Red awakens with no memory of his past inside a dangerous mine. Previously resigned to his fate, he discovers the power necessary to escape these caves and finally grasp destiny with his own two hands.
Accompany Red as he grows from a mere slave into a man who will forever change the world around him. Gods, devils, and much worse things await to face him as he struggles to reach the pinnacle of this world.
What to expect from this story:
- Intelligent, determined, and independent MC.
- Detailed worldbuilding involving western and eastern influences.
- Broad but deep, strategy-oriented power system.
- Cultivation mechanics.
- A steadfast focus on the MC's quest; a story enriched by mystery and memorable side characters.
- Overall Score
- Style Score
- Story Score
- Grammar Score
- Character Score
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The story is good and mostly interesting. I recommend you give it a try and find out if the issue I have with it are something you can or want to deal with or not.
I'll illustrate the one big problem I have with it with an example: If this author had written The Lord of The Rings trilogy it would have been 10 books. With the exact same events, but every single one taking up waaayyyyyy more space. This story adds a lot of unnecessary detail and exposition and "what if" thoughts and considerations. It's like those business meetings that could be over in ten minutes but actually take over an hour.
He goes off on tangents that the story itself never touches, he lists all options ("He now had three options. First, he could..." - in great detail all three options are explained, a page each), he uses every trick in the book (of writers paid by the word - which includes those who want to write neverending webnovels but don't have enough story) to stretch the actually good underlying story so much that it's way too thin.
I like that this is not about yet another talented young master who seems to find canapes under ever rock he turns over, and who can't stop relishing how their new robes make them look like the bestest prince ever, and proves that they are better than everybody still wearing the clothes they themselves wore only a few weeks ago. Urgh! Talk about lame! No. Here's a little cultivator with his work cut out for him, who doesn't give a rat's ass about that. Both thumbs up. (fingers crossed that it lasts)
It is easy to sympathise with young Red, and the story of his tribulations thus far has been engaging. Yet... It seems at this point ( chapter 62 ) that the worst might be behind him. For now. At least I hope so. Some gritty realism adds to a story. Yet I don't enjoy it when that is all that a story is about. I have read too many stories where the authors seem to think that having their MCs tortured without end is somehow a good idea. I would be the last to agree with that.
So. I'm cautiously optimistic that this will be a tale with a healthier balance. That the MC will know both sadness and joy.
And, the Author really has an awesome imagination. Casually dropping some really fantastic concepts left and right. It's a bit like good pixel art. Just a little bit of detail with wonders between the dots for the mind to fill in. No exposition. Short, sweet care packages. Delicious. It feels like panning for gold.
Right... The technicalities:
Style: The author has a habit of switching perspective on a dime. All the time. Which can be a bit jarring. I believe the author is maybe not English first language. Which would most certainly not be a sin. We do what we can :) That said - The author brings his rather wondrous imagination to the table, and dishes it out quite craftily. In my humble opinion. As mentioned I get the sense that the author is not stuck on just making this tale one long grimdark fest. Balance is always welcome. If everything is awesome, then nothing is awesome. But the same for the inverse.
Story: The story is captivating to me. I most certainly find it more than good enough. And what's more. I actively found myself savouring it. There is enough substance to chew on a little bit here and there. This is unusual for me. I tend to devour stories I enjoy from start to end. I felt satisfied to give it a break quite regularly in my read-through to this point. The tempo is excellent.
Grammar: Eh... What can we say? It's not a literary master piece; But it gets the job done. Happy.
Character: I find that the MC acts realistically. For a person who experienced some rather real shit that is. Which is already half the battle. Most of the other characters run the gamut of well worn tropes. But at least they all fit. It even adds somewhat comfortably familiar charm to the story. No complaints. I prefer this type of tale to be highly subjective from the point of view of the MC in any case. Every man is an island. And I don't generally need to become intimately familiar with the life story of every character. So good. The MC's morality is pretty decent for what he's been through. A good head on his little shoulders. A little dude I can cheer for.
I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes.
Just as the synopsis states, Nameless Sovereign traces the story of the protagonist, Red, as he navigates the lethal and mysterious environment of a magic ore mine and attempts to win at least some degree of freedom for himself. This review will cover the first arc, although I hope to continue updating it in the future as the story progresses - the author is a good friend of mine, so I have been excitedly looking forward to the release of this story for quite some time now. The attachment that I have built for the world and characters over the past couple dozen chapters has me coming back for more.
Overall: Nameless Sovereign opens with a promising start, gently introducing the reader to the story, background, environment and character cast as necessary to ensure a good reading experience. There are no exposition errors and the balanced writing style offers a smooth and easy, but captivating read. While the thematic feeling behind the work will be familiar to xianxia readers, the story does not fall into cliches and does a great job in utilising the main character's unique personality in order to inject a sense of freshness into the genre, all the while without being needlessly flashy and extravagant, remaining unintrusive and allowing the reader to immerse himself into the setting freely and seamlessly. It should be noted that the story is a slow burn and takes its time in regards to pacing, but this is not to say that the plot is lacking in eventfulness - there will be plenty to occupy your attention as you go through the chapters. The daily chapter releases are also worth the consideration of those who are impatient or hesitant - personally, I love fast paced stories, but thanks to the continual flow of content I have not had any problems with the progression of the narrative at all. Speaking of the narrative, although I would not describe this story as a "grimdark" story, the stakes for the MC are still very high. This works well and keeps things interesting and entertaining. I only have minor complaints about a single segment of the story where I felt the plot became too challenging, but I understand why the author wrote the story that way and what he was going for. In either case, that segment did not bother me or detract from my enjoyment. I feel that the author has a reliable, natural sense of balance and I trust that this will remain so in the future. I feel the same way about the other qualities of this web novel and I am confident that so long as it stays its present course and continues to avoid developing notable flaws, it will be worth its high rating in perpetuity.
Style: The author mixes a generally minimalist style, shorter paragraphs and direct description on the one hand with the occasional use of advanced vocabulary, personalised prose and delicate prose on the other hand. The end result of this is to give the text a sense of lightness and speed, while at the same time delivering enough creative punch to paint a clear and evocative image of the themes and events of the story. This writing style also melds well with the way the author approaches the narrative. More specifically, when combined with the structure of the chapters, two things are conveyed to the reader - a feeling of isolation and a sense of vivid clarity in regard to imagery. Consequently, the reader simultaneously develops both a sense of familiarity with the setting and a sense of tense distance in regard to the plot and the development of the characters' stories. It is hard to overrate the effects of good style. My hope is that as the story continues, even if the themes change, the quality will be maintained.
Story: Nameless Sovereign is a well-balanced, slower paced story. The reader is gradually and steadily introduced to the world, its threats and dangers. At the same time, the scene-by-scene progression does not feel slow at all. Progress is steady and constant, with each separate scene feeling eventful. This eventfulness, combined with the daily updates, offset the generally slower pace of the story. To put it another way, although the lower, more personal scale of the narrative may require slower pacing, the story reads very smoothly, so it does not feel slow. The composition of the story and the arrangement of its chapters and scenes flow seamlessly into each other, leaving little to be desired. The general narrative offers a polished and entertaining example of the xianxia genre, given a mysterious touch. As with other stories of this type, the MC's perspective and his personal journey also receive a lot of emphasis. Thus far, the story has strictly revolved around the various problems and challenges that the MC has to grapple with. A lot of those are difficult, although thankfully the MC's character is well-suited to tackling difficult challenges.
Grammar: The technical aspect of the writing is solid. I have seen no spelling errors at all. Occasionally, there are uses of grammar that I dislike or punctuation that does not perfectly conform to standard form, but the former are too rare and too insignificant to make an impact on the reading experience and the latter are, I think, deliberate, for the sake of creative flair, designed to improve the flow or feeling of the text. I have no complaints about any of the technical elements of the writing in this story and do not think that they have a negative influence on the reading experience, so I am giving my score with this in mind.
Characters: Alongside the personality of the environment, the characters - which to a large extent contribute to the former, as well - are my favourite element of the story. The main character, in particular, is an interesting case. Red combines many of the traditional qualities of a xianxia hero with shockingly direct pragmatism that would be unexpected in most stories. His independent and autonomous streak ensures that he's never entirely out of problems to solve, even in situations where other characters would be completely placid and content, but his high intelligence turns this easy to mishandle trait into an endless source of curious developments that are a pleasure to read. The first arc also demonstrates the incredible determination and fortitude of the main character in a very compelling way, free of the usual baggage of special-ness and the various power-ups that usually tend to come packaged with these traits in other stories. The author has done very well with his MC. The side characters, too, have a lot of personality. Although not much is seen of most of them, every named character - and even a certain unnamed, perpetually hungry companion - feel like real people, although perhaps not necessarily the nicest of people. Over the first arc, the cast maintains a good level of tension and there is no character bloat. I am looking forward to the author's efforts at writing a balanced cast over the second arc, too. The character interactions are fun to read, but the most crucial element remains the main character, who - at least for me - is the most interesting element of the story and also the element that imbues the story with its personality and appeal. This is notable, as according to the author himself, the story will be strongly focussed on Red's personal quest.
Nameless Sovereign is a solid, well-polished, promising story with no real flaws to speak of. Especially for habitual xianxia readers, it will prove to be an engaging and substantial read, although the specific design of the story and its themes and influences also makes it a good pick for a general audience, too.
The story starts slow but it's well thought out, chapters have actual meat to make something of (take more than 3 min to read), and the writer is prolific (chapters daily).
His style is evolving, but within the plot he's developing skips are possible vs the opposite.
Not here but so often you get a good plot but the author doesn't have any room to develop- often starting 'new' stories or 'branches' to stretch. This story has lots of room for growth. Hoping to watch him Master it.
I've really enjoyed the story. The escape from the cave dragged out and I had skip past some of the insect battles which seemed to get a little monotonous but I've come to like the mc and was cheering on his escape. The action scenes are well written and had a good amount of detail. Definitely interested in more details on the world and how cultivation works. I haven't understood the dream sequences but assume they will play a part later in the story. I also hope they are minimized. The mc is young so I'll be interested to see how the story progresses and if there are large time skips to get him to a more mature age. The time skip is a good tool and used in small chunks of a few months at a time advances the plot without feeling like you missed too much of his life. It also provides and opportunity to see the mc cultivate and train without having to read about the same training over and over as the mc increases his skill.. Thanks for writing an interesting story!
A slow paced cultivation story which has been pretty entertaining so far.
Pretty interesting so far. The author has some good mysteries and seeds for future plot points. We are not constantly bombarded by information about the world or cultivation system, which is good, no one loves infodumps. New information always comes up organically in a situation where it is relevant.
I feel like the synopsis needs something distinct, to help catch new readers attention. Like with isekai litrpgs, descriptions tend to blend together. A xianxia story where a kid wakes up in a terrible situation with no memories is common enough. I don't mind it, but new readers may need something distinct.
One thing to keep track of is character motivations. A lot of cultivation stories have side characters who hate the MC for no reason. At this point in the story we are given some valid reasoning for why a certain character is hostile to the MC.
Although the author hasn't fallen into a certain trope which ruins cultivation stories, I feel the need to describe it. A word of caution to the author that they shouldn't try to artificially manufacture hate or disdain for the main character as a way to generate conflict. If a character hates or is working against the MC they should have a believable reason for it. Xianxia worlds are competitive and brutal yes, but a lot of xianxia villains just work against the MC without believable reasons.
Exaggerated Example to illustrate my point: MC quietly passes young master without saying anything. "I don't like the way his face looks" *Lifelong grudge begins*
One common critique with child protagonists like Red is people have a hard time believing how mature or capable they are, this has not bothered me so far though. I guess I'm fine with a little suspension of disbelief. The fact that Red is living in such a harsh environment and one spoilery reason make this more believable for me. In addition Red seems like he's at the edge of being a preteen, young but not ridiculously so, such precocious children do in fact exist. That may not be how we were, but some children do mature quickly and we often underestimate what children perceive. Children also grow up faster in harsh environments.
I dislike some isekai child protagonists because sometimes the main character spends hundreds of chapters as a child, time barely passes and they accomplish dozens of things which give adults a run for there money. Xianxia stories are better with this since there is often time progression, so we aren't stuck with a child forever.
Grammar and Style:
Definitely readable and not too bad at all. I do notice some typos. There are times where I can intuitively tell that some sentences are phrased awkwardly from reading a decent amount and being a native English speaker, but sometimes can't pinpoint what the issues are. Overall, grammar is good enough that I definitely do not find it unreadable. As the author continues I'm sure their grammar and style will improve through simple practice.
The idea behind this book is interesting however the execution is not. People like to read about success through struggle but the mc in this book only ever suffers and gets minimal rewards. There are dozens of times the mc could have died already and was saved through nothing more than plot armour. Not training, strength, or cleverness. There isn't a period of time reading I felt glee after a hard fought victory, only anxiety about the next near death incident that would happen in a few paragraphs. This story has potential but it's flawed with extreme difficulty.
The main character, Red, has a lot of problems. He has nightmares, is starving, and realizes that, in order to advance his cultivation faster than average, he has to pay a cost.
If you are reading this story for the first time, I recommend either starting at chapter 46, with the start of the second arc, or keeping in mind that the second arc will arrive.
This is a very slow progression story.
Overall: The novel starts a bit slow but soon picks up steam, and allows us an even pace to accompany the main character through learning new skills and surviving in a harsh world. Interesting and well planned.
Style: Honestly, at first I found it to be way too dry. There is a John Updike quote where he says, "Writing is like music." Well, this did not resemble music, it resembled farming, everything in neat little rows. But this was due to my own expectation, and after a while, it reminded me of Brandon Sanderson, which is always a plus.
Grammar: Strong and clear grammar, although with some logical errors and minor mistakes. But excluding the minor grammar mistakes, the logic can be put down to personal preference and it might just be me.
Story: My favorite part of the novel. It starts slow, as I mentioned, but I love it when an author takes their time to let you get used to the world and begin to care about the characters. I've already mentioned Sanderson, but slaves and magic immediately make me think of Mistborn, so I knew I'd like this story from the beginning.
Character: Varied and well defined, but they only express themselves through the little bits of dialogue, with the internal thought process being widely dedicated to explaining what's happening. Again, nothing wrong with that, if that's your bag, so let's put it down to personal preference once again.
In short, the novel starts a bit slow as usual for progression novels. However, soon it becomes interesting to observe Red and his actions as he survives in the harsh world. If you like slow-paced cultivation novels, this work is an ideal candidate!
Style: The author is good in this area, he shows well everything that happens in the scene, but it was a bit difficult for me to read through certain parts with too much description. It's just my thoughts though, author, think about shortening or deleting certain parts that might harm the flow.
Grammar: I didn't find any big problems. The grammar is good, and everything is clear.
Story: The story starts in an amazing way, showing everything that happens with Red scene by scene. The author did an enormous job in creating a carcass for the world and its heroes. Overall, it's an amazing, slow-progression novel.
Characters: In short, it's good. The author made a huge work and created a world with different characters whose actions seem believable for the conditions in which they live.I like to read such types of novels, concentrated around MC's journey, so it's amazing when I can get to know a new world through the MC's interactions with other good characters. Besides, I became quite curious to get to know about MC's whereabouts.