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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Overall: SOLID. Something that would be pitched in Hollywood for a screenplay and make an excellent movie. I think that my highest compliment to the author would be his ability to create a scene with layers. He wants you to feel like you're in the room, and boy oh boy, does it work magnificently. 

Style: Descriptive, elegant, and simply charming. Also, incredibly polished. You'd do yourself a disservice not giving this a read because the words flow off the page like water. 

Grammar: Mm, very strong. My hat is off to the author's effort. 

Story: Fascinating, mysterious, and incredibly strong! Every chapter left me wanting more, and that is what separates the wheat from the chaff. The only thing that stood out was how our protagonist just kind of went along with things as the plot unfolded. Hard to describe really, but the whole time I was like, this is great story-telling, but it almost goes against what she would actually do, or what any sane person would do. 

Character: Alluring, amusing, compelling, curious, and most importantly, engaging! No dialogue or character interaction felt like filler, and their distinct personalities shone through every chapter. You wanted to see more of each person, even if it was a character you wanted to straight up throttle. Well done! 

Blind_Watcher
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

First things first, Fragments from the Wildlands, is more of a anthology of short stories than an actual story. It's important to recognise this when going forward. All the stories are tangentialy connected by a central plot and the MC's involvement, but especially early on are otherwise a literary device for acclimating the reader to the concept. If you don't like stories that spend more time foncusing on other characters than on the MC, you probably won't like it. If you like voyeuristic explorations of other characters and exploring the world through their eyes, then you will most likely enjoy Fragments from the Wildlands.

Story: For me personally, I felt the story aspect was a bit weak in a couple of places. The Mc seems to lack genuine agency and just agrees to things because the plot needs her to do so. The core concept of the plot is fine, and is actually very interesting, it's just let down a bit by the MC and a couple of other characters just seem to be going along with things. I haven't read the other books in the shared universe, so I am unsure how well it fits in that context.

Style: The POV shifting wasn't for me, but I already covered that. Objectively, it's interesting and creative. There were some nice turns of phrase, and the dialogue, for the most part, seemed genuine and believable.

Character: The characters were interesting and certainly stood out as individuals. Perhaps a little overdone in the case of the Archmage, but I think that's a personal expectations and preference issue.Like how some people might not approve of the prologue's resolution in regards to the MC's logical consistancy going forward from that point. Going from an established and vindicated position of disliking authority, to sucking it up indeifnitely, it's possible, but unlikely. Ignring the prologue outright makes her longsuffering attitude far more believable. (Personal opinion)

Grammar: Seemed fine. I think I found only one error, but for the life of m I couldn't find it after I finished reading, so take that as you will.

 

Josh Wells
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Overall: This is a story complete with strong and well thoughtout worldbuilding. The story features the main character, Miguela, working for the Five Kingdoms as a Scryer and the novels progression follows that journey. From what I have read so far, the story is definitely an intriguing read and as such, this is a strong recommendation to give it a try. 

Style: The author writes in a way that is easy to follow and as far as I'm concerned that's what style is. The way the author writes doesn't hurt the content whatsoever. Paragraphs are split by topic well, sentences flow etc. 

Story: I actually quite like the concept of the story. It is refreshing while not deviating too far from other fantasy stories as to be alienating. 

Grammar: Grammar is perfect. I noticed no issues so well done. So obviously, a 5/5 here. 

Character: 4.5/5 here as the character development can come off as a little jarring at times. Some of the interactions between characters, and the dialogue of the MC sometimes felt a little bit like "Who would actually say that/react that way". Aside from that, my feedback here is otherwise positive. Each character has been a joy to read about and witness their individual character development. 

mjcervanez
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The story really engages you by exploring the mc’s new life as a scryer, the one who sees the memories of the dead for the sake of the five kingdoms. Each scry makes you wonder what happened in the outside world of the mc and makes you want to read more.

Style: Tells in a 3rd person view. It was not a fast-paced read, though I don’t find the structure a chore as the sentences were easy to comprehend (I say this as a good part), not to mention that the way the things are described are perfectly clear. Also, it’s a plus that there’s a line streak if ever there’s a timestamp or a different POV.

What I do like about the writing is that we get to see some personal moments between the characters (I’ll get to them alright), but there were moments, imo, that was short-lived that I thought were left out such as telling us what happened between the moments of the characters rather than going along the ride with them- even just the small moments.

Grammar: Spotted some minor issues and some parts that need improvements and reconstruction (including minor repetitive words that I thought should be changed), but the rest is overall good.

Story: The story is about Miguela as a Scryer, which practices magical abilities to see the memories of certain people. That’s pretty cool, imo. The memories she has seen were not quite friendly, though. Of course, in a fantasy world, there’s always the harsh reality- especially death. Not only that, whenever she experiences something based of someone’s memories, it will have an after-effect on her- which makes me change my mind of becoming a Scryer myself, hehe.

But, with every scry, it becomes quite a challenge for Miguela, and knowing how cruel and dark the world can be can hold the mysteries that pushed our urges to know what could happen in the Windlands.

Character(s): Thanks to the 3rd pov, the author took it as an advantage in order to inform the reader about their background. Most of the chapters focus on Miguela and her future growth as a Scryer. During the scry sequence, I already got interested in the characters before… unfortunate things happen. The story even mention their background to know them more even though their personality weren’t that flashy.   

Roenz
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The story is about a girl named Miguela, working as a scryer for the five kingdoms. She peeks at the last moment of the dead by using something he/she left behind. By then, she gathers some information about the bigger world and experienced various ways of death. Not the best experience for our girl, obviously.

Style

For me, this is the best part of the story. The flow is really nice, and the pace feels just right. I can imagine the setting and feel the experience of being Miguela. But I wouldn't be as strong as she is while facing many deaths. The scrying process is also shown in a way that really brings me to the other reality.

Story

Reading this story gives me a feeling like collecting puzzles of the vast world. It is so intriguing, as there are many things to unfold in the future. The bit-by-bit information sprinkled during the scrying process keeps me guessing about the bigger picture of the story. One minor thing is that there is no learning process of scrying. Miguela just mastered the art a bit too soon. Maybe it's going to be more natural if she failed at the first trial?

Grammar

Everything seems to be good here. 

Character

Miguela, as the main character, is easily lovable. She is the obedient type of girl that does what she is told to do. I also enjoy the interaction between the characters, especially Miguela and Caecilia. I think a little deepening of their background and personalities could be a good thing.

TurtleKing
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Well -done Well-written story

Reviewed at: 07-Questions and Brandy

Magical acadmies have been done countless times and for good reason. They are entertaning, provide interesting magical  systems to fantasy, and allow for a lot of character interaction. Fragments from the Wildlands does all of this so well, and is among the best of the genre.

One thing that I felt set this story a part from other magic school novels was how likable the main character is. She is nuanced, her emotions are relatable, her work ethic strong, and is in general a character that you want to root for.

In terms of style, the author uses varied prose, but writes in a way where the writing doesn't overshadow the story. The story is the main focus and it shines because of how well thought out and developed it is. There is the necessary tension needed in order to engeage the reader and keep them engaged and wanting to click the next chapter.

For Grammar, I found no typos. I'm not great at proofreading so take that with a grain of salt. At the very least, there were no errors that took away any enjoyment from the story.

The characters all have distinct personalites and are fleshed out to a considerable degree. I'd recommned this story to anyone who likes magic academy stories.

OrlonDogmann
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Don't gaze into the abyss.

Reviewed at: 28-Epilogue

This was a real, literal breeze. I'm being serious, I never expected to finish this story as quickly as I did and, really, I am so happy about it!! This was a disturbing look through an interesting yet sinister world, and I love it.

Style: As I mentioned before, you have a prose that flows like melted chocolate~ It's quick and to the point but it never feels bare or unattended! It's a delight. If I had any criticism? It would be the inconsistent length of some of these chapters? Some feel way shorter than others? But I bet that's deliberate.

Story: Scrying is an art, and not one for the faint of heart. Do you feel ready to walk a mile or two in someone else's shoes? Well, you are not, no matter how prepared you feel: experiencing death is never easy... ahhh, the magic system is so fascinating! And the looming presence of the Kingdoms is interesting, it hooks you real good

Grammar: It never took me out of the immersion, I never noticed anything~ So you either have perfect grammar or the story is so good I didn't even care about it.

Character: Each little person in this story feels alive and with their own, very clear motivations. Miguella feels so nice to follow through it all, you root for her, you feel her distress and drive to push on with her newly found duty, and that's all I want in a protagonist!

LlamaLlumps
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

That escalated quickly.

Reviewed at: 05-Tiny Indulgences

Our author is one for jumping right in and getting things moving. I'm five... now seven chapters in and feel their world stacking up around me brick by brick. Making a complex and interesting world from scratch is no easy feat and this one feels old, self indulgent and byzantine in all the best ways. I see political schemes and plots writhing in the shadows already. 

So far, the people in the story feel like they are fully formed and have their own motivations. A few have charming little details, that make me feel like I will be learning a lot more about some of them pretty soon.

The style of writing feels slick and modern, staying in a lane most readers will feel comfortable in. I enjoy the clarity and economy of words in the vivid and punchy action sequences... yeah, plural. This thing is champing at the bit and ready to run, dont try to hold the reins, just grab a fist full of mane and hold on tight.

As previously mentioned the pace is quick so stay in the story freind, this one will sweep you along if you let it. Each time I go back to re read a paragraph I get sucked in for another chapter. If you try and read this on your break at work you will be coming back late.

Nice stuff, I look forward to shoving the whole thing into my eyeballs as soon as I have a whole afternoon to reall get in there.

lcxicey
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Enthralling and intriguing to the end!

Reviewed at: 28-Epilogue

This is part of a review swap so just note that context for my review.

Story 5/5: The story is both fascinating and exciting enough to keep the reader entertained. Honestly the idea of exploring the life of a mage who practices magic other than the explodey kind is great to see and seeing the life and application of those magical fields adds so much feeling of life and depth to the world. Now seeing that there are other works in this setting by the other i feel there was some context lacking however this never felt like a detracting factor for me personally. Pacing throughout the chapters is brilliant and I feel the length was perfect for telling this self contained tale.

Style 5/5: As far as the style of the writing we get just enough detail to feel understand the surroundings, characters and events with enough left to the imagination to allow the chapters to feel light and less dense. This along with the brisk pacing attribute to a style that was incredibly pleasing to read

Grammar 5/5: Aside from a few minor errors, a missing word or punctuation here or there, on complaints in this department. As someone who recently has found out how easy it is to miss a word or two within thousands of words i would consider the few times this occurred a non issue at best

Character 5/5: Miguela is a breath of fresh air as a character as she feels incredibly consistent as a character. An example of this is when her culture background, of abhoring necromancy, is challenged by her academic curiosity and the ultimate questions of whether a practice is inherently evil. At first she is obviously disgusted by the idea of practicing necromancy but the academic curiosity inside of her as well as the logical arguments, at the time, of her superior resonate with her. Many other series would have the main character become violent and rebellious with dramatic actions taking place because of such revelations however the author here does a great job of remembering Miguela's other traits and allows those to weigh in on her reasoning. As far as side characters go they feel fleshed out enough for the parts they played in the story

Overall 5/5: When all is said and done worldbuilding, characters, grammar and even story are all just set dressing to entertain the audience. Personally I maintain that as long as a work does the above mentioned things well enough, in any combination, to keep the readers suspension of disbelief and entertainment so high that they don't have to stop to ask questions about things that don't make sense because in the end their simply enjoying themselves too much. From the moment I began reading chapter 1 i didn't stop or take a break until the whole thing was done and it felt like i teleported two and a half hours into the future and for more that is the hallmark of works that reach the highest quality!

myoatbread
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I haven't read many academy based novels due to their sheer prevalence, but this one was a pleasant surprise!

Style — The author uses straightforward, effective prose that gets to the point and is entertaining to read. At times, some sentences may be a tad too verbose but it doesn't affect the overall reading experience. Dialogue between characters are especially interesting and gets even better in later chapters once we get a better grasp of the character's traits and motifs.

Story — Even though our protagonist, Miguela, starts off in the academy setting, it doesn't imply immaturity as she's soon put to work in an elite team, which is where the action starts. The author does a great job balancing the action and the worldbuilding; the conflicts kept me invest in the plot, wanting more at the end of each chapter!

Grammar — Nothing crazy enough to disrupt the flow!

Characters — All characters in this story have realistic reactions and morals, some of which are typical archetypes, but they make them seem more human and alive in the long run. Especially in later chapters, I found myself really getting attached to some of them and wishing the best for these characters. The MC is very likeable, and her actions are in character with her background; she has her flaws, but watching her grow and explore the world was very rewarding on my half.

Overall, a worthwhile read! If you like academia content interweaved with action and fantasy, check this out :)