Millennial Mage (A Slice of Life, Progression Fantasy)

Millennial Mage (A Slice of Life, Progression Fantasy)

by JLMullins

The world is wild, untamed. Humanity thrives, but only in isolated, well defended cities, ever shrinking as the wilds slowly reclaim all that was taken. The most capable magic users are raised up as Mages to serve mankind, further their cause, and defend them over the course of millennia.

Tala is freshly graduated from the magic academy and determined to make her own way in the world. She hopes to pay off her massive debts, quickly, but still plans on living each and every day to the fullest. Too bad the Academy left some glaring holes in her practical education. Loath to let that slow her down, and with no patience for a standard, low-paid apprenticeship (intended to fill many of those knowledge gaps), Tala strives to learn and improve as rapidly as she can on her own. Her unorthodox methods for preserving her own life allow her to take greater risks in search of profit and advancement, much to the surprise of those around her.


I do hope you enjoy this tale, but let me know what you think either way! Critique, both positive and negative, is welcome.

Release schedule is weekly: M-W-F

Thank you for your time and for giving this story a try.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: If this is found on a site other than Royal Road, or the linked Patreon, it was not posted by the author. Please find this tale, here:

https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/47826/millennial-mage

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JLMullins

JLMullins

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Table of Contents
122 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter: 1 - New Beginnings ago
Chapter: 2 - The Caravanner’s Guild ago
Chapter: 3 - Dinner ago
Chapter: 4 - A Simple Home ago
Chapter: 5 - A Day of Preparation ago
Chapter: 6 - In Holly’s Workshop ago
Chapter: 7 - The Old Made New ago
Chapter: 8 - Delivery and New Sight ago
Chapter: 9 - It’s Just Glue ago
Chapter: 10 - Don’t Let Them Poach You ago
Chapter: 11 - Mysteries and Chowder ago
Chapter: 12 - One Has to Dream ago
Chapter: 13 - Late Night Meetings ago
Chapter: 14 - An Auspicious Start ago
Chapter: 15 - The Journey Begins ago
Chapter: 16 - Arcanous Beasts ago
Chapter: 17 - The Evening Encampment ago
Chapter: 18 - The Wilds Are My Workout ago
Chapter: 19 - Not Soon Enough ago
Chapter: 20 - Around the ‘Death’ Tree ago
Chapter: 21 - Berries and Jerky ago
Chapter: 22 - A Frustratingly Fitting Name ago
Chapter: 23 - Around the Dinner Table ago
Chapter: 24 - There Would Be a Next Time ago
Chapter: 25 - A Blood Star ago
Chapter: 26 - Please Don’t Kill Us ago
Chapter: 27 - That’s…a Big Bull ago
Chapter: 28 - Messy Work ago
Chapter: 29 - You’re a Mage, Figure It Out ago
Chapter: 30 - A Morning to Decide ago
Chapter: 31 - The Foundation of Any Fighting Art ago
Chapter: 32 - Terribly Wrong ago
Chapter: 33 - Creature of Magic ago
Chapter: 34 - Aftermath ago
Chapter: 35 - Power Aplenty ago
Chapter: 36 - Through the Gatehouse ago
Chapter: 37 - A Spinner of Tales ago
Chapter: 38 - Little Shop of Wonders ago
Chapter: 39 - The Wandering Magician ago
Chapter: 40 - The Beginning of True Magehood ago
Chapter: 41 - To the Ending Grove ago
Chapter: 42 - Well… That’s New ago
Chapter: 43 - Unexpected Results ago
Chapter: 44 - Food and Inquiry ago
Chapter: 45 - So Much More to Learn ago
Chapter: 46 - Bad Birdy? ago
Chapter: 47 - A Day of Departure ago
Chapter: 48 - Potential Conflict ago
Chapter: 49 - Cyclops and Conversation ago
Chapter: 50 - Back on the Road ago
Chapter: 51 - Settling in ago
Chapter: 52 - Through the Pass, Again ago
Chapter: 53 - Worst Proposal Ever ago
Chapter: 54 - Back to Basics ago
Chapter: 55 - Interruptions and Progress ago
Chapter: 56 - A Talented Teacher ago
Chapter: 57 - Right! The Hammer ago
Chapter: 58 - Undiminished Intensity ago
Chapter: 59 - A Cow a Day? ago
Chapter: 60 - Set on Unconventionality ago
Chapter: 61 - It Should Be Fun ago
Chapter: 62 - A Silly Accusation ago
Chapter: 63 - Crush ago
Chapter: 64 - One Thousand Ounces, Gold ago
Chapter: 65 - Smell Like Blood and Death ago
Chapter: 66 - A Foolish Form of Immortality ago
Chapter: 67 - I Might Need to Be Attacked More Often ago
Chapter: 68 - More Dangerous Than We Realize ago
Chapter: 69 - Not Nice ago
Chapter: 70 - Understatement ago
Chapter: 71 - I’m Going to Become an Archon ago
Chapter: 72 - Are You Heavier? ago
Chapter: 73 - Flow ago
Chapter: 74 - Worth Every Copper ago
Chapter: 75 - This Won’t Kill You, Directly ago
Chapter: 76 - Yay, Me… ago
Chapter: 77 - Already Lost to the World ago
Chapter: 78 - Group Breakfast Deal ago
Chapter: 79 - Mana ago
Chapter: 80 - That Has Merit ago
Chapter: 81 - A Hodgepodge Foundation ago
Chapter: 82 - Fleeing the Madness of Reality ago
Chapter: 83 - She’s a Scary Lady ago
Chapter: 84 - Watching for a Trap ago
Chapter: 85 - About Time You Finished ago
Chapter: 86 - A Taste of Human Blood ago
Chapter: 87 - Wish Me Luck? ago
Chapter: 88 - The Real Work ago
Chapter: 89 - What the Rust? ago
Chapter: 90 - False Choices ago
Chapter: 91 - Plentiful and Free ago
Chapter: 92 - The Crux of The Matter at Hand ago
Chapter: 93 - In Ancient Times ago
Chapter: 94 - That’s A Bit Embarrassing ago
Chapter: 95 - To End a Very Long Day ago
Chapter: 96 - Progress is Progress ago
Chapter: 97 - More Questions ago
Chapter: 98 - Mistress Odera ago
Chapter: 99 - Only a Mage Protector ago
Chapter: 100 - Crystal ago
Chapter: ?? - Fool’s Folly ago
Chapter: 101 - A Calm, Uneventful Evening ago
Chapter: 102 - I’m Hardly Standard ago
Chapter: 103 - A Start ago
Chapter: 104 - That Seems Bad ago
Chapter: 105 - Practice ago
Chapter: 106 - Potent Creature ago
Chapter: 107 - The Dark, Cold Forest ago
Chapter: 108 - Nightshift ago
Chapter: 109 - Leshkin ago
Chapter: 110 - One Way to Protect the Caravan ago
Chapter: 111 - Outside the Defenses ago
Chapter: 112 - On Overwatch ago
Chapter: 113 - Welcome to Makinaven ago
Chapter: 114 - Less Than Ideal ago
Chapter: 115 - Needed Support ago
Chapter: 116 - Higher in Makinaven ago
Chapter: 117 - Espresso? ago
Chapter: 118 - Into the Constructionist Guild ago
Chapter: 119 - Jevin ago
Chapter: 120 - Venturing Food ago
Chapter: 121 - Crocheting ago

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Reviews
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kingcaloob
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A Captivating Setting and Magic System

Reviewed at: Chapter: 51 - Settling in

I am in love with this story. A unique setting where humanity is fighting against the environmental magic with capsule-like cities that house populations with caravans trading between them. Humans are forced to plan the abandonments of their cities as the magic in the world swells like an immune response to reject them over the course of centuries.

In addition, while magic is common in the world at large and the cities themselves, only mages who have metal-based circuitry inscribed in their skin can fully use it. Each mage shapes their magic through their perception of magic and the inscribed circuitry they use. Some have mental enhancements, some are able to summon matter into existence, some can heal wounds, or teleport, or a combination of abilities. The magic system feels defined without being super crunchy. The author clearly has thought about limits, I would put it just under the magic system in the Mistborn series in rating the "hardness" of the world.

There are a few grammar or spelling errors in this story, probably averaging 1-2 per chapter. You might read "reign" when the author meant "rein" but they are mostly minor distractions.

The main character is interesting and likeable, but her voice doesn't always feel consistent. Sometimes she is socially awkward and other times she comes off as a witty and snarky. Sometimes she is aware of how little she knows having skipped the traditional apprenticeship but then she will disregard the advice of a centuries old master mage. I feel that her recklessness should have consequences that the main character is dodging, and I'm curious how long that will last. Ultimately though, the MC is an interesting window from which to view the world and this story.

I highly recommend reading this story.

DSH808
Overall

Good start needs MC to develope and has plot holes

Reviewed at: Chapter: 68 - More Dangerous Than We Realize

I enjoy reading this series thank you to the author

There is a lot going for this series that I like the world building, story pacing and the magic feels inventive and original. 

TLDR: World building, magic system, story pacing excellent 3 stars!  Too lucky MC and as of yet unexplained plot holes minus 1.5 stars. Some developement and plot holes filled by chapter 50 and further developement and education by chapter 66.  Solid 4 stars.

I feel there is a problem with the development of the main character Tala.  Its my opinion that Tala is willfully jumping into holes where the author fixes all her  problems.  The author has emphasized the dangers of magic.  Tala aggressively experiments with the unknown and miraculously discovers something new or rare by luck.  Its not rigorous testing or theory or meticulous data gathering or even godly insight (which I also think can be a cop out if used too much) its by fortune that her "experiments" turn out with minor consequences and major benefits.  This is happening almost every chapter so far.  That IMHO is not good for character development or plot development.  That is not in the flavor of a realistic story but it could also be what the author intends for Tala to be extra-ordinarily lucky.

Let me give two examples:

1) Defiance of the Fall the good luck MC becomes super powerful through lucky encounters which feel contrived by the author.  A huge story with 700+ chapters but each arc has the same formula.  MC is weaker than enemy and through luck overcomes to the next level.  Rinse and repeat.

2) Tori transmigrated where Tori the MC has bad luck, fate consistantly gives Tori bad situations.  This bad luck is unbelieveable and a direct result of a game system.  Tori's game system fate bad luck is explained and detailed throughout the plot and makes the unbelievable acceptable.  Tori uses many methods which include planning, research, resource mangement and development to overcome the bad luck.    

Again this is my opinion that not having a supremly lucky MC will improve the story.  By Chapter 66 Tala has had much more developement away from the lucky MC plot armor so I am very hopeful.

There are plot holes which leave me with a disconnect.  There could be a valid reason later in the story but so far I dont see any hints or foreshadowing.  Why do mages have holes in their knowledge of magic?  Why dont mages know or actively seek out everything about magic?  If something has magic or an affect on magic would not a mage know something about it? 

Holes in common mage knowledge leads to innovation by the MC with exaggerated benefits.  Its my opinion that some of the discoveries are not that mind blowing yet the effects are out of proportion.  If the benefits are that good for little risk then why hasnt some mage already discovered it?  By chapter 68 the author alludes to further explanation for these plot holes.

I will continue reading to see how everything develops.  Please take this feed back as well meant commentary.

feetareevil
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Magic system with growth without litrpg?!

Reviewed at: Chapter: 61 - It Should Be Fun

Ok so i paid money to read this on patreon, so i obviously love this. Lets see...

Style: im not a writer but the story makes it very easy to imagine everything that is happening. Very fluid. Didnt even think about it until seeing the style category.

Story: its fun and interesting. There is always something new happening,most of it based on something that was hinted at before. Thee is a bigger picture slowly becoming clear. There are parts with strong fast action, followwed by calm and funny moments of contemplation and character interaction. For a magic setting there have in my opinion not be enough secret cults with forbidden knowledge jet, one is ok but im really into secret society stuff, so i was hoping for a secret war situation. Also there is a magic system that allows the mage to grow in different ways, but sadly we dont get enough explanation, since the mc is just out school and doesnt need to relearn the basics. The advanced magic lore is nice,though. 

Grammar: didnt notice any mistakes.

Character: Side characters feel like people with opinions and motives, who handle according to those, mc is a special snowflake,but there are more special snowflakes out there and whats a mc without the drive to improve? Boring .

I would recommend this story to anyone who wants to read about a mage becoming even more magical through hard work,creativity and taking risks.

 

washintonirving
Overall

So far I nothing but good things to say about this story. It is a very unique magic system and an interesting world that is well flushed out. The characters within have variety and substance enough to feel real and relatable to.  As far as grammar, spelling, and style, I have no complaints. It might not be completely flawless, but is good enough that the occasional minor mistake doesn't detract or distract from the reading. Can't wait to read more of it.  

TwistyMB
Overall

I don't know what it is about this story but it has that special something that makes me keep refreshing to see if the next chapter is posted yet.  Maybe it's the idea of a world where humanity has built a civilization that runs cities with planned obsolescence.  Or maybe it's Tala's attitude of taking dead end paths out of sheer spite.  All I know is I want more.

La Playa Gardener
Overall

Exceptional story crafting, intriguing magic

Reviewed at: Chapter: 46 - Bad Birdy?

I love so much about this that I don't know where to start. Excellent writing, intriguing magic systems, relatable characters, smooth world building, consistent internal logic, and a really great story.  I hope the author maintains their consistently high quality throughout.  I can't wait to see where the story will go next!

Zarfas
Overall

Incredibly interesting magic system

Reviewed at: Chapter: 46 - Bad Birdy?

As a patron of this story this review is as of chapter 60

I’m an avid RR reader and an old hand at it. This story is therefor not anything brand new, using some old tropes. What it does have is an interesting magic system and decent grammar. The MC is a bit overpowered and unnaturally lucky in their unluckiness, so if OP MC’s aren’t your cup of tea this isn’t one for you. There are hints further down the line that the world is bigger than what we’ve been shown. The story is also fairly slow, not much really happens in the first 60 chapters, but I like a slow burn story myself.

Patwil0818
Overall

I just found this story from a review on Reddit and binged reading it.  The characters are excellent and interesting without being overpowered. The author does a great job combining a character  you become invested in with descriptions you want to learn more about.  No info dumps, just a beautifully written story.

Voronwe
Overall

We will watch your career with great interest

Reviewed at: Chapter: 36 - Through the Gatehouse

I just love the story until now. At time of writting, the first arc isn't even completed, but I enjoyed every chapter. It's a new world with different rules and the author managed to switch things up compared to your average fantasy world with mages and magical creatures. I'll be following this one with geat interest.

Korr4K
Overall

I agree with most reviews about how well done is the overall plot, characterization and magic system. I was initially willing to overlook some basic mistakes but sadly the author isn't going to solve them, hence the score drop. The three main problems are:

1) it makes sense for the MC to do stupid things, it's in line with her age, personality and background. The problem is how she still hasn't encountered anybody around her that got mad about it, everybody just rolls their eyes at best, demands to be more careful in the future and forget the thing. Next time they'll just do the same.

2) the author decided to use a particular writing style where third and first POV are mixed together. There is a reason it's not used in 99.99% of the cases

3 the main problem is that the author is oblivious to the concept of time-skip. Everything is narrated, literally! Not a single day and hour in it is skipped, doesn't matter if nothing interesting is happening. We start with her waking up, stretching, preparing the bath, washing, checking her coinquiline, getting something to eat, enjoying the meal, etc.. only after a long while do we finally get to the "event" of the current day. Overall chapters are very long but filled with useless, repeated things