The Faraway Paladin
Why did I start reading it? I read the preview a long time ago and have been meaning to get round to this series for a while after finding it through J-novel club.
What is it? In his past life, Will was a shut-in. He didn't leave his room. He was a burden on those around him but when he finally died it didn't end there. He woke up, reborn as a baby and distressed to find himself surrounded by a skeleton, a mummy and a ghost! Turns out they are pretty nice though, and they raise young Will as their own but questions of how Will came to this place and how these three ended up undead cloud Will's second chance at life. Though he resolved not to miss out on this second chance and life a life that he should have originally.
What are the characters like? The cast is very small. Consisting only really or Will, Blood the skeleton, Mary the Mummy and Gus the ghost but all have the distinct personalities and fun traits.
Anyone particularly cool? Blood, Mary and Gus are great! They're interesting characters you can't help but want to know more about from day one. Their interactions are full of fun banter. How they each teach Will and each gives us insight into this world from the different perspectives is really well done.
What's the bad news? A few times reading this book I wished it wasn't an Iskai. There are times in the narration where Will brings up something from our world which is typical Iskai, trying to explain something in the fantasy world with something we are familiar with, but in this book, it just takes me out a bit. I don't know whether it's because this Iskai isn't reliant on the fact that he is from our world. Many other Iskai normally makes the knowledge of our world useful in some way, usually to make the protag them OP as all shit, but Will starts at 0 and spends the entire book training like any normal fantasy protagonist. The Iskai aspect does come in but I feel like the book would have been just fine without it.
And the good news? When this book hit its mid-point. Omg. Mysteries were revealed and everything started to move into the finale, damn it was good. Couldn't put the book down, nearly cried at times. Any weirdness I felt from the Iskainess was out of the window and just wanted everyone to be okay! There were twists and turns in the story, some I didn't see coming, some I guessed but were done in a different way. It was just a great ride. Aaaand this world is pretty cool. It has an interesting magic system, interesting gods. A lot of thought and care has gone into crafting this fantasy world and it's really nice to read. It's also revealed well. There are times when it can be a bit info-dumpy but that's through dialogue at least and it was really good at finding the right situations for Will to get into to be able to masterfully show not tell. The story crafting of this was top-notch.
Would you recommend?
Oh hell yes. A lore thick fantasy world and characters you have to find out more about, Faraway Paladin is great for any lover of fantasy be they a Light Novel fan or not.
You can grab your copy on Amazon:
You can also read the preview for free on J-novel's website:
PS. Just a warning. There is a small side story at the end that just rubs bittersweet salt into all the wounds you gained during this book. If you nearly cried before, steel yourself.