The Wayward Bard (World of Chains Book 1)

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Daniel's Guide to Early Retirement:

1: Intercept illegal money transfer from mafia boss.

2: Hide out in super exclusive Full Immersion Virtual Reality game until the heat is off.

3: Roll a bard. Max out charisma. Live it up.

4: Profit.

With all the pesky planning out of the way Daniel set out to realize his ultimate dream: gaining enough money to buy a tropical island and spend his days playing the violin and RPGs. What could possibly go wrong?

Disclaimer: There shall be no harems in this series. Overpowered, perfect protagonists will not be tolerated and excessive cursing will result in donations to the swear jar.

 

My Opinion: 350 pages??, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Full disclosure: I received advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it became available.

From the moment you read the novel’s witty description and disclaimer, you can tell the author put lots of time and personality into the novel. The novel itself does not disappoint.

It starts off just like the description says, with the main character (MC), Daniel, on the run from the mob after stealing millions from them. While I’m a tiny bit disappointed that it doesn’t play a big part in the story once the MC gets in the game, it’s one of the more interesting ways to justify spending all your time in a full immersion VR game.

The MC is in the game by the 5% mark and stays there the rest of the story.

I liked that the MC doesn’t have anything handed to him and suffers for his stupid mistakes. He dies, pretty regularly, but learns from each death and adjusts how he does things so he dies less. Another interesting aspect of the story is just how many great stories can be told without combat. The MC is a bard with a min max strategy built towards charisma. So, he’s combat challenged. At first I thought this meant that there was not going to be any combat, but I’m happy that I was mistaken. The MC just has to adjust how he deals with people/creatures trying to kill him.

But some of the most interesting parts of the story have absolutely nothing to do with fighting. There’s music, storytelling, lore gathering, crafting, world building, game theory, and most importantly mystery investigating.

That’s right, the big plot of the story revolves around solving this mystery and a lot of the other seemingly unrelated quests and adventures ultimately end up being clues for the bigger mystery.

Overall, I had a really good time reading the novel. It’s a good mix of adventuring and mystery solving. But there’s still all the great RPG character building I love about the genre. The author not only creates a great main character but a full rich world.

Score: 7 out of 10  

The Wayward Bard (World of Chains Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2HnnAW7