- Traumatising content
Logan Hall, a simple family man and office worker, was abducted from Earth and thrust into the fantastical world of Avanar. Lost deep in the wilderness, he quickly finds that fantasy is fraught with danger: fangs, claws, and magic.
Gifted with the power of the unique class, Spellthief, which allows him to absorb spells cast against him and cast them back at his foes, he swiftly learns to fight back, trampling his way into safer civilization.
Shunned by adventurers, who see spellcasters like him as poor party members, Logan finds few allies, but his progress does not go unnoticed. As he gathers the personal strength to fend off wolves and goblins, he also attracts the attention of evil magi, eager to steal his powers. While he scrambles to find a way back home, will he even muster the will to do so? Or will he be seduced by the power of magic?
Chapters have an average of 3,500~ words. New chapters every Friday at 6pm GMT. This work is only posted on Royal Road. Cover image by JiiBee.
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I have a love-hate relationship with such stories. Usually, while doing an initial review I don't really read more than 5000 words. Yet, I am reviewing this after completing chapter 5 - which is way over my 5000 word limit for an initial review. That says something about this title by itself.
The premise itself is nothing new, just another isekai LitRPG. Absolutely nothing is done uniquely either. It is just written very very well. The author combines the usual elements of isekai and LitRPG in a simple yet masterful way that makes this title an enjoyable time sink.
Story: A guy named Logan is pulled into a game world and goes wild. This story leans very heavily on the game-lit side of things compared to litRPG. This world is literally a game and everyone else we've met so far other than Logan is an NPC. This has annoyed other reviewers but I am generally fine with it, but all of the characters including Logan treat the game world as real life which may be jarring.
Characters: The characters of Logan and his NPC companion have gotten the most page time but we haven't learned too much about either aside from some basics. Beyond those two characters, few others seem to matter unless they are involved with the arc.
Style: The style of this story is unique with the way it presents its stats and other information through pictures which you'll see plenty of in the first chapter. At first, it was a bit weird to see them pop up so regularly but over time i got used to them and they have appeared less often but in bursts. I would have preferred sticking with blue boxes both for simplicity and so the author has less work to do.
Grammar: The writing and editing for the story have been well done and I have found no issue with it.
How I'd Describe this to the Ignorant: Imagine living in an MMO based on Dungeons and Dragons but everyone keeps telling you this is the 'real world' despite all evidence.
That's really how this feels as everything is just blatantly 'to much' Game and not enough Lit. Hit Points are a literal part of this story/world, not an approximation of how good something might get stabbed. Weapons aren't judged on sharpness, but do +2 points of stabbing damage. Crafts take hours instead of weeks because of 'Magic' and you can read a whole other book while doing it. Sadly a reader can't even see this as some Protagonist unique power because the whole world operates on this premise.
The Good - the protagonist has a class (Spellthief) I have fond memories of from 3.5 d&d and the book is well constructed for the most part. I enjoy the occasional art and the grammar is good enough.
The Bad - the world doesn't feel like a world at all. Instead it's an MMO that has PCs and NPCs with a system managing the whole thing all the way down to visible health bars. Most the Lit-RPGs that do this well try to find a middle ground between numbers and a 'stab' being something that involves metal entering the body. The fantasy is in those flash moves we see in the games being effective at disemboweling enemies instead of seeing big numbers and then the enemy falling limp on the ground because of a depleted health bar. Combat in this book are the author going, 'My spells did 2 points of damage so I just kept spamming them'. Just not exciting sadly.
I can't outright give this a 4 star nor could I give it a 2 star either BUT it feels wrong to give it a 3 star aswell. This story has some peaks and vallys in terms of quality. One moment I'm enjoying myself like its a 5 star book the next I'm skipping dialog because the story felt like a 1 star book.
The charaters are for the most part bland and uninteresting. The main character is... a person and the villains havent shown themselves yet "at the time of writing this review".
The world is not very fleshed out and sometimes confusing. Like, the towns folk post quest for adventures to do that pays 2-3 coppers an hour but monster quest pays 5-20 silver for a morning worth of work. For some reason it's seen as bad/selfish because the adventures dont wanna do the townsfolk quest. The author spins it as the adventures are looking down regular folks BUT I see it as choosing the more lucritive job. Regualr people can do regular task. There isn't a need for adventures to find a lost cat or clean a house.
I found this to be very wierd. The fact that the townsfolk see the MC as this hero for helping them didn't help the fact. I guess because they are called NPCs that means that they can't move from their spots unless the story requires them to do so.
You know what, I am giving this a 2.5 star. The more I think about it the more lifeless the world is.
The MC is alright. Not the best written character but not the worst. He does have a hero complex which I find dumb. Throwing himself into danger for people he just barly met is just cringe. He wants to stay low profile but also wants to save people left and right. It's either or, you can't do both!
A person who really wanted to stay low profile would level up as much as possible but only turn in enough material for sell to look average. BUT NO! He turns in all the material and people are like "WOW he so strong! We must get him on our team!". It makes no sense.
The world and characters might be below adverage but the system is where I had to stop and write this review. It's also the main reason why I decided to drop this book. With the system and the author himself.
I absolutly love system novels. This is a curse because if I see a poorly designed system, it'll destroy a novel for me. This book's system is one such system. I not explained very well even though there are 2-3 chapters of info dumps detailing it. Why would people with stats over 12 be consisdered Hero grades? The MC had 3 stats at 12 when he started and people were pooping thier pants at this. Then he levels up again and again and now all his stats are at hero grade BUT HE STILL LOSE FIGHTS! They say that Hero grades are rare so why does he seem so weak?
Ok ok, maybe I'm being too hard on the stats. Even though they don't make sense, I could fogive them. What I can't forgive is a magic system that set rules to limit the MC but also has spells that brake it's own limitations. It doesn't make sense AT ALL.
The story says he can only use 3 spells a day. OK this is fine. I'm not a DnD person so this is fairly new to me. Also since he is part rouge, he can use his knife when his spells fail. This is also good. BUT he got a spell called Force that he can use when ever he wants. No cool down, no casting time, and most importantly, no mana cost. It does low damage but makes the enemy flinch. The MC doesn't see this spell as something that's one billion times more effective than his 3 spells per day. He could easily spam this spell and kill just about anything but no! He use it as a set up for stabbing with his dagger or his other spell. WHY? He can use the spell as many times as he want to so the low damage is not a problem. Also because the spell makes the enemy flinch, he don't have to worry about retaliation. I was honestly getting upset that he wasn't using Force more.
I could excuse him not using it a lot when he was surrounded by other people "He still wants to appeare normal" But while he's alone, why the heck not? He's old enough and nerdy enough to know better.
I'm taking another half point off.
I'm not gonna talk abotu the system anymore because I'm getting mad just think about it. I'll talk about the other thing that made me drop this book, which is the author himself. Withoust sounding mean or attacking the guy, He explains away all the problems people bring up in the comment section. Easily fixable problems that won't take away from the story, is ignored and dismissed. You got to learn how to take critisim. It will only make you better at writing.
Also, he prides himself on using the images for the stats screen. While pretty, it's also destracting. Usinf mobile to read this book is a chore because I always have to zoom in to read the image. After a few chapters of doing this, I just stopped reading them. I'd read the larger font then move on. Also, the author uses WHITE TEXT on a YELLOW BACKGROUND! Why would you do this? Just why?
TL,DR The characters are bland, The world building needs so work, the MC doesn't make much sense and has an irritating hero complex, The system is broken but the MC is nice enough not to abuse it even though his life is on the line.
Overall: If you're on the look-out for a literary-RPG with good and believable mechanics, Legend of the Spellthief will surely satisfy all your cravings. It's a respectable effort from an author who is putting a lot of effort into finding their voice.
Style: The chapters are written in a straightforward, dry manner. While some parts left me wanting for more colourful language or more vivid descriptions, the writing gets its point across. The game elements are presented as tables and EXP/level up visualisations inserted into the body of the text. It's clear that a lot of effort went into these and they are a very fitting way of presenting information about skills, abilites, spells and the like.
Story: In my opinion, this was the weakest element of the series. The world of Legend of the Spellthief is a very typical medieval-style fantasy universe, and the plot at this point consists of our protagonist doing quests, obtaining skills and loot and grinding to level up. My biggest problem is that, more often than not, I feel like I'm not reading a story, but a transcript of a DnD session, and this is what made a lot of the chapters very tedious to go through. Chapter 1 in particular is essentially a very big info dump that stops the plot in its tracks before it can even begin; I feel like it could've been handled differently, the information contained within it presented more concisely or spread more organically throughout future chapters. There was no hint as to who or what is conducting this game (and for what purpose) in the chapters that I read, but that might be because the author is saving it for a future reveal. I will say that I thought that the progression feels very natural: the protagonist develops slowly, and his skills never feel overpowered or unbelievable, which is a very good thing.
Grammar: Nothing much to complain about here. Occasional mistakes are altogether too rare to be a detriment. There were a few awkwardly phrased sentences that took a little effort to decipher, but overall the grammar is perfectly solid.
Characters: Logan, our main character, is a believable and likeable protagonist. However, after receiving some very nice characterization in Chapter 0, his development frustratingly grinds to a halt. The moment he enters the game, he essentially becomes a robot, his each and every thought and word relating to how the mechanics work, what he is planning to do and how he is going to do it. It's made very clear that he played a lot of video games, and so this analytical capacity doesn't come out of nowhere, but I feel like it shouldn't be all he thinks about. Not for a moment did he think about the life, people and things he left behind, which did strike me as a little unrealistic. Because of this, the rare occasions when we do get a glance into who he is as a person (such as when he struggles with killing some goblins) are very much appreciated. Other characters don't get nearly enough attention and remain only sketched out after nine chapters, which leaves plenty of room for future development.
Style: 4.5, this is the type of work that could only be done by someone who's put hours into spellchecking, fact checking, and prose; technically competent in every level. In addition to this, the status screens, phone screens etc are easily some of the most advanced on the site. the only complaint i have is the sometimes slightly lacking level of description, which in of itself is easly dismissible and highly subjective.
story: 3.5, again, technically competent in its lack of backtracking, no immediately obvious plot holes and consistent chronology, but so far sorely lacking of a overarching plot beyond 'x skill getting +15% power'.
grammar: 5, even after scanning the every chapter I've went through twice, i have not seen Any type-os. At all.
Character: 3, not the best, the author does little to expand characters after the chapter they debut, even, disappointingly, the mc, who seems to only think about skills, even mere minutes after his death.
In conclusion, this is very much the typical isekai gamer fix, but refined and highly skilled in its construction regardless, making it the perfect guilty pleasure fic to sink your teeth into after a long day at work or school. Highly recommended. Well done!
edit: this made me spend half a hour trying to figure out where to put a full stop after a quote
edit2: I got distracted by the olympics, sorry this took so long!
edit3: I typed this on my phone, so sorry for any type-os! (≧▽≦)
Style: The story is told in third person from the perspective of the main character Logan Hall. The reader gets a view into his thoughts and perspective throughout the story. The style is straightforward and to the point, making for a pleasant reading experience overall.
Grammar: Pretty much perfect. There were a few minor typos and grammatical oddities throughout the writing but for the most part they've been addressed by other readers and have been fixed by the author.
Character: The main character, Logan Hall fits the bill for the genre. He does the "confused about being in a new world" routine fairly well. Although he is clearly out of his comfort zone and acts as such, he still carries a certain "bad ass' factor about him on his journey through being a spellthief. And in a nice change of pace, we do get a decent amount of his pre-transportation life, giving him more depth than your typical isekai LitRPG protagonist. I've only read up to the first 10k, but from what I've seen there is much room for Logan to grow, in regards to both strength as well as personality. Even the system itself has a bit of personality, responding to much of the MC's questions and actions in its own snarky yet absolutely blunt manner.
Story: The story follows many of the core isekai/fantasy tropes. Although many of the plot points you'd come to expect from a story of the genre are present here, the style and manner in which they are executed is done well. From communicating with the system, to taking on the first enemy, Logan's adventure is familiar, yet carries its own flavor by how the author writes.
Overall, Legend of the Spellthief treads familiar water in its own unique way with a very thought-out and deep system as well as a unique class for the main character that helps him stand out among others in the genre.
Like the title, the book looks promising. I usually enjoy rogues with a bit of magical flair, and this one tics that box off immediately. Grammar is good and so is the spelling. Overall, I enjoy reading it which is the most important thing. Everything else can be forgiven if it is enjoyable to read.
A fun adventure that follows a kidnapped man on his way home from a fantasy-medieval world. Full of tactical thinking, spell-flinging and progression-based story.
Style - Third person perspective. Describes most areas and characters well with the added benefit of hand-made graphical gaming windows for stats and skills. The windows set this apart from most other LitRPGs that just use basic RR tables or bolded text.
Story - Slow-paced but not a snail’s pace. Logan is learning the world and mechanics alongside the reader. Goes to both light-hearted and dark places as he finds plenty of nice locals but also murderous bandit-like villains in the early parts. The story introduces a few characters from which Logan can glean world-specific information from which is told both in dialogue and a short cliff-notes version by the protagonist’s inner monologue.
Grammar - Could not see any issues whatsoever, uses the UK style for some things, US for availability on the reader’s end.
Character - A varied personality from sassy and smart to fearful of the right situations. Comes to terms with his kidnapping rather quickly though his thoughts are on escape, seems like it may develop as we go along as we only have a few days so far.
A great story that one simply can't help but enjoy. The writing is amazing. Very visual. Each sentence builds up the scene and you feel really connected with the story while reading thanks to the author's great style.
The images feel odd in the very beginning but soon become something you might look forward to seeing. The world mechanics are also pretty solid and enjoyable.
The main character, in my opinion, is the best part. The guy is likeable and does what needs to be done. Anyday better than having a fool for a protagonist.
If you like a LitRPG, or even if you don't, there's no way you won't enjoy this. A great read!