Fragments from the Wildlands

Fragments from the Wildlands

by CKJ5

“Your first death is always the hardest.”

Miguela was the third-born child of a well-off merchant family and knew from around the time she could speak that her life’s path was already decided for her by her father. She was to become an Orator, as was Xandran tradition. However, Miguela had an affinity with the magikal arts and somehow found herself studying at the Academy.

One fateful day, the government offers Miguela an opportunity to join a team tasked with the mission of gathering intelligence via scrying magik. The catch is that Miguela and her associates can only scry the deceased.

Miguela finds the memories of the dead haunting but is adamant not to fail because the prospect of regaining control of her life and using her magik to help others gives her a purpose in life that she never had before. Of course, Miguela soon discovers her new job has an exorbitant cost. Will she be willing to pay when the bill comes due?



Welcome to Five Kingdoms of Cordizal!


What is the Five Kingdoms of Cordizal?

I often get asked this type of question about my stories by friends, bloggers, and potential readers.

The Five Kingdoms of Cordizal is a high-fantasy epic universe that is the setting for most of my stories. The foundation of the universe is its multicultural, multiracial setting with several sentient races attempting to carve their legacy and survive. The world is fully fleshed out and vibrant with a rich and mysterious history not based on Tolkien mythology.

This brings me to magic. To me, magic is an essential part of the fantasy genre, so, of course, there is magic in the Five Kingdoms universe. However, one critical part of the Five Kingdoms universe is that magic is an abundant commodity that is a part of everyday life and not some plot device used to drive the story.

In short, the Five Kingdoms universe is the setting of epic fantasy stories with deep characters and world-building. I try to tell as many different types of stories as possible in the universe, and hopefully, you can find something for you in it.

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CKJ5

CKJ5

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Anehalia
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Story
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The story starts off quite slow and slowly builds. The main character is a teenage girl at an academy where she is pulled for a special program. The story follows her and her pursuits in the program. As the story builds, the suspension becomes stronger and stronger leading to not able to put the book down until you hit the epilogue. I highly recommend and really enjoyed the way the author wove a tale about what was going on in the world they created while at the same time never really leaving the tiny setting of the story.

Style: I was drawn in, and I loved the way the author wove in details of the world and the races without ever resorting to straight up info dumping on us. If you are looking for some really good world building, I highly recommend this story.

Story: The slow build mystery was very well done, and the end left me really wanting to read more about this world and to learn what happens to the main character in the future. 

Grammar: It was fine. I was more engrosed in the story than caring about grammar, and since nothing was bad enough to stop that, I would say that it was good. 

Character: Oh my. These are some great characters. Was I shouting at the main character certain she'd get herself killed? Yes. Was it highly in character for her to do this? Yes. Was that always consistent? Yes. Main character is a cat. Secondary characters also each had fairly intersting characteristics. I even got semi-attached to the dead in this story. I would give this a 6/5 if I could. 

Overall, this was a great read. Be warned, you might want to read more of this author's stories after finishing it!

SilencetheHunger
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

An Exciting Start To A Magic Fantasy

Reviewed at: 05-Tiny Indulgences

This is part of a review swap for transparency.

I am a new reviewer, so I'm sorry if I miss anything but here goes.

Story 5/5: An exciting start to the the magical academy genre, usually i'm not a terribly big fan of this genre as the start tends to be quite slow for my liking but not Fragments From the Wildlands. Chapter 1 leaves you with wanting to know more about the world and the magic within. This has a later start than most and gets straight to the point, so I would give extra points here if I could. 

Style 5/5: Everything flows well and is easy to read. The only thing I could possibly point out is that in chapter 2 there is a large paragraph that could maybe be split up into two. However I understand that this is just personal preference.

Grammar 5/5: No mistakes stood out to me in anyway.

Character 5/5: Seems slighly naive, but I love character building so I'm looking forward to seeing how she grows with her experiances. Quick backstory with no info dumps and focuses on an underrepresented magic that offers an exciting adventure for the MC.

Overall 5/5 I looked forward to future chapters.

JEPayne
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Existential Horror Ahead

Reviewed at: 28-Epilogue

This is a fantastic story of a type of magic fairly common in fiction (at least in terms of effect) but uncommon in this story in that a practicioner is the focal point of the story. It has a novel approach to 'scrying' that, without giving away minor spoilers for the first few chapters, could easily make this a horror story with a few tweaks. All in all, despite an almost 'slice of life' vibe to the first several chapters, it is a traditional fantasy story in that there is high stakes and high tension, and it is all handled in a superb way by the author.

Style - The prose is pragmatic in the style of Brandon Sanderson, there to tell the story to the reader, not to get in the way. While there are areas where the fat could be trimmed a bit regarding filler words or unnecessary detail, all in all this is some of the best quality functional storytelling I've seen on the website.

Story - Extra points here for putting a magic that usually sits on the sidelines, front and centre. It's handled in a way that immediately punches up the stakes for the main character, but also the entire kingdom at the same time. The two sets of stakes are significant for very different reasons, one big picture and epic, the other individual and emotive, and the two are weaved together and complement each other fantastically.

Grammar - Generally very good, there's a few typos here and there, but nothing that detracts from the story.

Character - Easy 5 stars! The MC is intelligent and capable, but her natural talent is complimented by an emotional resilience and drive and that makes her immediately compelling. The supporting cast feels fleshed out and individualistic, with their own quirks and motivations.

All in all, an easy 5 star read

Lire
Overall
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Story
Grammar
Character

A Peek into a Wider World

Reviewed at: 28-Epilogue

This fiction is one of a series of fictions set in a vast world, crafted carefully by the author.

I took a peek into his world, and I liked what I saw!

 

Grammar (5★):

Yes. A five.

Aside from typos, which were most likely just some finger fumbling, there were no problems.

 

Story (5★):

I find it very hard to say much here, since I really don't want to spoil something. But, here goes...

The story starts off with Miguela, our MC, leaving the Academy she is studying on. For those who get a hard-on for new and fresh premises and concepts, this is already a nice beginning.

Then there's the central magic of this story, which Miguela acquires in the 2nd chapter, called Scrying. I don't want to mention what it does here, since I want you to find out on your own, but let me just tell you that it doesn't just work like the Scrying Orb from League of Legends multiple seasons ago.

This magic alone and its potential was enough to hook me.

Give it a try, and I'm sure you will too!

 

Style (4.5★):

I would be more critical if I could, but I can't, so I won't. I don't have the necessary skills to be notice the tiniest of flaws here.

However, I have been reading for just about two decades, so I will just give my opinion as a reader.

The style worked. It didn't get in the way. I had no trouble knowing who was saying what or who did this. It successfuly managed to aid me paint a picture in my head as I read.

But, it doesn't get the five star from me because there were times where I just felt like information was being dumped on my head.

It wasn't that bad. And I like information. Information is Power, as they say. And it helps me know more about the world.

There were just a few places where that may have been trimmed down, and maybe slowly exposed through dialogue or other things. But the author may have wanted to limit the number of pages for some reason or the other, so that may have made him rush it a bit.

Still, it's just a tiny problem, so I only took half a star off.

Now, as a writer, I would actually want to learn from this author more. By reading his other books perhaps?

 

Characters (4.5★):

The characters weren't bad, but they weren't really the best.

For one thing, MC had a few choices that I really didn't agree with or felt was a bit strange...

But, my way of thinking is different than the MC, so this may just be the result of that. A lack of empathy on my part?

There is also the fact that the MC is female, and I'm male, so... yeah. I very rarely read novels with female leads, so I'm not very used to this genre.

That said, the character interactions were nice. I found myself grinning while reading about Miguela's interactions with certain people.

And I relate to her initial problem of only going with the flow and doing what your betters tell you to do, as well as the desire to make something of yourself.

With the pros overwhelming the cons I found, I give this a 4.5 star rating. This is a very subjective score, since I'm not used to female main character. Perhaps people who are more accustomed to them will think differently?

Read it and judge for yourself.

 

Overall (5 / 5):

Now, if you add all of my previous scores together and then divide it by four, you'll get 4.5 stars. However, I decided to give the overall score a bump, purely because I enjoyed the fiction.

Isn't that what we're all here for? Most of us aren't surfing the sea of books on Royal Road to find a masterpiece to enshrine in our houses. The vast majority just want to find a world to escape to, because they either enjoy it or their real life is a bit too mundane. Or something similar.

And I enjoyed the peek into CKJ5's world. That's all that really mattered in the end.

Don't take my word for it though, stop reading this review and go up there to give it a try!

Go on, get going!

Get going already...!

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Why are you down here? Why are you wasting time reading this when you could be reading a nice story instead? Hey? Are you insane? Stop reading this!

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You're really persistent... I give up. Oh? You're just trying to get to the SHOW LESS button? Oh, okay... But why are you still reading this though? Well, since you're wasting time anyways, why don't you just look right there, towards the bottom right. See? There are two buttons, red and blue, yeah? Well, lemme tell you a secret. Only pussies click on the red one. It's true! My mom told me. So go ahead be a CHAD, click on the blue one. Or not. Honestly, it doesn't matter. But seriously, you're still reading this?

Ravenbridge Studios
Overall

I'm reviewing at chapter 3, but I'm sure to continue reading this story. I have a weakness for scrying and foreboding visions, so in that sense I'm biased, but this is truly a fantastic beginning. The prose is smooth and won't let you notice it's there. Depending on your stylistical preferences, you will have different opinions on this, but I personally believe that if the prose becomes too noticeable, you're being yanked out of the secondary world. Good prose disappears into the story until you don't even notice it's there.

There's quite a bit of information delivered without the narration ever bogging down or becoming tell-y. The scrying is impactful and traumatic, hitting just the angle I like.

A well-deserved five stars for this very strong opening.

Sam Tolan
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

An Interesting Story In A World I Want More From

Reviewed at: 28-Epilouge

This story is definitely part of a greater universe, one that seems really in-depth from the amount of worldbuilding details and facts within them. It can be disorientating to pick up and read since many times it implies it is something the reader should be aware of. However, we get enough details and explanations to build off of.

There is a lot of intrigue and cloak and dagger stuff in this story.

The pacing is good, and I enjoyed the story and how the author brought it to our attention, but there were times that my immersion was broken. There was a lack of imagery for me and far too much telling vs showing. Telling isn't inherently bad, at least to me, and sometimes you need to do that to get the story across. However it was far too much at times.

I didn't notice many errors, at least none that took me out of the story. Like any other story, there were some mistakes or issues, missing words, bad choice of sentence structure or strange choices. 

I adored the plot of the story and found it fascinating. Everything felt natural to the world, and I can tell there is a deep love and in-depth worldbuilding to make the world so alive. 

I found the characters really enjoyable. Miguela had some issues to me from halfway in the story and on that were really hard for me to reconcile with. It seemed it was often done for the plot and she lost a lot of spark, along with the decision at the end being a bit out of no where for me. It read more that it was needed for the plot to be that way than anything else.

That being said, I did like her and the story. It was really refreshing to see.
 

I also like how the author ended up linking this to his KU at the end (where the main books are). This serves as a teaser for the world in a way, and I quite like that.

Best wishes in all your endeavors.

HWPerfidy
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Story: This is a story about a young mage, Miguela and her experiences while scrying for the Five Kingdoms. The story has a really interesting take on scrying as a whole. Instead of the classic scrying where you stare into a bowl of water and see visions, the scrying in this story is more of the experience it yourself type. So far it’s been very “scry of the day” like, but there are hints that it will become something more further on.

Character: The characters are charming, and their motives are clear. Each character so far has a unique and believable voice, making the dialogue moments very enjoyable to read. Miguela is also a very relatable and charming main character. Even with her talents in scrying, she poses understandable reactions to what happened to the scrying targets the first few times she scries, and not once did I feel that she was  an unrealistic character.

Style: The style is very straightforward and to the point. It conveys what needs to be said, and all the actions and behaviour of the characters are portrayed in an understandable and clear way, so that there's no confusing what's going on. I personally feel that it needs more descriptions, but overall it flows pretty well.

Grammar: A few mistakes that I was able to catch but nothing too bad. The grammar mistakes don't trip up or affect the flow of the story.

DA_Origins
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Story 5/5: A very well written and interesting short story that follows Miguela as she becomes part of a top secret scrying team for the five kingdom. Each chapter weaves a unique and interesting narrative as she uncovers part of a much bigger plot the author has created as part of his five kingdoms of cordizal series. An exciting world of magic and political intrigue that matches some of the great fantasy novels out there. The author has created something truly epic that will assuredly leave fantasy fans wanting more 

Style 5/5: does the writing style flow? Yes definitely. The author has a style that is concise, clear, consistent with an advanced use of vocabulary and prose. I can feel the world and I can feel the characters. Big tick in the box here

Grammar 5/5: I'm not a big stickler for grammar having read machine translated novels in the past. But I have to give a nod of respect to the author here. The level of grammar comes close to professionally written books.

Characters 5/5: The author certainly put in the effort here. The MC and supporting characters each have their strength and weaknesses with a clear backstory. There's no OP in this story but that's by design. Instead, we find very real people each with their own goals and agendas interacting in a world that feels succinctly real. 

Overall 5/5: this is the starter of a five course gourmet meal that is sure to leave you satisfied. If you love epic fantasy's set in complex and well designed worlds then this is for you. Oh and there's magic!

Pickle Hurlant
Overall
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Grammar
Character

Fastest 177 pages ever.

Reviewed at: 28-Epilouge

Miguela is an apprentice who isn’t very good nor very diligent. And as every talented student ignoring how talented they are, she prefers leaving life carry her on her way. However, that way, Miguela fell into a rabbit hole taking the form of a special and intriguing research project. The story will fit any fantasy fan looking for a plot revolving around magic and magic schools, with strong world building and very good characters. The two points I’m looking forward the most in webnovels. There is a lot of potential in the world building (which felt very natural), which made me sad when the story ends. Spin off or volume 2 on the way? I need more.

The interactions with the main characters are pleasant, sign that the other members of the cast are kinda fleshed out. There is a lot of manipulation involved, and you’re almost always wondering who’s worthy of trust or not. Expecting a plot twist. I connected pretty quickly with Miguela, who’s really reliable and fun.

This well-written 3rd POV story balances very well between vivid descriptions and snappy dialogues. Thanks to the total lack of grammar mistakes, perfectly sizes paragraphs and accordingly sized chapters, the flow is near perfect. Some elements could be improved, but, CKJ5 got there a wonderful recipe for a binge reading-worthy master piece.

I’m not a big fan of modern fantasy, but this story really made my day. Fastest 177 pages ever.

Capwallcroft
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

High adventure in a world of magic! Fragments from the Wildlands proves to be an intricate and intriguing tale. Reminiscent of Robert Jordon with the slow yet methodical burn and suspence, the tale and its use of the magical academy genre is quite interesting indeed. Beautiful imagery and fantastic use of worldbuilding fashion a fascinating tale. The suspense is quite well-developed.

Style: Fantastic world-building and professional detailed imagery, very nicely done. Great flow of dialogue as well.

 

Story: The mystery aspect is very well developed and proves quite interesting, the world and developments all seem fascinating and in all the story seems to strive with purpose. The magical genre is a little familiar yet proves its stance quite well. Nice touches and ideas cascade to make this great. The concept of scrying proves to be a very useful and interesting way to show off the author's elaborate fantasy world with the Warlord of Warlords, great empire etc while simultaneously driving the plot. I enjoy the spin on the magical academy, not as cliche as one may normally endure.

Grammar: Flawless

 

Character: Very fleshed out and intricately designed, you can truly feel and identify their emotions, struggles and a true character not one of just simple words, leaps from the page. This serves as a great eye for the reader. Secondary characters have more depth that one would assume and prove to be quite interesting.

 

Overall:

Interesting read! A great take on the fantasy, mystery esc genre!