- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
Warning: This book is set in a brutal fantasy world that predates modern society's values. It contains violence, gore, slavery, and other grimdark traits along with fantastical beings and LitRPG elements. Think Game of Thrones with bloody gladiator fighting, mercenary teambuilding, and set from one man's perspective. If you don't have the stomach for such content, have a nice day. If you want action, violence, and to be entertained, welcome to Team Zeppelin.
Assemble, Train, Compete, Dominate.
Frank lived for his three sons, busting his back to see they thrived in comfort. His good for nothing wife, she made him the happiest man in the world when she finally agreed to his divorce terms. His glorious day became ruined when a bomber sent him through an unformed portal connection.
Lost to eternity and stuck in the void, a happenstance encounter allows him to relocate to the fantasy world of Dorbin. There's a drawback to Dorbin. It's a violent planet filled with ruthless cutthroats, hideous mythical creatures, and all the activities a heathen could ever wish for. Even the national militaries turn a blind eye to the atrocities, only enforcing the laws when they see fit.
The ruler of Dorbin calls themselves the Creator. The being is all powerful and incredibly uncaring, and yet, they gave him a second chance. He arrives marred from the explosion, unable to speak the local language, and about infinitely cleaner than anyone else on the planet.
The Creator established a system of kiosks for trading, point tracking, and quest rewards. The challenges for Frank will be steep, the learning curve arduous, and the chances of going home a big fat zero. It doesn't take long for Frank to realize there's no place in Dorbin for the weak or the meek. If he wants to survive, he will have to earn it and the ends sure as hell justify the means; especially when he selects to become an arena manager - a dominus of the pits.
Warning - This book is for adults. Period. If you are easily offended, please avoid it.
Copyright © 2021 Chad Opo. Royal Guard Publishing
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously.
Names, characters, and places are products of the author’s imagination.
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.. i thought this was a dark and violent world.
Characters are iffy, except for the baron's dialog he's the most realistic.
mc is a cripple with crutches, that has no knowledge of the world, is equivalent of a lvl 1 noob.
yet the first woman he is nice to evaluates him as being able to protect her, her kid and various other women (even with her hate for men and her traumas), the women is saved by the mc by just feeding her eggs from the farm, which no one else seemed to be able to do, not even people who care about her like the baron/baron-daughter, other friends, no medicine or anything, just food thats already there.
and even tho she has a hatred for men and a trauma of multiple rape and beatings, she trusts him instantly, trusts him with her 2yr old daughter, their finances, their livelihood, her farm and land. oh and bonus sexual favors ofc that's what women do when they have a trauma/hatred for men.
a 'matron like woman' of a shelter for beaten/raped women instantly agrees and send them straight to him.
The world is dark and violent. (mostly it leans to cringy descriptions and dialog.)
so coming back to the noob lvl 1 cripple who's clearly a worthy protector of raped and beaten women.
the world is linear, seemingly no one robs/scams this cripple and every opponent he meets is at his lvl, coins which we were told are rarely in the hands of citizen yet he makes easily in 2~weeks, a baron that looks at him (remember cripple and noob) and thinks.. that's the chosen one, i need him to lead my militia and give him land.
The structure and/or placement of sentences are off or confusing, hardly any descriptions of the area around the system-kiosk besides that he landed on a crossroad and afterward that there are people suddenly.
There was a mix up about what side of the river he captured goblins, etc.
of the few descriptions of an area that is given are often odd/off.
The grammar certainly doesn't help, nor do typo's.
>The falling continued with the sky materializing over a forest with mountains on the horizon. The evening hue of golden rays revealed a city, farming settlements, and birds spooked by a human falling among them.
>The planet below me materialized from ant sized to big enough I could start to understand what I was seeing.
>The woods on the sides contained dense underbrush with little light piercing the thick canopy of the tall hardwoods.
-how can you see where the light lands underneath a canopy when you are in the sky above it, even diagonal with "thick underbrush" in the way?
>The closer I came to the surface, the easier it was to notice the entire world was devoid of beings. Not a single person walked the roads, or drove, or whatever. It was as if a god had snapped and removed everyone but me and the birds.
-yes, i see settlements, towns, roads and then think to myself, "the entire world was devoid of beings".
should have been something like: "there were no people around at this time"
>In the middle of crossroads, four podiums rested back to back. This was the only section that looked this way.
-section? what section, its in the middle of a crossroad
>To accommodate traffic, a circle the size of an arena helped create space.
-if its in the middle then everything else is space to move around it, so if anything they limited space by marking it off.
and whats an arena size, a new type of measurement? think you mean shaped.
>This was an epicenter of the region.
-since he knows so much of the region.. having arrived 5 sec ago and is still falling down..
i see a kiosk in a shopping mall i also immediately think this is the center of a region, even if there are many kiosks i know they are all centers of their own region.
there's many many more but the above is back to back in a very short section of the first chapter, you can call me nitpicky or whatever but if this is the quality from the get go that's bad and it continues quite often in the other chapters
>At his feet, a goblin chieftain lay battered and covered in a mix of blood and cum.
-even a horse only cums 25ml to 100ml that's a small shot-glass, i doubt you'd even notice the cum in a dark cave amid corpses, blood and guts.
>literally raped to death
-unlikely, more like raped and beaten, the beating part resulting in death, but hey, gotta sound more darky...
a woman opens up about her life story about rape and wants to know who you are and you tell her you want to live a little more selfishly..
all fine so far, then you just have to add that you want to fuck many women and have orgies, oooh so dark and clearly what she wanted to know.
then later you follow it up with "i always wanted a daughter"... ye not creepy at all, she should totally trust him.
I passed over this book no few amount of times, not sold on the title or the reviews and when I did finally pick it up to read, I was immediately hooked. So for the first part of this review, I will go over the preconceptions that I got wrong that I believe others are getting wrong too. For how good the writing is here, there should be alot more views. Ultimately this is a free story by (what I believe to be behind the moniker Chad Opo) a professional writer. Most of you who read will be pleasantly surprised and again that number will have a limp for the next 3 days.
Number 1: The story is not confined to an Arena, infact most of it (80%) happens waaay outside of the Arena. Personally, I didn't want to read about drama or action all locked up in an Arena and was extremely happy to find most of the story happens when venturing into the wilds or baron holds, exploring the wonders and terrors of this new world. Arena Manager is just his LitRPG chosen profession and a way to make good money. MC is building a gladiator army filled with fantasy creatures and weapons.
Number 2: The Dialogue. Yikes! This part butt hurts most readers ( myself included) Here's a bartender life lesson: A girl will know in under a minute if she would ever sleep with you, under 2 minutes if she's leaving with you tonight... All you have to do as a bloke (and this is important) is shut the hell up. Frank never learnt how to shut the hell up!
I have always known I am excitable, those of a polished veneer would simply say crass... BUT. my. lord. Frank! (frank = MC) even I was shocked. The only time I ever put the book down (twice) was dialogue and not just Franks but others who converse with him too, Lord or Lady.
So what I'm saying here is, it doesn't matter who you are. YOU ARE GOING TO CRINGE at the first bits of dialogue between chars. But there's good news, it does go away (lessens and then virtually disappears). There are two explanations/excuses for that.
A: The spice must flow, as a writer when you have inspiration WRITE write and write. DO. NOT. STOP.
This is still Authors rough draft, which is pretty good considering. Author responds to his fans in the comment section, I saw something about changing a chars name and in next chapter chars name was indeed changed. So he is writing as fast as he can to put this stuff out and if I were to choose whether he should stop and go back to polish some stuff up, I would always choose NO. More story please.
B: Do you know how indifferent and blunt grandma and grandpa can be? Well, The MC is hundreds of years old. (was trapped in the void) so at least on his part this is explained.
Ultimately if we can't wash Franks mouth out with soap in the Final Draft, I most certainly hope the Author washes out the other Chars mouths. But again it does go away and thankfully every time there is dialogue, the story flows on leaving it all behind.
Number 3: Frank saves all the girls. No. He really doesn't. Don't get me wrong he would if he could ( wouldn't we all?) But he quickly realises his earth ideals aren't going to be enough here, it's just not economically possible. The Author clearly makes mention of this and even devouts chapters to failure and consequence.
Someone threw around the words 'Toxic masculinity ' in a review, I couldn't disagree more. That's just like playing the game: 'spot the Vegan', but with man-hater instead. Aw but the prince is such a woman-hater, wait till you guys learn about King Henry the Eighth. Nobles have always been a different breed of human. Honestly, it's just ridiculous this is a medi-evil world, but don't be mistaken plenty of powerful and evil female chars here too.
What's any male chauvinist going to do against a female Minotaur? You really think he's going to tell her to get back in the kitchen and not die painfully? The authour clearly defines why some people are mistreated and others are not. Thats especially important in a LitRPG world where skills and ExP bring about dominance in the field, thankfully author keeps it interesting by spinning a story for each.
How we treat others defines us as a species. Are we advanced or medi-evil? Educated or retarded or just sick and twisted. Each sob story has a reason, sometimes especially horrifying and sometimes tied into main story line (nobles)
In real life, every living politician lies for votes, some of them actually believe their sad promises. Frank is recruiting too and he also believes in better, but Reality is the mother of Nature and it's harsh. The author does an excellent job in reminding the reader that every world has its own reality, not all to MC's liking. Adapt or die.
Ultimately, AT NO STAGE, does Frank go/believe he's doing this to save girls or anyone. He even goes so far as to promise consequences of failure. HE. IS. BUILDING. AN. ARMY. If you don't have the strength or finance to keep people in line, give them certain rights/promises. The Author shows his skill here again in keeping various species/genders in line, including failures.
Number 4: I save this one for last because I'm embarrassed to admit it. I seriously did not expect this novel to be as good as it is. I read a lot and have become a bit jaded in doing so, I see a red flag, 3 at most, and I'm putting the free book down. Most readers on RR are this way too as you often see a review saying " this derp derp story is above average for RR standards ". I don't know why folk say that, we all have our preferances and it ultimately doesn't explain the novel. Even with the red flags this book rocks! It's fast. It doesn't get bogged down.
You walking alone at night down a dark road, suddenly you hear Russian Techno blasting in the distance and gaining rapidly. A dingy ford mustang rapidly approaches and slams on brakes besides you still blasting muisic. The driver jumps out and yells NO TIME TO EXPLAIN! GET IT! You hesitate because... well red flag. A minotaur sticks his giant horned head out the back seat window ( lord knows how it fit into the car anyway) and says to you "did he stutter?" Ultimately you're afraid... very very afraid but get in anyway and you have the time of your life. This is a core memory.
A free book by an experienced author! Give it a go before it gets taken down to Amazon. Yes, he already has a book deal.
I give this review because I believe readers are missing out, I almost did. No, the Author has no idea who I am.
Frankly, if I did join up with Team Zepplin, I fear the only place left would be as army fodder and NOT the nice kind where a cannonball takes your head off. But where Frank decides to go fishing for Aligator men to build his growing army.
They jump and snap at you, whilst you dangle on the end of a rusty hook in a short frilly skirt. The Alligator men are O'rny as hell in their lonely pool and your attire is part of his grand plan to entice a greater catch with the added bonus of keeping his troops entertained. Morale Matters.
Your end is not swift enough and Frank mutters an expectation of greater effort needed next time on your part. His real disappointment comes through when the price of bait goes up. Thankfully you're dead.
By rights this story should be garbage, but somehow the author does the scenes and descriptions of everything flawlessly. ....but not the dialogue. It's like two different people wrote the story, one monkey wrote the talking bits, and Shakespeare wrote everything else. I can't make sense of this.
Everything that isn't dialogue is great, but the dialogue is trash. The characters have little to no depth, and you're better off skimming most things in quotation marks and using your imagination to fill stuff in.
But. I. Just. Can't. Stop. Reading.
In a world where there is magic n stats this guy sure falls for every women. Every women in distress n there alot of them he has to save. I can honestly say I can predict that in future chapters he saving yet another women. In that the man of that world are showing toxic masculinity. Won't be continuing
This story provides what got promised in the description, and i like that.
It is a good read, worth your time but with a small dent in its shining armor:
The beginning and some of the plot in the 20ish chapters is confusing if you don't read it thoroughly, just a warning for future readers :)
Really good character development, political descriptions in a difficult different world and a plot thats not too stifling and not boring at the same time.
I recommend reading to my fellow readers and to the author,
Thanks and keep up the good work ^^
Il start off with giving a rough overview of the landscape, without giving away too many key plot points. That being said a lot of story is still up in the air and can really go anywhere.
The setting has me feeling like I'm in the old times of Rome with the Colosseum being one of the main forms of entertainment, but with the twist of magic and multiple different sentient beings.
The new world, has a lot of the political short coming similar to our past. Slavery, brutality, ect. Well I guess we still have that today just better hidden... anyways in this setting the main character seems to indulge in the debatable moral standards. But at the same time keeping a line he won't cross. I won't say he's a hero, but I wouldn't go as far to say he's playing anti-hero either. Main character isn't overwhelming OP, has perks that help him.
The draw that keeps me coming back is how real the main character feels. How each interaction brings either laughter, cringe, disgust or just pure rage is awesome. Makes me stop and pounder what I would do in such a situation.
The story is written in an adult style, does not shy from blood, sex, and political scheming.
No major and awful grammar mistakes that make the story unreadable.
The author has left so much room for growth in this story, I can't wait to see it reach hundreds! No! Thousands of chapters!
Thanks for the great work, can't wait for more!
So, this has been a lot of fun so far. Good use of stats (definitely not overwhelming, but important), excellent story, fantastic worldbuilding, and very good pace.
There are good action scenes and the MC is not a Mary Sue. He's sensible and fun and makes this story great. Give it a read!
Really enjoy this so far. A good Anti-hero MC in brutal world, that doesn't try to change the world or force his morale on everybody. He is ready to kill or have his slaves be killed, while still struggling with the even greater ruthlessness of the world.
Intriguing setting. A focus on the managing aspect rather than chapter long battle descriptions, though there are a number of fights.
Many side characters with their own personalities and goals. Conflicts are not good vs evil, but rather conflicting interests.
Only thing I find strange is his sudden obsession with Arena fighting and blood sport. I know that he choose Arena Manager and it's his job, but the way he talks about comes off strange to me, especially considering that most of the time he doesn't particularly pay attention to it, aside from wanting to build a powerful business. It just kind of comes out of the left field in comparison to his other actions.
Would recommend giving it a read!
Overall - If you like gritty, dark fantasy like Abercrombie's, The Blade Itself, you will love this. There are no heroes here, just people with their own selfish motivations, and occasional bursts of human compassion. The world is brutal and cutthroat, and so are the characters that navigate it. The story doesn't rush past pertinent information to get to the next plot point. I love the world the author is building.
Style - The author is truly a master at avoiding passive voice while still managing to impart the feel and texture of each scene. The prose is compelling enough that I continued reading long after I had decided to stop. I was almost relieved when I ran out of chapters because now I can finally get some sleep.
Grammar - very nearly flawless. Enough said.
Characters - The characters are complex and complete. Though none are heroes, they are also not monsters. The mc is slightly on the evil side of neutral, but unlike many antiheros, there is a logical reason for his outlook and he still struggles with the morality of his actions despite his demons.
In conclusion, if you are reading this, trying to decide whether ot not to start the story... start the story. Unless you're very squeamish. There is some dark subject matter that the truly pure of heart should probably avoid. Aside from that, it's a compelling and exceptionally written ride through a 'realistic' fantasyscape.
Call me Gilgamesh. Im enjoying the story and hope soon sweet advance chapters will flow from on high through patreon down to us readers like the fabled rivers of ancient babylon.
I would recommemd it to anyone that likes arena fighting and team builders.
Perfect if you like team building. Arena fighting and violence.
TiL just how long 50 words really is