A Dream of Wings and Flame
Kobolds cower at the bottom of the foodchain, forced to eke out a meager existence in the most wretched of caves.
Most have made peace with their lot in life; one of eating scraps and carrion. They hide and run from predators, delaying the inevitable day when they aren't fast or sneaky enough to make their escape.
But not Samazzar. Sam is different from other Kobold pups. Traps and caves might keep him and his people alive, but sometimes, just living isn't enough. The blood of dragons pumps through his veins, and Sam isn't willing to settle for mere survival. Whether by claw, magic, or cunning, one day he will soar above the plains, predator rather than prey. And nothing, be it the mockery of his tribe, the hazards of the deep caves, or even the almost insurmountable difficulty of successfully evolving his bloodline, nothing is going to stop him.
Join Samazzar and his boundless optimism on his quest to throw off the shackles placed on his tiny scaled body by fate so that he can claim his birthright once and for all.
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Kobold design by Faewild
Coloring/Everything Else on the cover KrazeKode
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A good flow, interesting characters slowly introduced and slowly fleshed out, and an almost impossible end goal that is very far away. The story is great and I've enjoyed it so far! My one complaint is a weird one, the grammar is too good. These scavenger Kobolds talk with well developed vocabulary and grammar, even the pups speak well with no mention of any language learning. It just feels weird that there is almost no slang/slurs/language tics that one might expect from an isolated scavenger tribe. Otherwise everything is quite compelling. We hardly know anything about the world but that's okay, neither does Sam. We are learning as he does, no narrator beginning voice over or short histories at the beginning of a chapter. Not that those are bad, I just like that the author decided we learn with Sam, and is sticking to it. I also like that conflict is being set up everywhere. Short term and long term problems with fellow members of the tribe, and short and long term enemies out in the caves and the mountains. The story moves forward at a decent pace so far, I haven't ever felt there were any filler or weak chapters. Looking forward to more!
Honestly havnt even started reading yet..... but from the synaps he is a kobold that wants to evolve into a dragon? I got that right ? Right? So why in all of gods tarnations is there an attractive mc tag? Unless he becomes human? But if that is the case, why? I mean i could get it if he was a human reincarnate but he isnt... so i hope he dosnt become human, there are just too many non mc novels where the mc works towrds becoming a human and usually does so within 20 chapters like it is so pointless. Any soz about that rant looking forward to the novel.... unless he is a hot kobold? By kobold standards i mean.... author got yhat weird kobold fetish? I aint judging
I've had the privelege to read slightly further as a beta reader, and I can say with confidence that this is one of the best stories you'll read on royal road. Maybe a bit too good for royal road; it... lacks the oomph that you'd often see from the get-go in the normal royal road story. But that isn't a bad thing necessarily; if anything, it makes it better. Far too many stories here have had adventure filled tales, with a testosterone and adrenaline pumping component to them, and this story promises the first, while promising a more... smoother approach to storytelling.
Going by the review components one by one, the grammar of this story is almost impeccable. There are no negatives in that regard, although it is written in the heretical American English. Clearly us brits had the right idea.
The characters of the story are written brilliantly, although here I'll have to be careful not to spoil anything. In this regard, the story is everything that it promises. They have their own ambitions, their own determinations, and realistically change according to different challenges. As the blurb on the main page says, the character embodies his main selling point as someone who doesn't want to just settle for what he has, and climbs in the face of challenges for more. They are flawed, they have challenges, and they overcome it; this is not some simple story where the character is unstoppable and steamrolls through challenges. My only concern is that some of the characters sometimes are written... a bit flatly, and there isn't as much development as I'd expect from some of the chapters.
The style - It's absolutely brilliant. The use of narration and dialogue blend together brilliantly, dramatically but not excessively. However, my only criticism is that... sometimes the chapters tend to feel like they are rather... staccato; they feel like they're written in the moment, and although the dialogue and descriptions flow from one chapter to the other continuously, the tone feelss slightly disjointed. This is a very minor criticism as far as they go. Each of the characters also have a unique tone to them, and the way Coco conveys their youthful optimism comes across as refreshingly honest and true.
For the story, I have much of the same praise. The plot is excellent, it grips you as you move forward reading it. The only downside is with some of the narrative devices the author uses; in some places, there are some attempts at exposition, but often they feel like they are released at once, as one other reviewer put it, an "infodump". I don't feel like it was a very graceful use of writing, but again, a relatively minor criticism. Another was the use of foreshadowing; again, at the moment this is released, we are only at chapter 2, so I cannot spoil too much, but I would say that the author sometimes flags certain events in a way that... might be a bit too on the nose for my tastes. A little less flagging would make for a more realistic and exciting story. Regardless, this is still good enough that I would award this category four stars.
Overall, this is an excellent tale. Unless you're looking for a pure adrenaline junkie story, stop reading the review and start reading the story! It is emotional, and as I said in my review title, it tugs at the heartstrings. It does not unartfully use and copy IRL technology with a poorly substituted magical alternative as several other stories on this site tends to do, and so far I can only see that this story can go upwards in potential. I would not be surprised if it hits the best rated on royal road in a few days time.
... yep, I was hooked.
If you are looking for fun characters and amazing world building, please look no further. CoCop's A Dream Of Wings And Flame has both in spades.
But since this is an advanced review, let's get into the nitty gritty.
I'm not a huge fan of prologues in general, and the dialogue-and-exposition-heavy start of this fic slowed the story immediately to a glacial pace. However, once we get past the set dressing, things really opened up and I really enjoyed it. I think the author could find a much more organic way to provide some of the information to the reader (and, to be honest, did with the first few chapters).
While not the most unique concept, I love me some underdog rags-to-riches type stories with Kobolds wanting to evolve to Dragons. CoCop did a great job of providing a very detailed story (again, perhaps a little over detailed) through intricate world building.
Here's where I struggled a little. There are a few grammatical errors that are based in the rules of how fiction writing (especially dialogue) works. They are easy things to fix, and I'm sure the author will be able to correct them going forward.
In general, I saw very little to no spelling mistakes or typos. Just a few grammatical snaffus.
Sam (the main character) is an incredibly smart protagonist who wants a better life. He's goal oriented, crafty, and is generally a good person. He tries hard and his efforts are rewarded, even if they are met with conflict.
I really hope he stops getting wrapped up in the semantics of his nickname, going forward. At six chapters in, we're just starting to get to the point where the joke is getting old. Everyone knows your ambitions, kid. It's okay to double down.
In closing, once you get past the info dump of the prologue and into the first and second chapters, you'll find a really interesting world full of fun characters with a smart and talented main character at the helm. Just go ahead and read it already.
First off, this story is well written and worth a read. That said, the kobolds are supposed to be cretins hiding in a cave, yet they speak with the sophistication of modern day humans - doubly strange for the hatchlings who are still juviniles by kobold standards. But if you can get past that small hangup, I would definitely say to give it a shot.
there isn't much here yet, but even this meager sample shows a fascinating look into a brutal existence, with one child's hopes pinned fully on what most of his people likely consider children's fantasies. i'm definitely looking forward to seeing what sam experiences in his personal quest for ascension. writing technique is just as good as i expect from the author's previous work.
*Reviewed as of Chapter 9
This story is by no means bad (and I really do mean that, even if I am going to deliver some harsh criticisms), that being said... I do think it fails to deliver on many of the things it seems to be trying to shoot towards. For one, it has the classic problem of kobolds seeming like a fantasy re-skin of modern humans. I mean seriously... they have advanced knowledge of obscure scientific subjects like thermodynamics, mental health/therapy, evaporation, and air quality and yet for some reason they can't farm or use their weirdly advanced knowledge to do anything to better their lives? How on Earth can these self-described weakest creatures live in a cave and be perpetually starving and dying of cold, yet have an advanced understanding of modern science that took thousands of years for civilization to gain an inkling of? These don't feel like kobolds at all and that is a major miss in my opinion for a story about kobolds. Just once, I'd like there to be a story focused on an inhuman race that actually portrays that race as inhuman. Heck, even their whole "we're physically weaker than all the other races!" thing just feels exactly like the struggle of humanity, given their advanced knowledge.
As characters, kobolds are supposed to be more animalistic than humans, which should only hold doubly true from a kobold trying to become a dragon. Instead, Samazzar has a demeanor reminiscent of a shonen protagonist (with the plot armor to match). It's all pure optimism and a complete lack of common sense or hesitance with Sam, and no characteristics thus far even remotely close to what you could call draconic. I don't know if that will change as the story progresses, but as of right now he checks every box in the print-out shonen protagonist category and not a whole lot else in my opinion. I find myself far more interested in the other characters in the story, such as the Old Crone or the two tagalongs Sam has picked up in later chapters. They all feel grounded in reality, at least, and seem to have more depth to them that has yet to really be explored.
The style and grammar of the writing is fine, nothing really special, but certainly good enough to be understood and allow for the author to convey their thoughts. The style of the world itself seems to be pretty standard western fantasy without a whole lot of twists, which is fine, but again I would have preferred that the more savage races seem uncivilized in some ways rather than feeling like they are just made up of random 21st century people pulled off the street and shoved into little kobold bodies.
As for plot, I'll refrain from really going into it seeing as little has actually happened so far in the grand scheme of things, but I will say that so far Sam has gotten super lucky with the single fight he's managed to win. Seeing the protagonist win through optimism and luck is never as satisfying as them succeeding through careful planning and their own ability. Part of that might just be because the author is trying to portray Sam as young and naive, but it's still sort of frustrating to see no matter how common it is in stories on here.
Hopefully I've adequately expressed my concerns and someone, somewhere, finds this review useful.
Most novels now generally bless the MCs with a godly power, insane luck or both. I admit that MCs with godly powers are a guilty pleasure of mine, but authors use them as a crutch which can make situations boring if not done right. It was very nice, and surprising, finally seeing an MC working for progression. The magic system is pretty interesting too. The updates take long, but each chapter is filled with quality writing and are longer than usual novel chapters on RR. The MC is highly motivated and smart and is going to use these assets tto progress further.