A really good first person story with high detail and enough dialogue to break up the droning on prose making the experience something pleasant to sit through. However with this story come similar faults to the author previous work 'bonespore' and that is a feeling of a lack of an overall vision of the story. Though I am immersed in the story I cannot shake the feeling that certain elements are missing. I'm left questioning not the actions but the context of the world and characters at play.
Mayevil is an excellently written protagonist but Armorien spends a little too much time focusing on her thoughts and perspective rather than fleshing out the reactions and elements of the characters that come into contact with her. Sure the opening chapter begins with a bang but the following chapter fails to deliver the reasons for that bang, instead going into other part of the story which leaves me perplexed on a second viewing. And reading up to chapter 8 I'm wondering if the story really began at all before then since the previous chapters didn't build up to that it moment in a concise manner.
The author's ideas are genuinely interesting but he needs practice looking at his works through the lense of his audience to effectively lay the bread crumps to hook and reel in readers to keep reading. I will continue reading but this is just a short review to summarize my experience with this novel to help the author focus his efforts in a good direction.
Not that great, doesn't get better afterwards, and I I'm very lost on what the author's vision is.
It's serviceable I suppose but there were few mistakes here and there. The author has a good grasp on the language to create good imagery but my problems come with his 'style'...
Put the thesaurus down It's painfully obvious that you're using big words just for the sake of using them rather than creating prose with depth. It feels like the story is being described to me rather than told and I'm left feeling confused and perplexed about the cast's traits, motivations, appearances...
I'm not sure if this is an older story the author has been working on but it desperately needs a rework because I know nothing about the world or why I should care and it's very over the top for no good reason.
Characters and Story 3/5
I'm combining these two categories because I have major problems with both. The pacing is all over the place? I don't even know what's going on because everything lacks any depth to it. The story starts with Tommy who I thought was the main character but apparently he's not, then it switches to another character then another character before we get to Harux, the supposed main character but gets completely overshadowed by the previous character who took the spotlight, Lucius. And Lucius is only interesting because the story spends a majority of its time on him and his thoughts instead of Harux who gets a brief introduction then is sidelined afterwards. And this is apparently a magic school setting but there's nothing showing that they're in a magic school setting, just a description of character A going to one place and commenting too much on it. Tommy who was introduced in the beginning then becomes an arrogant noble type of character and I'm sorry- did I miss something?? Because that came completely out of no where and this arc, his motivation, is not even told to the reader. Well it can be assumed that he is jealous of Lucius' wealthy position but that's just me trying to piece together this mess of a plot that's supposed to be a magical school story. Doesn't feel like it at all.
My final advice is to completely rework the story to tell it in a coherent manner. Add depth, show me why I as a reader should care about the setting, characters, plot. Right now, here, this just seems like a rough draft.
This story is so long I want to cry.
The author is an ESL, you'll quickly catch on to many of their mistakes further in the story and it harms the story's length and immersion. The author writes a chapter every day and considers those novel to be their passion project but this doesn't have the care put into its minor details to be seen as such. I seriously recommend combining through it all, please do because I know how much you care about this story.
It's for lack of a better term, wordy. A case of purple prose. Scenes are unnecessary drawn out when they could be shortened and neatly tied with a bow. As said I recommend going through and editing to make the experience for others more bearable. Not to say that this story is bad but it is very hard to get into without dedication to seeking the author's vision. Sake vision has unique and interesting ideas but the problem with unique and interesting ideas is trying to convey them to the audience in a a manner they can comprehend. Aside from that, the author does a good job at world building but some exposition could use some spreading out to not overwhelm the reader. The world is large and vast and has a very different culture and trying to explain it all is difficult so I don't blame the author for infodumping at times, it works. It feels like rambling...
As for the characters, there are times when Sake Vision gives a brief line for their sudden thoughts followed by a rhetorical question or exclamation which is a bit over used especially in moments when characters are having a heart to heart.
4 of 5 I guess? It's hard for me to judge this category since I don't read or interact with the xianxian genre. I asked the author for their inspirations and thankfully I was given a thorough explanation on their intentions with this story but I still can't help but feel that a lot is going over my head. Black wind, White Lotus a low fantasy realistic take on the xianxian genre, a deconstruction some might call it. The author considers some of the sections to be a parody of trope in the genre but whatever joke was told either fell flat because it didn't highlight the absurdities or was poorly conveyed to a general audience. This parody is also muddied by the many intertwining plots and arcs to focus on. After the initial first arc with the protagonist, Fengli, the story expands to cover war, discrimination, and the political elements in the story with a new character taking the focal point. But the author doesn't portray both sides of the oppressor and oppressed in a morally grey way (well kinda but the author seems to side more with the kemonomimi race of people). Much of the plot is told with very few moments of dialogue which doesn't allow the story to speak for itself at times. The switching of perspectives is rather sporadic and character don't feel like they have enough to be remembered after their introduction. Thankfully there's a glossary but I can't help but feel this isn't a good thing.
Serviceable, they're all well rounded and are shown their traits during moments of dialogue. No one is poorly written but at the same time no one is instantly likable, it takes some time to grow attached to the characters. This story is very very slow burn.
I think I read enough to make a review but there's still more plot ahead but probably not enough to really sway my overall opinion of this story. I'll continue reading because I'm pretty invested in where the story is going and I'm really interested in seeing what happens to Fengli who's my favorite character or should I say best girl? Hahahaha!
But yes this is a fairly good story for people who perhaps want a different take on the xianxia genre and a very deep and intriguing world.
I wish to ramble but I don't want this review to be overly long for readers interested in this story. I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves fight scenes and varied fighting styles, but to others wanting a very plot focused story you might not find it here. That's the TLDR
Probably my favorite among the stories I've read. It's written in third person and shifts between light prose and dialogue heavy scenes but not heavy that it drags on. The writing is to the point and doesn't try to fancy up It's paragraphs an in attempt to fill word count. But this is where I have concerns regarding each chapter's length in comparison to It's scenes and plot. The pacing of the story is great but the chapters are too short and knowing the author I feel this was advice given to him(or her) to keep the reader's attention. Scenes often are cut at the chapter's end making it feel more like an old episode of dbz instead of letting the scene play out to a good spot to conclude. I had 24 chapters to eat up as of this review but to others who started reading at let's say chapter 5, it's simply not enough to fully chew on. 2000 words is simply a recommendation, the bare minimum a chapter should have, it doesn't mean that's the goal. However in the fight scene starting from Part 2: Chapter 4 to around Part 2: Chapter 9 I believe, it's understandable to break up the action to build suspense and to let the reader rest a bit. The author should definitely look into ending chapters in a more satisfying way, but it's not something that completely brings down the story.
Putting this here next to say that it's very well editing and has little to no mistakes. I found like one and that was because I noticed it by an accident. The author puts a lot of care and consideration in their word choice, grammar, and character dialogue.
The story is a typical hero's journey kind of deal where our protagonist named Quang gets dragged (well not completely) into searching for a missing friend upon meeting the secondary protagonist Selene. Though this is an action story the plot has a layer of mystery behind the villains actions and why Quang's friend up and disappeared one day. Selene on the otherhand, her plot so far involves a precious necklace that was stolen and this takes the majority focus of the story. As said before the story is well paced and the actions of each character is believable but since the earlier section of the story focuses on Selene's plot, Quang often feel very secondary only being a helping hand during her moments of plight. The two characters get along very nicely and their interactions despite knowing very little about each other shows a lot about their personality, flaws, and strengths. The story really picks up at the start of part 2 which you can tell the author was ecstatic to write. From the start it's a whole lotta fun and the chapters after the big fight against Fátima is when Selene's and Quang's goals kinda converge. I'm really looking forward to what lies ahead for these excellent characters.
I kinda aready talked about the characters in the story section so I'm just gonna mention some things I've yet to touch upon like the drawings the story has in some chapters. The artist this author commissions does a fantastic job with the character design, background and overall tone of the scene. I spent a few minutes just gushing over them because they're just that good, it makes it feel like an actual manga or light novel and that's rare to see on RR or other webnovel sites. And the author does their research on different culture's fighting styles and weapons which pairs well with the diverse cast of characters. It's makes the fight scene even more interesting if you search up the fighting styles and see the character preform specific techniques. It's got a lot of depth when rereading it.
Overall this novel is underrated and overlooked. It goes all in for what it does and that's being a highly fun and interesting story that the author very clearly put a lot of passion in. This is definitely a must read story.