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 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 daily: Monday-Friday by USA time zones.
Chapters are in the neighborhood of three to three and a half thousand words.
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:
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The story follows a fledgling mage, Tala, fresh out of the mage tower. Not that anyone is gonna know that's the case if it's up to her. Full fledged mages are the ones that get the big bucks after all.
Tala is a bit easily distracted but definitely quick witted. More importantly she is inventive and thinks outside the box. Which is a character trait that is always nice to see, but in a story that is about magic it is the hands down the best freaking character trait possible.
The story takes its time ot introduce the character and world at a reasonable pace, there is definitely action to be found aplenty here make no mistake, but exploration of both magic and this strange world she lives in has been the focus so far.
The magic is just my cup of tea. Not so scientific it turns into a physics lesson with the word magic slapped onto it half haphazardly every once in a while, but neither is it unexplainable miracles called forth simply by the "appropriate" posturing and gravitas. Probably my favourite iteration of magic I've read on RLL yet.
Didn't notice anything amiss grammatically so 5 stars from me.
If you like magic or fantasy, I'd recommend you read it.
As the other review mentioned, the story has a wildly original and interesting magic system involving magical metal tattoos. This is combined with equally crazy worldbuilding. But, it's all presented naturally to us, and not amateurishly dumped on us like too many stories on this site. So, many, many kudos. (That said, the whole thing about the mages wearing skimpy clothing is ... odd).
Overall, the story has a slight bit of a satirical take to it. Imagine trying to translate the trials and tribulations of ordinary millenials in America into a fantasy equivalent (e.g., too much debt, higher ed that didn't teach you anything, introductory jobs that don't pay you anything, the world being far more complex than you could have imagined as a student), and that's a bit what you have here. That said, it's a very light touch and frankly you'd easily overlook it because the story is so well told.
No idea really what the plot is. We are taking it slow right now and we're a bit slice of life. Like 39 chapters and it's maybe a few weeks in-story, where she's been in one city, then a caravan, then just arrived in another city. And while it's slow, there's so much going on that it doesn't feel slow. Which is funny given that she has a bit of a time perception magic going on.
There are a few things that don't make sense, like no mages realizing they're eating arcanous beast meat over decades. Overall though the story is interesting and well written. One thing that annoys me however is the plot armor MC has. She keeps on doing stupid, ill-advised things and getting rewarded for it. When are there going to be lasting consequences because of her poor choices that causes her to grow as a character?
(Please don't kill me for my english)
So, I feel this is going to be pretty controversial.
First thing, I agree that this story is exceptional on a lot of points. I was very impressed when I started this story, by how much was done right.
So let's start with the good.
The first thing that strike is the impressive world building. There seems to have a lot of thoughts put into creating this world. The idea of short-life cities is very interesting and there is some very good idea to explain the why and how of everything.
So another very good point is the magic system, again it's complexe and well thought, it's the first time I see a system like this and even better it comes with it's own progression and repercussions on the world.
And the last good point is that the character has an interesting background. The idea of an indebted new mage is new enough that we're interested about how she is goin to solve that.
Big 👍 for starting the story directly when she quit the school instead of going through a long useless school part.
Now to say that everyhting is perfect in this story is false, and I have mainly two things I want to discuss :
The character is too perfect : Literally, the character is better than everyone else on pretty much everything or at least she is very good at it. She learn quicker, is stronger, has better ideas, has a bigger mana pool, better defense, she is also very nice and understanding and everything.
The only slight issue she has is that she is reckless, but it doesn't matter since she will manage to do everything without too much problem even thought some things are supposed to be extremely difficult.
And this is really the core of the problem, you can't really be interested when a character is better than almost everyone else and has little to no struggle for basically anything.
The second point that I didn't like much in this story, is that he plot doesn't seems to go anywhere. There is definitely some progression but mainly, we basically feels like some random things are happening to the character and she is just getting more money / more power. (Or this is to show how great she is)
TL:DR : Very good world building and magic system, Character feels like a Mary Sue, the plot seems to go nowhere.
An interesting magic system and an interesting main character has me waiting for each chapter. The main character doesn't always makes the best decisions and is a little reckless, but it is good to see them grow as we learn more of the world with them. I look forward to where the author brings this story.
I just binged this, and it's really really good!
The grammar, worldbuilding and character development is great. The story is about a young girl, freshly out of a magical academy and starting her career in the magical community. Sure, her power up is realatively quick. I usually like it to take a bit longer in stories to make it more believable, even though the MC in these kind of stories need to be better than average to make it enjoyable. Even so, the power up might still not be as OP too quickly by how dangerous her world she lives in seem to be.
I'm mostly saddened I caught up in the story and need to wait for every chapter to come out. I don't have much critique to give, neither constructive or otherwise. I just hope the author keep on posting, make some tweaks here and there (if they feel it's needed), and thereafter publish it. Because this story is publishworthy for sure.
Sorry I don't have much feedback to give at this moment but thanks to the author for posting this story on RR!
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.
Really enjoying the quality of the dialogue, character depth, and super interesting magic system! Even at only 12 chapters in, this is standing out to me as top tier and with a level of polish you don't often see on stories provided for free. I can't wait to see where the story goes!
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 ...
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.
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?
I will continue reading to see how everything develops. Please take this feed back as well meant commentary.
This story is dynamite. As other reviewers mentioned the magic system is tight and functions well.
But more than that, the story is efficient. It's a world-building with a sensible character. The longevity of the story is set upfront with her debt. The character personality reminds me of my PhD friends (in the technical cleverness and the people blindness).
There's not much to say but: the author has thought a lot about the world they wanted to build and they've got writing chops.