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: 121k words written out of 140-150k planned as of 6/30/2022

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Author
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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Reviews
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Silicis
Overall

A lot of fun and very different.  A nice fresh take on the genre. I like the interactions amd characters as well as the character development. I look forward to the finished work and will be 100% following the author. Here is hoping to a long amazing career.  10 out of 10

Masterthetime
Overall

I'm enjoying the story so far, it's a little slow, but that could be because the story is still in the building up the characters parts right now, but otherwise I enjoy the idea behind it and I feel like I will be hooked if I keep reading, I saw that they mentioned in a comment how they really need reviews for the story so I decided to write one, sorry if this wasn't informative 

Twice Gibbsed
Overall

This rewrite has improved the original so much. The writing overal is smoother and flows really well. I don't experience any jarring shifts in tone.

As for the story itself, the world is very fleshed out without exposition dumps. The magic is well done and really shows the difference between Wizardy and Sorcerory. The characters are not over-explained and they feel real from the MC's perspective - what I mean by this is that we, the readers, dont know everything about all the characters in the party. There are mysteries and facts that we don't know and this is good.

 

I just wish there were more chapters released.

awsomekevin12
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Grammar: Basically universally perfect, only seen maybe 2 edit suggestions this far into the story.

Style: Really love the way the story is told. The author's pacing feels velvet to me, moving forward at a great pace for groundshog day. Dialogue between characters feels just a little short but it makes up for multitudes in his exposition.

Story: You can tell this dude plays DnD, every detail is setup like a tree root, countless possibilities that could sprout from two pieces of description three chapters apart. Like 

maybe that giant dude ripping the roof off barns was looking the giant foat that was shown in the exhibit? A whole new subset of giants waiting to be explored?

Never played any campaigns but this is probably one of the best dnd related stories. Kinda like wtc but much more depth for a small setting due to the groundhogsday mechanic. 
Character: Main character is just likable, don't know why but I like his approach to the groundhogsday scenario, feels natural. Also the progression is very realistic, no learning spells after fighting off 10 kobloids. 
tldr: Original was good and this is ofc a polished version of that. Pretty must read and unique.

superlamapalooza
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I wish I had this journal in college...

Reviewed at: Chapter 8: The Goat

Style - I personally loved the "direct-story telling" narrative style that it immediately introduces you to, although I can understand how some might not. The MC's personality, thoughts and sense of humor can be clearly derived from his journal (or spellbook) entries. I have personally always loved being able to know characters' thoughts and especially having glimpses to moments when they speak to themselves haha. It's almost as if we are the spellbook.....

Additionally, this one has an interesting take on loops as the MC is trying to recount the events BEFORE the loop while simultaneously recording the stuff that is CURRENTLY happening in the loop and his plan to make sense of it all. It almost feels like a Nolan film where the timeline jumps around but is not too difficult to follow. I like Nolan.

Story - I like loops too and this one is being done nicely. The world-building and magic system aspects are cool too. I got some DA: Origin vibes from it and was pleasantly surprised to see elements of it in this story (I know they're all D&D inspired, but I spent a lot more time on DA). I look forward to more of exposure to these details especially the spellform diagrams.

Grammar - I did not notice anything that hindered my experience reading this, but I could gather from the comments that quite a few adjustments were made to the chapters prior to my reading them. But I like how the writer is quick to accept grammar suggestions where appropriate.

Character - MC is likeable. He is analytical in his approach to figuring out his situation (not just the loop) and planning out next steps but not like some god-tier genius. Looking forward to more character development aspects. The writer also does well on expounding the supporting characters.

It's a great read with solid world-building elements and an interesting take on loop-related narratives.

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. 

Pastafarian
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Approachable intricacy, in medias res done right

Reviewed at: Chapter 9: Salvation

I love this story.

Grammar, syntax, sentence structure, flow, etc, all the technical qualities of writing are present in spades. Not much to say about that.

The style is remarkably good. I say remarkably because I was kind of skeptical, initially; it's a journal story and a single-day timeloop, it's exactly the kind of in medias res that I'm least interested in (where you jump back for context). Doesn't matter, the style and prose are sufficiently good that it sucked me in and has me seriously interested.

I could be more interested in the characters. I like them, don't get me wrong; but we see so little of the other characters, due not only to the perspective of the character and the narrative device that structures the writing but also due to the amount of backstory and worldbuilding that the story has to do.

And here's the thing: Dear Spellbook does a fantastic job at that. It starts narrow, but with clear hooks for mysteries and problems. It then largely avoids touching on those hooks directly but spirals outwards in a sort of fractal of "here are interesting things about the world", and only after several chapters of largely adding questions does it come back around to really start answering them.

It's in medias res done exactly right, and I'm digging it.

Pelhamds
Overall

This is only a basic review for the moment.

Very enjoyable to read with a nice amount of details, worldbuilding and character depth. The reset mechanic is interesting, though as of reading not explained fully. With lots of further depth for expansion on what has been shown so far with the main character and the spellbook.

Would reccomend to read if you are interested in magic systems, details and decent characters.

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.

blaket
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I am really enjoying this story. It takes place from the perspective of one person, and hasn’t shifted to alternate POVs yet, except for the one interlude. I personally prefer single POV stories and from the narrative device used to write this story, I can’t see multiple POVs being an issue later. There was a bonus chapter from an alternate POV, as well, but the author said that was canon, but not part of the story... so I skimmed it.

The title says its a DnD inspired story, and I can see that in some areas. The main character is a sorcerer and a wizard according to the rules of DnD. If you’ve played before this will be clear, but if you haven’t I think the differences are explained well enough. 

The story being written in a journal is unique, and I like that the author gave the MC the ability to have perfect recall while writing. Other journal entries style stories are either all tell and no show, or don’t really explain why the journaler can remember every aspect of the day 100%. The interludes as well are things that it seems the MC eventually found and put in the Spellbook at some point later than the current events in the story. The Foreword, which seems to be written by the MC, and not the author, implies that the spellbook was curated for other people to read should they find it after his death. 

The story is good. It is a little slower than a typical of RR but I think the author is laying groundwork early in the time loops, and dropping hints about important details for later. There’s lot of allusions to a wider world and plot we aren't seeing as well, so it does feel like the loop is just a part of a larger narrative. Just like an arc in a longer running DnD campaign.

The grammar is pretty good. Its a rewrite so it clearly had a lot of eyes, or the author’s eyes on it a lot. I didn’t notice anything major.

I like the characters. Daulf and Tal the MC have been fleshed out the most so far, but in the recent chapter we got to see more of Trish, and I expect we will see more of each companion as the story goes on. They seem to conform to standard DnD roles, with the noble paladin (who may or may not be a good guy), the rogue with the ability to play a role (maybe assassin archetype?), and a ranger. There's mention of another character we haven’t seen yet, but he's likely a barbarian or fighter from when we’ve heard. Like I said, we only have a few interactions with side characters, but so far I like what I see.