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Battle is an Art by Thomas Loud

Recompense Shall Be Paid 

Herah always considered herself a master artist, be it a painting, sculpture, drawing or whatever, Herah could make it without problem.

Combine this with her gift to make her art into a reality, her great combat prowess and her immense amounts of willpower, and this meant Herah was clearly a no-brainer to participate in Recompense; a series of acts that if one won would grant the winner(s) a wish from their Maker.

Of course, with such a great prize on the line that there was an equal price which had to be paid. This meant that other participants, hostile environments, and pretty much all sentient life that wasn’t herself would definitely be challenges that Herah would have to overcome to not only win but to survive. Recompense truly was a battle of the fittest.

But with a broken No.2 pencil, a nervous master smith, a too trusting liar and an honest, omniscient jackass, Herah had Recompense in the Bag.

After all, Herah was a master artist, and she considered battle exactly that: an art.

Note: Battle is an Art contains pervasive harsh language; also, some graphic violence.

A serialized novel, updating fortnightly

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Listed: Jul 5, 2018


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Universes All Their Own

By Hejin57, author of Music Masters

Nov 21, 2018: It’s sometimes hard to judge something you like and then wonder how easy it is to recommend to other people.

Case and point, Battle is an Art.

In short summary, I don’t know if I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s detailed, but full of mountains of lore than can be a lot to take in. The characters are interesting, but extremely off-color and don’t usually fall into any definable tropes. If you want to read something very weird and wacky, I’d suggest this for sure.

To explain, the story revolves around Herah, a dragon-lady of sorts who is part of a race called the Cendreux. She’s gifted with a number of pretty awesome powers, most notably her sentient pencil Jeffrey, who can literally draw things into reality.

Throw in brother and sister Alex and Max, whose own powers could be called border-line godlike, and metallurgist gnome Owen, and you’d probably be wondering where the stakes are and why you should care. Thankfully, things take a turn when Norwe is introduced, a literal god in a sense who involves the main group in a tournament of sorts called Recompense. The winner gets to keep their universe and get a wish from the Maker, while the losers get their universes destroyed. Norwe does that purely for amusement, but it’s effective in raising the stakes in a story that otherwise has immensely powerful characters.

What follows all this is a series of vignettes as Herah, Max, Owen and Alex travel together and face off against different enemies and monsters, including a whole planet of Oni and other frightening threats. Later on, universe-ending beings called Abyss Walkers are hinted at, so powerful they make most of the main cast look like minnows.

As someone who’s personally become invested in this story, I still stand by my point that it may bit a bit hard to recommend. I think most of the flaws lie in the beginning, throwing us into the world and introducing many concepts and ideas all at mach pace. With some minor editing, maybe even a small prologue explaining the multiverse of the setting, I think the story could be far more accessible.

As it is, the story gets far better after the first three chapters, easier to understand and get invested in. It has a lot of unique ideas and crazy characters, and though it sometimes gets a little ahead of itself, I think it only has great potential from here on out.

If you want something completely out-there and willing to have a good time, this one is certainly for you.

Final score: 3.5/5

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