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Lansius, an office grunt and veteran MMO player who took one thankless job after another, woke to find himself in a medieval world, with no memory and only the future of a nameless peasant. Through trial and toil, he must survive the ravages of war and the chains of slavery to stand against the warring powers that are ripping the thousand years old Imperium apart.
With only his basic knowledge of the art of war, Lansius must save himself and his newfound family through the collapse of the human realm and the painful birth of a new dynasty.
What to expect:
- Introverted MC, start poor, weak, average looking 😅
- The world has magic, but the MC has No Magic or superpower 😱
- 3rd POV
- Realistic progress, army building, kingdom building ❤️
- Well researched medieval town, society, way of living, nobility class
- Author is an amateur historian, so historically accurate gears, weaponry, & tactics
- Overall Score
- Style Score
- Story Score
- Grammar Score
- Character Score
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Horizon of War is an Isekai that explores the social, economic, and martial implications of an educated man being dropped into a medeival fantasy setting. The world the author has created is structured much like Earth with human civilizations functioning much like they did in our history. The peasants are poor and illiterate, and the nobles are, many times, callous and overly concerned with money or holdings. The author's attention to detail about the living conditions of the peasantry, tools, weapons, and military logistics gives the world he's created life and fidelity that you don't always see with isekai stories.
Lansius is a fine protagonist with some depth despite not being able to remember much about his past. There are some allusions to some of his strong memories, but, as of the time of this review, none of it is particularly clear. He is, at once, not particularly brave, but also loyal and dutiful to the people he considers friends and family. In a lot of ways, Lansius is forced to become a man of action over time, and the author pulls off the progression from weakling laborer to tactician beautifully.
The only thing I think the author could communicate better in the story is how this world differs from ours in meaningful ways. I've seen references made to foul beasts and goblins and the labyrinth, but the existence of said things hasn't impacted the story overly much as of yet. I feel like the existence of creatures out of one's nightmares would change how people live in some tangible ways or maybe affect the calculus of war. I think I see what the author is doing, starting with a setting that is easy to understand and then revealing fantastical elements slowly so as not to overwhelm, but, as of chapter 13, not much is done with the fantasy part of the world. Instead, it focuses on human conflict and relationships and does this well. I'm sure the author will give us more fantastical elements as the story progresses, because he seems to know his way around a good story.
Although English is not the author's first language, I never found myself taken out of the story because of a conjugation mistake or the like. Just know that the story is in the past tense, and you'll be fine. For dialogue, your brain will probably fill in what you need.
The characters are strong in this story. Everyone is distinct without the author having to come out and tell the reader exactly what their deal is. Character development is handled in a sophisticated way that takes its time and manages to surprise now and then too.
I'd recommend Horizon of War if you're looking for a story that wants to transport you to a fantastical place while not bestowing godlike powers on its major players. These heroes are heroic, not because of magic or destiny, but because they are real people pushed to do extraordinary things. The author has put a lot of knowledge and love into the setting and characters, and it shows. You should probably give it a shot.
An accurate historical novel, this one really pulled me in with the amount of research done into the ages and the detailed portraying of everyday peasant life at the start.
I also like how even though its an isekai, the MC is in no way OP, given a skill or some weird system. No, this is straight true realism down to the bone.
Great writing style, attention to detail amazing - precise use of words ensure no wasted words in describing scenes around.
Battle scenes were a bit chunky in terms of paragraphing, but never had more than one action sequence within which was good.
Chapters were adequately spaced, i never found myself worrying about the chapter length or thinking about word count. A big win in my book.
The straight into peasant life ironically has a great hook for me, the down to earth viewpoint was amazing and something i never really seen in most RR novels. It was always either something unique or an intriguing universe.
The MC then tries to adapt the best he can to the world, and there's no System or Deus Ex Machina to support him - its a struggle and really adds to the character depth.
Sequencing of events were logicial and to the point - i never felt that events were suddenly throw in out of nowhere.
Even war in winter was acknowledged by the writer to be rare, which showcased the level of deep research and understanding put into the heart of this novel.
The reason why i cant give a 4.5 is because of the sudden time changes that seemed to be jerky at first glance, which can throw some readers off. I always had to backtrack and read to make sure i followed the chain of events.
5/5, no errors or issues with the reading in terms of grammar.
I never felt like any of the characters were one dimensional - they all had their inner motivations and focus, never simply tagging along with the MC. The MC also did not have a unnatural controlling force on the characters, which usually shows up in most novels.
The enemy is not easy to deal with as well, with the fights and battle being smart and won by tactics rather than 'numbers go big' so yet another win in my book. The MC also doesn't steamroll every fight.
Overall, a great read if you are even remotely in realistic historical living + a tinge of fantasy. Fair battles with palpable tension in every chapter - this is an addictive tale. Followed and favourited.
This story ain't too bad. Gives a good focus on the character, explains how he came to his current goals, and actually shows him reacting in a way that doesn't make me want to slap him. I am sad to say this is not a regular occurrence. Good on the author for that. Other than a slightly issue with paragraphs not having a more varied size through the chapters, I can't see much wrong with this story. 5/5
Ha! I like that Lans's Big Secret is simple multiplication!
And his concern for his adopted family is a strong motivator, and makes him immediately sympathetic.
His internal monologue about sneakers vs. medieval shoes is a great way to orient us. I like the 'he got zapped to a fantasy world, but we start two years in.' It's a refreshing change from a character immediately waking up in a new world.
I see that English is the author's native language. Considering that, this is hugely impressive! There are some rough patches, but I wouldn't have known. But also considering that … I'm going to pick on a few areas that I think are easy fixes.
First, repeating information:
“Lansius! I’m looking for Lansius!”
Someone called my name.
[We don't need the second sentence. I had a teacher once who cautioned against telling readers what you just told them, even if it's like, "I hate you!" she shouted angrily. Yeah, I figured it was 'angrily' because of her words, and that she's shouting!)
'Female' instead of 'girl' or 'woman' (in this case, probably 'young woman?') makes me wonder at her species.
But the two big things (which are related), are:
1) I'd be sure to include speech tags on the same line as the dialogue. So I'd change the text to, for example:
“Lans, you’re getting weak,” Marc taunted me from the well.
“Eh, no," I replied. "I’m not someone important. Just Lans is enough.”
Her eyes widened.
"That is one concern, yes, " I admitted.
2) I'd break up short paragraphs (usually) so each one only has a single character's action. So instead of:
“But I can’t even write that well.”
I confessed and she smiled. [Both characters have actions here]
“Lans, you should trust your ability more…
[I'd go with the following:]
“But I can’t even write that well,” I confessed
She smiled. “Lans, you should trust your ability more…
The story itself is grabby. Lans is sympathetic, and identifiable. If I were zapped to a fantasy world, doing simple mental math would be my magic power, too!
A solid story even if the core premise follows the standard isekai affair. Lans is a typical young office worker transported to a fantasy land against his will. Where the story gets its identity is through the battles. Tactics and armies make up the meat of the action.
There is a lot of shifting in POV, from third person for one character then first person for the protagnoist, but the sections are labelled as to not confuse the reader. The prose is a bit simple but it does make for an easy reading experience.
No grammar mistakes to be found from what I've read.
Horizon of War: Isekai X History by Hanne surprised me with a very unique Isekai approach. While our main character lives the hardship of life in the medieval era and the small victories that in modern times given, we follow Lanse's point of view compared with the contemporary era. This gives us along the journey a good comparison between then and now.
The author masterfully describes and immerses the readers in all the details of living in a period without easy access to amenities, from supermarkets to medicine in pharmacies. The five senses are described as being able to perceive the darkness that was lived.
It is, without doubt, writing with love and careful description, a good immersion that any reader would look for. And that is what Lanse offers us in this novel, travelling to new lands, meeting their people and understanding their lifestyle while using his superpower: multiplication.
How to turn something so mundane nowadays into the most incredible skill ever heard is a fact that most of us forget.
And it is this simplicity that makes this story too delicious to follow.
The grammar and writing style is on point and adequate for this slow-paced story.
A novel recommended for those who like to go back to the past with just a simple twist.
I have to say this story was a delight to read. As someone who enjoys history, this writer put an immense amount of effort into getting every little detail right. And it's fun seeing a traveller from Earth get a real taste of medieval life--warts and all.
Style - The story is a slow burn, but thoroughly enjoyable. The author puts great attention to detail, and has written some matersful descriptions. With the way some scenes are written, you can perfectly visualize the world.
Story - I'm only on chapter 6 currently, but the story is shaping up nicely as a tale of young man trying to find his way in a harsh world. While war ravages the land, he uses his unique skills to earn a place and find a way to keep a roof over his head. Some of my favorite bits are the struggles of trying to earn a living in a world with only simple labour. This is something rarely seen, yet makes for a gripping story.
Grammar - There are a few grammar issues sprinkled throughout the story, though nothing serious enough to detract from it. Most of the issues are just typos and little mistakes, which is still excellent for a self-edited work.
Character - The character interactions are really a high point, along with the descriptions in the book. I really enjoy the interactions between the common people and of course the squire. The little moments between the characters are just perfect, and I can't wait to see how they develop.
As others have noted, 'Horizon of War' is an Isekai, but don't go into it expecting the standard Isekai fare. If you're looking for power fantasy, look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for a well-reasoned take on a regular person being shunted into another world, you're in the right place.
In many respects, the fact that the main character comes from another world is largely irrelevant. There are no cheat skills or big magical powers, nor does he instantly revolutionize the technology level of the setting or dramatically change their culture.
That being said, what the story tries to be, and what it does well, is to be a set piece for a fantasy world, with a more grounded, realistic take on things. We've learned that elves and beastfolk exist, albeit only by name, but it's unclear whether the setting even has anything resembling magic. Considering this is 10 chapters in, if magic does exist, then it clearly is relatively rare.
It's surprisingly refreshing, and its down-to-earth nature leads to some oddly comfy moments as we follow the life of the protagonist.
Story: 5/5 - Well-researched, realistic world with many things going on besides the main plot. Interesting events lead to an engaging read.
Character: 4.5/5 - Realistic, motivated characters with their own agendas
Style: 4.5/5 - Good descriptive prose, but sometimes hard to follow action.
Grammar: 4/5 - English as a second language. High-level vocabulary and word choice, but a few grammatical errors and odd uses of tense which might impact readability and flow.
5/5 - Well-researched, realistic world with many things going on besides the main plot. Interesting events lead to an engaging read.
The world is excellent. Well-researched, realistic, and historically sound, for the most part. 'Many things going on besides the main plot' is a, perhaps, vague way of phrasing it, but to be specific, the main character is not the only moving piece in the setting.
There are other groups, factions, and characters with their own agendas, taking their own actions, and affecting the world in big ways. In fact, in many respects, the main character is rather reactionary, largely doing things he is told or suggested to do by others, at least until chapter 7 or so.
A great deal of care is given to the setting, not just focusing on the larger events, but also going into the intricacies of daily life and routine, and focusing on the minor things that many other stories take for granted. It's a refreshing change of pace, and lends a very 'comfy' feel to the story, even when the intricacies involve being roadsore, cold, and miserable.
4.5/5 - Realistic, motivated characters with their own agendas
Most of the side characters have their own motivations and goals. The main character himself has a few driving desires, and his idiosyncracies (especially with regard to hygiene and living standards compared to his past life) stand out.
That being said, a few of the characters are relatively flat or one-note. However, this is still the early plot, and a lot of these characters tend to only show up for a chapter or two. I imagine the more deeply-realized characters who will stick with us for longer have yet to show up until the story really kicks off.
4.5/5 - Good descriptive prose, but sometimes hard to follow action.
The prose is highly descriptive, and the slow care that's given to daily life really shines, and makes the setting vibrant, and comfortable. The mix of daily life with the more textbook-sounding descriptions of the larger events of the setting makes it read much like a historical depiction of events interspersed with diary entries.
That's not to say the prose is diary-like, because there are some stories which literally follow the structure of a diary, and this is not one of them. However, it does feel like a glimpse into the character's life. in many respects.
That being said, some of the stylistic choices of voice and tense can lead to action being somewhat hard to follow. A lot of this may derive from the fact that English is not the author's main language, but some of it may just be stylistic in nature as well.
4/5 - English as a second language. High-level vocabulary and word choice, but a few grammatical errors and odd uses of tense which might impact readability and flow.
English is not the author's first language, but you may not notice it from a casual read. The author commands an impressive level of vocabulary and depth of description in spite of this. However, there are a few grammatical errors, a few signifcant enough to give pause.
More prevalent are some odd tense choices or mismatches that can stymie the otherwise smooth prose. Overall, it's still a sight better than most of the stories on here, but it is still noticeable.
All in all, Horizon of War is shaping up to be a well-researched, comfy glance into the psuedo-historical life of an ordinary person in the oft-replicated 'quasi-medieval fantasy setting'.
I have to admit I'm a big fan of Isekai and this story reminded me exactly why. It's very easy to get lost in an exciting new world with new settings and a war in the middle of it.
The story is set up very nicely and it progresses fast as the time and seasons fly by, making it a very fast-paced read. The way it unfolds is very logical and there iwere no lose ends plot holes I could find.
I also like the style of writing, using quite a bit of conversation to explain things and not too much of a narrative. The descriptions are short and nice, all to the point, so no unnecessary words are wasted on meaningless stuff.
Also, the characters are nicely done. They are all very colorful and original and easy to get attached to. All in all, it is exciting to wait and see what is going to happen to them in the chapters to come.
I have not noticed anything wrong with the grammar, and if there were some mistakes, they did not prevent me from enjoying this story.
The bottom line is that this is one great alternative for people who do not care much for magic and litRPG, but would like to read a really good adventure Isekai story, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.
Horizon of War is the isekai, or Portal Fantasy if you like. Unlike the other works in this genre, the protagonist, Lansius, is not given any magical power to assist him in his journey, and the world along with the people who inhabit it are also similarly mundane. No magic in this story. Ability to do the basic maths is only the protagonist's strength, which causes his meteoric rise.
Style - Story relies on the straightforward and easy to read 3rd person narration, with the very simple descriptions, and a lot of dialogue to carry the story forward. It is unlikely going to confuse you, which is good. Only problem is that it makes the story fairly impersonal as we are mostly told briefly how uncomfortable Lansius feels about this entire predicament, without dwelling on it too much, or at all. Which wouldn’t be much of the issue normally. This story has occasional changes in the point of view, explaining the necessity to use 3rd person narration. The problem is that the major focus is still on the main character, and the main character can’t do much and with no feeling to focus on, there is difficulty in relating to him despite the logic of his situation demands us to do so. Main character actually has a very realistic reaction to the events of the story, however, instead of feeling it, we are merely told about it. An omniscient narrator simply doesn’t experience the hardship of the protagonist, and merely tells us about it, giving the story a certain cold and unfeeling aura.
Grammar - English isn’t my first language, and criticising one in the web novel is entirely pointless, anyway. All stories I review should receive 5-star for Grammar by default.
Story - The story and its setting are obviously well thought through, and despite the major convenience (peasants can write, but can’t count, while Lansius can count but can’t write) the rest of the story do makes the logical sense within the context of the setting, along with the obstacles protagonist should face. The world-building is excellent, the setting is quite realistic, and the changing point of view within the story shows the history in the making. It makes me feel this story was originally supposed to have a much larger scope, even the title suggests it, but the writer cut that part out to build up the protagonist first.
Characters - Characters, including Lansius and his companions, are believable - act in a quite understandable and realistic way, and are slowly fleshed out as the story progresses. Except, I don’t feel for them too much. We are informed how Lansius feels about the whole thing, and it makes perfect sense, and it is very believable when you think about it logically. I completely agree with the author's assessment of the situation. It’s just an omniscient narrator style that doesn’t fit the story.
Overall, I would say this is an excellent story that reflects the significant work authors put into it.
If you look for the low fantasy isekai with more historical realism and less supernatural influences, you should definitely check this one out.