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The Kingdom of Lothere by Jenny

 

An ongoing historical fantasy story set in the north of England in the decades following the Norman Conquest. The story is illustrated with screenshots from The Sims 2, and published chapter-​by-​chapter on the Web.

Note: The Kingdom of Lothere contains some graphic violence and harsh language.


A series

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Listed: Jan 11, 2012

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Sims type storytelling– fun for players, but not for the traditional reader

By SgL, author of Tales of the Big Bad Wolf - Queen of Swans

Feb 12, 2013: tl;dr version: This is a piece of fiction that is best appreciated by Sims players. However, for those who really do want to try to read this story, I found it easier to start with this link instead of the one provided officially for the WFG listing: http://www.lothere.com/storyline . This link provides summaries of story arcs along with table of contents for each story arc.


Webfic is a very big umbrella. Many types of fiction live under its wide span.

This story heavily uses screencaps from Sims to illustrate the narrative. As such the text is broken up every few lines and this is a difficult reading experience for those not from the Sims community.

Fortunately, if you would like to read the story without the images, several browsers will allow you to disable them.

From what I can tell, the WFG link goes to the prologue which was written after other chapters as an anniversary post. (The serial appears to have started several years ago actually, in spite of the late post date of the prologue.)

As a new reader, the prose is clean (if you can ignore the narrative breaks) but the prologue has no impact. It was, however, well received by the existing readers and so I wanted to try to give this serial a chance.

And so after a lot of clicking around, I found this link. (http://www.lothere.com/storyline ) Voila! Storylines and table of contents, galore!

One of the interesting things about this work is that it’s not really intended to read as a novel. In fact, the author describes the work as not having a real beginning and more of an account of things that happen to a very vast cast of characters.

I picked through several storylines, reading a few installments understanding that even if I follow the storyline I would be dropped in at random points in various characters’ lives. I knew there wasn’t necessarily going to be a strong sense of continuity between the pieces, so I viewed it like I would a soap opera where we randomly re-visit certain characters at the "present time." (This means a lot of developments happen off screen while the camera is turned away.)

I did manage to finish one arc—“Lady Eadgith Comes Into Her Kingdom." In spite of the disconnectedness of the sections, it does follow a chronological progression. In a sense it was a "highlight" reel of all content featuring this specific character and those she most often interacted with.

The plot and character developments were actually very Sim-like. That means that the characters exhibit bizarre behavior particularly with respect to how they relate to one another. Characters are hot/cold when it comes to other characters. At time their love or hatred takes on a violent, exaggerated turn because that is how the game works. To someone unfamiliar with Sims character relations and logic, the characters’ behavior is sometimes annoying, appalling, or just randomly funny.

Sims live life fast, show very little fidelity to their partners, and are emo. But that’s the fun behind the Sims game. You are a voyeur into a lot of lives. Then you play god with them. (Believe me on that part. I have sent many a Sim to their grave just for fun.)

Therefore, the way characters operate in this story is consistent with Sims logic. Sometimes frustratingly so! I didn’t necessarily like the outcome of the storyline I read, but it was plausible given the origins from which it came.

Therefore I don’t know that I want to rate this story high or low. It’s part of a niche and a world that is very sensible to those who play the game. And as an adaptation of stuff that could happen in a Sims game, it upholds the goofy logic while maintaining a clean writing style.

If for some reason any fan or the author does find my review please understand. I think the story is a great Sims fic for Sims players But it’s not going to be a work for every reader that currently shares our webfiction umbrella.


Editor’s note: Per SgL’s suggestion, I’ve updated the link for this listing. — Chris

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