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Ratings & Reviews for

Oathbound Healer

5 stars
937 (54%)
4 stars
506 (29%)
3 stars
199 (11%)
2 stars
43 (2%)
1 star
32 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 71 reviews
Profile Image for Wilhelm Eyrich.
289 reviews16 followers
January 4, 2022
Can’t get past the sexism.

I think the author is trying to explore sexism in a LitRPG setting, but utterly fails. I can’t wrap my head around how sexism to this extent can exist in a world where women can throw lightning bolts and potentially much much more. A system lets everyone be equal because the normal power struggles of our biology no longer exist, right from their first class both genders can be equal in power.

I almost dropped this at chapter three when we learn that only men are allowed citizenship, and I was tempted again at basically every chapter after that, especially when she meets a certain someone. I kept with it because I figured the author would write some stuff in about how this is wrong and how the MC is going to circumvent it... But for the most part the MC just plays along, even with her mostly having most of her previous memories.

That’s not the least of it though. Her parents are incredibly aggravating and unlikeable, the MC is not very smart and people roll over her in every discussion/interaction.

The reason I kept with this however is I enjoy the story and the chunky stats and the way the class/skill system works. I will give the second book a try and see if there is ANY attempt to reason why sexism is in this world.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
3,000 reviews1,643 followers
February 26, 2023
This degree of overt sexism just feels like performance art. Worse, like didactic performance art. I have no need in my life to indulge someone else's need to preach. One star.
Profile Image for Fragino Arola.
Author 1 book4 followers
February 14, 2021
This book series had such potential.

Spoilers follow.

The characters, world building and magical mechanics are all very fun and immersive. Aside from a few moments in the books where the MC did something so unwittingly stupid that it actually made me cringe, I thought the characters were well thought out.

The first problem I came across was the glossing over of the MC's best friends death. Up until then, I was closely paying attention to everything that was going on. There was imagery, there was detail, there was a sense of self. That, however, was swept away when Elaine's best friend dies.

You could tell something bad was going to happen and as much as I abhor the death of a character for no other reason than drama, I could see what growth a childhood friend's death could provide for the story, giving the MC a turning point. But that didn't happen. To paraphrase, this is what happened.

Elaine and her friend are thick as thieves. Mischief makers that provide a wonderful sense of innocence to the beginning of the story. There is a potential and none to subtle hint that a healing that Elaine helped her mother with was going to go badly(her best friend being the recipient of said healing.) Then...she dies. Elaine is sad. Makes a vow. Gets power. Annnnnd that's it.

I went ahead and read both books in the series but I found that the author tends to leave out details that ruin the flow of the story. The 'glossing over' of several events leaves the reader wanting and not in a good way. There are also several dead ends throughout both books and it feels like the author didn't have a set goal in mind when writing. To me, personally, it feels like lazy writing, which is annoying since the author has far more talent at this than I do.

I would not recommend this book unless you are just bored and looking for something to pass the time.
Profile Image for Ian.
536 reviews
December 20, 2021
The only way the author was able to make a "strong" female character was to make the world in the book full of weak ones. The sexist setting was created solely to make the FMC seem worldly and knowledgeable in context. A lot of the writing was problematic, and on top of it, boring and unimaginative. Many elements of the story could have been excised with no discernable affect to the plot. Characters make dumb choices and fantasy world is only developed at the slightest surface level.

I did not enjoy reading this book, and will not be continuing the series.
860 reviews15 followers
August 26, 2022
This is a combined review for the first two books of Beneath the Dragoneye Moons. The books are worth the read and I don’t worry about spoilers so read this review at your own risk. The “worth the read” verdict was a close call for me and I focus on the negatives in my reviews so, if you are on the fence, I recommend not reading this review as it may ruin the books for you. Also, there are currently four books in this series and I have already determined I will read book 3 (I just wanted to get my review down before it got even more muddled by further reading).

This is a weird story to rate. To me it looked like a talented new author in need of a good editor. For example, the author repeats things that do not need repeating, not often but enough so that it is noticeable. And the repeated things are forgettable as I am writing the morning after finishing book 2 and I already can’t recall what was repeated.

Also the story focus of living as a second class citizen and living a life based on a vow made when eight is bizarre. The MC is female in a world based on ancient Rome where women aren’t citizens, can’t own property and have no say in who they marry. When was the last time you read a story where the MC basically says “I’m a second class citizen and that is wrong. Oh well, time to head out and become a super powerful magician.” This is particularly bizarre in a world with stats so a woman can easily be as strong and as good a warrior as a man if they so choose.

The author also undermines her MC. (Note: I don’t know the author’s gender so I’m just guessing here.) The MC, as a reborn person from earth, should have been aware that there would be other cultures where women aren’t second class citizens. Does the MC (Elaine) ask a single question about this? No. In fact Elaine, who constantly bemoans the lack of books in her new world, breaks into a library as a part of teaching herself to read. But what does Elaine read? We are never told and frankly I can’t imagine what it was since Elaine is completely clueless about the larger world she lives in as the story progresses.

So Elaine, reborn from a world without mythical monsters, is the daughter of a city guard and a healer in a relatively safe city. Elaine is coddled in what is otherwise a kill or be killed world. Children in this world get access to leveling at age 8 and so there is a push to expose children to as many different skills as possible before their eighth birthday. As a result Elaine helps her mom heal Elaine’s best friend, Lyra. Lyra gets an infection and dies. Elaine had many of her memories taken from her as a condition of her rebirth but she retains a lot of biology and so blames herself for Lyra’s death. As a result Elaine makes an oath similar to the Hippocratic Oath which the leveling system then enforces. Elaine could abandon the oath but doesn’t even when she is given repeated experiences where she is disadvantaged because of the oath. As the story progresses this makes more sense as the cost of abandonment goes up but the author just ignores (1) an adult reborn as a child should have been able to better foresee the problems with such an oath in a violence riddled world and (2) eight year olds make life long commitments about every 20 minutes or so. Granted the death of a best friend mitigates that second point but the take away is the author didn’t so much develop a character as relate a series of thoughts and actions. I admit that is highly subjective and so hopefully your experience will differ from my own.

The author provides no story resolution for book 1. The MC, having been told by her parents she must marry, runs away from home at age 14. She joins a friend of the family, Artemis, who is one of the few female Rangers. Rangers are elite high level soldiers akin to Special Forces who ride two year circuits around the country solving problems too big for the locals. Elaine, initially just a tag-a-long, demonstrates incredible bravery and healing prowess and so is initiated into the Rangers and levels up. The end. Not a single story line resolved. Book 2 ends with the completion of the Rangers’ circuit so it at least felt somewhat justified as an ending point. Basically your take away should be: Don’t bother reading book 1 unless you are prepared to read book 2 as well.

However, the end of book 2 does something pretty bad: It appears to switch main characters. Book 2 ends with the story of an eight year old girl who is a Lyra equivalent except she lives in a Nordic community and survives where her best friend, an Elaine equivalent dies. That’s it, the end. What is the point of that non-sequitur story? There doesn’t appear to be one except that the author is insecure about her writing bringing readers back so she is trying to create a hook of some kind.

Finally, the author seems to be unable to think consistently about her characters and the world she has created. I really only have one example of this but it is so bad I feel I must mention it. At the end of book 2 Elaine is visited by her parents and amidst the happy reunion she is told they adopted a boy. It is never explained why the parents didn’t bring the young boy with them which seemed bizarre but what was truly mind boggling is that about an hour later Elaine and her mom are discussing how screwed they will be in their men only country when the dad dies. THE SON IS NEVER MENTIONED and apparently has already been forgotten by everyone.

So, bottom line: I was able to enjoy the books but I had to overlook some stuff to do so.
Profile Image for Arthur King.
139 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2023
Edit: Review has been adjusted from 2 stars to 1 stars because the author starts over at book 7. From return to Remus onwards, this is essentially a sequel. MC walks through a fairy circle and comes back so far into the future that the only reason it's not a whole 'nother world is plot convenience. Author had irreconcilable problems with the world she created so she nuked it from space and started over.

Not a bad story, corrupted by bouts of ham-handed afternoon special and a meaningless litrpg system that A) Almost never has any meaningful impact on the story B) makes no sense and C) doesn't follow it's own rules. First half of first book is 1 star, it gets better later.

As an example, the MC has a passive ability "pretty" that 1) never seems to have ANY impact on the story at all, and literally goes up every time the MC changes clothes, takes a bath, brushes her hair, etc. I should note that this is not a base 100 system. There are literally hundreds of one-off sentences (paragraphs; CHAPTERS...!!!) in the book following the form "MC puts on a dress. ding *pretty has leveled up." Most levels in most skills are like this. There's some leeway with her main healer class stuff, being that she's a super-special healer with middle-school bio level medical knowledge healing non-stop for hours on end, but in cases like pretty, where the MC actively avoids doing things like "washing" and "changing her clothes" for days on end, you're just undermining the entire point of the system. If anything, I'd rather read about her pretty skill falling farther and farther behind her other skills, it holding her back, her struggling to do things that are uncharacteristic for her or uncomfortable to "save" the skill, her recognizing that it's actually kindof childish to be so attached to a skill she chose before she even turned 10, and eventually discarding her skill as her self esteem, confidence and "don't give a ****itude" grew over time. Very Afternoon special, amiright? Yay for metaphors or whatever!

Her stats are adhered to a *little* better, although by the 3rd or fourth book she's so OP she can essentially regen her entire body from just a pinky (and indeed, this will become something of a trope). That being said, until around the 3rd or 4th book, she is literally a low-level (by system standards) mage with a below-average magic category... which means, apparently, that she can fight 3 higher-level adventurers to a stand-still and kill monsters 500 levels above her combat class WITHOUT her oath skill (the other unique mcguffin that explains her super-OPness.)

The author also had the most epic opportunity to give Elaine a beard in the 5th (?) book when she lost pretty and gained a related skill called that physically alters your body to make you more attractive to the people around you (while surrounded by dwarves who keep giving her crap about how beardless she is.) Had she done so, I probably would have cried tears of joy and this would have been a 5 star review, regardless of any other minor quibbles I might have. Ah well.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Julia Sarene.
1,322 reviews144 followers
July 2, 2022
7 minutes past midnight, and I finished my first July book! 😅

💥 Read for SPFBO, this is only my personal opinion, group verdict might differ wildly! 💥

At first I thought this wouldn't really catch my interest, as the start felt like a very easy middle grade / YA sort of LitRPG that just lacked a bit of... I don't even know what exactly. It just felt a bit shallow.
We have a girl from our world reborn into a gaming system world, and she retains some of her memory. I found it so weird how she is a small kid, with some knowledge of a 14 year old, but then she throws a tantrum like a toddler.
Though I could understand the tantrum, given that it was at the utterly unfair sexism she meets in this new world. Women are more or less married off, and then belong to their husband in a way. They also can't become citizens, and their husbands have the last say over what stats and skills they shall level.

Oh and there's slavery, even though it's not "for life", but for specific amounts of time, either as punishment, or if you sell yourself into slavery for money.

Both of these, plus reading about another woman being violently beaten by her husband for "not being in the mood" when she didn't feel well at all, just contrasted really badly with the sorta fluffy YA tone and style, and so it was a bit of a bumpy start for me.

After a while the story takes a new direction though, and from there on I really quite enjoyed it! Our main character grows up a bit, and we leave for an adventure, which also means we leave the city and its problems behind.

I really enjoyed the characters and the way they all interacted with each other as a team! It reminded me a bit about The Wandering Inn and the mix of darker and grittier content with light and fun bits as well, and a lot of banter.

As the rough patches were all at the start, I did end on a high note, and will definitely consider to read more in the series!
6 reviews
May 20, 2022
This review will be over books 1-8. So this is a mix between the published books, chapters found on Royal Road, and Patreon chapters. Part of this review will retort some of the negative reviews I’ve seen. I have given an indication of spoilers in parentheses as well.

When I found this series, I was on the fence about reading it. Nothing really stood out to me from the synopsis. But oh boy, was I wrong. I love this series; it is one of my favorite book series out there. Like most things, there are some problems with it, but overall, I highly recommend reading this series.

We follow Elaine as she is reincarnated into the world of Pallos and keeps some of her memories from Earth. We then follow her as she grows up, gains power through this LitRPG system, and changes the world.

(Major spoilers in the paragraph) The first book is basically just set up for the rest of the series. We meet Elaine’s parents, her childhood best friend (big spoilers: There is more to Lyra, not only does she shape Elaine in a major way, but there is also some god tomfoolery going on with Elaine and Lyra’s souls). By the end of the book, we see the start of Elaine’s journey.

One of my biggest frustrations with book 1 was it made no sense why Elaine reincarnated with part of her memories from Earth. The gods got rid of the big things like chemistry and physics. That didn’t give Elaine really anything to work with. (minor spoilers) Turns out, the gods aren’t infallible; they didn’t take away all knowledge from Earth.

Some people have criticized the sexist society in the series. Although yes, sexism is a major part of the story despite there being a system that gives everyone power, there is a reason for this (some of these reasons aren’t explained until after book 1). There are large societal expectations put on girls and boys in the story. Then there are laws in place giving the man of the household complete control over the life and death of the other family members. These factors lead to women being suppressed in the story and forced to take classes that focus on housework. If the women choose not to follow what the man of the house says, they are either killed or sold into slavery. Women can’t even do anything to fight against it since most of the men have a warrior-focused class. There isn’t really a way to compete with that. It’s like asking a child to win a football game against an NFL team. Then with powerful women who did gain power, there are too few of them, and none of them are strong enough to influence the law and take on everyone who is sexist.

(Spoilers in this paragraph) Plus, although we see throughout the series women pushing to gain equality. Later we learn that humans seem to be the only ones with a sexism problem. Second, I would argue that the human way of thinking is relatively advanced compared to how long humans were on the planet of Pallos. In books 3 or 4, we learn that it was only roughly 4000 years since creation. The gods were basically doing whatever and causing mass chaos as they created the planet and spawned species such as humans and dinosaurs. Then most of the years were spent trying not to die and attempting to form societies from scratch. But surprise, surprise, it’s hard, and they fail a lot. So it honestly makes sense why male humans are super sexist.

There has also been some criticism of how Elaine can be stupid at times, and it’s true. But it’s a part of her character, and there are reasons behind her stupidity. Many times, it is emphasized that Elaine is not a social butterfly and is socially incompetent. Although Elaine has the life experience of someone who was a little under 20, she has the brain of a child/teenager and is heavily influenced by that biology. (Minor spoilers) It is even discovered that Elaine is incapable of gaining social skills through the system; it completely bars her from social skills. Although Elaine acts stupid a lot, it just makes the character more real. I don’t want to read about a character who is a complete genius and hardly ever makes a mistake or a stupid, irrational decision. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Selkie wrote Elane with something like ADHD.

One of the things I love about the story is it is not just about the action; it is also about character development and interpersonal relationships. Yes, Elaine can be stupid, irrational, and unfocused at times, but she learns and improves. She grows as she becomes stronger. Things happen because of her, and she reflects on it. She forms and updates her on philosophies of the world. All of this makes her character far more real than many other fictions.

Anyways, although there isn’t much action going on in the first book, it is still pretty enjoyable seeing Elaine grow and learn about magic. Selkie, the author, writes very well throughout the story and does a great job of not doing an info dump on us. It is enjoyable to learn about the world of Pallos, and this stays true throughout the series. The series itself is very well thought out and creative with different cultures and the history of Pallos.

Selkie also does a fantastic job of keeping each book entertaining and not stagnating. There are a few times where it gets close, excluding book 6. Book 6 was arguably the worst in the series, and I believe even the author recognizes this. (Medium spoilers) In book 6, Elaine meets up with the Elfs, and it is basically Elaine traveling with powerful Elfs while trying to get back home and having a fling with one. I suppose book 6 is more of a setup for story points in book 8 (this remains to be unseen since, at the time of writing this, there are only a few chapters out for book 8).

All the characters in the story feel real and have their own things going on in the background.

My only other minor qualms with the series are system notification and the Iona major interludes at the end of a few of the books. Showing each individual level up along with each stat gain gets really annoying, but honestly, it’s easy just to skip past it. Then with Iona, I really didn’t care too much for the character. I found it annoying because I wasn’t sure how important Iona was since nothing big was ever mentioned about the main story in the Iona interludes. (Minor spoilers) At least that wasn’t until book 8.

By the way, the Iona interludes have been combined into their own short story on Royal Road called “Valkyrie’s Dawn.”

Loveable character, exciting story, intricate worldbuilding, and well written. Overall, I love this series and highly recommend it to any fantasy enjoyers.
Profile Image for Russell Gray.
464 reviews62 followers
June 14, 2023
This was a pleasant surprise that I wish I had picked up earlier. I let negative reviews keep me away from this series for a while, but this was one of those times when I had a very different experience.

Character - 8/10, Plot - 9/10, Setting/Game Mechanics - 9/10, Writing - 7/10, Enjoyment - 9/10

So I found some characters annoying, including Elaine, our main character. But more importantly, I found them interesting. Elaine is a 20-year-old girl from Earth who died and was reborn in a fantasy world called Pallos. After rebirth, Elaine commendably depicts a child's mentality with all the excitability and distractability that entails. Which was annoying, but realistic. The character got annoyed by it at times as well, and saw it as the influence of inhabiting a young and developing body. Luckily, her personality matured as she grew older and gained more experience. She retained certain elements of naivety and immaturity, but I felt like the character was developing in a way that made sense. She was only 20 when she died in her previous life, so it's also not like she was a paragon of wisdom at that point either. It mainly gave her access to knowledge that wasn't known in the new land, such as germ theory, which was an advantage for an aspiring healer.

The supporting characters such as her parents, a family friend who's a Ranger, along with various town guards and townsfolk, felt like genuine people inhabiting an organic world and they behaved as you would expect. While you meet some of them for only a scene, their dialogue and behavior gave the impression that they were still going about their day even after the MC went elsewhere.

The plot and setting were the strongest hooks for me. Our MC starts off as a disembodied soul that has fallen from the usual reincarnation cycle and is eventually scooped up by a god of a world called Pallos, who gives her the option of being reborn there with a clean slate, or while retaining most of her memories. She chooses to retain her memories, though isn't allowed to keep certain knowledge that might upset the balance of the low-technology world she will be reborn to.

The new world is a System World, one that has stats, classes, and levels. The System remains locked to everyone under the age of 8, but it gathers info in the background to provide the most up-to-date stats when it finally unlocks and allows the person to tinker with things.

The story basically checks all the common boxes that you would expect for a gamelit/reincarnation/isekai story. But then we get the good stuff which moves us into the Setting.

A lot of negative reviews poo all over this story and the author because it's set in a patriarchal society that brought to my mind certain Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Oh, but magic makes everything nice and removes things like sexism, right? Maybe instead, consider how magic might actually make certain problems worse and then think about it for a while. If you really don't want to read a story that involves a patriarchy then fine, go read something else. Sometimes a person can dislike a story because it's poorly written, but other times people mistake a story for poorly written simply because they didn't like it.

I think the setting is one of the best things about this story because: Stakes. It's what's missing all too often in gamelit and isekai stories. When the MC's life is all that's on the line, I tend to get bored because we already know the MC won't die. I need something more. But a young female MC growing up in a patriarchy that also happens to practice slavery?

Stakes: if the male head of your household is physically injured and can't work, then your whole family might get sold into slavery.

Stakes: if you are a female, arranged marriages are not only a thing, but your future husband probably gets to choose many if not all of your skills for you.

Stakes: the head of a household has literal power of life and death over members of their family

These things can make every scene important and tense. Maybe a character's father is a town guard and they want him to do the right thing, but it also places him in physical harm's way and puts his career, livelihood, and his actual family's lives at stake. Now there are consequences to "doing the right thing". A heated argument between a child and parent about marriage prospects has a lot more on the line than usual. Disregarding your father or husband is a frightful prospect considering the only thing standing between a young lady and possible kidnapping/enslavement is her father or husband.

Part of this book revolves around the gamelit experience of leveling up and growing stronger, but another is how life is lived from the perspective of a young girl not only growing up, but growing increasingly scared as the new world's reality sinks in. It's a very personal experience that feels 100% valid from the MC's perspective. There are consequences for every decision and action and it made for enthralling reading.

Another element of the Game Mechanics that I found interesting is how the skills worked. Performing various tasks or behaving in certain ways provided characters the opportunity to take certain skills as a result. This could vary from Sword Fighting by swinging a stick or Quick Digestion after eating more than normal. A person could have 8 class skills (per class) and 8 general skills at a given time. A person could remove a skill and replace it with another when a new one was offered, but the new skill would start at Level 1. If that person retook a disgarded skill, it would start over at Level 1 and didn't retain any of the previous progress. This mechanic gave a certain degree of freedom and professional/social mobility since characters weren't stuck with skills but it also opened a person up to more social controls. Arranged marriages were already anxiety-inducing, but now add in the ability for a husband to force his wife to take different skills to suit his desires/needs. I found all of this to be amazing storytelling and even when the MC was annoying, I was interested in her feelings and choices since they all had dire consequences.

The story was smartly written, and the prose was drenched with the MC's personality. I will say that the writing had some errors, with uncapitalized pronouns being very common. I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to grammar, so this was noticeable. But there was just so much personality in the prose that it overpowered the grammar issues. This isn't something that your average gamelit can achieve. So while I will say the grammar was arguably one of the weaker elements of this book, the prose was also one of the strongest and contributed strongly to my enjoyment.

I loved this book, which was a bit surprising since I've had some bad luck with impulsive and kinda flaky female leads ruining my experience (Azarinth Healer). I was also prepared to enjoy it despite some things mentioned in other reviews, but ended up loving it because of those things. The series is off to a strong start and making me wonder whether it will end up being one of my favorite gamelits.
Profile Image for J.
300 reviews
March 31, 2021
Lots of grammar errors, and it takes too long to become engaging.
Profile Image for radiathkutya.
79 reviews2 followers
October 8, 2021
DNF 8:40
You don't tell anyone that you are from Earth in an isekai novel. Nope. It is just not done. It is like a rule. I'm Outta here.
Want to read
March 5, 2023
seeing so many men complaining about the fact that they feel it sexist because the female protagonist is too OP and the fact that merphy likes this is making me want to read this SO bad
also, is lgbt and litrpg????? just my thing lmao
3 reviews
March 8, 2022
Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as others did. The plot idea is good and with a bit more explanation and structure it would be a decent one but it feels rough on too many edges.

*contains spoiler*
I love stories about reincarnation and I don't expect an imba character, because it doesn’t leave much room for character growth, but at least a little bit of maturity and intelligence would be nice here. The MC reincarnated with the condition of only keeping a part of her memories, which is legit. Sadly, it turns out she’s acting like a real child, which leaves me quite disappointed for a story about second life. She's in a body of a 8th year old, should have a mind of 28, but acts like 10. It leaves me complaining about her immature behavior, since she should know so much better. Only after 2/3 of the book we get the explanation about the MC’s brain being one of a literal child. This should be put at the beginning of the book. It makes me question the plot about reincarnation, since the only thing the MC uses is her biology knowledge and telling fairytales.

The MC has zero awareness (like a mayfly) or interest about the world she lives in, is constantly surprised about culture etc, has many questions but never DOES anything to get answers. She should be smarter than that, but prefers playing with other kids instead of getting to know her new surrounding and building up a decent life in this misogynist world. Later she breaks into the library however the only thing we know is her complaining about the lack of fictional books. As a girl from earth she should know the power of knowledge but that’s her only complain? In addition, we’ll never know WHAT she read but nothing groundbreaking, cause otherwise it should have been mentioned.

Another let down is the oppression of women. It could be a good plot (which I was looking forward to) but the author didn't exploit its real potential. Every person has super powers and women just resign to their fate, the only little rebellion being some secret skills which men don’t know. I can't imagine a society where 50% of civilians are suppressed and not even a single countermovement, secret organization or another underground structure exists. Why should women stay in town and don't go out killing some beasts? Cause choosing a life with no other meaning than giving birth or a self-determined one with dangers on the road, doing what they want? It feels like the world building needs some more focus here.

The skills are also quite exhausting to listen to (audiobook). It feels like a pathfinder character sheet where every single action gets a skill and every lvl has to be announced separately. Summoning it up would make leveling up much nicer.

All in all I wouldn’t recommend this book, only if you have really nothing else to read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Chris.
72 reviews9 followers
April 1, 2021
This is a curious book. It's an offering by an amateur, posted for free on a site catering to such stories. It also falls into the weird category usually called LitRPG (books about characters in a computer RPG).

It's also ... more of a serial than a story. It's a series of connected, lesser story arcs rather than a concrete whole. The nature of its construction reminds me of comic book plotting and pacing. The long term goal of the story is unclear (and possibly undecided by the author), but the short term arcs are nonetheless complete and satisfying.

I find the opening passages and the first arc (where the main character is a child) to be awkward, and somewhat clumsily written. ... but ... the writing improves. It's an ongoing process, the author is clearly learning as s/he goes.

The story is compelling. The world is interesting. The main character is certainly powerful, but also has some very distinct limitations which provide a realistic counterweight to her abilities. The situations she encounters vary, some are quite suited to her abilities, but others are conundrums, forcing her to think around them, to work past her weaknesses rather than with her strengths.

Overall, the book was an enjoyable read.

Recommended: With the caveat that this is a LitRPG book and some familiarity with computer RPGs is helpful.

As always: I paid retail price for the Kindle version of this book, my thoughts on it are my own. They were neither solicited by, nor compensated for, by the author or by the publisher.

That said: The book is part of an ongoing serial and can be read for free at:
Profile Image for RavenT.
491 reviews10 followers
September 13, 2021
I liked this quite a bit when I first found it. Most of the LitRPG stories are so testosterone-fueled it chafes. The female MC is young (16) at the start, and the world she is in is a fantasy setting that seems like it's set in the past, pre-industrial and with gods and magic. It was fresh to me when I started it. Over time, the POV character's attitude started to annoy. She is affected by it, but is so passive in how she feels. And while it seemed YA at first, given her age, the battles are for a more mature audience, so I had to change that in my mind as the story prgressed.

I like that the saga is mostly gen, with some hints that this character is bisexual or lesbian (she hero worships an older woman role figure), and that any romance is only lightly touched on as the story progresses (there is a date with a woman later on in vol 3 that goes horribly wrong).

The world in which this takes place is so patriarchal that it would irritate me immensely to be a strong woman in it, and I don't see why she is so accepting.
Profile Image for Eric.
37 reviews1 follower
February 3, 2022
Written after reading 2nd book. Spoiler free, including meta spoilers.

One warning: The audiobook version has stat walls in it that repeat that are fairly large. So I'd recommend the written version unless the audiobook has some edits done.

* Main character: Interesting but not ground breaking
* World building: Particularly good with lots of potential
* Combat: Balanced and cinematic in places
* Comedy: Not a focus. A little here and there
* Romance: Not a focus. Not a motivation for the MC.
* Drama: Balanced with some powerful moments when appropriate.
* Audience: Just about anyone can enjoy.

I will say in particular I was happy to see the book being open to a large audience. The women are written as proper individuals. And the guys don't have physic powers that notify them whenever a nearby needy girl craves pickle flavored potato chips, or a candle light foot massage.
200 reviews3 followers
September 8, 2021
Above average, enjoyable, litrpg. Like a lot of royalroads stuff it's a bit wordy, could do with copy editing and overall editing for plotting and pacing, and generally has a self-published feel. That being said, its character portraits are more fun that a lot of LitRPG stuff that's out there, and it retained my interest.

The main things holding it back for me is the main character, who is supposed to be some isekai reincarnation but mostly acts inconsistently in ways that just aren't believable, and the extremely soft nature of the magic system and LitRPG elements. I'm still not entirely sure what the purpose of quantizing character development is if it doesn't make any difference and can apparently be manipulated to be whatever the author needs for that week.

I'll definitely keep reading and hoping that this serial settles down into something that I can enjoy for a long time.
November 19, 2021
8 hours into listening and so far this book lacks any and all conflict resolution. I give it the 3 stars only for the world-building that seems to be done so far. Its a "game world" type with a system that shows notifications, but with the system being part of the worlds worship points its a bit nice. I do however wish that the writer wouldn't put a "ting" for every notification that happens as it gets old fast. Also a little too much emphasis is put on the MC being feminist. like why you gotta make every guy out to be a bad apple. Oh but one character later on is laughingly chastised by the MC's group for sleeping with married women and getting caught, (#nicecomedicrelief) yeah because in that society the repercussions for that wouldn't be severe for both that guy and said wife. especially for said wife.
Profile Image for Udy Kumra.
288 reviews42 followers
February 8, 2023
2/8/23: 4 stars. I quite enjoyed this book. The writing was amateurish throughout, but it stopped bothering me once I started getting into the story. None of the characters are particularly complicated, but they are all really fun to follow. I really enjoyed the relationships between characters in the book, particularly Elaine and her parents, but also with the Rangers, especially Artemis. I enjoyed the levels aspect of the book way more than expected. I also really enjoyed the slice of life nature to the plot, even once the "adventure" part of the book started. Overall pretty fun—nothing earth-shattering, but just plain fun.
99 reviews
February 8, 2023
Ditzy, but good

MC was remarkably ditzy. Maybe a touch stupid… which normally really bothers me. At 14 AND reincarnated she was acting (and thinking?) sillier than my 7 year old. My 10 year old daughter was/is FAR more mature, intelligent, and level headed.

But, all that said — there simply are some ditzy, immature people in the world. She was well written, consistent, believable… as was the story/world she was written into. The world wasn’t dumb. And I suppose that made all the difference. I really liked the story and the MC. Even more so on the second read. We’ll done. I recommend.
796 reviews12 followers
April 29, 2021
Good book

This is quite an enjoyable book. Well written in fairly well thought out.My only critiques would be that even though the MC is much older due to her previous life on earth she still seems to be quite childish it times.Will call it hormones In her new young body.The next with me that her earth prohibits her from doing much violence. Hopefully there is a gotta soul modification in the future that allows her to be slightly more effective at protecting The world as a hole. That said quite enjoyable and I love seen skill evolution's. Off to read the next novel
Profile Image for Feyheart.
1,239 reviews12 followers
January 28, 2023
From death to birth to living

This is a new story type for me. Following Elaine as she grows up was fun, funny, with some sadness, and some clashing ideals. I like how even having kept many of her past life memories, she still is cognitively accurate to her current ages. It made the story more entertaining. Some of the aspects of the book wouldn't be what I chose and Elaine feels shame for choosing some skills, and that was mildly questionable, but they go back to her being developmentally her current ages. Absolutely enjoyed this and I look forward to reading more.
Profile Image for William Howe.
1,432 reviews43 followers
November 8, 2021

Clearly written as a serial, but lacks the annoying repetition. Somewhat irreverent, the MC is reincarnated from Earth but doesn’t overly clog the narrative with pop culture references. Well balanced system keeps her from being OP.

I’m going to immediately purchase and read the next book. Solid recommend.
Profile Image for Eiri.
1 review
January 31, 2023
awesome world building

The most important thing in a book in my opinion is the characters, and not just the main character , but all the supporting ones as well. This book has it in spades. The characters are individual and unique and each have their own differences. They feel alive and I am enthralled by the worlds vibrancy.

Now on to book 2!
67 reviews
March 19, 2023
Stupid mc, childish writing, society doesn’t make much sense
32 reviews
May 7, 2023
I didn't actually read this. But f*** it, I'm giving it 1 star because the author Rickrolls unsuspecting RoyalRoad readers with their user adds.
Profile Image for Christopher.
22 reviews
June 28, 2023
This series seems to be written by an author with no more life experience than a casual game of D&D. No woman, much less a man, is going to go weeks without a bath outside of extenuating situations - think modern war - and even then it is weeks. This wouldn't bother me so much if bathing wasn't central to the MC's character.

This is supposed to be a young woman reincarnated but she never acts any better than a child. This will follow her into later books when she 20/21 and decides to reach onto the shelf of a senior military commander of a different race because she is exceedingly excited to see a book.

Let's talk about books. No, her small port town is not going to have a library. No, this library will not have any books that she is going to enjoy reading that she breaks into it night after night. And, no, a culture that uses charcoal sticks does not have recreational reading.

The Rangers are not good enough to be as selective as we are expected to believe. For the sake of argument, wh will ignore that they lose almost as many fighters as they train every two years. Anyone who makes it through two years of training (TWO YEARS!) is not going to be surprised on the day of graduation. This society does not have the wealth to train fighters for that long and then let them go without some commitment of service.

Lastly, and this alone is worth negative stars, the author is not talented enough to weave current political debates into their works. In book four or five, they try to say the culture is male-dominated because men die in war and thus they get the right to decide the rules. Why don't/didn't women fight? (as an aside, why is the only other female combatant so, dare I say, hysterical?) Our MC is a modern-day woman transported to a Rome-like society, and never pushes boundaries - even if accidentally? She hates slavery, but only enough to adopt a child once? Tell me, how exactly are you going to enslave a debtor that can call lightning down on the head of their captor? How is a society that is captivated by gender roles so accepting of deviant relationships? Speaking of relationships, they are only used to move the story along. The first inkling we even get that our MC has a libido is a random woman in a dress, which I thought was a woman of the night but was only a vampire. Her only male relationship results in a two-chapter discussion on consent.

Dear reader, books one and two, and maybe three, might have you thinking you are in for a ten-book weekend of light reading, but don't be fooled. Even the author understands their world needed a reboot around book eight. I regret that I chose this book to read while I was sick and I blame this cold for my lack of discernment.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
101 reviews
July 22, 2023
Selkie Myth is great at world-building, characters, and telling an engaging story. I also appreciated the balance between combat and the other story elements. There is much less combat in this book than other LitRPGs I've read, but I really feel that's a strength. There's more than enough action and adventure to make it an exciting read. I appreciated the added world and character building. And SM gets the leveling just right! There's a tangible feeling of progress through the whole book without being pedantic about it. (Stats are still very specific, don't worry, they just don't break the flow of the story).

What keeps this at 4 stars is sadly, the writing itself. It feels very amateur. Doesn't flow great. There are some eye-rolly moments, like when protag recites all of the Iliad and the Odyssey in one night. Along with SEVERAL other historical epics of length. Even if they're just summarizing, it's presented poorly, and there are moments like that throughout the book. SM has a real talent for this and that's evident in how engaging the story is. I hope they refine their craft, because they could really be something special. Looking forward to the next book!
45 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2023
This book is good but has a huge plot hole:
Where do the mangos come from? The book cover suggests that the main character is white, and based on the books they're in a temperate climate at most. They don't have storage technology, which means the mangos would probably need to be grown locally. WHERE IS SHE GETTING MANGOS.

As a side note, a bunch of other reviews say systemic misogyny wouldn't exist when women can learn magic. However, early gender roles are likely a result of necessary division of labor within family units in pre-industrial society. Sexual dimorphism is more a result of the differences in gender roles, rather than the cause. Any society with deeply engrained gender roles have the potential for sexist social structures like they have in the book, regardless of natural affinity for violence, especially when access to writing and education is limited. Kind of like how we have some regressive governments even after the invention of the gun.

So that part's good. But not the mangos. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.
1,674 reviews
March 2, 2023
The book has a purdy slow burn in the beginning... and yes it's a Isekai adventure, Elaine our MC dies and finds herself bargaining with a god to keep her memories. Little does she know that she has'ta grow-up all over again... and yes she gets some stats but the adventure really ignites when she runs away from home. Although I like Elaine well enough, I love Artemis her mentor and best friend. Also Silkie Myth plays around with the idea of equal rights for women in this new world, but they don't take it very far... other than having Elaine run from an arranged marriage. Perhaps it'll be a concern for later in the series.
I found Andrea Emmes an apt narrator.

I love farreting out the quotes that amuse me, here's a couple of 'em:

"We can say it's a new skill of yours, loose a body part, get an old friend for dinner."

"It was becoming clear that violence was cold and calculating here, and exterminating dozens if not 100s of bandits in a night was Wednesday."
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