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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While this story utilizes the same old protagonist-with-disadvantage-takes-advantage trope, it does so in a fashion surprisingly different and enjoyable from the rest. I find that the power creep is always in check, and the reader is always made aware of Alex's viewpoint on whatever comes to him, whether that includes his desires or fears. I enjoy that, unlike others, Alex manages to progress according to the theme of Fool-is-bad-mark, even if there is a bit of deus ex machina.
This story reached top twenty fictions on RR in only a week so you know it's amazing, for it was chosen by the reader masses for greatness, uplifted from countless other works that have been submitted this week to Royal Road. Within it lies great, incredible potential that I can't wait to enjoy more of it whenever UnstoppableJuggernaut releases more chapters, rising even higher. I believe that this novel will 100% will be number one of this month's trending! Being an avid reader of the author's previous novels I know that this book will not hiatus and will keep giving us more chapters to enjoy until it is done.
The best thing about this book is its core and its heart - a rational protagonist that hooks you in and makes you fall in love with the world. It's not an easy task to write believable, rational protagonists with feelings that don't turn out to be machine-like and UnstoppableJuggernaut handles it with skill of an established, talented writer!
This novel reminds me of the Shield Hero manga as it explores similar tropes, but in an original fashion.
In the Mark of the Fool, its hero Alex Roth is a boy who wants to be a wizard. He is studying hard to get to but alas he is blessed with the attention of the gods - earning him the Mark, which changes his life. Alex Roth does not enjoy the Mark as it comes with a flaw which doesn't allow him to do magic and also shoves him into a Hero's quest as the most useless of the hero's group - the fool archetype, the one that’s treated with a fetch-boy by the heroes and disdain by the people of the world.
However, as he is a rational, determined hero he does not give up, instead choosing to find loopholes and exploits within the power of the Mark of the Fool. His motto "Adapt, Overcome" resonates with me as a reader as I am often faced with life challenges myself and have to adapt and overcome to solve whatever problems life throws at me.
Give this book and chance and you too will fall in love with it!
At first, looking at the cover picture I thought it was some sorta villainous lead grimdark story about a murderhobo clown. The 'A progression Fantasy' part made me think it was something like progression as in levels and stats like LitRPG. I had enough of both, so I skipped this for a while.
Then some guy on a discord almost begged me to give this a chance, and oh boy am I glad I did.
I hadn't even read the synopsis at that point, and only saw this on trending. Reading it told me I was wrong about my first impressions from the cover photo and name.
The clown stands for a magic sigil and by 'progression', the author means systematically getting stronger utilizing more brains than brawn (at least the MC is).
Now for the general stuff,
Storytelling, grammar, and Style, are top-notch. I don't have to second guess almost anything the author wants to convey. Sentences are short and understandable, grammar is impeccable. Prose, exposition, blah blah and all the other technicalities don't get in the way of enjoying the story. Many showings, and not much telling. Only telling information that the MC himself has known and that is it.
HOWEVER, I am dissatisfied with the Mark of the Fool. It, as some sort of life-ruining plot device of a cheat for the main character, does not do what it was supposed to do. The cheat makes sense in a way that Cigarettes are useful because they help keep the population low. I just expected it to be more... life-ruining? Right now it's just a cheat. Even if it can hamper during magic and combat efforts, that is not much of a bother (for the reader) if the MC does not need it in combat anyways. Sure, it would make everything else a LOT easier if it was only a plus point with no side effects, but then again without those so-called side effects, the MC would have been dead by now. Hence, the side-effects don't feel like negatives at all and everything feels like an advantage. However, the exploitation mechanics are interesting, so I'll just take half a star for story score.
Characters, are well thought out. The MC gave off a feeling of the brainy nerdy type with a pinch of recklessness (as all novels with nerdy MCs do. Have to make nerds look cool somehow lol). Yet in this case, he stays TRUE to his character. There are some measures of character development. But it doesn't change a duck into a horse. Only adds more to what is already there.
The other 3 main characters are the same. The sister feels and talks like a kid with a traumatic past and a protective tendency towards her friend and older brother. The childhood friend (and the love interest), is the capable woman who can keep the MC in check, but not a damsel in distress. A huntress with far better capabilities in outdoor survival than the MC. And the three-headed doggo who refuses to play fetch. Superb.
The only complaint I have about the MC is that sometimes the 'Improvise, adapt, overcome' (or was it just Think and adapt ;P ) gets a tad too much. I understand how it sets the mood for tension, but the other parts of your writing do just fine. But that is just me. Also, for Theresa, we only get the initial impression of what she wants or who she is. In my opinion, even the sister with fewer sentences is more fleshed out. But don't get me wrong, Theresa is fleshed out. I just felt like there were a few missed opportunities. Like when the MC was talking to Cedric, or MC was hatching up the coin plan to distract the priests, I half expected her to do something more. But that's just my opinion. So only half a star removed.
Overall, I vastly enjoyed this work and encourage my fellow readers to give this a try.
This is a fun, heartwarming story, with magic and all sorts of awesome stuff. I'm no deep reader who can point out all a stories strengths and weaknesses, but this is fun and nice.
I have become invested in the characters, and I am excitedly following their progress. I want them to succeed, excel, and do well.
That's about as deep as I can get.
Thank you for a beautiful story.
The story so far is solid and enjoyable. Much of it is taking place in a magical school, but the classes and professors are interesting. The stakes are high for the protagonists, but not so high that you can't appreciate their time in school as their problems are half a world away.
The author does a good job of priming the magical solutions offered in the story, and rarely does it feel like the MC has invincible plot armor, his successes are plausible and realistic.
The author's prose is good and overall the story is worth a read if you're into progression type fantasies, with a charming protagonist.
A really great and well paced progression story. The main character struggles and persists against challenges for gradual long term gain. It's not stressful to read, there's not ALWAYS something going wrong as soon as the last challenge has been defeated. Alex gets to enjoy his victories and we with him.
With occasional chapters from the POVs of supporting characters the world and situations they find themselves in feels fleshed out and understandable. The characters are easy to empathise with and fun to learn about.
A very refreshing pace.
This is clearly a story that has been worked on for a long time, where plot points weave together seamlessly.
I call it a "rollercoaster in terms of quality" because one of the arcs is very slow and confusing. I think the author had the idea mapped out in his head, but it doesn't translate very well to paper. Perhaps in a more art-based form of literature like manga or anime, the arc would've been more compelling.
(I'm gonna rate it 5 stars anyway as I expect great things and I want more people to read it)
However, the part after it is well worth the read. You can tell that the author is setting up various plot points and a setting for the future (note to the author, I believe a map even a rudimentary one would go a long way and would mesh well with the plans you have in the future).
Definitely worth the read, I look forward to the future of this piece.
A well written story. It has great grammar, good characters and an intriguing world.There's no LitRpg system, rather it feels more like a DnD setting which is great. One thing I'd nitpick though is that while it starts off fairly fast paced, it slows down significantly soon afterwards.
When they get to Generasi
This isn't too bad, but it feels like the story lost a lot of the tension present in the first phase of the story, as the antagonist basically faded into the background and are not really pressing/driving the story forwards.
Absolutely love the story. Nice ideas overall, I'm anticipating every release and it just gives me the kind of feeling I have missed long ago after reading lots of stories on RRL and other platforms.
I can only recommend everyone that loves magic/adventure to have a look and don't be put off by the "Fool" part - I don't like it at all when authors try to hinder the MC's magic or combat potential and despite some intial worries the first few chapters already show that that won't be an issue.
Brilliant story telling. Amazing world building. Superbly believable and alive characters. An MC you want to be friends with purely for the adventure and laughs.
Story is well crafted, theres hints of where it could go, and hints of where it thankfully DIDNT go.
MC isn't OP, or at least not yet. And not without some clever thinking. Can't wait to see where this goes.
For being part of Writing challenge, its mechanically sound. No glaring errors.