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WIP From Nothing by KtrenalWinterheart - M- Star Wars

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Arthellion, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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    Title: From Nothing
    Author: KtrenalWinterheart
    Rating: M
    Genre: General
    Status: WIP
    Library Category: MISC (Star Wars)
    Pairings: N/A
    Summary: Born into slavery on a world at the edge of the Sith Empire’s territory, Zavahier has never known any other life. But there is strength in passion: through hatred and rage, he breaks the chains of slavery and unleashes his connection to the Force. In doing so, he attracts the attention of the Sith, and must travel to the holy world of Korriban, where he will learn the ways of the dark side. But being strong in the Force alone isn’t enough; he must be cunning to survive in a culture that thrives on violence and betrayal, and there are many who believe a former slave can never become Sith. Zavahier must prove them wrong… or die in the attempt.
    Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/14514006/chapters/33532371

    Review:

    This story was mentioned in the Story Search thread and I greatly enjoyed it. It is a novelization of the Sith Inquisitor storyline from SWTOR, but with enough divergences to make it interesting. The story is still on Korriban.

    The writing is technically solid and Zavahier is a fascinating protagonist. If there is a weakness to the story, it is the supporting characters. Perhaps this is a result of the story still being on Korriban, but none of the characters are terribly interesting. Karroth, the Sith Warrior, is the best we have so far...but KW has a tendency to tell rather than show the friendship. Karroth comes across somewhat weak despite us being told he is a powerful warrior.

    All in all, it's a good read and I look forward to the updates. 4/5 with potential to increase.
     
  2. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Three votes, and no reviews other than OP. Can someone take the time to share their experience with this story and leave a review? Thanks.
     
  3. Imariel

    Imariel Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I've been following it for quite a while and it's one of the few stories I actually enjoy every time it updates. Pretty sure I mentioned it in another thread a while back as a recommendation for Star Wars stories. However much SWTOR endgame disappointed me I still resub to play the story arcs every once in a while. Darn good stuff.

    As for the story, I agree that the protagonist is interesting. The percieved weakness of the supporting characters is presumably due to, as Arthellion says, the fact that they're still on Korriban. Everyone that has played the game should have a familiarity with the acolyte experience in that regard. I find Harkun in particular a bit flat. I do agree that they could be fleshed out a bit, especially since quite a bit of time is spent in the Academy.

    In contrast, Korriban and the depiction of the experience is well done. It's not a masterpiece but it's thoroughly enjoyable.
     
  4. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Yep, this really makes me want to fire up SWTOR again. Good description of the emotions that drive a Sith, and the progression of the main character is done at a very measured level. I'll agree with Arthellion about the surrounding characters being a bit flat, and that's really my only complaint. I'm curious to see how well it goes when we get off Korriban, and I'll give it a solid 3.5/5 for now.
     
  5. CareOtters

    CareOtters Dark Lord DLP Supporter

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    The open to this felt rather juvenile, so the first time I read this I dropped it before we even got to Korriban. That's like bailing on Harry Potter before Hogwarts, so I gave it another try. It did, admittedly, get better.

    I enjoyed the idea of a disliked acolyte being ground down under the heel of an oppressive taskmaster, only to excel because he's able to rise to meet a challenge the others haven't been given. The exact mechanics of this felt a little forced and videogamey - I've not played the game, but could easily imagine that the tasks and trials are cribbed directly from the game.

    The force is always fascinating for me. I loved the one brief glimpse we got at Sith sorcery, before that got taken away after a single spell. That was disappointing as all hell. And I'm hesitant to embrace the approach this story takes to force lightning. I'm not well-versed in the expanded universe, and haven't even seen all the movies, but force lightning always seemed to have a certain gravitas to it, as some higher tier of mystery. Here we see it flung around like a level one fireball spell. I guess that's the MMORPG influence at work. I still had fun reading about lightning being flung around, but it felt more like a dark wizard academy than the Sith, in all honesty.

    On the flip-side, the way Zavahier approaches his emotions is exactly spot on with how I would interpret the dark side. He acts out of anger or hatred, which gives him power. He then hates what he's doing and what he's becoming, which gives him even more power as he turns that hatred inwards in a constant feedback loop, amplifying and focusing his power. Unlike you often see in characters falling to darkness, where they moan and whine and deny and make excuses, he's self-aware every step of the way. He understands what's happening, accepts it, and perpetuates the cycle deliberately in order to drive his growth. That's magnificent, for fanfiction. That's what I want out of a dark-side character.

    There were no points at which technical errors jumped out at me and interrupted my enjoyment, but I can't recall a single moment where I stopped to admire a turn of phrase or piece of description.

    And in 150,000 words, we're still knocking about the academy on Korriban, doing quests which follow the same cookie-cutter dungeon-delving pattern. For all this story's virtues, the author has chosen to do very little with it. I'd guess that it's fallen into the trap of simply writing up an account of the gameplay, rather than heading off in a truly original direction.

    3/5
     
  6. Odran

    Odran Prisoner

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    I've read all there is of this fanfic and I have to say I'm... well, disappointed. It stays true to what Arthellion said in the OP, it's a novelization of the Sith Inquisitor storyline for the most part and little else. And therein lies my disappointment. Regardless of how starved I was for a Star Wars roleplaying video game, SWTOR didn't satiate me one bit. The worst part of it is that it took elements of the KOTOR games and mangled them beyond repair, especially KOTOR 2, which is one of my RPG favorites of all times. I've found the (game's) writing to be subpar.

    The trouble is that there's glimpses of something good, like CareOtters noted about Sith sorcery, but then it's left behind and passed over in favor of - what exactly, I can't say. At times it seems like the author just wants to rush on towards bigger things, to skip the minutiae, but then they pull back and drag on with things I don't care to read about. 153 000 words and still an acolyte. I dread from how much word bloat this fanfiction piece will suffer.

    In a way, I despise this author for making life on Korriban sound so tedious. As a former slave, the protagonist shouldn't just marvel once or twice at the new world before him, the tombs and the secrets they might hold, but look to Korriban as something more than just the initial stage of his journey to eventual mastery of the Force. Yes, there's the odd mention or two about how he enjoys being there, but the way the author writes doesn't convey that. He is far more focused on writing about the emotional state of the protagonist, which makes sense to some degree, what with the Sith approach to wielding the Force. I wouldn't mind that if it wasn't also so contradictory. Like Zavahier claiming he is not a killer or evil, yet killing and committing evil all the same.

    I suppose I should not fault the author all too much, they draw upon Bioware for source material and their vision of Sith is cartoonishly evil. It's an inept kind of evil, where more Sith die to each others' knives in the backs than the Jedi or any other external enemy. This was present in the comics I enjoyed so long ago, but I had hopes that they would eventually evolve from this template and improve upon it.

    All in all, this is boring. I struggled to maintain my focus while reading this, it's technically sound, grammar isn't an issue, but I don't see a single reason why this should warrant anything more than 2 out of 5 stars. It's readable, and you might like the novelty of it if you haven't played the game, but for anyone who's played SWTOR, there's nothing enjoyable about this.
     
  7. Drachna

    Drachna First Year

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    I really enjoyed this fanfiction. Though I don't like to play MMORPGs myself I have watched a playthrough of the Sith Inquisitor storyline before, and I found it to be quite compelling.

    I do find the main character a little bit too powerful for the time he spent developing his powers. In my opinion Sith Sorcerers should slowly build up their powers and then come to rely on their vast knowledge of Sith rituals and esoteric powers, not simply be to tier dark siders within months of learning of their powers.
    I suppose that for a fanfiction this story isn't bad at all. It's well written and interesting and seems to have relatively little filler. I don't mind that the main character is still on Korriban as this book is meant to be the first of three, and as I write this review only two chapters remain unpublished for the first book.

    3.5/5 rounded up to four because of its scale and potential.
     
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