Spellsword

Spellsword

by Cefor

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

Faye is dropped into a strange world where monsters roam the wilderness, the moon looks funny, and some kind of notification keeps telling her she’s gaining experience. Despite being fascinated with sword fighting since a young age, Faye will need more than a blunt training sword and her wits to survive in this strange new world.

Without a class, or any clue how to get one, Faye has to convince those around her that she’s not a child, despite not being level ten yet – but that takes 18 years, give or take, and they insist she stays safe until then.

Fortunately, this world has one thing that earth didn’t: magic, and lots of it.

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Content warnings are more for security rather than saying we're always going to have traumatic content or gory details.

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Cefor

Cefor

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Zaeron
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This is a tough one

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 27 ~

This is honestly a really frustrating review to leave.

This is probably one of the best written stories I've read on Royal Road. The grammar is fantastic, the descriptions are great - the author does a fantastic job of putting you in the moment and making you feel like you're right there.

The skill system seems like it could be incredibly cool. The few skills we've seen demo'd are fascinating, the monsters seem cool, etc, etc. The worldbuilding is great.

The problem is the pacing and the story beats are incredibly repetitive. I'm reviewing this at Chapter 17, almost 200 pages into this book, and the story is essentially the same thing over and over. Main character overcomes major challenges, main character is belittled and treated like shit, main character tries to take initiative to find a new challenge, everyone around them watches them overcome the challenge and then the main character and anyone who helped them gets treated even more like shit.

It's basically slow motion misery porn, written incredibly well, and with the tentative promise that if it ever stopped being misery porn it would be incredibly fun. But the pacing is so damn slow - 200 pages in, the main character is still only 1/3rd of the way to the theoretical point where everyone stops treating her like an actual child. 

The world building is consistent and makes perfect sense but the outcome of that worldbuilding is a world where our protagonist is constantly being treated like utter dogshit and not even in a fun or interesting way. There's only so many times you can read the same well written scene about how frustrating it is for an adult woman to be treated like an actual literal child before the story beat wears out its welcome, and for me that happened like five or six chapters before writing this review. :(

On the topic of worldbuilding, there's also some weird like - it feels like to some extent the entire worldbuilding setup was to make the main character as miserable as possible. For example, the town has laws that the main character can't leave the walls, but the town also has no provision for like, feeding or giving a job to under-leveled adults - so the main character is homeless, in a town that won't let her leave for the 10+ years it takes to level naturally? And at the same time, there's some bonkers surveilance system - so everyone thinks she's dogshit and not worth paying attention to or listening to in any way, but they're also tracking her, tracking anyone who helps her, and refusing to let her leave? Nobody even seems to care that she doesn't live here - so does every city in this world just get to kidnap people and imprison them in the town walls whenever?

I dunno. I've been dithering about the actual rating because I feel like the author has an incredible amount of potential and just has the pacing of this particular story off. Even this story has a ton of potential if it would just put its foot on the gas a tiny bit and stop dwelling so hard on what a crapsack world she got transmigrated to. We get it. These people suck.

Arensor
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A misleading description and tags

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 30 ~

The description as you read through it sounds great, a classic litrpg of swords and magic. The ending even says something along the lines of fortunately for her there's lots of magic. The unfortunate side is that at chapter 25

The main character, Faye, has yet to use any magic at all or even touch mana. For all I know they might use arcana or essence.

When swords are in play the writing is absolutely fantastic. The couple of fights we've seen and the training sequences have all shown that the author really knows their stuff here. This and the party she joins unfortunately are the only good parts of the story. The author has driven themselves into a hole with their writing that feels impossible to get out of.

 Due to events in chapter 17 she is unable to get training from her party but instead or trying to find the hinted at magic teacher or trying to find some accessible skills to level and get experience, she just wallows for another 7 chapters of mindless excercise and sword training which she already has the skill for.

 

Every single time something good is happening the author bombs it immediately. There has genuinely only been one arguably two characters that have been nice to Faye in 25 entire long chapters. Most characters come off as fleshed out people but are in general very racist(levelist). This is all explained by the author in the novel but the way it is depicted as many people not liking her even if she is not impacting them in any way comes off as sickening and boring after 15ish chapters of it. I genuinely think this novel could be good as the author is competent but as tagged as a action and adventure novel it is not. The novel currently is mostly a angst and drama novel. Other than the actual meat of the story the author is great. Little to no mistakes in terms of grammar and from my recollection the environments that get described in the first several chapters are good. In summary this novel should be an angst/drama novel and I could rate it 4 or 5 stars. As a sword and magic action litrpg I'd give it 2 stars. I will come back and update if it changes

GrimPhoenix
Overall

Everything about this story has been great so far except for the actual story. The detail is okay, the characters are great the system seems i interesting (from what little ive seen) the only problem is that 23 chapters in and so far we know nothing about the mc except that she has been shat on by everything for 23 chapters with little to no actual progression to be seen. Its honestly so bad that the actually well written chapters and interesting world still only get it up to 2 and a half stars. Ill see if that changes when something other than pointless hardship happens.

rmullins
Overall

Don't read this yet. Wait until it has an actual p

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 29 ~

29, nevermind. The disappointment and stalling continues.

------------------

Update as of 28

Looks like it's finally decided to move again and things look interesting so far. 

Increase to 3.5 that I'll update again if he keeps the ball rolling.

--------

I'm reading it  more out of a sense of  sunk cost but I can't in good conscience recommend this to anyone until the plot has progressed past the holding pattern it's been in for 15+ chapters.

 

I'll update this review when the author realizes that  keeping the main character in the same situation forever is a setting, not a plot or when they remember they put a progession tag on this.

Reddog
Overall

Well written but poor pacing

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 25 ~

Reviewed at chapter 25. As other reviews have mentioned, the story is generally well written with good grammar, distinct characters and solid world building. But the pacing is incredibly slow, it definitely should not have the Progression tag. Maybe something I will come back to later, but I'm dropping this for now. 

Atro
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Interesting people, less so the story.

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 19 ~

This is a harder story to review. On one hand the grammar is solid and the characters all feel well written and coherent. On the other the world itself seems custom built just to keep the MC from progressing, and acting to dismiss them. As mentioned in other reviews so much so that there are real rather big holes in the underlying logic of the world. So far most of the story as of writing this is a repetition of the same scene grinding down and dismissing the MC in slightly new ways. It makes for a well written but not necessarily enjoyable read.

The characters nearly save the story. The MC isn't flawless and is mostly internally consistent. Their main issue being that they're caused to ignore or forget seemingly highly vital information with some consistency to facilitate the story. Aside from that they have some anger issues, a bit of a Napoleon complex, a friendly demeanor, and a loving interest in their was a hobby now way of life. They feel like a person, one with virtues and vices. And the same extends to most of the cast. It's just hard to watch even interesting characters in a less enjoyable story. 

I want to like it, I'm happy to find an interesting person instead of a super powerful astetic monk who makes all the best choices. But the story just feels like tunnels into more tunnels without any real chance that the author is going to find a light.

D. Redbeard
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Well written, but with too little payoff

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 25 ~

This review is difficult to write because while the novel is very well written from a technical perspective, it badly fails in providing an enjoyable reading experience (unless you're a masochist).

Descriptions are immersive enough and the text flows well. Faye and other characters are believable once they are fleshed out, but others are not.

Almost all of the townsfolk treat Faye like a child or a mentally-challenged adult because of her level, even when presented evidence to the contrary. Some are outright demeaning and bully her despite her perceived status, yet others let it happen unchallenged and go as far as punishing her when she fights back. Faye can't fend for herself in town because she is weak and ostracized, but is also forbidden from leaving -- the rules are only enforced if Faye happens to suffer for it,

It's as if no one other than Faye and a few other characters has an ounce of common sense.

The plot meanders forward at a snail's pace, and Faye's situation is barely any better than when she arrived after hundreds of pages. Most chapters see her running into another situation where she finds herself bullied or on the losing end of some exchange.

EDIT: Spelling.

FreyaChevalier
Overall

It's alright 🤷🏼‍♀️

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 15 ~

This story seems like it could have potential but so far there's not been much spelling or swording happening, just a whole lot of angst and whining (for reasons that make sense but are a slog to read through).

I don't know if there is a ln actual character sheet or something, although we have seen certain system pop-ups, because in 15 chapters the MC hasn't given more than a passing thought at how to access her stats.

TL;DR MC is a bit daft and the plot feels a tiny bit contrived, and I get the impression it'll take a while to get to the good part.

AnonyGuy
Overall

A Painful read for me

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 25 ~

The writing is good not gonna lie, but it seems being a decent person in this world is not the norm and the few ones that are decent is the exception, I need to exert myself not to punch something at the way the side characters' act.

I'm not masochistic enough to read this through to completion, I dont want to worry about the main character everytime a new person comes along and be another ass to MC and she can't do anything about it 

Thedoctor1787
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Well written but poorly executed.

Reviewed at: ~ Chapter 25 ~

Stylistically this is ok, no complaints but also nothing special. It is well written grammatically and has clear descriptions. The MC is somewhat well fleshed out with believable reactions, but just the MC. The characterization of literally everyone else with few exceptions is borderline nonsensical. People are so willfully ignorant of what is blatantly incorrect that it breaks any and all suspension of disbelief. Their reasoning and behaviors have not been adequately explained and are very obviously a deus machina for the MC's misfortune.  The part where this story fails the most however is in the actual plot. For one the pace is so slow its practically glacial, which should be tagged with extreme slow pace. I mean, we are over 30 chapters in and the MC has made almost no progress. (Edit: I realize now we are only 25 chapters in but in my defence it feels like longer.)

She is still in the starting town. She still hasn't learned any magic or even the basics of how magic works. She hasn't learned sword abilities or anything that would explain the mechanics of warrior skills. Its just rinse repeat of people insulting her, her reacting and getting upset, then dealing with consequences of said actions if any. Then in the latest chapter we find out the system is inconsistent and differs from person to person, but they still treat it as Gospel. 

 

There isn't any eventual pay-off that would make this level of frustrated reading worth it IMO. Not to mention the system's inconsistency is also clearly just another Deus Machina for the plot. Thats this story's main problem in a nutshell, things happen because the plot demands it. Any internal consistency or logic is altered or ignored.