Filthy kings, corrupt nobles, and 'heroes' that full of bloodlust. Everything is chaos and 'he' believe its all because of that stupid ranking system. This is a story about a man who wants to destroy the ranking system and turn everyone into slaves. Including himself. Mature [15+]: Language and a bit of gore.
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Full disclosure this is a Review Exchange and I read to the end of chapter 4.
Overall Score: 4/5 As the title would suggest this story follows several slave protagonists. The life of a slave isn’t easy, and these slaves labor for an army during battles and have to fend for themselves when it comes to food, etc.
The newest member of this group of slaves is Hans. The writer describes him as 5 years old, but I think eight or ten years old would make more sense. Some of the things he does, says, and can do, like reading books is a bit beyond the normal five-year-old capabilities.
But Hans does prove himself unique in other ways. He can use Healing magic, and despite constantly being beaten up and laughed at for once being a noble, he’s got guts—a fact he will later display when he saves not just himself but another slave from several enemy gnolls.
The writer isn’t afraid to kill his characters, which does a good job of hiking up tensions and apprehension—at one point I just thought everyone was going to die and we’d be stuck with that.
Style Score: 3.5/5The writer relies heavily on “tell” vs “show”. I wish that were the only issue but he also relied heavily on exposition in the middle of active scenes that weren’t really necessary. That along with sentences that needed to be rewritten so they were less awkward, a poor word choice that was often confusing to read made what simple details we were given a bit difficult to enjoy.
Story Score: 4.5/5 I’m only four chapters in, but I do feel the pace could be improved by taking out scenes where no main characters are physically present. The same scenes often have no impact on the overall story they’re simply there to convey information that could be placed elsewhere. Most of that information could have been given in dialogue also, which eliminates several breaks in active writing altogether. Most of this is noted in my chapter comments.
That said, I did find the story engaging. Though it was confusing who the real protagonist was when we started with Skelly, then shifted to Hans, Dirt, and Crow.
Grammar Score: 4.5/5 The story needs a lot of editing still. Tenses in particular were all over the place. Most of the other issues were mentioned in style so I’ll only markdown for tenses here.
Character Score: 4/5 I think of all the characters Dirt, Crow, and Hans stood out to me the most with unique personalities. Skelly is still a big mystery, especially since he went from human to undead and we haven’t seen him since the first half of chapter 1.
That said, as with other descriptions in this book, I don’t recall getting any physical description with them.
That and the ages chosen, which I also mentioned earlier for Hans, and in chapter comments, made parts of this story lack believability. I would make them all a little older all around just so a twelve-year-old slave beating a fully grown soldier in sword fighting; and holding his ground against an elite gnome warrior, sounds more believable.
Overall, with some polishing, this story has the potential to delight, entertain, and put the reader on the edge of their seat. I encourage the writer to keep at it. Hans is a character I will remember. Skelly is someone I want to see again definitely. The potential is here if the writer is willing to keep improving his craft. Best of Luck.