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WIP An Essence of Silver and Steel by James D. Fawkes - M - Worm/FSN

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Nemrut, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Title: An Essence of Silver and Steel
    Author: James D. Fawkes
    Rating: M
    Genre: Fantasy/SUpernatural
    Status: WIP
    Length: 247,640 as of 28.07.2018
    Summary:At the moment of transformation, when the connection was to be established and a young girl's life forever changed, the Red Shadow intervened, and the Administration shard became its tool on the path to human salvation. With the power of every hero ever immortalized in myth and legend, what can that girl do but be a hero herself? -A not-quite-crossover with FSN/Prisma Illya-
    Link: Fanfiction.net and Sufficient Velocity

    I am posting this less as a recommendation and more as a means of discussion, which is why I am putting it directly in the almost recommended section rather than for review. It's not that I think this story is that bad or anything, however while it is overall competently written, it also brings nothing new to the table. It is strictly speaking a paint by numbers alt power Taylor story but the paint in question is Fate stuff. Again it's competent and definitely one of the better, more refined alt power Taylor stories but a by the book alt power Taylor story all the same.

    So if you - like me - are the kind of broken soul who both is cursed to seek out alt power Taylor stories until the end of time and likes Fate stuff, this is worth checking out. If you aren't either, well firstly I envy you and secondly, I don't think this story is offering anything to you.

    Premise is what you imagine it to be. Taylor triggered in the locker not with the ability to control bugs but rather with the power to be able to equip herself with the powers of all fate heroes. So, as an example, she could equip herself with best king Saber and have all her equipment, sort of her appearance, her knowledge, her abilities and a bit of her mentality. As you can imagine, the power of EVERY FATE HERO kinda makes her OP as shit and while there is a story to be told with that this is following all the bullet points of the alt power Taylor list so, yeah, it goes exactly as you imagine it does.

    She beats Lung, she interacts with Armsmaster, she befriends Tattletale, Shadow Stalker and the bullies are dealt with, she deals with Bakuda, she interacts and befriends Panacea and now they are dealing with Coil. So far, in a story where Taylor can summon heroes and villains of mythology, the most surprising thing has been that there wasn't a Clockblocker making a joke and Vista hitting him for it scene.

    Well, I lie, there has been one genuine surprise and that was the worst part of the story, at least to me.
    Shadow Stalker was killed by Taylor's automated defenses because of course she has and later on Armsmaster and Taylor are talking about it and Vista only partly overhears that conversation and of course misunderstands something and then gets outraged at what she perceives Taylor getting away with the murder of a ward simply because she is super powerful. Only this doesn't really go anywhere, when Vista recruits Clockblocker and GG, Clockblocker had already gone to Piggot and the Protectorate had already taken steps and whatnot. So it just kinda threw Vista under the bus (and Glory Girl who has been mostly her irrational self) which is novel I guess but didn't really do anything except make Vista irrational and Taylor good by being calm and reasonable

    Honestly, I am a bit disappointed. I think this story is ultimately plagued by the same problems most alt power stories are suffering from and that is the focus on cool powers above everything else. Yeah sure, there is some fun to be had in that regard, who doesn't like seeing cool shit, but Taylor is just too powerful and has too many tools to solve all kinds of problems. A villain knows her identity and she can't just kill him? Equip Cu and use geas. Need a hideout? Equip a servant which can create hideouts. Enemy is a dragon that gets stronger? Equip an anti dragon servant. The conflict is just lipservice, really. Just excuses to roll out the next servant who is suited perfectly to solve the problems at hand.

    There isn't that much bashing in the story, the Protectorate are actually too reasonable so no Piggot and Armsmaster blundering into legalities but they still talk about the same stuff only this time not stupidly.

    So yeah, the reason I wanted to talk about this story is because I do believe there is good potential for a Fate crossover here. The story tries a tiny bit at some point, because some of the equipped servants personality does bleed over into Taylor (barely) but so far, over 200k in, it never really amounted to much except for once, kinda. The potential to me here lies in the actual personalities of the Servants and how they interact with the rules of modern society and cape etiquette. Like, if Taylor could actually summon Servants, she shouldn't be able to control them. Sure, some Servants might help out, some of them are good, actually heroic people who are willing to lend a hand to some degree but their vastly different values and looks on life should clash with both Taylor's and that of the society at large. Life if she summons Cu, sure, he won't mind to throw down with villains but he is also someone who kinda kills people and is in it mostly for a good fight. Sure Medea is rather versatile but she is also manipulative and by now kinda evil and self-centered. Even Arturia might be noble and good but without any command seals and the Holy Grail, how big would her motivation to help long-term actually be? Could see her forcibly benching Taylor and then doing everything herself.

    Basically, on a level, the Servants should cause more problems that they solve or at least force some interesting interactions and dynamics out of the story. The action can be there as well, not gonna lie there is something super appealing about the image of Saber excaliblasting Leviathan out of existence and the mythological take on Noble Phantasms can be super compelling to read but the draw of Fate, to me at least, has always been that the personalities of the heroes were just as interesting as their actual abilities.

    Altpower Taylor never is that interesting and her dynamic with Tattletale and Panacea here is just something that has been done to death at this point. There is nothing new or fun in that regard. Dunno, it is a bitt shitty of me, admittedly to basically have hoped for a vastly different story but that's really what I mostly felt while reading this story.

    So ultimately, if you want a solidly written altpower trip with Fate stuff, this can be a fun ride. For everyone else, nothing really new or particularly well done.

    3/5
     
  2. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    An Essence of Silver and Steel has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 51
    Words: 255,570
    Updated: 2018-09-15 14:35:25 UTC
    Published: 2017-06-03 16:06:40 UTC
    Previously updated: 14 days ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
  3. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I really don't like this Taylor. Her inner thoughts are just immensely offputting to me, mainly because most of the time they are about how much she doesn't want to do immoral things or cross any lines and it's just so fucking boring and lame. I am not saying she should be a saturday morning cartoon villain but have some depth or at least fun please.

    Similarly, the take on other characters is equally disappointing, like New Wave and adding to that the usual alt power points and yeah, even the fate stuff doesn't really save this one. And do you know how deep I am in Fate right now? Am grinding the Nero event like a peasant in FGO and even I just roll my eyes at this.
     
  4. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    An Essence of Silver and Steel has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 52
    Words: 261,503
    Updated: 2018-09-29 13:27:03 UTC
    Published: 2017-06-03 16:06:40 UTC
    Previously updated: 14 days ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
  5. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    An Essence of Silver and Steel has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 55
    Words: 276,360
    Updated: 2018-12-29 19:02:41 UTC
    Published: 2017-06-03 16:06:40 UTC
    Previously updated: 3 months ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
  6. SmileOfTheKill

    SmileOfTheKill Magical Amber

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    Oh sweet someone was dumb enough to make a thread about this story. Sorry @Nemrut , we agree on a lot of things but you posting this is worth being teased over.

    This story has gotten some amazing drama. James D. Fawkes has finally finished arc 6 and it's terrible.

    I'll put spoilers in just to be fair to the few people that honestly read this story for enjoyment or at least to waste some time. My quick review is 1/5, don't read.

    So this chapter was supposed to end Taylor being a complete and total idiot on the lack of killing people along with how she fears some 'installs'. So after some contrived Noelle setup...

    Wait intermission. One of the major issues with this story is that it reads like a canon rehash. Coil, Noelle, etc etc, and more. I could say more but we have all read canon rehashes and this is one of them.

    Anyways back to Noelle. Taylor has to use her super secret install. It's Khepri. What a surprise. It's amazing how bad he failed this chapter. The setup to force Taylor to use Khepri is forced to hell and not only that, Khepri is completely unnecessary. James railroaded Khepri and it's not even needed. Impressive.

    Then the entire chapter he has that god damn trash invisible text of FIGHT. He fails to understand why Khepri was aggressive at the end of Worm. The Shard took control and it couldn't understand people. James instead makes FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. He also has Alexandria randomly be immune so he could have Taylor fight her. He then makes it so the nano-blades that Alexandria shredded after the Leviathan fight in fact hurt her. There is more but it keeps going.

    With a terrible chapter released the fanbase is pissed. James is ignoring everyone and it's been like 100k words of him saying,

    "OKAY THIS CHAPTER MAKES NO SENSE BUT THE NEXT ONE EXPLAINS IT. THE END OF THE ARC ALSO MAKES IT SO CLEAR!"

    This has happened for arcs at this point and this is the one that is supposed to end all the complaining. This is the one! Everything builds up to this one chapter and things will change. We get garbage instead. It's everything I hoped for.

    I think I'm so happy at this is because like you Nemrut, I kinda enjoyed this story. Instead it went to hell and James did every terrible authorial move possible. He ignored advice from everyone, he keeps saying things will make sense, he follows canon to a fault, he also seems to have not read Worm, more faults I've forgotten since it's been months since I've not skimmed a chapter and this guy has a Patreon.

    It's funny because there was a great post about the problems of this story and it included this line.

    "I don't even know you will ever look at this, as you always appear to only respond to people who provide neutral or positive feedback. And since I'm providing negative feedback, you'll never respond to it. Just like all the other negative feedback you never respond to and ignore."

    The next thing James says is how his fanart is on Twitter. Hell even that idiot Zaralann is trolling James at this point. Shame the thread got locked but so much fun can only exist for so long.
     
  7. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Okay, clearly a lot has happened since I peaced out in September, which is impressive since I think there haven't been that many updates, lol.

    Almost tempted to check up on it if only for the drama.
     
  8. SeekingSerenity

    SeekingSerenity Third Year

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    Actually that's the best indicator of how trash this story really is .
     
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