In a world where Classes, Stats, and Levels are the everyday norm, Reivyn has a secret.
He was unusually aware of his surroundings from an incredibly early age, and Skills and Stats were acquired easily. He was just the son of an ordinary village family, and nothing appeared out of the ordinary on the surface. But below the surface, dreams of another life help shape his mentality and growth. Why does he have some remembrance of a past life, and what is his purpose in this new one?
"Soul of the Warrior" is what I call a Semi-Isekai LitRPG. I say "semi," because Reivyn's past life is remembered like a dream, and very incomplete. It is still Isekai, though, as he remembers enough that it directly shapes his personality and his sense of self.
The System that governs the world of "Soul of the Warrior" is a combination of modified versions from Selkie's "Beneath the Dragoneye Moons" and Kosnik4's "Magic Smithing." I have changed enough of these Systems and combined them in a way that is unique that I'm mostly sure it's fine, but I still have requested permission to use these ideas. They have both graciously granted me permission.
Winner of the April Writathon Challenge.
Release Schedule is Mon, Wed, Fri on Royal Road.
Cover Art by: Jay Graphixx ([email protected]). His work can be found on deviantart.com under JayGraphixx.
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There are some good elements, but just not written in the most compelling way. The author has a tendency to infodump everything in excessive monologues which are just a chore to get through. I started skipping those a lot. (I recommend to skip chapter 3 completely, you won't miss anything really)
The semi-isekai 'soul' is not really relevant at all aside from the beginning, it is never brought up again after the first few chapters. I don't think that there is any point to it.
Another problem is the completely milktoast character of the MC. I don't remember one single emotion from him in the whole story so far. Things just happen to him and he reacts. Getting drafted? Well let's march. Getting beaten to an inch of your life? Cool I leveld up. Let's recuperate and forget that it happened. Getting attacked by an assassin? Oh I leveled up.
The MC is just completely detached.
Sidecharacters are just vessels of exposition, they don't feel real or fleshed out. A friend who's drafted along with him is a bit of a comic relief character but doesn't really interact with the MC a lot. A bully who has it out for the MC for no reason is quickly dispatched in the story, the officers are there to give orders and occasionally kill strong monsters and can't be described as anything other than strong and stern.
My advice would be to spend less on game mechanics, and more on who your characters are, what motivates them. What do they strive to, what is the conflict, what or who does the MC need to overcome?
There is a ton of boring info dumps early on. The main characters mom inflicts a huge amount of paragraphs of info on her one year old son. Completely immersion breaking and unrealistic. Needs to go back to the drawing board on how to start a story and present information to the reader in an interesting way for this one.
This is a fairly well written work, if perhaps a bit niche.
The basic premise of the story is a semi-reincarnation at birth into a LitRPG world with a system. The protagonist's early awareness and maturity means he's on track for being rather over-powered, though already we're shown that the scale of power in the world is rather tall (not quite xianxia levels).
The plot itself appears to be a military fantasy story, something which also emphasizes a number of themes that show up. There's a lot of training with various weapons, and eventually the protagonist ends up
conscripted into the military.
He spends a lot of internal monologue (actually, it might technically be narrative now that I think about it) observing how a military works in this world specifically and under this particular System.
The System is definitely on the crunchy end of things, for better or for worse.
The writing style is fairly straightforward and easy to read, with just that tinge of something common to a lot of military fiction. (...I actually can't be more specific than that. If you've read more than like 3 military fiction stories, you know what I mean).
The grammar is very good.
The characters are fairly well written. The protagonist and his parents are rather well formed personalities, as are a few of the military servicemen that he interacts with significantly. The younger twin sisters seem a little flat, and the "childhood friends" that the protagonist has aren't terrible well-formed either, given that they appear rather abruptly, have like 2-3 chapters of adventures, and then the protagonist ends up leaving town. (The caveat there is that he's with one of the friends, but it's a little fuzzy on that point because they're near each other for now, but it's clear that the literally and figurative distance between them is growing).
This is my new favorite story and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.
Things I like:
- I like how the MC and his family interacts with each other. In this genre, the MC often has a strained or traumatic family experience, but here the family is supportive and loving. It is refreshing to see a MC that has an optimistic view, and it is clear that the bedrock for that view comes from his family
and the snippets of his past life that we are shown.
- I love the descriptions of the military. It is clear that the author served in the military. His descriptions of military training, marching, chain of command, and the MC's observations of how orders are given, commander's intent, and interactions with military officers, are so realistic. I loved that the military units are described as competent, the commanders actually care about their troops, and the little details of the soldiers being assigned duties, from cleaning latrines to cooking, to patrol. These realistic descriptions and the favorable view make these chapter a joy to read. I like how this story doesn't fall into the tropes of the military being corrupt or nefarious. I like how th MC is part of a team instead being a lone adventurer or in a small party.
There are hints that he will go do the solo adventurer thing, but I kind of hope he stays in the military and rises through the ranks.
- The characters: The characters are flushed out individuals. It is clear that the author has really thought about what each character's motivations are. These are not just shells, but fully fleshed out individuals.
Things that could be improved: These couple of things are why I didn't give the full 5 stars, and for me they are not deal beakers, it is clear that the author was writing during the writathon and I think he'll fix these issues I further revisions.
- The first couple of chapters were a little wierd. The author uses grandiose language that doesn't really fit his style.
Once the MC is born and is interacting with the real world instead of the void, the simple straightforward style settles in and is very easy to read.
- Sometimes it seems the MC (and maybe the author) overlooks some simple things that are obvious. For example, when working as the Aide to the Knight Lieutenant, why doesn't the MC think about writing home to tell his parents how things are going? It seemed strange that for such a young boy he never really thinks about missing his parents or being concerned about them know that he's ok. This could be explained in a line or two, maybe there is no post that are carrying messages out of camp, maybe he can't afford it, maybe he has reasons he doesn't want to, but it seems strange that it doesn't cross his mind.
Overall, this is a solid story and an absolute joy to read. The plot is interesting, the characters are awesome, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Soul of a warrior is an ok LitRPG. It does well to set up the story and world but I mind myself skimming through it, especially in the more recent chapters. For me, some of this comes from the dumping of stat screens very early on with little other information. Half of chapter 1 becomes 'look at this stat screen' and look at all of these skills I gain within one minute because the MC exists. It just feels like too much. But that might just be more of a me problem as a reader but some of the litRPG's on this site just make me want to scroll on to other things within the story.
Now on to a more proper review of the elements without me ranting. Grammar is five out of five. I didn't notice anything and if i did i have since forgotten it and because of the writathon crunch, I don't mind as much. Syle for me has some things to be desired and I wished the RPG elements of the story were structured better.
Character and the story elements are ok and are better said in other reviews. Do I recommend this story? Maybe. Give it a shot if your goal is to check out every LitRPG on this site otherwise there might be better stories for you to check out that were released last month (April).
I cant really find any major problem with the writting itself but its tedious and boring to read, everything seems planned out but the delivery come out as an info dump and the system seems well crafted but come out as an overly complicated and wall of text, couldnt find it in me to keep reading even if its evident that the author put a lot of effort in crafting the story
Old review at chapter 31: Stagnating LitRpg: Becoming a slog.
General Overview: A mundane litrpg. Not enough character currently matter. The world is currently 2 cities 2 counts and a mountain.
Style: Nothing amazing or particularly captivating.Shallow on setting scenes. Currently very much focused on numbers go up. Reduced numbers go up at chapter 31 but is more boring training still.
Story: Not quite existent yet. There are some plot threads that have been laid and foreshadowed, but the call to action was very underwhelming and more a secondary introduction. Currently a LitRpg fantasy militia slice of life. Could have potential.
Currently flopping between training, and really mediocre magic lessons, showing and telling all the wrong parts. Shows the repetitive training, tells the character development.
Grammar: A couple of insignificant spelling mistakes.
Character: Not a lot of depth. A couple of amusing side characters but nothing or no one significant. Couple of basic character descriptions. No one gets much storytime.
On the System:
The author claimed inspiration from Beneath the Dragon Eyed Moons and Magic Smithing. I haven't read Magic Smithing, but the current system has none of the flair or style of Selkie's BtDEM. Currently it's a very mundane LitRpg system, with tiers that mean very little. Punching above your level is common as Skills are the most important factor. Stat gain holds precedence, but relies on Class rarity which relies on Skill level. Considering Achievements also add to Stats, the system has great potential to make Tier classifications insignificant
Overview: Regained momentum, the protagonist is currently at a tolerable level of exceptional power. Far beyond the norm but still having meaningful challenges. There is an obvious plot, but still a major lack of conflict. The godly intervention was odd and somewhat out of place but not overly discombobulating.
Style: Still shallow on background setting but improved. Combat has developed to be more fluid. The numbers go up has been made more engaging via dungeon delving.
Story: Has a clear plot now, is still lacking in major conflict, but has some minor conflict.
Grammar: No noticeable mistake recently.
Character: Big improvement, but the reoccurring side cast has less development than what seems like throwaway characters. The asshole religious knight has had more character depth than the best friend introduced near the beginning. The side characters are very much sidelined.
System and Magic: The development of the magic system was nice. Motes to braids is an interesting while simple enough to be easily understood. The system is still rather boring, but the introduction of an antagonist system could be interesting. The tier still seem rather problematic as the protagonist seem to be two or three tiers above in weight class. While he still is in a starter zone, it isn't promising.
I started this story because the few reviews were gushing about it and honestly didn't expect much from it. That said, the story rolls from a steady litrpg progression to a Romanesque military fantasy adventure so smoothly I didn't realize how wrapped up I was until the next button stopped working. The protagonist starts with clear advantages, however, the power climb is slow enough that improvement is still visible and noticeable, without the MC immediately stumbling into Unlimited Power. The system is well thought out, but the focus remains on personal development and skill growth instead of just Skill growth. In short, an easy recommendation for adventure fantasy.
Style: Smooth and steady. Scenes and action are clearly described without drowning in excessive words and there's a smooth cadence to how events flow from paragraph to paragraph. Easy reading.
Grammar: Almost perfect, with occasional errors. Levies is written as levis for a few chapters, but otherwise, there's only the rare misspelled word.
Story: Honestly, I've read so many isekai fantasies at this point that it feels like I should be tired of the genre. That said, this sort of story is why I always come back. The world is a neatly fleshed-out medieval era with a solid System and a (so far) well thought out civilization. Outside of cities and villages, monsters and intelligent beasts roam wild and are the purview of local armies to put down en route to whatever mission is assigned. Conflicts within humanity (or at least within the kingdom) put significant effort into ensuring minimal casualties, presumably because every soul is needed. The military writing is great, with an actual understanding of the command chain, rank interactions, and the boring mundanity that serves to highlight the moments of action. Given that the author seems to have an actual military background, I look forward to a story where the MC doesn't openly challenge the ranking brass and win everyone's respect because they're a main character. Overall, the fusion of progression, solid military writing, and expanding world make for an extremely satisfying blend that I look forward to seeing more of.
Characters: It took me a bit when writing this to consider whether the characters were problematic. They aren't, but I think it's worth noting that character moments are rarely highlighted. There's a sense of motion to everything and rather than spend time clearly spelling out who individuals are behind their description, they are revealed obliquely by actions that receive no more focus than any other moment. It's a victory of showing over telling and makes the characters feel a great deal more natural. Even the protagonist himself is broadly fleshed out through his actions, rather than sinking into internal monologues to clarify his position on everything that happens. That said, it's done so naturally that the mechanism by which characters are handled didn't even occur to me until sitting down and writing this.
Overall, barring any significant divergence from the current quality, I expect this story do incredibly well on Royal Road. It's a solid fantasy adventure with great action, realistic characters, and a clear respect for the world they're writing in.
As a military man myself, there is a lot of this story that feels like I'M the one experiencing the flashbacks. Much of the verbage used, different phrases and terms, are distinctly military and feel right at home. I've always been a fan of these slightly niche stories written by fellow service members, because of this particular feel that they tend to carry.
Beyond this, I imagine even civilian readers will find the story engaging. The plot is very 'meat and potatoes', carrying itself forward with purpose and not spending much time dallying around. Blue boxes are a favourite around RR, as well, and for those who's brain makes the chemical when watching numbers get bigger; this story will meet that demand to some degree. It isn't insanely stat box heavy, but the author makes an effort to give readers access to the various tidbits of world information and sometimes goes as far as to add extra info in the after-chapter notes for things like stat comparisons or what other Class/Profession data might look like.
The main character is a little bit bland at times, but he's young and without the typical 'isekai' advantage of fully remembering his past. There's plenty of room for him to become a solid protagonist as he gains experience and moves forward, capitalizing on the various advantages he's been provided. The supporting characters feel appropriately so, a functioning ensemble of militant professionals doing what military professionals do-- Complaining, standing by to stand by, and getting **** done.
Dont usually write out reviews, just do a rating instead, but this is one of the best stories I've read on Royal Road. The characters are extremely realistic and deep and (except for the info dump on one certain chapter) the dialogue is even more so. Definitely worth giving a shot if you even slightly enjoy lit-rpg stories.