- Traumatising content
A puzzling encounter leaves Dimitry a beggar with a strange emblem on his wrist. Around him, people suffer as ruthless organizations, opportunistic nobles, and an overly pious church vie for power in a medieval land under constant siege by stone monstrosities rampaging from the coasts.
Can a kindhearted surgeon aid this ailing world with modern knowledge, resourcefulness, and magic? Or will rival powers crush Dimitry first?
A fiction that starts brutally grim and eventually transitions into technology uplift with a focus on science, magitech, and town building.
Warning: Technical terms abound.
Cover art by AbsolutePower.
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Let me begin by saying that this is a rewrite of an already fun and engaging fic. I am only comfortable writing this review so early in the story because I enjoyed the previous one so much and can already tell that this one is an improvement.
There are very, very few spelling/grammar issues. The pacing is slightly on the slower side, but by no means does is drag. The rewrite is still in its infancy so the worldbuilding is still being established, but from what I can recall of the original story it's going to be well-built and internally consistent.
Most importantly, the main character is likeable and competent. He's a former surgen dropped into a medieval fantasy world with no money and no connections. His knowledge and skills are believable and enjoyable to read and don't bog the story down like most insert characters. He attended medical school and practiced medicine for years, so he's very knowledgeable about the human body and how to treat various aliments, but he has no tools and no medicine to prescribe. He doesn't instantly become a respected doctor. If he's going to do anything with his knowledge, he's going to have to work hard and find a clever way to move up in the world. It's executed phenomenally and I highly recomendable you give it a shot.
An incredible story that made me read all the 60 released chapters in one day.
What sticks out is that the magic and characters are both unique and interesting. I also enjoy how MC is trying to improve the medical practice in the world instead of the cliche "let's reinvent modern technology again isekai."
The only problem I found in this story was that it is exhausting to read, the MC is constantly running into problems and is never given some kind of rest. As soon as the MC finds some goal or peace, random people will always show up and ruin everything, piling on even more problems for the MC to handle.
Examples of what I mean:
1. MC starts to stabilize his new life, until a jealous surgeon bribes the guards to kill him.
2. His only advantage in combat, a unique magic only he can use gets exposed publicly.
3. MC needs to distract three watchmen with two of his newfound friends, suddenly two guards shows up and ruins everything.
4. MC plans his escape, suddenly he only gets a day to finish his plans.
5. MC needs to reveal that he is the infamous user of unique magic making him even more wanted.
6. First night after escaping three people find him, exposing his trail.
7. Last night before reaching his first major destination after escaping reveals his identity to a farmer wife.
8. Can't enter city because he is wanted and recognizable so the plan is to get caught to enter the city. (what could go wrong)
9. During the whole escape MC has over drafted his magic, in the city he is forced to use it because female lead had to give money to some poor family before protecting him.
10. While traveling with an illegal smuggler the official church joins them on the journey?
11. Church inspection makes MC overdraft again + revealing his identity to other stowaways? (They should be stowaways but the church doesn't seem to care)
12. MC gets captured for the 3rd time.
13. TBF the last journey with boat is actually pretty calm, until some murlocs? attack
14. Finally reached destination, mini arc of MC trying to prove his medical knowledge while some groups try to sabotage him.
During all of this the MC hasn't really progressed towards his goal of healing people, except around chapter 60. Most of the story is character and world building.
While the story is not fast paced, so far (chapter 1-60, 650 pages) the MC has never gotten any real rest which is a bit exhausting to read. I'm only ranting because I want to let the author know of the only fault I find in his story. I'm pretty sure things will calm down at the end of the first volume.
I've read up to chapter 40. The world and it's magic are fascinating. I look forward to Dimitri discovering more about the mysterious about the world he is stuck in. The character interactions decent too.
One aspect of this story I like is that Dimitri is actually struggling to use his surgeon skills. There are plenty of transmigration stories where the tranmigrator drops into a medieval fantasy world and builds an army with firearms or secures a fortune by making mayonaise or something else rediculous. Dimitri has to struggle with some basic things from being dropped in another world, like his lack of identity and connections, his lack of tools, and being broke. He isn't helpless though. He has advantages but I don't want to spoil the story.
The original was one of the stories that finally got me to actually make an account on royal road so that I could follow it and never miss an update, it was that good. I was sad to see it go and am overjoyed at its return.
The one thing I hope for more than any changes to the book itself (which was already damn good) is that the author has learned to take things less personally. There will always be people who don't like what you do. Add that to the trolls who are just trying to get a reaction, and people giving 0.5 reviews to knock the book down in the ratings so that whatever other novel they are fanboying is raised a place, negative feedback is inevitable on a public forum like this. Focus on the positive, I would hate to see this dropped again.
It's very good. I binged it. The prose is extremely readable, the events are always actively getting us somewhere new, the characters are well-defined and actually interact with each other the way real people would, and to finish, the main characters are likeable and resourceful.
I'm almost losing my mind as I'm writing this. It's been far too long since I've had such a painless experience reading something new on royalroad. Thanks for writing this.
This story is straight up awesome, having a blast I never saw the original so I can't comment on its improvement but the world feels unique and the protagonist isnt an idiot like most of these stories make them. Thr characters and world feel very fleshed out and believable, the author also knows his stuff so treatments can go in depth. Overall highly recommended
Having not read the pre-rewrite story I have to say that this is an extremely well executed story. The story has a fundamental realism about it dispite its fantastical element. It is a low fantasy (defined as a story with fantastical elements but approached realisticly) people are cruel and magic is used for power more than heroism but into this story our protagonist, Dimitry, has entered with the hope to survive and make it a better place.
In ealier chapters the protagonist was a little too passive for me but as of chapter 50 he has really started to drive the story with his actions. I enjoy how the author balances the main characters internal debate and his struggle without descending into whining. Too often protagonists in stories on RR are the nicest people ever or sociopaths, this story actually features a real person.
The magic system is also worth a mention in this reveiw, as of chapter 59 the basics of it have been laid out but several mysteries remain which point in a more eldritch/cosmic direction which I am always a fan of. (Without hitting you over the head with tenticles)
Fundamentally speaking this is a EXTREMELY well written story, with an interesting and unique world and I am interested in seeing where the author takes it.
The elements of Castle Kingside are reminiscent of Release that Witch, whether it's the scheming Church, the demonic moon, the alien frenemies and the introduction of tech and learning into a medieval society.
However, Castle Kingside brings the concepts to a higher level of polish. The characters are grittier, face greater adversity, deal with illness and crime and slavery. The main character also has a speciality in medicine, which brings out his character wonderfully, and lets us see plenty of cultural clashes between modern and medieval medical practice that bring a lot of charm to the setting and story.
Map: For anyone who wants to consult the world map - on Chapter 61 and a regional map on chapter 98.
The main character is great to read with his mindset of a medic. He stays in character, and gets more ambitious later on, as he stops fleeing and starts the kingdom building segment.
Precious is the true star though. The constant war between Precious's instincts from her sadistic species and her desire for companionship that overrides it make her a very special companion that add to both the darker and lighter moments in the story. She's easily one of the best Faery characters I've read, showing both the playful and treacherous aspects of Faery in a single rational character.
The main heroine is a bit less interesting... She's also a bit less cohesive, some of her later emotional moments not really matching up with her story (imo). Still, she has a heavy past and princess role that keeps her relevant through the story.
The side characters are also great. Early on, we meet many interesting people: the homeless, the delusional, the criminal, the pompous bard. Later... we unfortunately start to see an uptick in female characters, most of them pretty... I like a pretty heroine as much as the next guy, but I hope hot girls don't take over the cast. 2 or 3 beauties (particularly if one of them has ulterior motives - keep villains in there) make a series great, 10 or 15 make it boring. That being said, I'm really shipping Angelika right now.
If you're looking for kingdom building, this is a novel that builds up to it. Don't expect it anytime soon, but once you get there, it flows really well. From handling what he's best at, to getting mired in politics and war and seeking solutions and homeworld tech, the build up is interesting, natural and the Kingdom Building ultimately shifts into full gear.
The magic system is also very well done. Castle Kingside takes what seems like a very limited set of spells, but then depends on ingenuity of the characters to find uses for them.
I can't say how much I love this type of magic. Instead of just churning out new spells for new problems, we get to read about combinations, and reinterpretations of magic, which are gold.
Healing is also not just magically dealt with, which I think is a great touch. Obviously, this gives the MC an edge with his knowledge, but it also makes the death and grit of violence and pestilence feel more damning and medieval.
For better or for worse (depends on reader preference, I suppose), our MC starts the story with a special cheat magic. Fortunately, the author gives the MC plenty of grief over it, so we still have all the thrill and suspense of an underdog. Do, however, expect the typical messiah MC in later chapters, however, he does get there... for better or for worse.
Church and demons
The setting of the story comes back to the creepy green moon, the secrets the Church tries to conceal as it manipulates the public and the demons, of which there are various kinds.
Much like in Release that Witch, we're given the great ambiguity of demons perhaps not being what they seem. Whether from mysterious technological origins, a game of the gods or other potentially friendly species, we still don't know what is truly friend or foe.
Grammar is good, the story is very readable. That isn't to say it's perfect. There are a number of little mistakes here and there, whether typos or word confusions, nothing an edit won't fix.
Overall, I strongly recommend. I've thoroughly enjoyed Castle Kingside so far, and there's a lot to look forward to as of the latest chapters! Keep it up!
Good storytelling, good science, crisp writing, upliftment. What more can I ask for?
There's more challenge than bog standard isekai stories.
There's an original magic system.
Hints of intergalactic intrigue.
For cons, character development is decent for the protagonist, but could be better for others.
This has a great start and has been delivering steadily. Can't wait for more.
Ran into the story after being re-uploaded with the latest rewrite. Not sure how it was before the new changes but it definitely reads as a professionally written novel.
A unique take on a skilled professional (surgeon) being re-born in a fantasy world. Intelligently devised plot and character.
Won't say anything else in order to avoid spoilers. Definitely go ahead and give it a try. You will enjoy it. :)