Mark of Time: A LitRPG Timeloop

Mark of Time: A LitRPG Timeloop

by KrazeKode

NOTE: This story has a patreon. It has not been linked into the fiction page due to some issues. You can find the Patreon at this link

***
Previously titled Truth Seeker. 

Synopsis 1:

In a trial of gods, where eight Marks would compete to find treasures unseen and vast, a ninth one appears with the ability to revert time.

***

Synopsis 2:

Jennifer was ready to enter Lienmont's Mage Academy, the place she'd been aspiring to reach for years now, in hopes of learning the many secrets of magic. What she hadn’t expected was to be dragged into the city's dungeon, following an unknown swordsman through its dark depths.

Her journey found her in a trial of life and death that left a Mark seared on not just her body, but her very soul. And if that wasn’t enough, when she escaped the dungeon, she found her city in flames, burning as monstrous invaders slaughtered everyone they came across, including her.

When Jennifer closed her eyes, she was certain her life had taken an unfair and tragic turn. But then she opened them, only to find that none of it had ever happened.

The only proof she hadn’t gone mad was the Mark on her hand, burning with an inner fire.

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KrazeKode

KrazeKode

Floofer

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Reviews
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Ketan 33
Overall

The first chapter have been good so far.

Let's see how it goes.

I have high hopes for this one. The original was good but there were alot of things which were really bad. And I mean bad bad. I will be hopeful for the re write.

 

Love the other story btw, one of the best cultivation stories on this website.

Bluelightning42
Overall

I have not read the original so I'll just review the rewrite.

Personally, despite loving MOL. I haven't been able to get sucked into any other loop stories. I keep trying them and then getting put off.

This series however is off to a roaring start.

I'm sucked in and can't wait for more - and that's after only 5 chapters. I just hope it maintains this momentum through to further loops.

Monus
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Truthseeker is dead, long live the Mark of Time

Reviewed at: 2 — A Mark and A Trial

Bigger, Better, and Bolder than the Original

TLDR: If you are looking for a LitRPG with little number crunching, a nice bit of mystery, Timeloops, and the occasional chuckle this is a story you should definitely check out.

Disclaimer 1 - I have read the first ten (? not quite sure how many exactly) chapters of the "rewrite" already.
Disclaimer 2 - While this story is a rewrite which inherently sets certain expectations, the story is not identical to its previous version either with a bunch of new and improved stuff.

Now on towards the actual review.

If you had the joy of previously coming into contact with Kraze's writing you will most likely be able to associate their typical style of lighthearted adventure, interesting and in-depth characters, and inspired world-building.

The style of writing in general is very palatable that tends to draw readers in, me included. The perfect example would be getting access to the doc and binging the available chapters till three in the morning. So with this review I officially blame you for my messed up sleep rhythm.

What I mean to say with that is, get in on this story early otherwise you might miss out on some sleep.

While I would like to touch on Grammar a bit, I am not an authority on the intricacies of English language, so I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine whether my score of five stars in this subject is justified. I don't think I noticed any off-putting wording and found the grammar flow to work quite well with the story.

Which is coincidentally the next point I would like to touch on. The scope is from what I have read of the rewrite - excluding information giving by Kraze himself - pretty big and shows a lot of promise.

The good thing is that this story is planned - in both scope and extend - and with Kraze's track record so far I think they will do a good job.

Now all of that hasn't really touched on the story itself, which is deliberate. I think the blurb does a good job of what to expect here and I think it is well executed. I really adore the world building in this story, but as a big delve fan I have to say I would have preferred a bulkier/crunchier system. That is not to say that the system in world doesn't work. I think it works really well and is quite organic in how it is integrated into the world. 

Who is Jessica - wait no, Jennifer? Regardless, Jen - the protagonist - is a satisfying and fun character for the most part. Now if you should be looking for a murderhobo that levels her way through countless dungeons, you are probably wrong here. But if you are looking for sometimes wholesome, sometimes hairpulling characters and interactions that feel real, look no further.

The authenticity of the characters is felicitous and satisfying. And I personally am a big fan of her teacher who doesn't get enough screen time IMO.

With that I wish you a good day, happy binging and see you in the comment section - maybe.

paperhouse
Overall

I've enjoyed this one so far (up to 14 on Patreon). The time loop machanics remind me of mother of learning, with a month long period for the looping.

Unlike a lot of lit-rpg out there, the 'system' elements aren't a focus, but mostly serve to supplement the narrative. If anything, the system feels more like an aid to label and measure actual ability and progress, rather than the source of progression. There are times when the system grants a skill, but it reads more like magic responding to the users abilities and needs than an arbitrary set or number of skills granted due to meeting some unrelated threshold or requirement. It's a refreshing change.

The characters, bearing in mind that I've read all of 14 chapters, seem very well done so far. They each have their own motives and personalities and while some come across stronger than others, I don't feel any of them are bland or overstated. The authors approach seems more measured here than many, with characters that supplement and support the plot without distracting from it. Some of the backstory felt a bit forced, but even that bluntness seemed in character for that person. We haven't yet seen any long term character development, but so far it's very promising. 

The pacing is quick, and while the MC has encountered many of the big players, she is doing so from an inferior position. Seeing as we are still in the foundational stage, im not sure how consistent this pacing will be.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this story leads

Blueguts
Overall

This is an entertaining take on the time loop plots. It barely 9 chapters into the storyline and I've found myself drawn in.  

My primary critique is I feel there needs to be a bit more character development. But again.. only nine chapters in. 

I look forward to reading more.

Builder Bob
Overall

I'm not qualified to leave an advanced review, but am very much enjoying a story with very minimal grammar/spelling errors (I don't remember any, but not willing to commit to that :P), an intelligent protagonist responding to things realistically and in a manner matching her age and circumstances, and characters that are unique and varried.

I should mention that I haven't read the original this is a rewrite of, so chapter 7 really is as far into the story as I know at this point, but super excited for more!

Mother of Learning was my gateway-book into the world of Web Serials and remains one of my favorite stories to this day, across any medium. So far this story feels like it's shaping up to be a homage to that while being it's own unique story and exploring a slightly new take on the time loop schtick. (Spoiler will be what makes me think it is going a different direction that MoL for those interested but definitely spoilers from first 7 chapters)

Where Zorian was very much an introvert who was determined to solve everything on his own, Jennifer seems to be a much more social individual. She loves her family, has a close relationship with her mentor and has a genuine friend. As such, she quickly confesses to others at least some aspects of her time loop. Given her social nature I'll be curious to see how she handles future loops and her friends and family forgetting their interactions each time. It wasn't a problem for Zorian given his leanings, but I suspect that won't be the same for Jennifer.

The other big difference is that instead of having no clue what is going on at all, Jennifer quickly discovers she has some allies (or so we think for now...) as well as working out (only one data point, so it's conjecture currently) that she can only go back a total of 10 years worth of time, as opposed to having no clue how to escape the time loop or a set point where she suddenly goes back in time (again she's only gone back once so not 100% sure what causes it).

 

All in all the story shows a lot of promise and I'm excited to see where it goes. If I had any complains at all it would be that I discovered it before there was a massive backlog of chapters for me to binge all night long ;-P

Jemini
Overall

Pretty much a MoL rip off, but that's fine.

Reviewed at: 7 — A Meeting of Marks

So. 1st cycle through the month is natural. Check.

End of the 1st cycle of the month, something happens to enter protagonist into a time loop, just before she's killed and sent back in time 1 month. Check.

The focus of the series is learning complex magic from whatever teachers she can find. Check.

There is a set limit to how many times the protagonist can cycle back in time, and that limit is 10 total years. Check.

Yep. It's pretty much Mother of Learning with a new skin. The only thing really missing is having multiple people all aware of the loop.

I didn't read the previous version. I hear it had it's problems. But this new re-write is actually pretty darn well written. If you read MoL and enjoyed it, then you'll also like this one.

NoobRage
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Not as compelling as I had hoped

Reviewed at: 10 — Whispers of War

An ambitious story with high stakes laid out from the beginning, with a strong premise and aspect of mystery tied into the origin of the "Mark of Time", but held back by lacking descriptors of the world and system of magic surrounding the protagonist. As for the specifics...

In my experience, a LitRPG is somewhat of an entry point for authors. By utilising the common feature of a LitRPG - the user interface - authors are provided a means to easily describe an idea to their audience. However, the difference between a "good" and "great" LitRPG lies in how well the user interface ties into the worldbuilding and theme of the novel. Unfortunately, the system dialogues in Mark of Time are minimal, serving as tools for exposition. 

In that same regard, the magic system is underdeveloped, especially for a novel featuring a protagonist whose main avenue of growth is predicated on her magic. As a reader, I am interested in knowing not only what Jenn is doing with magic, but how she is moving her mana and why her "channels struggled under dual load of mana..." and "each motion of her mana felt like climbing a mountain side with a boulder on her back" while learning new spell formations. As a result, it is difficult to completely sympathise with Jenn's struggles and accomplishments while she is developing her magic. 

The characters have realistic behaviour. Already we can glimpse into a deeper view into Jenn's mind. I hope the author may keep this detail as we delve through failed loop upon failed loop. However, one gripe I have, again, is the lack of description for each character. Oftentimes I find it hard to fully picture the recurring characters, aside from what the image their name and class may suggest. 

As for the grammar, there isn't much to complain about. 

 

Lon
Overall

Meta progression LitRRG

Reviewed at: 8 — Combat Training

Disclamer: I have read until chapter 14 on patreon because I think this story is worth it.

What can I say about this story besides telling you to read it….

I will assume you have read the synopsis at the very least however I will say that our MC was supposed to go to magic school but now she found herself in a time loop because of the Mark seared on her body and soul.

You wouldn’t really think a time loop would be able to give you a feeling of urgency when the character that is on the loop are aware that they are on a time loop. But that urgency is what this story manages to pass to the readers. We shall see Jennifer train her magic so she can stop the time loop and her own demise from happening again.

The system so far is pretty easy to understand without a need of an exposition for us to learn how it works. There are however some things that we don’t really know so far but they are like voids of information but they don’t affect the whole story right now and we will learn more about it, for example the “meta progression” that Jennifer passes, let’s say her loops don’t grant her only knowledge of what is to come… It’s both a blessing and a curse to her and we will learn about both this curse and blessing as Jennifer herself learns more about it

Because of reading ahead I saw a bit more than what is available while I am writing this. And I must say, the magic “system” of this story makes me love it so much. From how it works and what you can do, I simply love it. Mages can increase their max mana without that limit thing that some stories use… a mage just needs time and resources to grow their pool, and time is what Jennifer has plenty of.

I quite enjoy all the characters that were shown so far, everyone of them feels like they have a story of their own and that Jennifer could spend a whole loop or reset on that character alone.

Do remember this is a time loop story, so chances are that Jennifer will spend a lot of her time, pun intended, in the same city for quite a while, but hey the city is big and full of new people for Jennifer to find, meet and befriend.

I think this is a worthy story to read. So give it a try, at least until chapter 5, so that you can get a feel for what the story is about.

Daoist Enigma
Overall

Before starting this review, I'd just like to add some background. I'm a big fan of stories/t.v. shows related to time travel, or time loops or going back in time, and you get my point— I never finished mother of learning because I forgot the story completely, but 12 monkeys is one of the greatest time loops I've watched— and arguably, it had a terrible start.

So the long drawn point I'm trying to make is time loops are hard— entire Hollywood movies try and fail (Edge of Tomorrow) to do it right. But what I really judge a time loop story by is if it gives me the chills when the time loop takes place (still a better criteria than IGN). While there's only 7 chapters at the time of this review, they're pretty long (125 pages, I think) and there is worldbuilding, planning and foreshadowing, all the elements needed for me to know this is going in the right direction. 

This is a no spoiler review, so take this from a time loop/traveller (reader) veteran, that I got the chills in this one.

I'd say that a story posted for free managing to reach that standard is enough for me to wholeheartedly recommend— I mean, give it a shot. What have you got to lose? 

Chills/10.