A Sense for magic

by JNorm

Original ONGOING Adventure Fantasy Magic Progression
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

Vance is a young man who has been blind since birth. He lives with his father and older brother. Over the years, he sought remedies for his affliction, but had no luck.

This year, an Arcanist visits the small town of Wethermane. Vance is curious and intends to visit this powerful stranger, hoping for either help or hope.

What he receives is something else, something greater - opportunity.

This book will follow his tale from afflicted young man to budding Arcanist, his struggles along the way, and hopefully a little humour.

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  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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JNorm

JNorm

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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
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Rivet
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Keep in mind that, while the advanced review scores imply a lower overall score, they do not denote the level of enjoyment I receive from the story, hence why I have given it 4.5 stars overall.

Story

The novel is ambitious, with enough effort put on the magic system that promises intricacies and a deeper insight into the rules placed on the world. This is certainly the main attraction of the story: seeing the main character cope with his disability and become stronger.

Style

The pacing is off in the first few chapters. It attempts at a beginning without exposition, a choice that I agree with. However, it is not executed perfectly. The main character is introduced, and immediately after, his fateful visit with the Arcanist begins. It is sudden and gives little insight on what the story promises. However, the pacing improves as the chapters increase.

Grammar

Once every other chapter, there is a letter capitalized in the wrong place. This Does not impede the story (as seen here), but it might turn readers off. There are also a few misplaced comma errors, such as the use of two independent sentences without a conjuction, which would typically require a semicolon instead. This could, however, be considered a stylistic choice, and enough people do so that it might not be considered an error anymore. (Ex: I love RoyalRoad, it is amazing --> I love RoyalRoad; it is amazing [or] I love RoyalRoad, and it is amazing.)

Character

We know very little about the characters even 26 chapters into the story. Vance is blind. He is also an avid worker who loves magic and his brother. His brother is big and kind. Very little insight is given into these characters. Furthermore, there is a disconnect produced with the deaths of select characters. 

When the father dies, a short paragraph/sentence is given on Vance's grief for his father. Then, he goes to aid his brother. His father is rarely mentioned afterward, and the story continues as if he had no importance to the story whatsoever.

When the Arcanist who visits the town dies in a magical accident, there is, once again, a single sentence on Vance's dismay. The character therefore has no effect on the story other than acting as an introduction to the wider world. His death has no point. It does not further the plot, aside from giving Vance a fire core, and it does not develop Vance's character as he shows little emotion over it.

Vance furthermore makes several friends in the future. As the chapters have ended as of now, I won't criticize this too much, but, once again, most of them are background characters.

Overall

It is a story with a lot of ambition. It wants to have a very complex magic system - which is has, at least more than most stories - but the plot is a little lacking. There is no end goal. I hope the author will add an overarching plot or reason for the story. I would definitely give it a read, despite my harsh(?) commentary. It feels as if this is the author's first story.

This is also my first in depth review, and I hope that it helps the author out.

Agasthenes
Overall

The story hits in all the right places. World building, characters, magic system, conversations. All in the five star range.

The only thing holding the story back from a perfect score is the lack of an editor. The plot points and motivation make all sense with consideration and hindsight, but the author fails to show those in the story. A second set of eyes could really improve the otherwise good delivery.

There are some strange pov changes in earlier chapters, but that peters off.

An additional complaints have is that the blindness of the MC is sometimes inconsistent or not well thought out.

At some point the MC mentions the blacksmith thaught him a little smithing. How? It's like the worst skill  for a blind person. You can't work by feel (red hot iron), the job is very loud and you have to have good hand eye coordination to hit. 

Like let the mc learn to whittle, or weave or anything else without hot irons. \rant

But all in all this is whining on a high level.

Give this story a shotI. Ifyou are turned of by a certain plot point, i suggest you keep reading.

 

TomRiffle
Overall

It's weird. I enjoyed reading it, and some of it was very good, but I got bored very easily at parts. I'm not saying the story as a whole is boring, but some of it just seemed so boring. Grammar and everything is good. Better than average at least. Character development seems good. My main problem is the pacing I think. It goes from fast to slow to even slower to everything happening in one or two chapters.


Over all, give it a try. I enjoyed it, but might not carry on.

Rip Van Winkle
Overall

The constant PoV shifts are jarring and bring you out of the story as well as being far too frequent.To the point  I have to reread every other paragraph cause the PoV shifted again. I wish you would stick with the main character. Other than that the story is not bad.

Edit: They get alot better past chapter 20.

Akelly9065
Overall

It is an interesting story, with a interesting beginning. And it really does seem to be only the beginning so far. 

It just gets more and more interesting with a bit of mystery but mostly an exploration of a unique perspective. 

Can't wait to read more. And I haven't seen any grammer mistakes. 

Lin_Kuei_Ominae
Overall

The best new story i've found ever since "Mother of Learning".

The focus is well spent on the developement of the main character with no unnecessary distractions or useless fillers.

Well written with sympathic characters, a very nice story and a bit different (yet easy to understand) magic system. Especially the last is offering lots of potential for interesting plots and new developements.

I can't wait for the next chapter and hope there will be many, many more to come.

Nogravy
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The story is good enough to recommend that others give it a try, but the author has made some questionable decisions.  

The constant POV changes have been done awfully.  A break or a line between characters would be appreciated, though many fewer changes per chapter would make it much easier to read.  On the "show don't tell" scale, it leans towards show.  RoyalRoad has some better writing, but this definitely works.  As for grammar, I don't have any complaints.  

The plot has started out well, disabled youth works hard to learn magic. We learn how the system works as he does, in a believable way.  He hears about his hometown being attacked by bandits and decides to make sure his brother is ok.  The story is good up to here, but then our hero decides that he needs to investigate the cause of the bandit attacks.  Our blind,16 year old, first year magic student hero; with one fellow student he doesn't know very well, and the brother whose life he is worried about.  Bandits with crossbows. Who happily kill and rape others.  A character's stupid decisions are probably difficult to write in a manner that feels logical to the reader, and this one felt more like the author needing to get to the next plot point. 

I feel like I'm focusing more on the negatives than I should, but I have enjoyed the story enough that I'd recommend it to those looking for some light fantasy here on RoyalRoad. 

PhiFell
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

TL;DR: While it certainly has flaws, it's a thoroughly enjoyable exploration of magic in a high fantasy world.

Story: if you enjoy high fantasy and magic systems, you'll probably like this.  It's not mind blowing but there's enough novelty to keep it interesting.  It's fun, mostly lighthearted (more on this later), and it moves at a good pace.  There are a couple points where it seems like certain things are glossed over, though it's not too bad. I'll elaborate more in the problems section.

Grammar: sufficient.  I can only recall one mistake, and there's not too much in the way of awkward phrasing.

Style: fine, but not amazing.

Characters: reasonably multidimensional, but sometimes fall a bit flat.  There's not a ton of nuance, but that's not necessarily bad.  There seems to be at least an effort to make the good.guys imperfect, and the bad guys at least slightly sympathetic.  Its not badly done it's just that it feels a bit YA novel-ish if you get what I mean.  Definitely lots of tropes but no worse than many novels.  Just go in with the right expectations.

 

Problems:

Trauma (and the lack thereof): the MC seems to get over things a bit too quickly.  In fairness this may be due to time skips.  An event from last chapter that feels recent to me may have been several days ago.  Still, I think this could have been done better. (Somewhat major spoiler follows)

Specifically the MCs mentor.  I realize he wasn't as close as, say, family, but it still feels like he's forgotten about too quickly.

 

Resolution of events: it sometimes felt like a conflict is suddenly gone after a short paragraph.  I'm not sure exactly how to describe this, but I think when reading this you may find yourself thinking "wait that's it? Everything is resolved now? That was fast".  Again, not necessarily a realism issue but more of a style one, I think.

MCs personality (minor inconsistency in one scene.  Relatively minor spoiler follows)

Mc fights back against outlaws in the beginning and then again later, but when he is beaten up in his dorm, he just takes it.  This whole scene felt a little off.  I'm not saying it's completely off base, but at the very least it could be lampshades better on the specifics of why he didn't fight back.

 

Overall, great story and I'm very excited for more.  I really like the progression of the MC and where it looks like it might lead.

AnarchticPrime
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Worth the read, Reviewed as of Chapter 25

Reviewed at: Chapter 25 - Enlightened

I rarely give reviews. I must have done only a handful of them in my life, in spite of the numerous incredible authors I've come across. This story? It compels me to write something for the author.

 

The style of the story works pretty well so far. There's a fair balance between narration and dialogue, a good amount of humor thrown in, and each aspect feels mostly natural. The only reason why I did not give a full score is related to grammar, but more on that later.

The story itself as a concept is rock solid. I do think a little more time could have been used to explore one of the character deaths and the emotional reaction (will not get more specific as that will be a spoiler), but I can pass off how it was brushed over as a consideration of the dangers of the world. Perhaps it would help to reinforce the thought, or to explore on the whole how death is viewed in the culture of this world.

In terms of grammar, there is quite a lot to edit and proofread. The first few chapters especially are rather rough to read, with some missing punctuation and unnecessarily long sentences. It can be easily fixed, probably best with live feedback if possible. For the readers, if you can power through, it is worth it.

The characters have depth, and that in itself is wonderful to find. Plenty of diversity, in terms of personalities and motivations, and once again, it mostly feels natural. I would very much like for there to be more of a reaction to one (and maybe another) character death, but it is not strictly necessary to enjoy the rest of the story.

Overall, I think this story is extremely promising so far. I hope the author continues to write it and develop their talent, and that more people will discover this work and enjoy it as much as I have. I'll be looking forward to future chapters.

Nomad1791
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Straight up great story talking 10/10 so far, mc is very likable his family too, back ground characters are both easy to like and hate and feel pretty fleshed out. World is alive and kicking magic system is awesome. Grammer iv come across nothing that breaks me out the story, maybe that's because I wasn't at the new chapters yet but even then that's awesome. The plot and story flow so naturally and smoothly I honestly can't stop reading it just so well done. MC being blind gives the whole thing a certain depth that's hard to find in most stories. No OP straight from the gate with the world vending out it's way to grace a mc with unbeatable powers or self fulfilment story our guy has a rough hand delt to him and he is over coming it. I love a under dog story no op cheat or a sword that shoots rockets or a giant harem of 40+ lusty sexy super women that are also smart and perfect in every way but blah blah. Nah our boy can't see so explores the world differently and he still has to work on overcoming his disadvantages and turning them into something that will be his special op power can't say enough how good this story is read it and judge for yourself. And if you don't agree hey hit me up in the comments and tell me why I love a good discussion.