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Dominion of Blades

(Dominion of Blades #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  933 ratings  ·  89 reviews
For over thirty years, Dominion of Blades has been the hottest online role-playing game in the world. Any gamer with an immersion rig can enter the world of sword and sorcery, of goblins and dragons, and they can hack and slash their way to glory. But the game is too real for some, and after an epidemic of real-life fatalities, public use of the immersion technology has be ...more
Kindle Edition, 430 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Dandy House (first published April 2017)
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Matt Dinniman Two is out now! It is entitled The Hobgoblin Riot.
Matt Dinniman My next book is only tangentially related to the series, and then books 3 and 4 will hopefully come out after that within a reasonable, non GRRM amoun…moreMy next book is only tangentially related to the series, and then books 3 and 4 will hopefully come out after that within a reasonable, non GRRM amount of time. I hate promising specific timelines as I tend to miss them.(less)

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Mike (the Paladin)
So....why do I rate this book many others are raving about only 2? Because I just can't really like it.

I go 2 instead of one because the story does hold interest at least at times. I suppose I was looking for a lighter read than this. The book is at it's base very heavy with the angst and the personal/interpersonal "struggles" (I suppose that would be the best word) of the protagonist and to a lesser extent the other participants in the "story".

So I like the set up a bit and the "in story" part
Sonny Woods
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally leave reviews as I am just so bad at giving them and have low standard. This leads me to liking almost every book I read.

With that said, This is a breath of fresh air for this genra. It takes what we want to see in a LitRPG (leveling, gear, NPC, VR) and builds a true world around it. Most LitRPG books have very little world or charactor building in them, focusing too much on the RPG systems.

I think that even if you have not read a LitRPG bok before or are just looking for a go
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Achievement unlocked! Find a new book genre: LitRPG
Achievement unlocked! Find a hidden gem in form of a book: DoB

You have discovered a mastery ability to maximize the reading experience! Please select the appropriate level in the game settings.

Menu -> Settings -> Reading experience -> Select level: Max

Warning! Character restrictions apply for this option. In order to work, the reader must meet the following requirements:
1. Possess vivid imagination
2. Has extensive RPG and/or MMORPG background
Trevor Sherman
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am writing up a full review now for my blog but I want to say this was the best LitRPG I have listened too in a while. It was longer then the average at over 12 hours and I listened to the AB in one sitting. True, I was coughing and feeling too sick to really do anything else but still ...more
Bolajide Adeyoye
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Coffee versus Soda

First off, to some extent I've got to say that this wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I like my litrpgs nuanced but sugary. This one was kind of bitter, full of angst, a fair bit cynicism, and a little more real word societal baggage than I normally get from these kind of books. Put simply I didn't have as much as the usual power fantasy high, honestly this little trip was just shy of being slight stressful to read, which I guess technically means the author did a good job of makin
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
The LitRPG genre has had a tendency towards rather puerile or angsty hormonal content.

Pluaristic relationships with vapid poorly structured supportive characters, Might makes right, and a focus on serialized obvious goals.

I'm happy to say this doesn't.
In fact the protagonists make efforts to avoid the tendencies of NPC driving plots. Where as most LitRPG feature man vs enviroment in the concept of the gamespace, monsters or BBEGs.
The book features a more nuanced approach to such, and a wonderfu
gordon musgrave
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Not my type of book

If you are of gay orientation this book is for you I'm not
I do not want to read about transsexuals,lesbians or gay men,this book wasted my time,hope it does not waste anyone's else
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook

The most interesting thing about this story is what's not happening in the game world, but you only get slivers of information on that. Decent mix of game play, some story, small leaps of plot progression and character establishment. While I like clever characters, I am not a fan of the transparent reasoning to bestow epic skills and weapons.

I like that the characters are a little bit like what you would get in the real world. Like Poppy being a grown man stuck in a girl child chara
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great litrpg

One best new litrpgs out this year. Loved can't beat the banter and unique characters in this book. Love story too.
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

What a great new twist in the LitRPG genre. Absolutely loved this book and can't wait for the next one!
Kah Juay
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, the pace was fast and the characters likeable. Plenty of LoL moments.
Jeremy Langford
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An impressive addition..

The writing was on point. The character building was on point. The storyline was a fantastically refreshing new take on the genre. Very enjoyable read.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoying!

Great start to what I hope is a long series. Interesting concept that I'm looking forward to reading more of.
Kim Conlon
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was like living out a D&D game - so much fun!
Russell Gray
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: litrpg, reviewed
Overall, I would say this is a good book and worth reading. I had a number of hangups, but many I think boil down to personal preferences rather than legitimate problems.

So starting off, I can say that I tend to prefer litrpg books that spend plenty of time in the early game so to speak. I want to explore the game mechanics and be well-informed on how things work. Many people have described the level of detail as sufficient to roll their own character in the world if they chose. I personally don
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I almost didn't read this and then I got to Poppy

This is the first litrpg, that I have read where the characters aren't what they seem or complete walking stereotypes. Those that have read the story will know I am doing my best not to spoil this but give this book four chapters and you will likely end up finishing it.

Outside of the characters some of the situations were laugh out loud funny as well as face palmy. Though there are angsty moments here and there that could have used more developme
Clinton Stanturf
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Though I immensely enjoyed the concept and overall story layout of this book it was definitely a new take and I enjoyed it, I did have a few points of aggravation with the added "I guess best way to say it" is political and gender additives. So first I want to make this very clear I have no problem with political or gender statements in books I try and stay as neutral as I can, therefore, it's not a problem for me however in this book I felt it was a little unnecessary and therefore a point of f ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great representation / Great LitRPG

Dominion of Blades is an amazing story that has interesting and engaging characters- as well as LBGTQ representation. This is important, as there are a lot of transgender gamers out there - and the ability to be who you want to be in a virtual world is a reality often ignored by his genre.

Additionally, the story takes place in a high stakes environment where there are really costs to losing, giving the story a great deal of importance throughout.
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was ok
...Identity politics don't substitute for character development. I'm absolutely for individual rights but the main character's suffering is self-imposed and then he whines about it. Then his self-imposed suffering makes him stronger than anyone else? Completely unearned. ...more
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I wanted to give it 4 stars but I just can't. I gave it 4 stars but ended up taking it back to 3 stars after I finished the review. And here's why.

P.S. A good chunk of why I really liked it is due to the narrator, Andrea Parsneau. She was better than I expected. A lot of female narrators can't voice really deep gruffy male voices. And she did it and I couldn't find the difference between that voice and an actual guy's voice. She just started narrating, so she needs to narrate more to build up h
Chris Evans
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: litrpg
Excellent book. The premise is good and compelling, the game mechanics are good, and the characters are great. It's a nice, fresh take on the set up. The book it's self largely revolves around a mystery so no much can be said about it without spoilers.

(view spoiler)
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: litrpg
4 / 5

Dominion of Blades, by Matt Dinniman, is novel apparently belonging to a fantasy/SF subgenre called LitRPG. Now, I had never before heard or read anything LitRPG so I came into this with low expectations, not knowing what to expect. The idea behind LitRPG is that the novel is somehow connected to a RPG game being played by the characters. The writer admits that it is a game, the reader accepts it and there's 4th-wall breaking in the sense that there are game rules governing the story and
Jun 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read this because I loved the Dungeon Crawler Carl series. This is a very different experience. The themes are darker and the characters are more secretive and introspective. I also found myself less invested in the characters than I was in Carl and Donut. I particularly didn't care much about the female member of the party (whose name I can't even remember now). Her main purpose seemed to be to explain the game mechanics. Her quirks (lesbianism, alcoholism) weren't particularly relevant to an ...more
Eddie Saoud
Aug 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Dinniman has a fantastic writing style that he clearly begins to master here, but it is clear to me that this was a stepping stone to his current masterwork Dungeon Crawler Carl. Dinniman really crafts an excellent story and dynamic here, and there is a lot to like about this book between its well crafted twists and characters and a dash of flair and uniqueness. Unfortunately, even as the world is enjoyable and the story is engaging, there are a few notable areas of improvement that hol
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
There's a lot to like about this book. Although it starts off a bit wonky, as soon as we're firmly set in the game world the story explodes into an exciting tale of adventure. There's unique weapons, creatures, and fighting styles with enough similarity to real world MMOs to keep everything simultaneously new and familiar.

Then around the 60% mark the tale takes a turn for the strange when we find out that the protagonist is actually transgender, or digitally transsexual and everything seems to
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, read-2019
this was my first foray into the litrpg genre, and i almost wish i hadn't started here, because i don't think ANYTHING is going to measure up. i expected something cheesy, light, and fun, and while this book was a wonderful read, it was also fairly intense. if someone is looking for a little more development from their litrpgs, i would definitely recommend this one!

anyway, i spent a day at home with a nasty cold, and as such, i read this book in one sitting. the rpg aspects are indeed fun, but t
David Petrie
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Delivers on every level... get it? ...level? ...sorry

Dominion of Blades has a great sense of humor with just enough danger to balance it off. I laughed out loud plenty of times, especially during the bits about avoiding quests. But the author also creates a decent sense of peril, which can be hard in a story where the characters can simply respawn if killed.

The story is a little slow to start, but once it does it grabs on and doesn't let go. It builds on details throughout, and it's full of wel
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dominion of Blades, by Matt Dinniman, is my first LitRPG novel. I confess, it was jarring for me at first as I had no idea what a LitRPG novel was. But by the third chapter, I figured it out. And I thought it was such a cool idea. You are basically reading a book from the POV of a character in a role playing game. In this case the game called Dominion of Blades. Reminded me a wee bit of The Matrix, albeit totally different. So the game was shut down due to people actually dying in real life. But ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Been a while since I've gotten so sucked into a book like that. The storyline flows at a good pace, the world is fleshed out -just- enough that I'm terribly curious to learn more about it, and the action scenes have just the right amount of detail to not feel like they're dragging on forever like multi-episode fights in "Naruto". Unlike other stories in similar settings such as "Sword Art Online", it's clear that the author is quite familiar with both the mechanics and players' mentalities in MM ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been going through a lot of litRPG. Some are great, some are just terrible. This was a great one. It has real characters, embraces the whole stuck-in-the-game-must-fight-to-survive trope and runs with it. Its fun, compelling and carries you along the journey to a satisfying conclusion.

We're given just enough backstory and insight into the MC to understand that they have had a difficult journey IRL and are not conventional hero material. But, I'm not sure yet if there's a point to this or if
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Matt Dinniman is a writer and artist from Gig Harbor, Washington. He is the published author of dozens of short stories and four books. In addition, his art publications—from greeting cards to stationery kits to calendars—can be found in boutique and stationery shops around the world.

Other books in the series

Dominion of Blades (2 books)
  • The Hobgoblin Riot (Dominion of Blades #2)

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