What have in common an invasion of a flying island, a rather unusual magic experiment and an upbring of a future clan leader? Well in this particular case, the world where they are set!
The Short Stories of Argras narrates about different events each ones with different characters, situations and set in different timelines. in short, everything is different besides the very world where they take place.
In this stories for now, there won't be a lot of character progression, or at least not a progression like the one yoy could expect from a novel with fixed characters, but hey here the good news is that if you don't like a story, you can always try with the next one.
A story ends when the name changes. You can start whathever story you think you could like the most (i'll try to add some context before the reading at every first chapter). Some stories will be connected but others won't so don't worry if you want to read ahead.
(Cover made by Asviloka)
I'm passionate about magic novels and after having read a lot of works, about fantasy and magic, i decided to try one of my own. I tried to make an hard magic system which i'll try to explain during the work.
This is my first experience in writing and you are welcome to try it and give me back your feedback. Since I'm not am English native speaker please excuse me for eventual grammar errors (and please let me know if i made some!).
If you find some areas where the work is lacking or where you think i can improve, please let me know with a comment or with a review.
I want to get better and offer better works but i cannot do that without your help.
I hope you will enjoy the reading, thank to you all :)
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I stumbled across this newly published short stories collection and I couldn't believe it when I discovered it's the debut work of an amateur writer.
It features story pace, character definition and overall style that are quite impressive for a beginner author.
Clearly the author is passionate about fantasy and I bet he's an avid reader of this kind of novels.
What I like the most is how cohesive and coherent this fictional universe is, but the true gem is the narrative style. It really allows us readers to engage with the story and see the events unfold through the protagonists’ eyes, the writer going as far as reporting the characters’ thoughts, building a truly immersive experience.
I recommend this to fantasy enthusiasts who love light hearted but not shallow fiction and to those who enjoy hard magic.
The only "flaw" I found is about the grammar and "language skills", but it is one that surely is going to improve since the author isn't a native speaker so it's totally normal for him to have this kind of struggle during his first times.
I'm really looking forward to the future updates of this little hidden gem that I was so lucky to find by chance.
P.S. Best wishes Dreonem! I hope you'll reach the success you deserve and more. :-)
If you've come here to read about people gritting their teeth and growing stronger or special individuals who are chosen, turn back. The contents here are closer to Black Company mixed with old mythological epics rather than standard genre or LITRPG fantasy design.
However, if you're interested in seeing something much more original from a perspective that is often neglected (a genuine grunt in the military), stick around.
Style: My biggest peeve with the story overall. The paragraphing is weird in places and how the narrative is structured is at times a bit disorienting due to jumps in details. However, even at its worst, the content is very, very interesting. Some of the dialogue is weird at times, but ultimately, the soldiers sound like soldiers instead of caricatures and stereotypes. It also doesn't hold your hand, so don't expect raw exposition to guide you through.
Grammar: Not too bad. Some editing and cleaning up might be required but it shouldn't impede enjoyment.
Story: There are various short stories here. The bulk of what I went through has to do with the invasion and centers around Leind and other soldiers during the campaign. Interesting trials and tribulations face them as the narrative unfolds, but rarely does a single character hold all the attention. As stated, a lot of perspective characters are grunts and how they view things and what they grow through is much more varied than standard genre fare.
Characters: Read through the story. The interplay between characters is something the author is very good at. They're also colored by perception between characters, so the characters who are powerful feel even moreso from the eyes of someone who is subordinate.
Overall, I strongly recommend looking through these short stories as they are a rarity on this site and evoked similar feelings to Black Company mixed with the Odyssey at times.
The Short Stories of Argras begins with Leind, a soldier plagued with the looming threat of war. The first story was enjoyable and I broke down how I believed the book fared in each section.
Style (4/5 Stars) - I found that many paragraphs were too short, or on the opposite spectrum, too long. Either can be a problem if used too much, but the issue lies in the switching of the two. I will say that by the fourth chapter, most of my gripes with this disappear. Later on, instead of a space in between sentences to indicate a change in scenes (which, I'll be honest, confused me at times), the author switched to a line, which helped in notifying the reader that hey, it's a new scene: reorient yourself.
Grammar (4/5 Stars) - The grammar I found was a little lacking, but these are easy fixes. Plus, English isn't the author's first language, which makes the ability to write such a pulling story impressive more than anything else.
Character (4.25/5 Stars) - I could differentiate most characters based on their relationship with the MC: that in itself is remarkable. They all had discernible personalities (Londse is my fav :) ) and played off each other. I will say the inability to grasp who is speaking and when due to misplaced dialogue tags (or the lack thereof) took away from this, which again, is fixable.
Story (5/5 Stars) - I'll end with the highest score. As a compilation of short stories, this novel has limited time to set a plot in place and execute it, yet the first of its stories does exactly that. I enjoyed the lore that accompanied Leind's endeavours and the tangible chaos of war that is hard to capture. The end justified the beginning, and the middle definitely pulled through.
Overall ~ If you enjoy a fantastical world, spanning various factions and riddled with myriad types of magic, what are you doing? Go ahead and read it!
So over all I really liked the stories.
Style: The prose is good, it flows, it makes sense. Not too flowery, not to bland. It's a good mix for short stories where you need to achieve maximum punch per word. Maybe a little too much emphasis on action and not enough on building a mood or a setting. I wouldn't say you need to overly focus on establishing the mood, just a sentence or two every few paragraphs of prose, maybe.
Grammar Score: Over all the grammar was mostly fine. Run it past an editor looking specifically at grammar to clean it up. Or just read it out loud to yourself and fix it by ear.
For the narration type the word fuck and it's variants came up an awful lot. Unnecessarily awful lot. At a certain point no matter what word you are using, if it's showing up all the time it loses its impact. Less is more. Swap back to a different curse word more often.
Characters: For a short story the characters all seemed pretty good. You don't have hundreds of pages to flesh them out, so they need to hit the plot points and be efficient. I think you've done this as well as can be done within the confines of a short story.
Story: You already have one (and + of the next) story going. So rather than focus on just the first story, I'll say that your premise is solid and you seem to know exactly what you want to tell. I can't really find any fault with either the finished or the on-going story.
In Conclusion: I'd give you a healthy recommendation to anyone, and I'm fairly curious to see how many different stories you're going to throw together and if there will be eventual interconnectedness.
Give it a read, and like me, a follow.
First off, MVP goes to :
General Londse. An absolute Chad and I absolutely enjoyed every scene he was in!
Where to start...? I'll break the review down into things I liked and things I didn't.
Things I liked:
÷ Atmosphere - The first story or "The invasion of Zagliastrua" feels like reading or watching a documentary or the events of an epic battle. Every detail, character and tool feels like the cogs that spun in the gradual unfolding of events. The first 2 chapters are a bit... exposition heavy but this, much to my surprise, worked to the story's favor. Character names, location names, technologies and techniques are named dropped casually and it makes sense since we are, as the first chapter begins, right in the middle of a dramatic shift. There's no time to sit back and ponder the meaning to every little detail. Forward momentum is the name of the game and no words are wasted.
÷ Characters - The cast of folks we're introduced to are plentiful but colorful in their own way. From simple soldiers up to members of royalty, everyone is but a piece on the grander board. An actor on the theater of war and they all work I synchrony to make things work. It'd have been easy for the author to make the MC a cool, edgy mofo who'd thrive in this seemingly vast and possibility filled world, but no. Everyone has their roles and they serve them to the benefit of the greater narrative. I have a few favorites which I won't name for spoilers sake, but in the few scenes they were in, I felt not only entertained, but attached. The author managed ro make me get attached to several characters in the span of 6 neat chapters and i couldn't be any more satisfied.
÷ Action - not much to say. Its coherent. Everything just makes sense. Like a jigsaw, tactics, different perspectives and that oh so delectable Forward momentum are used to give action scenes satisfying impact. My only criticism, which is based purely on my personal preferences, would be the lack of detail in certain things. Like, if someone strikes at flesh and bone, I'd prefer a more detailed explanation of the whole thing, but that's really just me.
÷ THE LORE - For 6 chapters, we get a butt-load of exposition detailing certain things about the world and although i feel as though some people will be turned off by this, I'm a huge lore and detail junky. Everything from character names, place names, etc alludes to much grander world although I would understand if someone said they wanted it to be shaved down.
But for me... I wanted more! At times, some of the explanations felt... half done. I still don't quite get how the greater magic system works and I wish we would have spent time not only explaining it, but demonstrating it.
÷ Prose - The word "F*cking" is used quite a lot in the narrative prose and... It's not a bug deal, but the story is told in third person limited and so I'd prefer it if the narrator swore less. Lol.
÷ Grammar - a few mistakes here and there, but they won't ruin the experience by much.
Overall: 5/5 - if you like fantasy worlds, complex geopolitical structures and nuances, interesting characters and an interesting plot, I recommend you read this!
Over all I thought this was an great take on the epic large scale battle. From the hubbub of the line troops the the tactical respones to the changing conditions of the battle field we treated to a personal view and a stratigic concepts. Our MC Leind and his friend Hurd are realistiic charactes, flawed, but dutiful, skilled but not superem heros. It makes them down to earth and relateable.
The Style is a little unsual for me with a bit more abundant language when simpler prose might have suited better, specifically in the narratiotor's voice. I think I saw that the writer is from Italy and some of the writing did remind me of talking to friends from there si it might have an impact.
Grammar needed some work, but I am sure much of this will be corrected by the time you read this review. The writer clearly has a good head.
The story was paced excellently. You are riding along with someone pre battle, during the battle and after post battle, this allows you to really get a sence of how the anxity builds the gossip spreads and the weight of the consequences of war and how it wieghs on the individual.
With this piece I can smell the musky tents, oiled armor and leather, feel the muddy earth under my boots, and hear the clash of steel on steel whent he battle mounts. I also loved the way the magic was used in the planning and stratagy of the battle. A lot of writers over look how a real general would use those assessts, and I don't think we had that issue here.
This is not my normal genre of interest, but I read through it pretty quickly and I think you will enjoy it as well.
Let me preface this by saying I really enjoyed the fist story. I am going to be writing this rating based off of that first one.
With that being said, let us begin:
STYLE SCORE 5/5: The style of the writer started out a bit rough, but they worked through it by chapter 3. They found a descripive and adaptive groove that really worked in their favor and it shows. The gritty humour, fighting, and development of the characters from the first story were solidly enjoyable.
STORY SCORE 4.5/5: THe short story was wonderful. I would honestly like to see more depth and background, primarily by it being turned into a full length work. As wonderful as the short story was, the length didn't do it justice.
GRAMMAR SCORE 4/5: The grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure were a bit rough for the first third of the story. At chapter 4 it got much better. The huge paragraphs did make something of a comeback later on, but nothing as bad as those at the beginning. Overall there was nothing that heavily affected the story line or world development.
CHARACTER SCORE 5/5: Great characters! They were introduced quickly, developed rapidly, and have a range and depth of emotion that isn't often seen in works on Royal Road. I was very impressed and cant repeat myself enough when I say I want to see that first story made into a longer epic.
OVERALL SCORE 5/5: While there were some detracting factors, I strongly feel the writer is talented, has a good idea of how to create a wonderful story, and this work has great potential. I am rating it 5 stars based on its current state as well as its future potential.
The Short Stories of Argras are, exactly what is said on the tin, short interconnected stories.
Style - Story is narrated in 3rd person, it’s very straightforward and easy to understand, sadly it focuses more on the brief action and occasional dialogue rather than setting the mood of the scene, even the epic battle doesn’t feel sufficiently epic, or terrifying (and it should be, from the context). This isn’t necessarily a problem, most stories are written as this, there is nothing wrong with it. However, considering this is a collection of pretty much short, self-contained scenes, I believe it would be worth it to focus on the feeling of the moment much more than this does.
Grammar - English Grammar is the force beyond my understanding, it’s not my first language. All stories I review should receive 5-stars for Grammar by default.
Story - Short stories are fine. The first short story describes the futile battle against overwhelming force from the perspective of one of the soldiers, the second is from the perspective of the researcher who is forced to develop magical techniques because the first battle (from the first short story) was so lopsided and the government realised they aren’t really prepared. As a result, the first short story only provides fragments of the lore, and leaves you confused who is who, and what is what. There isn’t much explanation to be had in the midst of battle, of course, this is understandable, but that’s why the focus on atmosphere mentioned in the style section would be better. Second story starts on much better footing though as it narrates much more about the world.
Characters - There isn’t much room for character development in short self-contained stories, though I think that Leind is handled in a believable and interesting way. Sadly, this story ends after the 6 chapters, and we are with Sisap, a very different character unrelated to Leind.
Overall, it’s a decent story, or collection of several shorter ones, and it is definitely worth a read. I was immediately interested in finding out how the world looks like, or how it works, sadly the first volume doesn’t answer much of it.
I will preface this by saying that I recently discovered the Royal Road site.
Looking for new stories to read, I came across "The Short Stories of Argras."
I was interested in the concept of putting together different stories, all connected only by the fact that they are set in the same universe. It reminded me, as an idea, of the various Narnia books, where many stories have different characters but the world remains the same.
Only one story is currently published and completed, so the rest of my review will be devoted to this one.
The style entertains (4.5), slow and fast styles alternate in this story even though at times the author risked a sloppy transition between the two.
How the battle was rendered, personally, interested me a lot.
character score (4.5) The main protagonist is well-defined, I think more space could have been given to the other characters as well. personally I would have appreciated more insight into Akser, I had liked the character's frivolous manner which reminded me vaguely as an idea of the main character's mentor in Cradle.
As for the grammar(4), small errors emerge from time to time, but given my fast reading style I didn't pay much attention to them. it is something however that I think the author needs to work on.
Considering everything, I was nevertheless impressed and hope to continue reading subsequent stories very soon.