Dear Spellbook (Rewrite)

Dear Spellbook (Rewrite)

by TK523

Live. Study. Repeat.

Tal never saw himself as an adventurer, but the call to adventure never much cared for his opinion. Despite his best efforts, his search for answers on the murder of his parents ever draws him into danger. Accompanied by a group of seasoned warriors, thus far Tal has gotten by on his own meager magical talents, but when one day he wakes up to find himself back in his bed of the night before, he is faced with a challenge he must conquer alone.


What to expect:

This story was born of an attempt to create in world lore reasons for many of the mechanics and tropes of D&D, but you do not need to know of them to enjoy the story.

It's a single POV time loop story with slow paced progression fantasy elements. The story is not one of fast-paced power ups and non-stop action, but as it progresses, the action picks up. There is a lot of magic system exploration on a system built to unify the diverse magic of D&D into one cohesive magic system. The setting is an original world with familiar races and monsters but with new unique origins and motivations.

The average chapter will be 2-5k words long, most being around 3k but there are a few less than 1k, due to the nature of the story telling device I used.

Book 1 is complete. Posting is on hold until I finish book 2.


Book 2 progress: The rough draft is done at 141656 words as of 7/9/2022. I need to reread and edit it but I'm aiming for resuming chapters in September. 

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TK523

TK523

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Table of Contents
50 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Foreword ago
Chapter 1 - Dear Spellbook ago
Chapter 2 - Again? ago
Chapter 3 - Kobolds ago
Chapter 4 - No Vacationsies ago
Chapter 5 - Have You Seen My giant? ago
Chapter 6 - Clean at Last ago
Chapter 7 - Is This Dirt? ago
Bonus Chapter 1: Kordin's Chronicles ago
Interlude 1: Histories by Dwarves ago
Chapter 8: The Goat ago
Chapter 9: Salvation ago
Chapter 10: The First ago
Chapter 11: Count Your Blessings ago
Chapter 12: Memories ago
Chapter 13: The Cure ago
Chapter 14: The Report ago
Bonus Sketch 1: Spellbook ago
Chapter 15: Minions ago
Bonus Chapter 2: The Sea Tree ago
Chapter 16: Goblins ago
Chapter 17: Bearskin ago
Chapter 18: Benchmark ago
Chapter 19: Sorry! ago
Sketch 1: Bearskin ago
Chapter 20: Excrement? ago
Interlude 2: Project Proposal ago
Chapter 21: Mysteries ago
Chapter 22: Will Poisoning ago
Chapter 23: The Fall of Landing ago
Chapter 24: Debted ago
Chapter 25: Revenge is Okay Warm ago
Chapter 26: Breadth-First ago
Chapter 27: Love Struck ago
Chapter 28: Second Chance ago
Patreon Announcment ago
Chapter 29: The Best Defense ago
Chapter 30: Infiltration ago
Chapter 31: Preparation ago
Chapter 32: Hunted ago
Interlude 3: Mason Ants ago
Chapter 33: Descent ago
Chapter 34: Stone Eyes ago
Chapter 35: Teshiv ago
Chapter 36: Downtime ago
Chapter 37: Murder Most Accidental ago
Interlude 4: Mara ago
Chapter 38: Ensouled Artifacts ago
Chapter 39: Death and The Door ago
Interlude 5: The Dahn ago

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Metahari
Overall

Very enjoyable, with great world building

Reviewed at: Interlude 5: The Dahn

I like the world building, and the characters and ahhh just finished book 1 and have so many questions (in a good way) .

Does Tal have a blessing? 
Will our knight ever get another horse companion? 
Just what is Spellbook hiding, anyway. ;)

I can't wait to learn what the heck is going on, keep up the great work .

Astrael
Overall

The rewrite changed a few story elements, but nothing major yet. I hope the author will continue beyond their previous stop and write more.

The magic system has a lot to offer and is in itself conclusive. The MC has their problems with it, which they hopefully can overcome.

The supporting cast have their own hopes, dreams and they feel alive. Not a cardboard copy of each other.

The reader gets only a few bits and pieces of the whole worldmap, but there is much to explore and if the author wills, they will send the MC everywhere.

Forgettable Minion
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

"Good Story" says a Time Loop skeptic

Reviewed at: Chapter 9: Salvation

1/17/2022

I have previously read and reviewed the old version, this is the previous review with adjustments. Previous points still stand.

The story hooked me well enough with some humor in the earlier chapters. I may amend or add detail to the review as time progresses. I dislike time loops as a story concept, cardinal sin after Mother of Learning blew up I know, but I tried this story anyways and was not disappointed. Although I disliked Blessed Time, this story made me consider giving MoL another shot at some point in the future, even though initial chapters did not hook me. There's a decent amount of worldbuilding being done to distinguish the setting from a more generic medieval fantasy, which is always a plus. The eponymous (correct use of the word?) spellbook and the way our MC utilizes it keeps the story interesting as well. Even some of the functions which seem remarkably mundane to us readers really help Tal in the loops. The amount of exposition on both the magic system and the world's history are just about right, we're not left in the dark but not bombarded with info either.

Character and Story: 

The main character fits a heroic mold done well. In spite of him being the only character in focus for the most part, the author manages to make the events surrounding him interesting enough to keep me engaged. Although the MC is in a tricky situation, there is always some humor injected in to balance out the drama. Fortunately humor and musings of the main character do not obstruct the author from keeping the plot moving along, some popular RR authors can't or deliberately choose not to...

MCs party members seem to fit very established archetypes and the personalities associated with them, but that is not always a bad thing. People might critique this, but we will see how it goes. I'm fine with it so far.

Style:

The diary entries and first person narration really work in this case. I love the worldbuilding done in the interludes. When I read progression fantasy, I often prefer that it be more of a personal epic rather than it constantly having multiple points of view. Multi-POV can be good, and I do love some published and non-published stories with it, but it is not what I read Progression Fantasy for. The worldbuilding is fascinating, and it's very clear that the history of this world is something the author has spent a good time working on.

Grammar: 

Nothing more than a few typos here and there, but the writing flows, I'm sure someone with a more technical understanding could get in the weeds about why. Dialogue or narration of the story never feels awkward or stilted. 

luda305
Overall

Not bad. I appreciate the diary format, which is an unusual one, albeit challenging. 

The timeloop is fairly well handled.  Tal isn't like a super-genius or internet-weeb who's had to contemplate time loops before, so the pace as which he solves things seems to make sense, but feels good at the same time. 

My main concern is the alternating story bit.  There are actually two distinct stories here: The timeloop story, and the story of Tal becoming an adventurer (which predates the timeloop).  Both are good stories, but intermixing the two doesn't make any sense. Maybe they come together at the end, but for now, it's fairly discombobulated. 

 

Halfcrzy
Overall

Feels like the re-write may need a re-write

Reviewed at: Chapter 30: Infiltration

Now I had previously read the other-older version of this. I had thought there were some hiccups along the way, but it was a pretty decent story. Then the hiatus, and the re-write. I thought oh goodie, lets cut down on the useless monologue parts, slow parts, half thought out parts and make this the best version possible.

Well the first dozen chapters were near identical, titles almost the same. Same long boring monologues that bring the story no further ahead, I had wondered what even changed?

The MC is the POV, and is still the biggest weakness. Feel like theres is major character conflicts going on in the planning department. Recently dead parents, time to grieve? No, time to make jokes frequently. Goes out of his way to help people, but also suspects bad intentions it seems. Extremely paranoid he is trapped with others in a time loop? Proceeds to just bath and read short stories for fun. 

Where is the urgency? Why doesnt he ask others for help? Why does he treat his diary like a human conversation? After learning his situation, why hasnt he taken full advantage of it yet to improve?

TL;DR this is pretty much the same as pre re-write novel. Glaring problems and all.

torac
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Engaging, Fleshed Out, Structured, Enjoyable

Reviewed at: Chapter 25: Revenge is Okay Warm

I previously read part of the original, and I’m now very much enjoying the rewrite.

 

As of Chapter 13 [Update: Chapter 25], this feels like a really solid, high-quality foundation for a story. The narrative is written as the slightly rambling diary entries of a young wizard-sorcerer. Despite that, nothing feels like filler. Every chapter feels like it is in service of the greater narrative. It always tells something new about the characters, the world, the plot…

 

The diary style is not only very well suited to the episodic nature of a serial webnovel, it also integrates with the story itself. In-universe, the act of writing itself has importance and can advance the plot, due to book’s special nature. Likewise, it flavours the whole narration in the main character’s voice. This neatly avoids the dryness of a more neutral perspective.

 

Of course, this only works if you can write in a voice. Luckily, everything is competently written, which incldes the grammar, the style, and the characters. The characters are different from another and all of them seem to have a certain depth. We have not learned a lot about some of them, but their personalities shine through every time they appear.

Lastly, the story itself. It feels a bit generic, so far. Intentionally and fully aware of it, but still. The MC has a mysterious (and tragic) backstroy. His parents might have been more than they seemed. There are mysterious robed enemies. He is part of a generic adventuring troupe, including a typical good-guy paladin, a trickster rogue, a weird ranger, and a (currently missing) barbarian. Now the MC must use his magical mcguffin (the book) to solve the mysterious time-loop they are trapped in…

 

If it was less well written, this would be a forgettable novel. However, it is written well, and enough nuance is added to all the generic elements, that I can recommend checking it out.

Skink tail
Overall

This is my first review had to review to keep this story in rising stars page :P  Onto the review. The world building is amazing, the character is interesting and not 2D the only complaint I have is that I have to wait for a year to binge read it :> thank you author!

SumGai
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

It's a great novel, but it does have shortcomings.

Reviewed at: Chapter 17: Bearskin

Currently at chapter 17: Bearskin

I love it, it's really a great novel and a great read, especially for someone like me who likes time loops and detailed world-building.

But I'm gonna try to try and keep this review as objective as possible, starting with the ever-so-present fact of time loop novels, and that is the slow pace. I'm not joking when saying that, up until now, we have had more flashbacks than the actual present story itself, and that's not something I'm sure anyone would really agree with, especially considering the info-dumpiness of the flashbacks, what with the novel being written as a diary that Tal wrote, and he has a habit of going on weird tangents and/or getting sidetracked.

even simple things are explained in detail, something I enjoy but I'm sure many will find it to be a slog to go through a full 4 paragraphs with each having 3~5 sentences about what the bath looks like.

Of course, it's not all negatives. For example, the grammar. Now, I'm not really the best at judging it, since extensive reading has given me a sort of auto-correct, but I haven't found any mistakes, and the reading isn't interrupted by weird choices of words. So I'm sure you'll probably have no problems with it.

The characters are also interesting, what with the fact that they're not two-dimensional, with our sorcerer MC in a world that hates his kind, a half-elf in hiding, a Blessed Chosen, and a player of a ranger.

Not to mention the extensive work that goes into the world-building, which is again a slog to go through if you don't like these types of novels, but for me, it's a great thing. The interludes give us a clear idea about the world's creation as well as mythology, as well as knowledge of its creators and the struggles they went through.

yggdrasil_dreamer
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A sorcerer writing in a magical book recollections of his adventures with a group of quirky adventurers.

Then one day he finds himself in a time loop. The same day repeat itself again and again. Only him and his book keep their memories of previous iterations.

The journal mode this story is written in is a style that might not please everyone, but I like it. It helps that the grammar is really good, and the universe very well fleshed with a complex story about the creation of the world by the gods.

The others members of the adventurer group have only been superficially explored until now. Which is logical since the narrator has a lot of secrets to hyde. So he avoid being too close from other people. I hope that the time loop will help him to discover more about them.

I know this story is a rewrite, but I avoided looking at the first version. Even if there are more chapters, having read the beginning when it was first posted, I remember that it was quite different. I might take the time to read it again once this new version has reached the same size.

Give a chance to this story, you will be able to know after 5 or 10 chapters if it is for you :) 

Severinus3
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Cracking mysteries one loop at a time

Reviewed at: Chapter 4 - No Vacationsies

Tal is a sorcerer on the run that gets stuck in a time loop and tries to fix the mess he got himself in. 

The story is slow paced at times (which I personally enjoyed) and over time paints the picture of an interesting world with awesome characters that I got invested in and mysteries aplenty. It's possible that some might find it a bit too slow.

The main character can miss things just as any person, but isn't stupid and makes good use of what he has available (which sometimes isn't much). I've been annoyed by too many incompetent MCs already lol.

The style is a breath of fresh air, the book using a unique way of conveying its content. It can get a bit confusing at times, but it's all worth it when it clicks together.

I generally never like side chapters in stories, but in this one some are amongst my favourite chapters! The wait for the main storyline is still sometimes hard though heh.

Grammar is good with the occasional typo that gets fixed when pointed out.

I've read and enjoyed the previous version and have nothing to complain about with the rewrite. The review is written with what's to come in mind.

Anyway, great job TK and keep at it, looking forward to more!

Hope you also give this story a try :)