Rise of the Desolate Star
“The soul is a sword. The body its sheath. Adversity is the hammer, while courage is the anvil. Oh, and son? Your tears and snot, they’re just the sparks that chip away at the impurities, like dungflies off a sow’s arse.”
- Kendric Farrow
Ever since he could remember, young Skyle Farrow’s body and mind have been hammered relentlessly like red-hot steel against the anvil of adversity under the watchful eyes of his father.
All the while, Skyle’s heart and soul have been nurtured by the enduring warmth of his loving mother.
Skyle has always asked why a simple farmboy would have need for all manner of skills like hand-to-hand combat, wilderness tracking, archery, beast taming, geography, history, politics, and even embroidery!
The one vital question remains unasked, however: just what are his parents preparing him for?
The invasion of a demonic horde? The advent of an age of war and endless bloodshed? The dark legacy of an ancient mystical power? A desperate struggle to save the lives of those he holds dear? The end of the world?
It is a good thing he never asked these questions, for the answer would have been yes - to all of them.
Now Skyle must take his first steps beyond the sheltered world he has known. He has been raised strong, but is he strong enough?
Welcome to a tale of friendship, love, loss and heartbreak. It chronicles the growth of a young boy into a legend whose path will shatter the very foundations of the world.
Expect a rich, detailed world with vivid characters. Each will pursue their own complex agendas due to realistic motivations. The MC will be overpowered, not through liberal use of plot armor but rather the deliberate application of arduous training, clever thinking, and nurtured talent. Battles will be graphic, victories will be bittersweet, and defeat will not mean the end of the world - for time waits for no one and life goes on whether we like it or not.
New chapters posted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 p.m EST, 10 p.m. GMT.
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The story is good, the characters have depth, and I really really want to read further.
But the prose has gone beyond flowery to being purple. It is distracting from the plot at best of times and downright tedious at the worst. I find it impossible to read more than 3 chapters at a stretch. There is also a definite lack of focus. Major exposition and paragraphs of flashbacks definitely do no need to be included during split-second kill or be killed situations. Action scenes are short and unsatisfactory.
I hope that this is not the final draft and that the author rewrites the story, because it is a genuinely interesting plot.
The synopsis is useless.
Many sentences are overly convoluted.
Author is inconsistent and forgetful of the things he writes, ex: At one moment the MC is about to enter combat with a pseudo alli and it suddenly transitions into explaining the fact that the MC lost his ammo due to an earlier incident whilst explaining: the world and some of the magic system. (Oh, sorry iss this a long run-on sentence? There are ALOT of those.)
Followed by a sudden break in the page with no warning
Combat starts with lots of inner monologue(that's fine). Oh wait, he has arrows again. pewpewpew.... (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
(sighs) I'll continue reading and if it's still frustrating, I may reduce my score even more to balance out all these over-the-top 5 star ratings.
Christ people, if your review is x is good, y and z are bad don't give it a 5/5 rating. Give it something lower so people can find out where the problems are and more importantly what to expect to see in the story. THIS ALSO helps the author look for what he/she needs to improve upon/edit in his/her work.
After reading to chapter 30, I'll give it an 'Eh, it's ok.'
Still spends way too much time explaining things.
As the title says. The story is about the author's own brain baby, a super smart and hella maturek kid. It's a pretty common trope, quite well done in this series; however, the author shoves just how great the main character is down your throat instead of trusting the reader to be able to pick it up. (Examples: "Which is an amazing thing for an adult, not even mentioning a child of his age..." "So-and-so wondered how he could even pull off such a stunt..." Basically Author-san: he has so and so drawbacks, but look! Isn't he great?!) The first half of the 35+ chapters are amazing. It's the latter half that this problem starts to pick up. It really turned me off to the mc, instead falling for his partner. It's definitely not unreadable, but know I dropped the series because of it.
Otherwise, the story is great. Good descriptions and fantastic ideas. Very slow pace and often stuck inside the characters' heads a lot, which it seems like a lot of people don't like, but both were well done in my opinion.
P.s. Author-san, lemme know if you go back and correct this. I'll be sure to update this critique and probably start reading it again. Until then, cheers.
The description of the novel does a great injustice to this masterpiece, so much so I almost didn't read the novel. It's pure exposition, while also telling nothing about the story in a way.
Well, forgoing that,
Style 5/5: I don't have anything to criticise, so I also won't say much about it. It's perfect enough for the story to be more enjoyable than most of the trash heap on RoyalRoad... like, way more.
Story 4.5/5: Has some minor parts that I consider would need editing, but otherwise it's a story that won't disappoint you.
Grammar 4.5/5: I noticed a few mistakes while I was reading, and even though they did not impact my reading, it is to say they exist.
Characters 5/5: All properly fleshed out, with no two dimensional characters in this story. Actually, I want to say that the character's interactions were one of my favorite part in this story, and generally one of its strongest points.
All in all? Definitely a recommendation!
Review update: Nothing much, just wanted to comment on the new description. Far better than the ones it had before. Might just not be a turn off.
The progress of this novel seemed slow at first, but the writing style made it so that the flow was interesting, filled with enough *juicy* graphical details to let readers see the scene like they're in the story themselves.
Grammar mistakes are small and very few in these several thousand words per chapters. About one flaw in two to three thousand.
Action packed into the story with proper cause and effect, keeping it from being boring even with all the lengthy paragraphs, as they serve a purpose: painting a realistic picture of the cast, why they take certain actions and how did they end up where they are.
A must read. Highly recommended.
Written as of chapter 26.
So I'll start off by saying that I enjoyed the read. I've read only five chapters, so some of the things I'm about to say may shine a bit later. The set up is impressive. I liked how Skyle was travelling through the forest, trying to do his family proud and utilize his hunting skills. I liked the details added with a paw, blood, disturbed leaves, etc. Very nice touches and gets you into Skyle's head as how he learned to hunt and track.
There are some issues with, what I feel is overexplaining. Lots of descriptions, lots and lots of it. In plenty of places where it just isn't necessary, especially combat. Sometimes it's better to just say someone was knocked up against a wall, rather than detailing every little thing he's feeling at that moment. It was in a lot of times very distracting, and I had to go back to paragraphs once in a while to remind myself what I was reading.
The elemental forces at work are an interesting concept. I do like how the mc is at a bit of a disadvantage with how he's a 'cripple.' Some of my suspension of disbelief was hard to get rid of regarding Skyle, though. He's doing a lot for his age and some of the words and concepts he throws around feel a bit more on the older side. I can't remember it word for word, so I'm paraphrasing here, but I remember frowning when he said something along the lines of "work, you trash body." It's just difficult to imagine a 12 year old talking to himself like that.
However! I really enjoyed the read. I think if the descriptions are toned down and there's a little more subtly to the story, it'll turn out great. Nicely done.
Sup... Havent started the novel yet but i have tell you that you make a new description since the current only dosnt say anything about what the story is about, it only says that there was a huge war, everything got turned to cinders and the goddess made a sacrifice to stop the war, 1000 years later and says that the elves and dwarfs went to their own respective places...
Dude, this dosnt tell me much... From that i can gather that the story is 1000 years later after a huge war stopped by a great sacrifice and that there are elves and dwarfs in the world...
I wanted to preface this review by stating that this has been done in part due to a review swap between myself and the author. I vow to be honest in my feedback and expect that he/she can reciprocate that. Also, this is one of my first true reviews, so please be patient with me as I slowly walk through each score.
Style: ---------------------- ★★★★☆
The style and use of prose are phenomenal, as, within the first few paragraphs of the prologue, I was impressed. Your use of showing instead of telling was obvious, as I was drawn in by such sentences as—"Tear by tear, it was a quiet love song that would echo for eternity in the uneasy moment when sudden loss blooms into abiding grief. It was the reckoning of ages, a tribute to finality."
Along with your use of prose, your use of dialogue varies and shows exactly the sort of character as they speak. The lofty and powerful Gods have a dignified, almost poetic way with words, while the average man's use of prose is softer and more level.
The world you've built is truly fascinating, and I'll talk more on it as I get further into the story elements and ratings. I'll say this... the way you introduce world-building is well done and is something most people should aspire to.
I will say this, though. At times it felt like you were saying too much if that makes sense. Like the scene, or the moment was taking too long, almost as if being drawn out using grandiose words. This isn't inherently a bad thing, it simply made prolonged reading a bit tiring, as I was forced to occasionally skim a glance through a paragraph or two, hoping to see everything moving forward.
This, however, is most likely fault more so of my laziness, so I didn't want to lower the rating by too much.
Story: ---------------------- ★★★★★
A good story is vital for any novel, and by god, you have quite a fascinating one. Your prologue drew me in with its epicness and massive scale, and your chapter 1 introduced me to an interesting main character and story. Maybe I'm just weak to a smart, proactive ensemble of characters, but something about the way you portray thoughts and the progression of plot attracts me.
The end of chapter 1 had me sat on the edge of my seat, as I could believe the events that transpired and was even rooting for Skyle to find a way out. Nothing seemed out of character or ruined my belief, as everything that transpired seemed fair and smart.
I've used smart twice, I think... but I truly believe it's the best term for your story and characters. Smart.
Grammar: ---------------------- ★★★★★
Here is where everyone will start to believe I'm phoning it in, but I'm being honest. This novel has so few faults I'm finding issue finding any.
Within the first 3 chapters alone, I think I found only 1 grammar error, and I'm not even certain it was an error or if I simply read it wrong. No words are misspelled, the prose is solid, the vocabulary is varied and colorful... seriously, nothing I can say except "well done."
This section was quick and easy. If you ever want to volunteer as my part-time editor, I'd gladly welcome you. haha!
Character: ---------------------- ★★★★★
Yes, another 5/5.
Let me explain. Your characters... your characters... how can I say it? I feel like they're real. It's so convincing that I've forgotten this isn't a professionally edited and traditionally published novel.
Your characters are believable, likable, and easy to love. Your use of thoughts and dialogue flows well and works so naturally that I've given them their own unique voices within only their first few lines.
Something I noticed when I was still reading through chapter 1 is that even without ever meeting Skyle's father, I feel like I've already got a label on his character. I know what sort of man he is, and to do that without him actually showing up is impressive.
You know what he left Skyle with, you know how he trained him, you know how he behaves and his sort of tough-love approach. The tongue and cheek sort of character, and I knew this all within only a few paragraphs in a chapter he isn't even in.
Also, Skyle is the best boy. He's smart, proactive, and believable. He's got street smarts and handles situations like you'd expect a kid would. He's mature, but he's not cold-hearted and ruthless like many kids are on RoyalRoad's repertoire of stories.
Overall Rating: ---------------------- ★★★★★
Yes, even with a single 4.5/5 I still believe this story deserves a solid 5/5, as the main issue I found lied in my own laziness and taste in style. As it was subjective, I wanted to ensure that your overall review doesn't suffer because of it.
I reviewed 'Rise of the Desolate Star' based on the average RoyalRoad story, not based on professionally published works, as that would be entirely unfair.
I will say, however, that even compared to published works, this story would average a solid 4/5, with grammar and character taking a strong 4.5/5.
I'm not very good at reviews, and in fact, this is the first one I've truly given where I've taken my time and carefully read through the content beforehand, so please take my feedback sparingly, and know I'm no expert.
I will be adding this story to both my bookmarks and my favorited lists, and I look forward to reading through the rest of the story at a leisurely pace, as I'm quite a slow but comfortable reader.
This is one of the few web novels that I've had the pleasure of reading that combines excellent technical writing (grammar, etc.) with an engaging, unique storyline. I strongly encourage anyone to take a look. I'm quite excited to see where this goes and what future works the author releases.
Description are amazing, sometimes a bit flowery but they are always interesting
World Building is good, and not forced upon you, while at the same time you are not at a loss at where they are
Characters are where it gets tricky for me. The main characters make a lot of contradicting decisions (sometimes they make a really smart one which makes sense cause they r smart, then they proceed to act like a idiot and get them into a bad situation). Add on to that the MC has the most major hero complex I have ever seen (he would basically gice everything up to save a random stranger that he knows nothing about), and the MC also seems to hide behind his ideals and morals quite a lot which is also very annoying.
Plot is at a good pace, occasional plot twists, overall quite good.
But the story lost me at chapter 49, as he makes (in my opinion) the most idiotic decision I have ever read. Some people may like that decision (was very hero-like, very moral, self sacrifice and all that crap).
Overall, a very good and high quality book, but it definitely appeals to a certain audience (people who really want a good guy hero MC who sticks to (some) Morals and (some) Principles.
Plus, the Author goes over many chapters which is a major yes yes as you know if there is a unbearable mistake, he will see the complaints.
The book is definitely worth a shot at reading (try first 5 chapters at least), and if it isnt your cup of tea, it isnt your cup of tea.