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
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- Style Score
- Story Score
- Grammar Score
- Character Score
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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.
MC and crew aren't evil. Not perfect, not by a long stretch, but they try.
MC is a great balance. He is good at noticing his flaws, but he struggles to figure out what to do about his flaws. This applies to both social interactions, and trying to fight with his "blessing".
So far the authors biggest flaw is a poor description of choreography, scale, and distances. I can piece together how the imaginative fight went down after the fact, but it doesnt flow well enough for me to follow allong during the scene.
Fight choreography is a difficult skill that takes practice. Other stories i enjoy, including Salvos, steadily improved over time.
The best choreography ive ever read is Shadow Of The Conqueror, by Shad Brooks aka Shadiversity, a sword/dragon/castle youtuber. His fights had a lot of setup. By the time a fight even started, the personality, most abilities, scenery, and fighting style had been seamlessly established by normal interactions. This let the actual fights be extremely complex with minimal exposition, as the reader already had a firm vision of the surroundings and physics involved.
Now, i dont recommening getting THAT ambitious. Start slow and small. Have the characters interact with scenery to bring it into the foreground. Have Brutus demonstrate the scale of distances by running until he looks small, demonstrate the scale of brutus when he shoulder checks a horse, demonstrate the size of a fighting ring by having Alex practice his dance inside it, etc.
Lastly, the main appeal here is the dialogue, internal monologue, problem solving, and magic building. Dont neglect those, fights are cool but only 10% of a story. The trick is to sneakily weave the buildup and choreography Into mundane interactions to set up the fights later. You already did that a bit for the mana vampire (which is why that fight was way better than the traveller finale).
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.
Respect to the author for putting out a basically readable, engaging story at a fast pace.
As of yet, fairly light on plot and worldbuilding. The story is pulled along by likeable characters, natural engaging dialogue, and the mark. The Mark is tough to balance. It very rapidly makes you good at anything that isn't fighting or magic. The author seems to be constantly throwing things at MC so he doesn't sit down for a week and 'break the game'.
Alex and Theresa have a fresh dynamic but the romance seems a little clunky. They work well as teammates and friends and have a she-knows-I-know-she-knows thing going on with a mutual crush. I think it might have been more interesting to have the develop over time, rather than being presented with two characters that wanna bone from chapter one. In romance readers want the chase not the ever after. The sister is actually handled okay, you can see the author going out of the way to make her contribute rather than be dragged along.
Right now I think the story is floundering a bit because the author is trying to make it a destined heroes vs demon king and a Hogwarts story at the same time. The plot feels pulled in multiple directions. You lose some of that 'demon king about to destroy country' tension when the next chapter the character is worried about his student loans.
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.
I don't usually take the time to review stories. This one though, is very well written with an intriguing premise, believable characters, and an enchanting world. It seems like the author has put a lot of time in building out the world the story takes place in; I can't wait to see where it goes from here!
It's really good, very well written, characters have personality and stand out not flat in anyway. World building is solid and every chapter has a great length to it no short quick posts. Now for the negatives: it has 10 chapters right now and that's it so a afternoon read and your caught up but it is definitely worth reading and following.
With a title like Mark of the Fool, you would be forgiven for expecting this story to contain plenty of lighthearted fun. And it does!
The plot of MotF is characterised by a cyclical evil doomed to be continually defeated by five legendary heroes. Four of said heroes are blessed with amazing powers, fame and fortune.
And then there's the Fool, who society does not look kindly on. Or as we might know him, our main character Alex.
Unsurprisingly, Alex does not want to be the Fool, especially since its 'gift' interferes with his life's dream. So he gives destiny the finger (politely - this is Alex, after all) and goes off to wizard school instead. And of course, because no story with fools in the title would be complete without it, things go wrong.
From the very first few paragraphs, I immediately fell in love with Alex's character. Far from inept, he is in fact studious, wise and quick-witted, unfailingly kind-hearted and polite. Uncertain, humble and relatable, he has to use his wits to overcome the challenges thrown at him by the downsides of the Mark and the expectations of his prophesised role in legend. Honestly, I'd take life advice from this guy any day.
Accompanying Alex are his young sister and badass best friend, also well-realised characters who each promise to have plenty of development ahead of them. Selina's depiction is particularly satisfying as a curious, resilient child equally as intelligent as her brother. Young children in fantasy are often sidelined as props to be rescued or protected, but Selina bucks the trend by holding her own as a valuable member of the group. This is typical of this fiction as a whole, though - you'll find all its characters, even the bit-part ones, are treated with dignity and respect in their depictions, and are just a joy to read.
In evading capture by the authorities, the party are thrown into a series of thrilling dangers and adventures escalating in directions I didn't see coming. I absolutely loved this aspect of the story. That said, I do think the story is so far the weakest aspect of Mark of the Fool for me. It's fun; it's very fun - but it doesn't have much of a driving motivation behind it as of Chapter 30 other than 'learn things while hiding from the authorities'.
'Weakest' is, of course, relative. The strength of MotF's charming characters, fascinating lore and intriguing moments of discovery make the pages fly by, and there are powerful hints the plot will find its way to Alex despite his best efforts. There is certainly plenty to keep you entertained in the meantime.
The grammar is near-impeccable with just a few occasional typos. Style-wise, it's clean and fun with light-hearted flair. In fact, the prose is quite unobtrusive, I'd say; professional enough that you don't notice its quirks most of the time in favour of seamlessly shining the spotlight on the characterisation, action and events. It works very well.
In the end, the three aspects standing out the most to me about Mark of the Fool are its wonderful and well-developed characters, its thrilling discoveries, and the sheer levels of fun present throughout. An easy five stars, and I'm looking forward to more!
So, I started this story solely because of the ratings, not even going as far as to read the blurb or anything.
the first chapter was...alright?
the second chapter got better, then the third was even better, and so on and so on.
I'm not gonna lie, The first few chapters were kind of lame, boring to the point I contemplated dropping it because I felt like the premise had been used too many times.
Alas, I trudged on, still believing that this story was a bust. Then, it happened. The single moment that made me fall in love with this story. Two characters sat down, and talked, that was it.
the two dimensional characters that I laothed suddenly grew into three, and the void of emotions and failed humor was gone. Replaced by things that made me laugh, gave me goosebumps, and at one point caused me to hold my breath while reading.
If you can make a reader do that, you have won. Especially if you do it without pacing issues, AMAZING ACTION, and little to no grammar errors.
bravo, and I look forward to more. Please give it a shot like I did, you will not be disappointed.
THIS. THIS right here. A protagonist given en overwhelming disadvantage and working around it and with it to devastating effect. And all of that is on top of the smooth dialogue, promising world building, interesting characterization, and exactly the kind of protagonist I like to see. Resourceful, not OP (yet? i don't know), not completely cold blooded, and determined, not for some grand purpose but to carve out a place for himself and his sister.