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
- Total Views :
- Average Views :
- Followers :
- Favorites :
- Ratings :
- Pages :
Leave a review
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.
**EDIT:** Style- Storytelling is done mostly through dialog. That means it's very slow, and it means - a lot, and I mean A LOT of dialog. Which I find boring, but if you like soap operas which also are mostly just dialog then you might find it's okay. Personally, I prefer "actual" storytelling and dialog used sparingly.
Chapter 26-38 (~26k words) is pure filler, entirely skippable.
The rest of the story is decent. I enjoyed Red's intro and training with Viran before the manhunter bug and the stuff with the guild once he's reached the surface has been nice, but the sheer slog to get between point A (Red setting off on his journey) and point B (making appreciable progress towards actually escaping and/or advancing the plot) knocks the story down hard.
Even beyond the filler things still move very slowly (you can skim most chapters without losing out on anything), but it's nowhere as bad as that intial wall.
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 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.
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!
This is a passion project cultivation story, with far-reaching mysteries, a forty chapter prologue, and a nearly emotionless main character. Having exited the story after completing the first arc, I can't comment on how the eventual story shapes up, but I can say that the first arc relies heavily on deus ex machina, plot armor, and zero forethought by the protagonist.
Style: Overall decent enough. Told largely in third-person, the perspective struggles to describe Red's actions at times, and cycles somewhat unnaturally through "the youth, the boy, the child" instead of just using he/his name or altering sentences to avoid the repetition. They also periodically stretch filler sections where nothing is really happening and cause the pacing to drag heavily. Rather than producing the sense of a frantic scramble that seems intended, Red's journey comes off as more of an inevitable slog.
Grammar: Very good. Minimal corrections in the comments, no errors that I noticed while reading. Fantastic to see.
Story: Interesting hook, interesting worldbuilding, disconnected progression. The story begins focused on cultivation and a plan. A suspicious orphan in a place they shouldn't be, a disgraced soldier, and an unclear motive. The issue I have is that once things start rolling down the rails, everything gets left behind. The cultivation is abandoned, the plan is rushed ahead despite having no reason to, and the motive only makes sense if you squint. From there on its a comedy of "impossible things" that only grow more extreme as Red only grows more injured, and yet conveniently always shakes out with him escaping inches from death. Never stopping to eat, or rest, just passing out from wounds before waking up functioning just fine. Worse it mainly repeats the cycle of "impossible fight - stealth - almost - Discovered! - running fight - escape." I can't dig into specific inconsistencies without spoiling much of the first arc, but it becomes frustrating when the ten year old main character just wanders into ever more extreme danger and everything just kind of works out fine. No food, no water, no shelter: no problem.
Characters: There's only three named characters in the first 40 chapters. Red, Viran, and Gruff. Gruff is a side-side-character, meaning that Viran and Red are all that really matter. Viran is okay, though his actions don't always make sense. He's consistently callous, but beyond mentorship, we don't really see much of who he is. Red is (so far) largely an emotionless ball of determination. Repeated sections describe his "emotionless face" and while some indicate he's covering up a spot of panic, most of the time his internal world is just as empty as his expression. Outside of grit, his sole emotional overflow in forty chapters is a suicidal declaration that should have gotten him killed, but (of course) just happened to be his ticket to survival. With few emotions, no memories, and nothing to have an opinion on other than "cave", he just doesn't have much character work to do in the first arc.
Overall, if I had a single recommendation it would be to either go at the first arc with a carving knife or to lean into the slow pace and let Red breath as he descends. Everything he needs for survival is already there and there's no time limit. For readers, if you itching for a cultivation story and don't mind heavy plot convenience, then you'll probably enjoy the read just fine.
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.
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.
Reviewing this story has weighed on my mind for a long time. It was recommended on a subreddit and, on a whim, I started reading the story. At first I thought it was flawed, with writing that was generally good but with those peculiarities typical of a non-native English writer. Heck, I could be completely wrong about that one; I doubt it, but it's possible. And there's this absolutely annoying 'the youth' and similar references that split the point of view of the story between third person limited and third person omniscient -- yet we spend nearly zero time viewing from any other's perspective.
I should also mention that it is a common complaint that the story is too slow, but I never felt that way. True, I have binged the story to date and that helps a lot when it comes to how I feel about the pace. If I had to read this at the slug's pace of one chapter a day I'd probably go insane.
For all that this story has become one of my favorites. It's held my attention completely which is rare for this ADHD sufferer. Typically I switch between stories, reading a little here and a little here. I should perhaps mention that one of the stories I've got on hold for this one is highly reminiscent of Nameless Sovereign: Reverend Insanity. Red is by no means as virulently evil as Fang Yuan but he is a deeply rational, highly intelligent protagonist with limited empathy, deep selfishness, and he is capable of ruthlessness. Not all of this is immediately obvious outside of his flat emotionality when you read the early chapters of Red as a child of ten existing in a desolate mine, but I feel like I'm spoiling nothing by leaving it clear Red is closer to an anti-hero than anything else.
Looking ahead I see the author dropping the consistent update schedule he's maintained through where I'm reviewing and this saddens me. The story is too good for it to have received as limited attention as it seems to have gained. Perhaps the author will clean up a few areas of concern for this story and give it new life on KU and Audible. That would be a fitting fate for such an excellent story.
I gave this four stars because it's well done for what it is, but I just marked it as Not Interested.
For me, the joy in LitRPG and Cultivation stories lies in the progression. The protagonist faces a challenge, wins, gets loot, and grows stronger. In this story, the protagonist does get stronger over time, but each victory is simply followed by a new challenge and hints of a bleak future.
Again, it's fairly well done, but it's just not what I want in a story.