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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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
I really like the premise for this one and I'm looking forward to how the author continues to deal with it. That said, the characters all feel a bit off. I think it's part dialogue and part decision making but I'm not much of a fan of how they interact. I also think I just do not share a sense of humor with the author at all.
It's kinda okay-ish but feels like a lot of wasted potential. Keeps dragging on waaaay too much. Some parts are really confusing as to what is going on and how we got there.
I am biased for this cause I hate the trope but sister and childhood friend are annoying and mostly useless... the eureka moments the child causes makes me go like: are you serious dude? You sure you got a brain in there?
if you like that trope you probably gonna enjoy it more than me. Grammar is good. Some details are intresting. I like the power the fool gets but the other heroes feel kinda lazy compared to it... like there is a theme going on and than the fool... so far it makes no sense why he is part of the hero party or why his power is so different from the others. I didn't read that far but there seems to be foreshadowing for another trope I hate so I'm out of here.
Also if that proves right it will make look one of the most retarded decisions the mc did seem like a good choice. Problem is he had no way of knowing it so it will just be dumb luck. From someone with the Think Adapt motto i'd expect a bit more.
It's only 4 chapters in but the story already has me hooked. Great pacing and the characters have a lot of depth. The plot is intriguing and I'm very interested in finding out the quirks of our Mcs 'gift' and if he is the only Fool to have figured it out so far or if there is a reason the others have not.
If the quality of the story stays this good, it will likely become one of my all-time favorites and this site. Highly reccomend giving it a shot.
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.
Mark of the Fool deserves its position in the top twenty, and at least five times its current following. In a span of ten chapters, the author has built a beautiful Universe, plenty of lore and introduced a loveable cast without info-dumping. That alone is a rare talent on Royal Road.
The prose is written in a rather classical style and flows beautifully. The narrative voice paints a beautiful picture of the protagonist's life and personality without overloading us with heavy introspection. The use of language and vocabulary is excellent too, and I can't find a fault in it.
Honestly, I don't know whether there are any grammatical errors in the prose. Not because I don't get English grammar, I have a decent understanding of it, but because the story entranced me to the point that I wasn't looking out for them. This also suggests there aren't jarring immersion-breaking issues, which is a major plus in my book.
Now, we get to the story. As of now, the plot is rather barebones, and the story feels more character-driven. We have the 'hero and his companions' trope in play and what looks like a future in a magic academy, but there isn't much going on besides that besides survival. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. The narration adds tension, the characters are colourful, and the dialogue is sharp. I'm happy to wait and see how the tail develops.
Finally, we get to where Mark of the Fool shines: the characters. We learn to hate Berrick in the opening and love our protagonist's nature. Then we meet the potential love interest, and she doesn't fit the stereotypes in most stories like this one. We got a stone-cold badass who the protagonist occasional pines over. The best part is, she has a Cerberus for a friend. That's right. She has a THREE-HEADED PUPPER. My username probably gives away my bias on this front. I'd like to see more dialogue from the little sister, though. She comes across as a level-headed young woman, and I'd love more character development there.
Overall: It's okay to be a fool. They're awesome, and you should read this.
I can at least say that the story is technically well written and readable. The main issues start cropping up once you get into an examination of the Fool's powers. He gets tripped up by self doubt and a cavalcade of all his mistakes when he tries edging in on the other heroes skills. Otherwise, he can preternaturally demonstrate mastery of skills. Fools are generally referred to as the hearts of the team. Basically Brock. From here, the world building shifts into taking a dump on the Fools. For some reason, everyone is just an absolute ass towards them. Heroes, betray them. Populace, deride them. It's like rising of the shield hero.
The issue comes up that the protagonist circumvents and ignores every restriction in no time flat. It taps into every aggrandizing trope from the rationality sphere as fast as humanly possible. It's as if the author fears that having some sort of handicap last more than one chapter will drive their audience away.
In summary, it does a bad job of being a rational fic by tapping into all the worse attributes of the genre.
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.
Overall: The Mark of the Fool is a promising start to a story that brims with possibilities, expected and unexpected adventures, believable characters, and a complex if not interesting plight for our protagonist, Alex. Having just reached the age of eighteen, Alex inherited a substantial sum from his tragically departed parents, and had big plans to join a mage college and become a master mage himself. Unfortunately, fate, and the “perhaps not so helpful” god Uldar, had other plans.
Discovering he has been “cursed” with the Mark of the Fool our Protagonist determines not to allow Uldar or anyone else to decide his fate. History shows that the Fool often perishes fighting the great evil that summons the chosen Heroes into being. Rather than die fighting alongside a party who doesn’t need him, or possibly even before reaching them for the final fight, this “Fool” will learn to Master the Mark and use it to pursue his goals.
Style: The writing is crisp, fresh, and to the point. Now and then the use of : to connect sentences that didn’t always feel connected, or clear, cropped up but I can only think of two occasions in the six chapters I read.
Story: The worldbuilding and history were artfully introduced and never felt like unnecessary exposition. The plight and goal of the Protagonist are well defined—but, and this is my only “grief” with the story,
his adaption and “overcoming” of the Mark’s drawbacks happened shockingly quick. Like…within minutes of discovering he even had this “curse” (as all Fool’s of the past no doubt perceived it).
To me, this delivered a premature “easy out” to what was the biggest conflict and hurdle our Protagonist is likely to face, at least as far as the first arc.
Is this being nitpicky? Possibly, and hopefully, other forms of conflict and setbacks will arise, but it did deflate my expectations of a more gradual progression of learning what the Mark was, how it worked, and how to overcome and even turn it into a benefit. Just thinking of the missed possibility here, only makes this sting all the more, hence this is the only area that does not receive a perfect score from me.
Grammar: Minor things here and there I barely noticed. Grammar is not my strong point either, but nothing that distracted me from the read.
Character: Alex, our Protagonist, is a solid optimistic, “self-made” ambitious young man. He is self-assured, as much as he is conscious of the responsibilities he faces as a young man looking after his younger sister, Selina. Theresa, his childhood friend (and likely romance partner), is a confident huntress, who is also confident, assured, and spirited in a way that makes you want her by your side in a fight. There is also Brutus, but I’ll leave that drawn-out surprise for the reader to discover on their own.
They are all very well presented, though I do wonder if they border on the edge of being “too perfect”. Looking back, I can’t really think of a flaw found in any of them. Perhaps Alex is a little too “smart” for his own good? Not really a drawback, more like what you expect for someone who taught himself a spell on his own to enter a mage academy.
Overall, this is definitely a story I will come back to enjoy, and I wish the author the best of luck finishing it so that I and many other RR readers may enjoy the journey herein.
Disclaimer: Please ignore my rambling comments and thoughts. Each story and its content is the work and property of the author, who knows better than I or any other reader the things to come and the careful planning of things not yet seen.