Roark von Graf—hedge mage and lesser noble of Traisbin—is one of only a handful of Freedom fighters left, and he knows the Resistance’s days are numbered. Unless they do something drastic…
But when a daring plan to unseat the Tyrant King goes awry, Roark finds himself on the run through an interdimensional portal, which strands him in a very unexpected location: an ultra-immersive fantasy video game called Hearthworld. He can’t log out, his magic is on the fritz, and worst of all, he’s not even human. He’s a low-class, run-of-the-mill Dungeon monster. Some disgusting, blue-skinned creature called a Troll. At least there’s one small silver lining—Roark managed to grab a powerful magic artifact on his way through the portal, and with it he might just be able to save his world after all.
Unless, of course, the Tyrant King gets to him first …
From James A. Hunter, author of the litRPG epic Viridian Gate Online, and eden Hudson, author of Legend of the Treesinger and the Jubal Van Zandt Series, comes an exciting new litRPG, dungeon-core adventure you won’t want to put down!
My Opinion: 236 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Priced a little high for page count, but this novel is a very entertaining read. It incorporates a combination of several other sub genres including: portal fiction, dungeon master (no core), re: Monster, and slice of life litRPG.
The novel starts off with the main character (MC), Roark, in a traditional fantasy world with a writing based magic system. He’s part of a rebellion against the cruel and evil Tyrant King. Though mishap, instead of deposing the King, the MC uses an unstable portal and ends up in an alternate dimension, a VRMMORPG. The discovery portion of the game mechanics is in line with the MCs understanding of magical principles. He never speaks in terms of the world being a game, because to him, it’s just another strange world with specific rules.
Game mechanic wise, the story combines a traditional MMO stat and level system with the unique quality that the MC comes into this world as a monster. He gets the capacity to evolve like he would in a Re: Monster kind of story and regular player’s abilities. The dungeon master mechanics don’t show up till late in the story and are really only 10% of the novel. Still, it’s an interesting combination and the game mechanics are well detailed.
Storywise, once the MC is in the game world (by the 11% mark), it’s pretty slice of life. The MC and a collection of allies fight against players that come to raid the dungeon. There’s a nice progression of increasingly difficult fights. There’s a bit of local world exploration and insight into the monster culture. But that’s it. Sure, there may be long term plans for the story that relate to the MC’s original world, after all you don’t do that much writing and world building about it without planning something. However, in this novel it’s mostly fast paced action, adventure, leveling, and a bit of dungeon building.
Even though the end is a bit wand wavy in several respects, overall, the story it quite good.
Score: 7.5 out of 10