at all.

His catchphrase is even "Think. Adapt," which should tell you everything you need to know about his character.

It's not just the MC who gets to be "an actual character", though. All the side characters are interesting, which is something I see in very few fics on RR. Even the kinda-sorta-antagonist-figure is semi-likeable, when it could have been easy to make them human trash. The banter between the MC and his companions is heart-warming and genuinely funny sometimes, and it offers some nice contrast to the tension of the rest of the story.

Just a warning: There is a romantic subplot, though it's minor and handled wayyyy better than your typical romance is. I personally enjoyed it, and you can rest assured the characters aren't going to do stupid things because they were "blinded by love" or anything.

There is a very slight nitpick I have to give, and it's honestly almost unfair of me to give Mark of the Fool's story score a 4.5 because of this when it's really more like a 4.9. That very slight nitpick is that the beginning takes just a tad longer to get to the meat of things than RR may prefer. This may come down to, as another review said, the "Trad Quality" of the story, because in a bookstore I probably wouldn't blink at an intro twice this length. It's also chock-full of still-interesting moments that I wouldn't mind reading it even at twice the length. I'm just nitpicking because the most likely reason a reader is to pick up this book might take a bit longer than expected to appear.

Anyways, I've rambled on for long enough, so let's wrap things up. Overall, I couldn't praise this story enough. It's all the best qualities of progression mixed with the masterful prose and characters of a professional. No stat screens in this one, but it doesn't need them to be interesting. Like I said, this will hit trending like a truck, so why not get in now while it's still young? I promise, it only gets better in the future.

kkarakk
Overall

Starts out very strong - a semi-high fantasy tale of godly power that comes with unfortunate consequences.   

However after the first arc turns into Harry Potter, MC finds a group of friends, an overpowered Deus ex machina and even bumbles his way into the good graces of Dumbledore...i mean Baelin the chancellor.   

 

After that point I'm afraid all sense of intrigue and interest vanishes. Turns into a bog standard magic highschool story with weak rivalries and coddled students (and don't forget about monstrously powerful headmasters...i mean chancellor's!). Even has a tournament arc...    

I understand what the author is going for but i feel like the focus of the story has changed and the author bait and switched me.   

Maybe I'll read it someday when it's completed and i can fast forward past the school bs and get back to what the story was initially about. Which at this point feels like something that will happen YEARS in the future. Good luck patreon subscribers.