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.
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. When that happens, I'll add the Strong Lead tag.
Fights: Fights will be detailed.
Stuff this story won't have:
- Extreme grimdark content
- Murderhobo plots
- Edgy, anti-hero MC
- Pacifist MC
- Overall Score
- Style Score
- Story Score
- Grammar Score
- Character Score
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The basic technical skills of the author are quite sound, which is why it's so baffling that everything else is so lackluster.
It starts with a complete absence of character building -- we have no idea who Alex or his sister or his love interest are before they're jammed down our throat doing grand adventures.
The exploitation of the Mark of the Fool is about as clever as kindergartener, and about as believable as one of them throwing magic spells around -- we're supposed to believe that no one else thought of aiming near but not at enemies? Give me a break.
I wanted to like it. I hated it.
the story overall seems quite cool, the settings, seems quite interesting.
my only issue is the romance subplot ,the author went through the cliche route, childhood friend, who force herself into mc party (who basically seems the archetype of young noble woman who want adventure etc)
the author has basically used the most boring possible route, it would have been more interesting to see mc just escape with his sister... but nope....
this reinforce my idea, that short of the romance, being interesting or important to the plot it is to be avoided.
P.S i admit that the romance has pissed me off , so i rated this while being triggered, maybe i will increase it of half a star o maybe i won't not sure tbh.
So, like many others novels and popular manga, our MC became the least popular hero out of a four heroes party that got branded every century or so.
However this is not a copy and past of the Rise of the Shield Hero.
Instead of getting angry at his misfortune, accepting his fate like a good boy or to go his own way to prove anyone else wrong, our MC simply decide not to answer the call and to go to a wizardry academy to fullfill his lifelong dream.
Giving himself the time to grow, he is slowly becoming overpowered, with the casual pace of a slice of life family-friendly story. This is totally something I would read to a seven years old kid as a bedtime story and yet, enjoy myself as an adult.
The characters have some depth build up over those 100 chapters so far, and while I was worried at first for the MC was the typical analitycal/rational MC at the start, he grew into something more than that and I'm rooting more for the MC now that I was at the start of this novel.
However, the main selling point of this novel isn't its original plot or its glowing characters but the style. Even if you never liked slice of life and slow-paced story, you might fall in love with this one for there is always something relevant and fun happening.
I don't know how much the author have thought about but each chapter is bringing something new to the table. So even if it's slow-paced, I think it would deserve to be called lore-rich. Whenever this story would reach its end and given its popularity, I think someone would have trouble making a comprehensive wiki about the novel world.
It has the potential to be as story-rich as Pathfinder and so far, we only had been visiting three cities with a main focus on Generasi, the Mage City, where must of the action is taking place. I could say that the lore might explode once the MC graduate from the sheer amount of details the authors is giving to us readers.
And the best part is that it doesn't feel like an overload of details either, just a springle of details from each chapter which is slowly growing into a thriving fantasy universe I would enjoy make my own D&D campaign.
As for the Grammar... sure there is some mistakes here and there but the author is really community driven so those mistakes are not lasting long. Plus, I'm not a native english speaker and I'm not a grammar facist so I don't have a single thing to say about Grammar. It sound good enough for me.
This is my celebration review for the 100th chapter anniversary. And so far, I have been pleasantly surprised that the author consistently kept the pace of about five chapters a week. This is really hard a feat to pull off so that much should be worth a little extra on the overall score.
I strongly recommend this novel. Enjoy.
And hopefully, see you on this novel next anniversary!
I really like this story. You can see how much thought the author put into every little part of it. Every chapter ends with a light cliffhanger that makes it rather hard to stop reading. Additionally the worldbuilding is phenomenal. All descriptions are very natural and don't stop the flow of the story.
Grammar is pretty close to perfect. At no point did it influence my reading experience in a negative way.
The one thing that I can critique is character building. Especially in early chapters the characters don't seem... real, I guess.
The worst offender is MC love interest (although no romance actually happened yet) Theresa who is just a little too perfect. She makes MC look like a bumbling fool just by existing. It does get better though and by now I actively enjoy MC and his sister, and tolerate Teresa in small doses.
When the MC gets to his destination we also meet an assortment of new characters, every one of them unique and a delight to read about.
The style is actually quite good and I don't have anything negative to say about that but it lacks that spark of character (or individualism, or whatever you would call it) that would make it stand out.
TL;DR I would recommend this story for it's interesting concept and breath taking worldbuilding but it really starts to shine (character-wise) about ch30
Competently written, no outstanding errors or obvious word padding. I like the MC's cheat power's potential, the limitations and gaming them tickles my progression fantasy fancies.
Lacks a hook in the opening chapters to draw you in. Story and humor are fairly predictable. I like RPGs but the first dungeon arc was meh. Pacing is rather slow, entertainment vs word count was pretty low and I found it hard to keep reading. Dropped after 35 chapters.
The main idea of the five marks is intriguing. It is similar to other ideas of 'chosen ones', especially in isekai type stories, but the actual story and plot is much different from those. It mixes the 'chosen ones' idea with a type of plot where it is not normally used.
While there is not enough posted to flesh out the systems(magic/mark/etc.) used in the story it does seem like the basis for a somewhat unique blend of genres.
I'm seeing a lot of reviews gush over this story, also seeing that most of those reviews were made within the first 30~ish chapters, the pacing kinda starts committing suicide around ch 20 and is mostly dead by chapter 30 which means you'll start really FEELING how dead it is by the time you get to chapter 40....
Which means past chapter 40~ish you'll start seeing the story's true colors after the much more interesting intro arc.
To put into perspective how the pacing dies with some (rather vague) spoilers
it takes him 25 chapters to get to the city with the magic school (which he heads right to but it takes him like 3 chapters to take a taxi...)
Then he's pretty much just dicking around doing a bunch of nothing until around 40 chapters in, finally by 50 chapters in he's starting his first classes and by chapter 70 it finally feels like his first school year is in full swing...
That's 600+ pages of content, two novel's worth, for him to go from his hometown to magic school, and for him to start his first school year properly (still in the early school year! not like halfway through his first year or anything, no not even close! more like 2 weeks in!!!!)
For reference it took harry potter only about 300 pages to go from under a staircase to hogwartz, learn about the existance of magic, learn to do magic, go on a bunch of quests to find invisibility cloaks and fihgt trolls and whatnot and finish his first schoolyear!
The grammar is pretty decent, the style gets a star reduced for the dead pacing (and another star for just not bringing anything special to the table), and the characters again are pretty decent, I mean they're nothing special but at least they don't appear to be bending themselves over backwards to suit the narrative of the story, they all have some personality, even if it's all simple personalities.... It works.
But I have other issue with the story, which is why I rated the story so low, for one thing, there are some serious fallacies in there, the main premise of the story is that he gets a divine mark that grants him the ability to learn anything that is not magic, combat or holy shit; super freaking fast and become super freaking good at it with extreme ease... And it does this at least partially by just handing down the experiences of his predecessors who had the mark before him so he can learn from them (e.g. if another fool mastered a skill before him, he should be able to do it ridiculously easily)
But sometimes when it doesn't suit the author (cuz it'd accelerate the plot?) it's like he just forgets it's there. Like when he finally gets off his ass and starts exercising, his entire exercising routine consists of pushups, and he can only do 9 of them, and according to the author that's a heavy workout...
Which is absurd on so fucking many levels, I mean are you trying to tell me that no 'fool' before the protagonist ever had an exercise routine? Get outta here!
And not just that, but he also has this side character with him who is in good shape and clearly knows plenty about exercising right according to her character yet she doesn't see fit to correct that his ENTIRE exercise routine consist of only one exercise, and that one exercise isn't even something useful like running?!
She doesn't point out that maybe he should do squats too? or pullups?! Nor does his god-given superpower of deus ex machina~ism?
That's all just so absurd... (It highlights the author's lack of understanding of basic fitness, this is just an honest mistake obviously, the guy didn't do his research, didn't look into common fitness routines or anything, just went with whatever his own preconception of what exercise should be is, when clearly he's completely lacking knowledge on the subject, this mistake could be rectified by doing a little research and fixing it in his next draft... But I'm just trying to convey the idea of how infuriating some parts of the story can be... Especially since the author is smart enough to realize you can walk, breathe or run in a more 'right way', but the only thing about working out he appears to know is that you have to use the right form!)
And there's more, sometimes he's learning skills and seems to be able to do it almost instantaneously, other times it take shim weeks or months, there's no real consistency to it, it's just whatever floats the author's boat at the time of writing i guess.
But perhaps the story's biggest crime of all is blatant plagiarism (biggest reason for the low story score) I mean the guy has shoggoths and ancient ones just ripped right out of lovecraft's stories, just picks them up as they are and injects them into the story, also there are brief mentions of fairy tales from earth like snow white and a couple others (don't remember a specific one unfortunately) but it just sorta kills any sort of belief that this is supposed to be an original world; when there are so many things in it that are just ripped directly from other works of fiction and stuffed in there without even bothering to make changes to it at all.
I don't see a fanfic tag on this, this is not a call of cthulhu fanfic with a crossover to an original world, according to the tags, so why then.... does it have a crossover with call of cthulhu in it?
It's not cool, it's fucking lazy worldbuilding, worldbuilding via blatant plagiarism....
So no, this story is definitely not a 5/5, it doesn't deserve such a rating, and it is being quite significantly overhyped...
It is definitely being overhyped and you shouldn't raise your expectations too much...
But it is in the end quite an enjoyable read if you can look past it's major flaws, I'm enjoying it a lot more than I ever enjoyed defiance of the fall (which was a guilty pleasure until the quality dropped beyond the point where there was any sort of pleasure to be had, the quality deterioration rate of this story is significantly slower than in dotf at least so there's that)
It's a decent story to sink your time into when you have nothing better to read. wait a couple months to let the chapters pile up before you binge read them like 30 at a time or something.
I must give credit where credit is due though, the pacing of the story may be shit, like seems to be par for the course when it comes to webnovels, but the release rate of chapters is nothing short of superb. and if the author can keep that up without burning himself out then I will most certainly be returning to this story on a regular basis.
It's not so bad that I would call it guilty pleasure either, no, despite everything it's a mostly guilt free pleasure, that's the best part! I still enjoy reading it...
But unless I get like at least 5 chapters at a time, I will not be satisfied because the pacing is just so slow that if Ijust read one or two chapters at a time it'll feel like nothing really happened and that's something I try to avoid feeling.
Ultimately what keeps me interested here is that the premise coupled with the main plot it creates is quite interesting in my opinion. I recommend giving it a shot if you're interested, but if you're looking for a masterpiece, this ain't gonna be it.
The story and characters are good for the most part. Most other reviews cover the weird plot contrivances. I will be talking about where they come from as most reviews seem to not mention it.
Ch. 26 at time of writing, and for me this deserves to be in the "promoted" or whatever it's called section of the site. MC has a real problem, but adversity has taught him the correct lessons to "think, adapt, survive" in any situation.
Lots of room for conspiracies, action, magic, and I like what I've seen so far.
My major problems with this story is that the author has fallen into the trap of having an MC who everyone likes and admires and is impressed by and who excelss easily at everything he tries. Multiple scenes exist for no other reason than just to have someone in authority marvel at how amazing he is and tell him he is great. Anyone who doesn't like the MC or who finds him annoying is automatically a bad guy and anyone who is a good guy loves him. There is not a single example of a decent and kind person who just finds him annoying or even is just maybe not that amazed by his incredibleness. It's a common problem but still it's kind of annoying how far it's being taken here.
Other minor issues include the author's frequent use of italics for emphasis in weird ways that don't make any sense, and having a hero go to "magic school" and ace literally every single test in every single class and instantly grasp every esoteric subject he's presented with fully from his first day.
A major gripe of mine which may or may not bother you is that the author frequently, like once a chapter, includes some in-joke that is not funny and only serves to take you completely out of the fantasy and remind you that what you're really reading is someone's exercise in convincing other people how clever they are. Things like the MC fantasizing about Star Wars, his sister fantasizing about Harry Potter, mentioning fictional charaters from other works by name etc. Like his sister wonders if they use a hat to sort wizards with, it's that level of twee nonsense. It's just really immersion breaking and I don't like it.
Anyway in small doses this is very readable and enjoyable. When the author can find his way out of the "Everyone loves my MC" trap the story is entertaining, he just can't seem to stay out of it for long. It starts really well and after about 8 good chapters gets stuck in that but the last few published chapters have broadened the focus to include other characters besides the MC, characters the author doesn't want you to worship, and that has helped the overall readability quite a bit. The last chapter has established a foil for the hero that is both novel and interesting, and is probably the best-written chapter in a month so my hope is that the author sort of grows out of this obession with his MC being a wunderkid who can do it all, and introduces some actual challenges for the hero to overcome or maybe even fail to overcome. That would be more interesting than the unbroken string of magnificient successes we've been presented with so far.
So i guess what I'm trying to say is that it starts out good and gets a little twee and it seems like it might be getting good again so stay tuned.