- Traumatising content
According to prophecy, the ninth-born child of Lord Orellen will have the sort of power that changes the world. But in a land ruled by magical families, no one welcomes the possibility of a dangerous new player. Fearful even of their allies, the Orellens come up with an extraordinary and deadly scheme to protect themselves.
If the most powerful people in the world wish to kill the ninth-born, they will have to find him or her first. And that's not going to be easy when the Orellens have called upon dark magic to create hundreds of heirs. The boys and girls are given new bodies, new names, and even new magical talents before they are scattered across the continent. Only one among them is the real ninth, but all of them will have to grow up in a world where they are fugitives.
Kalen, once fated to die, is now an Orellen heir in hiding. And he is determined to survive, even if he has to master his strange new powers to do it.
The Last Orellen is a long, character-focused epic fantasy with progression. It's set in a vast universe, and it's about a boy's journey to become a powerful magical practitioner. Reviews are deeply appreciated. Please do not repost my work elsewhere without my written permission.
What type of reader is this book for? You might enjoy The Last Orellen if you like...
Clever and resourceful protagonists.
Big fantasy worlds. Multiple cultures, lots of characters, many different types of magic--this story is expansive rather than closely focused on a narrow storyline.
Old-school epic fantasy.
Progression fantasy that takes its time. Our main character will be progressing through magical ranks, but this is going to be a lengthy story. If you're more about the journey than the destination, this might be the book for you.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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Wish we could just pay this author to write all the time
Please start a patreon so I can pay you to write more
This story is excellent so far, and it's extremely interesting. Two twists that I think go very well together. Can't help but wonder what our MCs proficiencies really are. Can't wait to find out how he gets off that damn island. I probably can't take it for another three chapters, he's been there long enough
To sum this story up in a single word - captivating. The conflict driving the plot is an incredible idea, where the whole world is hunting the Orellans and they all come together to fight this fate, using all their wealth and cunning, magic and might.
The characters are rich and vibrant, all very realistic, from the main character to the most insignificant people who appear in only a single scene. The Orellan family in particular was wonderful to read, and I'm truly rooting for them and their cunning plan.
The author manages to bring me from mildly interested at the start, to absoluting gripped in the story to the point I had no clue what was going on around me due to the progression of events and how they're laid out. There were highs and lows where I leisurely read, or when my eyes kept jumping ahead to the next word, I was so keen on finding out what would come next. The humour dotted throughout made me laugh aloud, and overall, I feel the story unfold very naturally. There's no part where the writing is lesser in quality and I imagine the author is very experienced and talented.
The only slightly lacking part was the begining, where it was a bit confusing when jumping different character views who are in different worlds and not having a clue about the setting, but this is very slight and cleared itself up. I do feel that impatient readers seeking instant gratification may lose interest, but as they say, you can't please everyone.
The magic is new and interesting, and I especially loved how the subtle power of luck magic had such an amazing effect. The execution of how the author discovered and revealed it was really well done. I hope there will be more focus on this subtle yet overwhelming power.
The quality of writing and grammar is perfect as far as I could tell, and it was a real page turner. I couldn't stop reading even if I wanted to.
This is a delectable story. I won't talk about its subjects or what-not - it's all in the story's summary. I'll talk about why I named my review the way I did instead.
A lot of stories on this site are of the fantasy genre. One of the greatest appeals these kinds of stories have are in the world's they offer. Hence, the world-building is a very important attribute for a fantasy story, one that largely determines its quality.
The world of this story feels vast. Beyond the few words and sentences on the pages, you can feel the faintest breaths of a truly huge world, its presence constantly felt throughout the entire reading experience.
It seems unique, maybe different from many other stories and not following the usual clichés.
Another aspect of the story I like is the style it's written in. The author is very good with their words. Reading the story is as easy and smooth as slicing through warm butter, and it really conveys the feeling of an adventure. Attention is paid to the small details so that the characters feel alive, their circumstances important and their presence more tangible than any written character has any right to be.
It's truly a delight to read this story. I am very excited to follow this interesting adventure.
Bottom line up front: I read the newest Brandon Sanderson book and Chapters 1-22 of this story on the same day. I enjoyed this story more, and I'm about to blast a bunch of words at you about that, so hold on to your butts.
Is this story utterly flawless, guaranteed to add 30 pounds to your bench press, and likely to manifest a winning lottery ticket into your pocket? No, and also you might not know how reading works. That said, full disclosure: my motivation in writing this review has a lot to do with the fact that I'm liking this story so much that I want to do whatever I can to motivate the author to keep writing it. Since this is sieley's first RR fiction according to their author page and the story is a month old with 22 chapters in, I figured a bunch of accurate kind words would be a good contribution towards the goal of "goddamn do I hope this keeps going."
Maybe a year from now it could turn out to suck and I'll come back and make fun of my past self for being so hype, but...I'd be pretty damn surprised if that comes to pass given what I've seen so far. Anyway, preamble complete, here's more of an actual substantive category-based review:
STYLE: Three things in particular stand out to me that I'm loving.
(1) Prologue, well executed: there are 8 chapters that establish the setting, lay out the premise for one (or more!) long term metaplot(s), introduce you to key characters in the universe, and tug at your heartstrings before you even get the POV of the MC. That may not be to everyone's taste, but for me I thought it was fantastic.
(2) Responsible use of POVs: Writing in points of view from outside the main character is like getting the salt right in a cookie recipe. Nobody wants to eat a fucking salt block, but if you get it just right then holy shit that's a bomb cookie. For this story, *chef's kiss* -- outside the prologue, the MC is the MC and is the main focus, but every now and then you get that different perspective that drives home something great for character development, a plot point, world building, etc.
(3) Engaging Prose: I'm used to, and accepting of, stories on Royal Road where the authors are still finding their feet when it comes to exposition and word choice. This shit is free and I'm here to have fun, so a bit of infodumping or poorly calibrated descriptions (not enough or way too much) is totally forgivable. That's what makes it so refreshing when you get to a story like this, where it's just so good you don't even think about it unless you take a step back and want to talk about it in a review. On a purely technical writing level, this is one of the things that makes this story most stand out to me even compared to other stories I really enjoy.
STORY: I am absolutely digging how well this story is put together from a plot development and pacing perspective. I think maybe the best way to sum this category up is in terms of balance. There is really satisfying balance established between complementary elements, such as:
-a few glimpses of what "higher tier" / "next level" / "powerful" advancement within the magic system looks like to show off how cool and interesting it is, balanced with the MC starting from absolute basics
-the MC being exceptionally skilled and having a satisfying "special-ness" about them, balanced with interesting and meaningful obstacles to overcome
-a well-established over-arching metaplot that occasionally gets foregrounded but is mostly in the background so far, balanced with a close-in focus on the MC learning and exploring their personal powers. In the sense of story-fu if not in the particulars, I get super satisfying vibes of a lot of the books I loved growing up that did this well (eg Belgariad, Dark is Rising)
GRAMMAR: I have done copy-editing in a professional capacity in the past. I haven't noticed a single mistake in this story. I'm not being paid to actually go through and confirm, so maybe there's some error somewhere, but if I'm not noticing anything thanks to a combination "there are no mistakes" and "if there are mistakes, they are so rare that I missed them because of how engaged I was by the story" then that's good enough for me.
CHARACTER: You probably thought I was being hyperbolic and overly positive for the other categories, right? Well then buckle the fuck up, because this is where it really shines.
Every single character is 3-dimensional, well-established, has interesting motivations, and engages in internal monologue/external dialogue that flows and presents like an understandable real person. It reads like a real world, with real people, and on multiple occasions I've assumed I know exactly what a character is about to do or say and then what happens is way fucking better (in the sense of being funnier, more interesting, more revealing, what have you) while still being absolutely in line with the character as established. We're 22 chapters in, and so far there have been: characters of varying social status, age, profession, level of magical ability, in-world geographic and cultural diversity, and they all make sense. Seriously badass.
Let's hope it keeps up with the same consistent and rich plot and characters.
No out of character actions for the mc and the rest of the cast so far. No forced plot twists or Deus ex machinations. The world sure as hell doesn't bend backwards for the MC.
Author should take the time needed to keep things plot-hole-free.
Thank you for all the effort so far
This really is an epic fantasy novel. The last time I was this excited is when I read Codex Alera by Jim Butcher. Quite honestly the summary made me believe, the story was about a stat check progression with a MC that was using a cheat like code to progress within the world. Call me old fashioned or outdated but I never enjoyed empty stat checking to become the best. It is a senseless goal, equal to reading a book on norms and standards. A real fantasy novel was and always will be about the relationships won and lost between the heroes in that world.
This story might sound like a standard coming of age/chosen one story but there is a lot going on under the hood.
The author says you can skip the first 8 chapters to get the to main POV, but as someone who read them I would really recommend reading them. You don't meet the characters in them for long, but their stories are nicely self contained and give really great context for the rest of the story.
Its still early days as I post this review, so I cant say exactly where the story is going, but I really cant wait to find out.
Style: 5/5 - I Like the voice of the narrator, the prose is good, though not something I really pay much attention to, and it just reads well. It has a good flow and the pacing really pulls you along.
Grammar 5/5 - I Noticed one typo so far, so no complaints here.
Story 5*/5 - The story here is what makes this really exceptional. Yes, the chosen one trope is one of the most common fantasy stories out there, BUT it is just so well done here. You really feel like you are there along with the MC discovering his powers.
Character 5*/5 - This is another area where the story excels. Each character feels real with relatively complex desires and needs. As an example: There is a friend of the MC who is relevant to the plot but only as a relatively iminor charcter. We have only had the MC interact with him a couple of times, but we have already gotten a feel for his personality and his interpersonal relationships.
Overall 5/5 - Im really hoping this one keeps going for a long time with this level of quality as I think it could definitely make it to the top 10 or 20 at least
Very promising start. Great writing, world building, and believable characters. The world and its inhabitants feel real, and the character interaction and dialogue feels natural. I think this story has been really planned out and the writing shows a high level of professionalism. I'm impressed so far and look forward to seeing things develop.
I would want to write an advanced review but I just binged all chapters that are out and can't express why I found them this good.
I might update this later but the MC is the best writen child I have read on RR, the gramar and style make for an exelent reading experience and while the story is not far enough to make other statements I like the premise.
Edit 1: I forgot a seemingly well crafted magic system.
An interesting story, the story starts with a huge amount of intrigue and only around chapter 9 is the main character introduced.
Thus far I have thouroghly enjoyed it and I hope you give it a try too!
Chapter 1 was a bit confusing and seems directionless, but it all ends up drawing together nicely.