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The Phantom Castle (The Way of the Shaman, #4)
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The Phantom Castle

(The Way of the Shaman #4)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,807 ratings  ·  74 reviews
What can a game clan accomplish without a castle? The answer is obvious: nothing. Therefore, the main objective of any leader in a game world is to acquire a base of operations. Finding himself in exactly this position, High Shaman Mahan, leader of the Legends of Barliona, accepts an offer from the Emperor and the Dark Lord to vanquish the army of Phantoms that has inhabit ...more
Kindle Edition, 330 pages
Published November 28th 2016 by Magic Dome Books (first published 2014)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,807 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
The more I was reading this book, the less I liked the protagonist. Everything was handed to him way too easily - quests, items, friends... He would enter a tavern and stumble on a secret, never before seen quest. He would try a weird crafting mix and create an unique item. He would talk with an NPC and it'll reveal to him an unknown, hidden dungeon to explore. His friends are loyal, his enemies respect him and the girl he likes loves him - without him doing much to achieve those, it just happen ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is only a filler between books 3 and 5. nothing much happens here.

I'm actually shocked by how you can fill 19 hours of audio with nothing and yet manage to insult your reader's intelligence!

Only the owner and their spouse can enter the castle but because of your title you can't get married without a 6 month notice

Next chapter he magically finds a way around it

A little girl who has social issues over comes them by him giving her a ride as a dragon.

Guess what happens in the next chapter
The Banner
Dec 25, 2016 rated it did not like it

I really hope the author returns to his former way of writing. I hate seeing Mahan with a corporate sponsor and all this special treatment.
Haris Jablan
I didn't like the change of the author's writing. I also didn't like the inconsistencies with the item abilities (sometimes they give 30% and sometimes 10%)

The whole plot felt like a filler chapter and if not for the twist at the end I would have just dropped this whole series, but the end has given me some curiosity towards the next book.
Steven Naylor
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Rating 3.0 stars

There has been a drop off in the quality of this series in this book. At this point I don't know the goal of the player or the developer of this game. This audiobook was about 18 hours long and it was just a lot of filler. Man gets awarded a castle from the empire but there is a problem, it is cursed. If he is not able to take control of the castle in 3 months, it will no longer be his castle. It takes about 16 1/2 hours of listening before he actually gets into the castle thoug
Douglas Debner
The author returns to not telling a complete story. It could be argued that that this is a complete story since it is focused on the main character taking possession of a castle but once he does that it is revealed that the whole thing was just a set up with earth shattering results. Then the book ends. Does that sound like a complete story to you?

The author also lacks focus, constantly bringing up irrelevancies. For example, in an earlier book (book 2 I believe) the MC only partially completes
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
November 30:

I'm still making my way through this one, so I'll update this as I go. I enjoyed the beginning of the series, but something's off in this book. Maybe he's rushing too much? There seems to be a downward trajectory in the quality of storytelling. The protagonist seems to get powerful items way too easily, and I really dislike that he keeps referring to the person that starts as his crush, becomes his girlfriend, then his wife as "The Girl."

December 1:

OK I've finished, and my opinion
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: litrpg
The thing that really made me enjoy these books was the fact that the translation had been done in a way that made sense to us "westerners".

It seems like the quality control on the translation (and to a certain extent, editing) has suffered from less stringent expectations. There's a lot of idiomatic phrasing that just doesn't make any sense...

I'm also peeved with the cliffhanger ending, but some people enjoy that.

Anyways, it was good, but not on par with the previous 3.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Not as good as the 1st 3.

A little disappointed really with the whole progress or non-progress. I wish there were less trying to be mysterious and more character development. It's the 4th book and the MC has still not assigned a single stat point of almost 500. Seriously WTF no one plays like that and he's getting way too lucky too often.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Editing and Proofreading (and possibly translation) still awful, still immature and pretty misogynistic. But all that said, i still enjoy the core idea.
I'll probably stop at this one, but maybe i'll get the next one in a while, when i forget the bad and just remember the good parts...
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it

The storyline ends at a point that will leave you feeling very unsatisfied. Also the main character does not seem to be finding his own way to do things any longer and is being led around by his nose. It takes away from what I enjoyed most in the first two books.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: litrpg
I can't say it's my favorite book in the series so far but even being not the best book in the series puts it a step above the most other books that I have read.
Chris Evans
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: litrpg
Maybe I shouldn't be reading these books one right after the other. Much like the previous book this one is complete chaos the entire time. Vasily has so many plot threads going, and attempts to continue going, that the narrative ends up being scattered and rushed. Adding the fact that he's gotten into the habit of referring to multiple characters by two different names (Their real one and their game one) isn't helping. In particular, the expansion of the lore and altering the games mechanics/ru ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I normally don't rate books if I don't at least make it 50% through, but I will this time.

I made it 8% through. 7% at first, then I sorta forgot how ridiculous those 7% were and picked it up again, but I only made it another % before I remembered.

As I said when I reviewed the last two books, I am sad to see this series go up in flames like this. Or should I say: Slide continuously down into the muck. Because it has been a steady road down that way.

Now I am gonna put the reason in spoilers, but r
Trevor Sherman
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A lot of potential but it never quite made it. The plot is good but I don't know if it was the translation or just the original writing style but half of the first few books seemed to be written for 10 year olds and then you get a plot line that felt normal then back to the 10 year old again.
I stuck with it though and finished the series.
The YA writing style got better around book 3 but then soon the plot started to get all confused. The final major plot point was pretty ridiculous and ended l
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Throughout reading these books (translated from Russian to English), I have felt like the author is “clever.” He has a knack for building an interesting world, populating it with characters whose behavior is understandable, and despite the “fake” nature of the topic, the rest of the input feels “real.”

This particular book in the series demonstrated a range in allowing things to get messy and that shows clever ways of exploiting the “rules” of the world that had been created. Each book in the ser
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Good, but a big let down compared to the previous books

Only the story propelled this book, which it is good when a story propels itself, but it still needs a good base to it. The small portion of reality that is attempted to be thrown in seems haphazard and last minute. Scenes seemed to flow onto one another rather than into one another making things confusing and hard to read at times. The story around the Legends of Barliona, and especially Mahan; Anastaria; and Plinto, was good, but not a who
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
This has turned into a fanfic with shallow characters and shortlived attempts at drama. The MC just gets too much his way, the romance feels shoe horned into the plot and I don't even like the girl, the MC is corny as heck whenever he's doing what I assume the author thinks is 'being smooth'. Everything gets handed to him now. Everything that happened is just a laundry list of things happening that apparently don't matter to the plot, as they barely get tied into event afterwards.
It was fun at
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, read-multiple
Clicheed phrases galore “ like hell” “what are you on about” “that can go to hell” “as if”

Mahan passes everything far too easily.
For a seven book series, it’s fulfilling in a shallower way. Without serious hardship, creates a boring story.

The one part where he has difficulty and I got interested was with the council that had him, but he easily gets out of the situation and gains a unique quest and instead.

Lackluster ending too.
Mohan's gaming is more and more monitored by corporate sponsor's in the game. Everything is circling around Mohan questing, which is getting annoying. Also I don't like where does the main storyline leading us. Why making romance in the game world is beyond my understanding. First 50% of this book was point bland boring and annoying, and the other half barely enjoyable. I'm disappointing in this book. Ending was once again open and unsolved.
Kristy Maitz
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
The 4 book of "The Way of the Shaman" was for me more annoying then enjoying story plot. Main character Daniel Mahan has from the starting point till we get to the end a negative events or rather to say if something bad has to happen its him and his guild who will get that negativity. Even ending is unhappy.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best lit-rpg series I have ever read! I'm so impressed by all the twists and turns that constantly keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to read more! Thank you for this wonderful story!
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very much a let down. Ill purchase the next simply because I enjoyed the previous 3 books prior to this one. I figure the author has earned that much. The next will determine if I walk away from the series.
John R.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: litrpg, fantasy, fiction

It's fine...the story is fine...I'm probably just reading this book and likely the rest of the series just to finish the series. It's possible that I'm just not in the mood for this type of book atm.
Sarah Sands
This one took a little longer to get going than previous books, but once it did it was awesome! I really enjoy the author's style and Jonathan Yen, the narrator, is FANTASTIC!!! The audio versions of this book are amazing thanks to him. I can't wait to read the next one!
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love this series of books, my first LitRpg reads and they are the closest in feel to Ready Player One, with the main character involved in a game that means a lot to him. This latest novel finds Mahan in charge of a clan and about to become royalty, lots of surprising things happen along the way and ends with a surprise that makes me wish the next volume was available.
Kyi Night
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Four books in and the author still finds away to keep things entertaining and surprise me. Still a great Joy to read.
Joseph Hurwitz
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you

I just want to thank the author for writing these books. This series has been a joy to read and I look forward to more.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, scifi
I couldn't stop with the first one, nor the second. Third just kept me enthralled, too!
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Vasily Mahanenko is a fantasy author working in the new genre of LitRPG - the MMO-based fantasy and sci fi. His Way of the Shaman series took Russian literature by storm in 2012.

Vasily dipped into his colleg

Other books in the series

The Way of the Shaman (7 books)
  • Survival Quest (The Way of the Shaman, #1)
  • The Kartoss Gambit (The Way of the Shaman #2)
  • Путь Шамана. Тайна Темного леса. (Мир Барлионы #3)
  • The Karmadont Chess Set (The Way of the Shaman #5)
  • Путь Шамана. Все только начинается (Мир Барлионы #6)
  • Путь Шамана. Поиск Создателя (Мир Барлионы #7)
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