How to Survive a Summoning 101

by Durrendal

Original Action Adventure Comedy Drama Fantasy Psychological Romance Sci-fi Tragedy Anti-Hero Lead Female Lead Grimdark Magic Male Lead Martial Arts Reincarnation Summoned Hero Supernatural
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Death was supposed to be the end for Rigel. Unfortunately, he caught the interest of a vile god. Ripped away from his world and all that he holds dear, Rigel is thrust into the ruthless world of Sangraal, where gods walk amongst mortals. Millennia of strife and bloodshed had come to an uneasy end as the mortal races have forged a fragile truce, but the gods have different plans. With the threat of awakening dragon-lords and the treacherous war of gods looming, fire and blood is set to wash over Sangraal once again. Forced to work for a despicable god, Rigel must gather his wits and dirty tricks to survive this brutal and unforgiving world. He must also face his own inner darkness which threatens to twist him to something he doesn’t want to be. To navigate the quagmires of lies and betrayal, Rigel needs power. But power comes at a price, and for Rigel, that price might be too high... Maturity Rating : 18+ for sex, language and general despair.


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( Cover Art: Sleeping Soul In The Sky)

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Durrendal

Durrendal

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue: Gods, Contracts and Frogs. ago
Chapter 1: Yanderes, Gifts and Nurse Uniforms ago
Chapter2: Knights, Grandmas and Dreamcatchers ago
Chapter 3: Conflicts, Magic and Bottled Fireflies ago
Chapter 4: Languages, Betrayers and Silent Evenings ago
Chapter 5: First Battles, Auroras and Moon's Spawns ago
Chapter 6: Dances, Rivers and Inquisitions ago
Chapter 7: Mercenaries, Witch Trials and Whistles ago
Chapter 8: Requiems, Sacrifices and Deaths ago
Chapter 9 : Surviving a Magic Laundromat ago
Extra Chapter: Answers ago
Extra Chapter: Arin ago
Chapter 10 : Surviving Feminazis ago
Chapter 11: Surviving Salrest Nights ago
Chapter 12: Surviving Overprotective Dwarf Dads ago
Chapter 13: Surviving Curses ago
All Things Sangraal ago
Chapter 14: Surviving Exploding Fish-Barrels ago
Chapter 15: Surviving Inner Demons ago
Happy Announcement+ Contest ago
Chapter 16: Surviving Serpents ago
Chapter 17: Surviving Dragons, Elves and Psychotic Tendencies ago
Chapter 18: Surviving Mating Rituals ago
Chapter 19: Surviving Fates ago
Chapter 20: Surviving the Other ago
Chapter 21: Surviving Quiet Days ago
Interlude I: Wrought of Shadows ago
Chapter 22: Surviving Cliff-Hangers ago
Interlude II: Cast in Sunlight ago
Interlude III: Baptized in Salt-Part I ago
Interlude III: Baptized in Salt-Part II ago
Chapter 23: Surviving Sandstorms. ago
Chapter 24: Surviving Holy Birds ago
Chapter 25: Surviving Barrel Rolls ago
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StenDuring
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Superb story, initial mess

This review is part of a review swap.

 

So it’s time for yet another problematic review. What to do when the beginning is an utter mess stylistically, but the story is, oh so good? Especially as the work abruptly gets a lot better stylistically a rather long read into the story.

 

The review is valid as of chapter 18. Note that the average chapter is long. My guess would be in the region of 5K words long.

 

For rating purposes this is sometimes two very different stories. The style and grammar rating, and for that reason, the overall rating, suffer from this. Story and character stay consistent throughout.

 

This is your standard reincarnation story told from a first person point of view. In fact the first eight or so chapters make an effort to be your standard reinc-story, albeit slightly twisted with an unholy crapton of meta-references, which in turn is just what you would expect from a Japanese reincarnation Light Novel.

 

Everything is there. Joe Random schmuck (named Rigel in this story) gets killed, gets abused by a god (and almost killed), gets reincarnated and abused by a monster (and almost killed), gets taught the basics of a new world (and almost killed) and eventually gets familiar with the darker sides of this new world, and, you guessed it, almost killed.

 

It even comes with keigo. It’s a common disease in Japanese anime with a pseudo-European setting. People throw japanese honorifics around all over the place in a failed attempt at making it sound natural. Well, the narrator in this story is no better.

 

The story this far is split into three arcs, with a one year timeskip between arc one and two.

 

 

I’ll highlight arc one for two reasons: It’s a mess. Shaky grammar, even though I’ve read a lot worse here on RRL, non-existent use of character background (making the reincarnation aspect absolutely pointless), and very, very shaky  stylistically.

 

The main problem is lack of internal consistency. It’s not that one type of grammar errors pop up — there’s correct syntax and word-order in one sentence and incorrect in a similar one half a page later. Dialogue-tags are used correctly here and incorrectly there. Pacing is all over the place; sometimes with a total lack of cohesion between scenes.

 

Arc one also comes shock full with a wonderful, dry, humour. It’s full of awareness of itself, blatantly breaking the fourth wall during meta conversations with the reader. The narrator reflects upon how the new world adheres to some literary stereotypes of dubious quality, and then he’s shocked that it’s different in other aspects.

 

It even comes with a cute love story.

 

 

Basically arc one is a hard read, but the story is great, and as a reader you just have to trudge through it, because from arc two and onwards it’s simply fantastic.

 

From arc two and onwards almost all the wry humour gets thrown out the window and the story turns grim and dark. I won’t say much more than that this is where the real payoff for the reader begins.

 

 

That said, it’s time for the ratings.

 

Overall a near perfect 4.5 stars. With over a third of the chapters a stylistic mess I can’t give the overall experience a perfect five.

 

Style is an OK 3.5 stars. Basically I’m merging a two star utter mess with an almost perfect execution from just prior to when arc two starts and onwards.

 

Story, well you read this one for the story. A perfect five star rating.

 

Grammar is overall very good, but never close to perfect. Normally I’d rate it as a solid four stars, but, as usual on RRL, I feel the need to compensate for people clicking randomly at the grammar ratings scale, making it obvious they need a thesarus to understand the term ‘grammar’. So grammar gets a near perfect 4.5 stars.

 

Character should have been given a near perfect 4.5 stars. Our narrator grows darker and darker, and there’s a consequent progression (or in his case regression). Side characters are well fleshed out as archetypes,  but as usual with a first person narrator it’s hard to get to understand them well.

 

The bad guys are hamhandedly depicted, which drags the overall expression down a bit, and then my personal pet peeve — don’t reincarnate adult persons if they don’t base everything they experience in a new world on their adult understanding of the old one. I just can’t accept when someone just tags along with having live fiction on the Internet replaced by eyeball 1.0 without even batting an eye.

 

So character gets half a star shaved off for that and ends at a solid 4 stars.

 

 

Now, if you’ve read this review; off you go and read the story as well. It’s well worth it — unless you’re after this cuddly, warm and cozy feeling in your stomach.

Then I suggest you stay as far away from this one as possible, because I can only offer daggers, acid and maggots crawling in your stomach.

opt23241
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First review and its this long!? Okay, what should I name it... Ah yes, behold! Magic and Baby Tears!

To the Author: You always amaze me with your ability to construct the most realistic scenes I have ever read. Not only on royalroadl but anywhere. It's like I'm inside "Inkheart" and as I slowly read trough the pages of your masterpiece it comes alive word for word sentence by sentence. It's... breathtaking, honestly. You know, people say that reading is like having TV in your head, but this is more like having another world, and I love it.

 

To my fellow readers: If you think that I'm over exaggerating because this and that... I'm not.

I'm the guy that didn't even blink while watching ''Clannad" let alone cry and as far as I know that's saying something... mainly that I don't have a soul. Thing is, you can rarely get a reaction, emotional or otherwise, from me. Of course I can fake one but. Eh, not my thing. Something that was able to get a reaction out of me was "Don't Fear the Reaper" and I think you know where that is now. Well, this guy was able to do it! Good for him! Huh.

 

So, style. I think I wrote something about "Inkheart"... eh, I don't remember, never mind then.

 

Story. At first I thought that it was something done thousands of times before, another generic "mc in another world", one of many. I was right and damn was I pleasantly surprised. While the concept is far from 'first of its kind' the way it is written makes is stand out. Also, to elaborate on the 18+ a little. While I don't know anything about twists and turns, be it in the plot or the "plot", I can say this much: The "Mature" tag is not the beware-12-year-olds-there-be-boobies-ahead, instead it's more like MC's-soul-is-like-a-improved-version-of-hell-and-it's-contagious, so that's a thing. Hop right in, the baby tears are fiiiine!

 

Grammar: Dude has an editor so that's not a problem right? Weeell, yeah, it's not. At most I've found one or two small ones a chapter and please do note that the chapters are fairly long.

 

Characters: I don't know if this story is perfect or falls flat at the extreme amounts of weeaboos... oh who am I kidding, no weebs here and it's like 97.2% awesome and 2.8% stumbles Very slightly because of my own personal taste. VERY slightly.

So, lets see... Author (as far as I know) carefully researches thesis papers on psychology with scary-ass-long names for every chapter! to the point that characters seem, oddly enough, too human at times. What do I mean? Chill, I'll tell you. The good thing about this is that the characters that Durrendal chooses to focus on become well defined individuals with mysteries about them to spare. The bad thing... is the complete opposite as everyone else gets barely enough(read "just enough"). Don't get me wrong, what 'little' information we get about them, for all intents and purposes, is more than enough to get a good feel for the character. It's just that, that information seems to have been dwarfed by the info we get about the MCs. And that's perfectly fine, it should be like that.

Next, remember what I said about the MCs being "too human"? Me neither. Well, let's put it this way: We, as readers, in most cases, have read so many bland and/or generic stories that we have come to expect certain behavioral patterns in a certain main character and his not-so-friendly elf friend. Rage ensues when we’re not ‘fed’ properly. In essence we have grown accustomed to these ways to behave, to think and to feel that we think of it as a rule rather that as one option out of many. Examples include:

1. A - Why isn't the mc O-O-O-OP Breaker level yet!

    B - Real world doesn't work that way. *rage ensues

2. A - Why hasn't he f*cked everyone right in the P*ssy!

    B - It doesn't work that way. *rage ensues

3. A - How come the romance progressed so fast? That's not how things work!

    B - I beg to differ. *rage ensues

Do note that these examples are taken from a VERY small minority of readers and that they inhabit a small and very extreme end of the scale. I just used them to… make a point? Yeah, let’s go with that.

Well, now I'm happy! Are you?

 

 

hvethrungr
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A Tear Jerker, For Sure

Snapshot:

How To Survive A Summoning 101 is one of the few stories on this site that really brings out the emotions of the characters, Durrendal does an excellent job in developing them. You can feel the fear, the love, the despair, the raw emotion of every moment in this story. In the chapters just before the first time skip, you'd certainly be hard pressed not to cry, to shake with tension, to shiver in anticipation, as the story progresses. My only gripe with this fiction is that the time skip could have been dealt with better, the reader is left confused for several chapters afterwards, since not many explanations are given right away. The grammar and style of writing can also leave the reader confused at some points in the story, though it doesn't take away from it as a whole.

 

Style:

Durrendal's style of writing is unique for sure, an interesting blend consisting mostly of modern dialogue and character development and classical scene descriptions. His method of character development is somewhat common among some modern published novels, but he pulls it off so well that you can't help but be drawn in, to fall in love with each and every one of his unique characters. Suri's clumsy seductiveness, Arin's gentleness, Karro's hotheadedness, every character is exceptionally well done. Durrendal has made them not just into characters, but people. His writing brings you into the story, throwing you into battles won and lost, relationships made, and dark deeds done.

 

Story:

In general, How To Survive A Summoning 101 is fairly generic. Guy get's killed. Meets a dick god. Gets thrown into other world for divine entertainment. Vows to kill god. Yadda yadda. Durrendal manages to somehow make this overused setting unique though. His dark twists and turns, graphic descriptions, exciting fight scenes and corny romance all come together to make this a story worth reading. Unlike many other stories of this setting, however, his MC does not go adventuring on his very merry way willingly. He is forced to move, to keep fighting, desperately trying to keep ahead of his pursuers. In fact, I get the feeling Rigel would happily stay in one little town for the rest of his life had the you-know-what event not happened. While it could have been done a little better overall, the unique nuances make this generic story setting not quite as generic as you might think.

 

Grammar:

As stated above, Durrendal's grammar is quite good, but could be done a little better overall. At several points, I was left slightly confused as to what exactly was happening, the order of events blurring together in a big mess. Unlike many stories on here, however, the slight confusion does not make you stop altogether and re-read entire sentences. By just continuing to read on, you are able to grasp what is going on easily. All in all, with some moderate editing, this story would be very pleasant to read on a depressing rainy afternoon.

 

Character:
The characters in How To Survive A Summoning 101 are this story's defining points. At every step of the way, you can feel what the characters are feeling, the raw emotions washing over you like a usually very depressing blanket. Durrendal's side characters each have unique personalities, each character is as much a person as someone you might meet on the street. He tends to stay away from archetypes like the plague, which I commend him for, they are the plague. Strangely, the character I feel I can relate to the least is his main character, Rigel. It may be the way the story has been playing out, the structure of the events messing with my view of the characters, but Rigel's thoughts and mannerisms can be confusing sometimes. At some points, his actions contrast somewhat with the view I've developed of him completely. Rigel also tends to follow a path like an iron rod, his personality and opinions unwavering, completely unlike a real person. The only times he has changed at all are during life changing, heart shattering events, and only in completely obvious ways. His actions are terribly predictable in accordance with his iron set personality, which results in a rather drab, boring character. Again, with some editing, maybe some dialogue changing, this issue can be easily done away with, as long as Durrendal puts a little thought into it.

Droma
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Overall this is one of the better dark fantasies I’ve read on the internet. The MC has believable character development and everything has a pretty solid internal logic to it. 

I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of anti-heroes and mature content.

The downside to this story is that it uses the transported to another world trope. So if you’re not a fan of those types of stories this probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you like those stories you’ll probably love this.

Author could use someone to proofread but overall the grammar and writing style are well above average for this site.

Andy2c
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Big words,but that's how I feel after most chapters. This story goes deep in humans' emotions: joy,warmth,passion but,alas,even pain,sorrow,sins (yeah,I know it's not an emotion),hate...you'll find aplenty in here. So,if you can stand a couple jabs to your deepest core, you'll find this a really good read and you'll probably immediatly become addicted to it. If you can't...well,just give it a go,worst that can happen is you'll curse the author a good number of times -I know I did XD-

The Bus Lurker
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Another Shameless Author asking me to break my Lurkertude

As of this point, there are 16 chapters out.  I'd say to those of you who have standards when it comes to chapter length/# of chapters released that the chapters feel flush with words. Although I certainly respect you guys, because if I wasn't so bored I would've waited too lol.

 

So the first three chapters are kind of confusing, but once you pass that gap it evolves into a standard transported to another world story. Then it evolves again into a standard revenge story. I'm sure it will evolve a third time, but that's where we're going so far. The MC is not boring, but doesn't really get interesting until he's in bartertown. The motivations of other characters are kind of standard, but there's no issue with me about that. 

 

Story is relatively fast paced. It's chapter 16 and we're already gearing up to move to our third location. No complaints there, but it's to early to tell what kind of growth the MC has. It's kind of vague whenever he uses his powers, or maybe my brain glossed over it? The fastness of the story leaves some things unanswered. Like I want to know more about his powers, more about the monster at the bottom of the lake cave, how he went and skipped? the passage of might to using the god's power. I totally don't remember him getting his might power, the way he gets his powers from the god of sacrifice had me lead to believe it was gained in stages, but I guess we're dropped hints since the first kill...

 

In closing, this is an interesting story that isn't painful in the least to read. 

 

Note to the Author: It seems that your (insert adjective here) effort for reviews has worked.... -The Bus Lurker

Kurotsubaki
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For you who have a pitch black heart like mine

This story contain a regular dose of despair that needed to sustain my meaningless life. This story have a blissful hope and bitter despair that can make someone with a weak heart cry and somone like me trembling in delight. 

 

But sometimes the storyflow are a bit hard to decrypt, so i need to read it twice or thrice.

Still, i love this story! And i can say proudly that:

'I'M YOUR FAN!'

Seraphu
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Should rightfully occupy the second best spot in rankingsa

Excellently written, down-to-earth fantasy that really captures the corruption and depravity of the middle ages, wile still expressing the excitement and intensity of the magical aspects. How To Survive A Summoning 101 will take you on a ride of a quality seldom seen on royal road, and if you can handle the emotional turns, this ride will take you to the skies!

While grammar and spelling isn't perfect, it is still perfectly acceptable, and is miles above the average rrl fiction. The story and character development easly outshines most top 10 fictions on the site, and the author clearly puts lots of work into every chapter.

9/10

WhoCares
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Whirlwind of emotions and storytelling.

WC's Mutual Review- As of chapter 17

Overall: 4.25/5 Brilliantly written work with a well orchestrated plot and complex main character. The psychological elements are executed near perfectly and the story will make you feel conflicted as it toys with your emotions and plays with the conventional understanding of morality. The story starts off hard to digest and slightly wonky but that in itself serves to establish a juxtaposition between the characters' emotional status (as of chapter 17 at least. I'm sure the character will go through more personality shifts later on.) Really encouraging to see a proper understanding of psychological phenomena and theory in a story on RRl as well as a wonderfully rich mythos that is gradually developed rather than forced down the reader's throat. (p.s. rounded up to 4.5 in the ratings)

Style: 4.5/5 My understanding of style revolves around 'how the author presents the story,' hence, the non uniform formatting has to be taken into account. I'm all for experimenting with formatting to accentuate certain parts of the story and the formatting tools on rrl right now are atrocious (hopefully v3 fixes that up) but it does distract your readers so you might want to go back and edit it. The initial 'snarky tsukkomi' style was a little jarring, artificial and hard to follow but you've definitely improved over the course of this story and I'm sure a little light editing should fix up the first few chaps. The style later on though, is amazing, mature and easy to digest and it really hooks the reader.

Story: 4/5 This, in my opinion, is a little lacking for now but it's only been 17 chapters so that's fine. The mythos is well developed but the plot needs to be expounded upon. Bigger things have been hinted at so I'm looking forward to it. Good luck.

Grammar: 4.5/5 Needs a little more PR work, especially the first few chapters but great by RRl standards. A lot of typos and minor errors that become even more glaring because of the weird formatting. The lack of use of certain contractions seems to contradict your mc's personality. Substituting "I had" with "I'd" sometimes would go a long way towards making your mc seem more realistic.

Character: 3.75/5 The character is complex and nuanced but his personality development is rushed, making him feel slightly synthetic both at the start and after your first "wham" episode. The side characters are also not fleshed out as much as they could be and some of them make me unconsciously rely on standard tropes to fill in the details. Like the rest of your work, this improves later on makes me round up the rating to 4. But side characters are important and works with a lot of exposition (like this one) always run the risk of glancing over other characters, but you do a very good job at incorporating characterization into exposition later on, so great work.

Conclusion: Very well written, emotional and moving work with great execution of psychology, exposition, juxtaposition of character personalities and a good, slowly unraveling plot. A whirlwind of emotions and storytelling. Incredible work! Great Job! Followed, recommended and WC approved! ^_^

Devileliet
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Imbadwithtitlesbecauseimanidiot

The story doesnt send you to fit of laughters. This one, makes you see the world in grey, makes you depressed,  maybe makes you chuckle a bit in a sad manner, makes you feel sad about the fate of the characters, makes you think about emotions and how hard it can be to feel. Seriously, you might want to be a worm in a hole so you wont feel anything at all. Hopefully.

There are not a lot of characters. And believe me, you wouldnt want anymore anyways, since the author would make them go mad, get them killed or tortured AND killed, get cursed and a bunch of more things. Oh you are tough? You ain't gonna cry? No you wont motherfucker, this author doesnt give you half assed, no personality stupid characters . You are going to get nightmares about them.  Nine out of ten fucking times the characters will be someone you KNEW about. Not backstory wise, emotional I mean. You will see . You will get to know them like brothers and share their pain.

Style is dark as hell. Don't know if that makes sense. Can't think straight after the damn thing. You are not going to get some backstory of a character and will be told to like him/her by KNOWING theır past. The author won't give you information clumps. You will know characters as they do things, understanding why they do that and how much of a weigh it puts on their backs. You too will feel that weight. You will know characters as they feel things, why they feel that and how much it hurts. It will hurt for you too. You will be like "They would do this in that situation", knowing them like real friends. No "he felt sad", "he killed the monster with a mighty slash". It will be "He felt his sins crawling on your back", "The ones he killed screamed in his dreams of how they will get them" and those wont be just there to add cool to the sotry. His bones will be crushed with the weight of the mountain he carries on his back. They will get him. Make him do things he will regret.

Grammar is grammar. Some mistakes here and there. Not bad though, its reall good. But like in every other story, it can be improved.

First reviw, so go easy on me.  Also not a native speaker.

And, dear author, if you are reading this,
Fuck you.
You made me unable to get a decent sleep for 3 days straight. I am expecting the continuation of your success. And if you even dare to drop this, I will find you for real.