A Dungeons and Dragons inspired adventure with a realism-focused spin on gamelit.
Hump grew up believing his master was nothing but an ordinary hedge wizard. However when the old man unexpectedly dies, his book of spells binds to Hump’s soul. Now without a master, Hump sets off to find his place in the world, to discover the secrets of magic, and to understand the Book of Infinite Pages.
Book 1 - Crypt of the Wolf Dragon
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I rarely give five stars but this story has texture, earthiness and a depth you feel in your bones.
The story unfolds in a natural way, feeding you crumbs of information as a consequence of the story not rammed into you before or after as a wall of text.
Characters make snap judgements of other characters on how they are equipped and their actions. They react when things happen or to information that they have different to other characters naturally.
The descriptions are minimal and only become more elaborate if the story dictates it is necessary. Making it seem more vibrant without bogging the whole story down with elaborate frippery hiding the story from view.
This story so far is story telling done well and I look forward to this and any other writing the author is willing to publish.
Ps brought here by another author
I love D&D. I love wizards. I love party dynamics, adventures, and dungeon delving. This story gets all of these things right. If you're a fan of any of the things I wrote above, you're going to love this story. It reads like a TRPG campaign brought to life and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So now that I've talked about why I love this story, I'll get into what made it so enjoyable.
Wonderful. The story is written in a third person perspective, and it's written in a way that brings the magic to life. The author says they aren't a wizard, but with the way some scenes and spells are described, I doubt it. There's some sorcery at play here, and it's not just the story's interesting spellcraft. It's in the author's control over his prose as well. The descriptions are intricate when they need to be, poetic when it suits the tone, and simple when the current scene calls for such.
It's smooth all around and has never been jarring or uncomfortable to read. At certain times, I can almost imagine the characters on a tabletop, with all their successes and failures left to the dice. Except in this case, it's not luck that's causing tension, but the author's own ability to kepe you on the edge of your seat.
Perfect. At least as far as I'm concerned. There might be a typo here and there that I missed, or a weird comma that I didn't notice, but when the story is written in such a way that causes me to ignore potential errors entirely just to find out what happens next, it says something about the quality of the text.
The story starts strong and immediately grabs you by the back of the neck. An apprentice with a dead master, now left with his old man's mysterious spellbook. It's an engaging hook, and the story builds even more momentum as the chapters pass.
The Hedge Wizard isn't a wish fulfillment story. It's an adventure in the perspective of a low-level hedge wizard, and the story reflects that perfectly. Things are tough, gritty, and victories are short-lived. There's always another problem to tackle. The world moves around the MC instead of the other way around and there are plenty of difficulties he has to overcome as someone at the bottom of the adventuring society's barrel.
While I have made comparisons to D&D plenty of times in my review, this story is anything but a copy. Even derivative seems like an insult to it. The world is original, the magic has its own identity despite the inspirations taken, and it's more than just a tabletop adventure's mess of encounters. It's a moving story independent of its inspirations and it deserves recognition for that fact.
The MC is a young wizard. Smart, competent, and flawed. Where his companions succeed, he fails. And where they have difficulties, he makes up for it in his knowledge and expertise. He's everything that a wizard in a party should be. He and his companions cover for each other and each one is as vibrant as the last. They have friendships, disagreements, and personal goals that differ from each other.
So far, not a single one of the major characters has disappointed me. They're presented in a manner that's interesting and they stay true to themselves from beginning to the latest chapter. This story may have its own share of flaws, but the characters are not one of them.
If you're looking for a cast of characters that captures the feeling of low level D&D, look nowhere else.
And in case the review above still hasn't convinced you to read the story...
The author has cat pictures in their author's notes.
I rest my case.
Chapter 9 - strong start, slow buldup of action. There's a little mistery, growing stakes, and a plot im invested in. The fight scenes are also actually believable for a new wizard, where they are compatent but still foilable.
But its the characters and dialogue that makes it. The characters are fleshed out with quirks and issues. The diologue is funny, without doing that thing where the author tries way to hard to make it a comedy.
First off, I should give a disclaimer. I do know the author, and I do have access to some advanced chapters, so do take that into consideration with this review. With that said, I will still be honest, and I do genuinely enjoy this fiction!
The writing style used here is great. It more resembles the style of a traditional published fantasy novel, than that of a longer-form web serial, and is executed to a really high standard. Dialogue is solid throughout and feels natural and genuine, and there are no info-dumps to speak ot. The author does a great job of showing what is going on, rather than spelling it out, too, which makes this a much more enjoyable read.
I really like the story here. It’s at once a humble tale, but also has the inklings of becoming something bigger. We’ve gotten great glimpses into how this world functions so far, and I’m really enjoying the intrigue and setting so far.
Beyond the more general stuff, this fiction has just about everything you might want, story-wise. Lots of combat done to a very high standard, intrigue, magic, you get the picture!
Nothing much to say here. The grammar is very good, by and large. Very few errors, although maybe the odd one here or there. Nothing immersion breaking, and it is structured really nicely too. I’ve never spotted an error unless I’ve been actively proofreading, so it is far above the standards of most fictions!
The characters here are actually really solid! They all feel very genuine and natural, and stay true to themselves. The characters all have unique personalities and behaviours, and interact really well. Dialogue is super natural and fits the characters, with great use of humour as well. Even the characters we don’t know much about yet seem quite unique, feeling more like the things we don’t know are being kept from the MC, than that they have lacked development.
So, to finish off the review, I wholly recommend trying this fiction out. It is a genuinely entertaining, well written fiction, and I’ll certainly be keeping up with it myself!
Hi there, I was manipulated into giving this five stars by skilful use of cute cat photos. Author displaying devilish cunning.
actually the story is good so far, the MC is neither cute, devilish but possibly slightly cunning. He has just inherited a spell book that may have a mind of its own but is otherwise a bit down on his luck. He is already meeting up with interesting friends and character development is coming along. Preparing for a dungeon crawl at pout of reading, no doubt they will be tested.
The MC has a mixture of common sense, grit and talent that I like to see and read about. Personally I don't like extremely immature MCs who act like idiots and this MC has got a level head as they say. So that's a plus.
And don't forget the Cats.
Okay so to start, the synopsis really undersells this fiction. I've read 'd&d inspired stories' before and they're usually quite bad. This isn't, sure there's a few nods here and there to Gygax's baby, but this is a solid story well worth your time that deserves to be higher on trending than it is right now.
Grammar is consistently good throughout, no typos, missing punctuation or hard to follow sentences that I can detect.
Style is good, consistent and a pleasure to read. No exposition just sexy, sexy show don't tell. Great dialogue, well written descriptions and lovely narrative pacing.
Story is really good, no dead air or worse dead chapters. It's moving along at a brisk pace more often seen in novels than web serials and Alex has managed to do the hardest thing of all: high stakes early novel conflict! Seriously first arc peril is so hard to write, and it's done so very well here.
Characters are good, they read differently, their consistent, believable, blah blah blah. However, Hump has in my opinion met his party too early in the story and has been denied a chance to shine as a result. We know that he has a spine, magical mojo, common sense and wit, but he's the caster in the party not THE caster who makes the party. I've drank wine so I may not be as eloquent as I would like to be but my point is this. Narratively Hump needs an opportunity to either be separated from or take charge of the party and be awesome. There are times particularly when he's with the rest of the cast that he just doesn't feel like the protagonist. I like this story a lot, Alex has way more talent than most authors here, but Hump needs more moments to be the badass wizard I know he can be.
Quality stuff so far. We're really still building up as of yet, but the story's gotten enough momentum to draw the reader in and have them invested in the MC. Other than that, the dialogue is humorous and smart, the action is snappy, and there are hints of a more complex and developed world behind the curtain of a relatively poppy plot. The characters could use a bit more depth to transcend their stock-tropes (the "Knight in Sour Armor", the "Edgy Rogue Girl", the "Eccentric Nobleman", the "Noble Male" etc.) but they're all pretty interesting and the story is in early works after all. Looking forward to more.
The Hedge wizard is a very cool fantasy story about a wizard
It's at the edge of dark fantasy. For now, it involves multiple characters, different plot, a low key spellbook, and some nice character moments. I recommend it.
It's all very fleshed out, and yet not slow a single moment. 5/5
When Alex M told me about his concept many moons ago, I tried to convince him to turn the story into a raunchy comedy called Hump the Hedge Wizard. Where hedge wizardry opposes the will of the gods and therefore divinity is out to destroy and discipline Hump. However, Hedge Wizards are beings of power and their offspring are born with incredible gifts. As a result, women are constantly throw themselves at Hump, getting him in all kinds of trouble.
I'm glad Alex M ignored my advice and tailored the story to his tastes and not mine. It's much better than anything I could've written.
Lets skip over categories like Style and Grammar. Both are great and will be better if/when it's plugged through a decent editor. I'd rather focus on Story and Character.
It's apparent that Alex spent several months formulating the story instead of throwing ideas at the screen until something came together. This is a rare skill amongst indie authors. Hump's growth and journey from apprentice to wizard is a compelling one and I can't wait to see where it leads him. Every character, including him, is entertaining and has as much depth as the primary cast.
As a beta reader it's hard for me not to give away spoilers, but you're in for some great things, fellow readers!
Reviewed at chapter 14 / 122 pages.
Hump is not just any wizard. He's a hedge wizard’s apprentice stuck in a precarious position after his master's death.
Inheriting a tome of magic, a staff, and a horse, Hump must now find his own path in life as he navigates situations that all pose great risks to himself.
Follow him on his journeys and find out how.
Style Score: the author presents the story in a 3rd person limited point of view. No issues with pacing and the plot seems to be developing well as Hump learns more and more about what it means to be a wizard in his world. I found three instances of modern vernacular that threw me out of immersion, but that has more to do with my personal preferences than the storytelling.
Story Score: The story seems well plotted. The scene-setting is great and each chapter seems to reveal more and more about the world the main character is living in. Honesty, I can't say anything bad about how the story is developing.
Grammar Score: I found no errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. I'm a little jealous of that, lol. This story easily has better grammar than most Royal Road stories.
Character Score: The main character is sympathetic and easily relatable. Side characters are well developed, and there are no issues with voice.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel, and I think most readers who enjoy fantasy novels will enjoy this one.