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Summary

For thousands of years, there has been a cycle: a Demon King rises and conquers, and a Hero is reborn a hundred years later to defeat him. Each time, civilizations are ground to dust beneath the Demon King's hordes, but humanity has remained secure in the belief that a Hero of legend will always save them. There's just one slight problem. It's only been 23 years since the Demon King's latest rise, and this time, he's already conquered more than half the world. If humanity simply waits for the Hero's return, there may be no world left for him to save.

And so, Yui Shaw sets out with an ambitious plan. A 10-step plan.

She'll find a way to obtain the Hero's legendary sword. She'll earn obscure classes, gain levels, and increase her skills. She'll travel to the meticulously-crafted dungeons that seem designed for one specific Hero to complete. And, if she's truly (un)fortunate, she might even find a fairy.

She might not be a Hero - but if she can fake it long enough, she might still be able to save the world.

©2020 Andrew Rowe (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC

What listeners say about How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps

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How To Tell A (Boring) Story in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Describe a few fantasy tropes.
Step 2: Use spatial magic to do a few tricks.
Step 3: Show a tired "Cyclical Fate" high fantasy trope without the context which makes it palatable.

With an option on Step 4: Bore the life out of a reader.

I got into Rowe with Sufficiently Advanced Magic, enjoyed On The Shoulders of Titans, believed he was improving as a writer, went back and did his first 3 books for context around SAM, got to Six Sacred Swords and found he was losing it but kept with it because it featured characters I knew all about and wanted to know more about, and then tried this story and ran into a mire of bad writing with both boring story telling AND a total lack of context with an established series.

Essentially, TL;DR: Get someone who has had the unfortunate experience of reading it, get them to tell you what happens, and wait for the next Sufficently Advanced Magic volume as this book is a waste of time.

6 people found this helpful

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Great for Zelda fans!

I absolutely loved this. As a huge fan of Zelda and similar games I bought this as we went into lockdown to listen to alongside playing the games. It’s a brilliant twist on the classic story with funny original characters. I thought the narrator was going to irritate me at first but actually she made it even more fun. I never re-listen to (or re-read) books but I’m going to make an exception for this one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ed
  • 14-05-20

Bad Zelda fan fiction

As the title says, clearly ripped from the legend of zelda story book. Aside from that the story revolved around exploiting rpg mechanics to cheat the game. The main character was the only one with a character, everyone else just filled their role within the story and no more. Will be requesting a refund.

In fairness, this book is bad, but "Sufficiently advanced magic" by the same author is good example of this genre done well

3 people found this helpful

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A love letter to RPGs with its own unique story

"How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps" is an immensely enjoyable and fresh take on the LITRPG genre, full of enjoyable characters, great comedy and well-placed references to classic RPGs.

Rowe manages to perfectly encapsulate the idea of “No plan survives first contact with players” when running a tabletop RPG. The unconventional solutions to puzzles and combat are immensely enjoyable and the comedy is on point throughout. The story maintains a light-hearted tone while being highly engaging, playing off tropes of the genre while staying unique with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. 

Rowe manages to mix and blend some of the best elements of each of the series he references. There is the multiclassing from games like Pathfinder, allowing the characters to build their classes in a unique and interesting manner. The dungeons have a very Zelda-like feel to them, making it all the more satisfying when the main characters find their own unique ways to deal with them. The class system itself offers a ton of fun variety, taking cues from series like Final Fantasy and Bravely Default, with everything from traditional white and black mages to the fashionista. There are even villains that would fit right in with those from the Dragon Quest series, managing to stay somewhat goofy as well as threatening.

Throughout all of these elements, as well as plenty of Rowe's unique additions, the world he creates is deeply interestingly. I found myself wanting to see a lot more of it, and really hope there is some form of continuation in future. Of course, the characters we follow in their exploration of this world are also very well written, the main character in particular making for a very fun protagonist with her rather unique and untraditional viewpoint. The colourful collection of other characters that she meets along her journey all stand out quite well too, each one memorable in their own way while often being humorous representations of the classic RPG NPCs and party members.

The narration is also very well done, the narrator bringing life to each of the characters. It was an interesting choice to use a seperate narrator for the notifications, but it works extremely well and has me wishing more books would do the same.

I highly recommend "How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps" to anyone who enjoys fantasy and RPGs in general. The story is short and sweet, never dragging and staying engaging throughout. It will likely leave you wanting more, to which I would definitely suggest checking out Rowe's other works. The theme of solving puzzles and dungeons in unexpected and unique ways is one he does extremely well in them.

2 people found this helpful

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Light-hearted fun

This wasn't a bad book. It leans so heavily on Legend of Zelda that I could spot it despite never having played a Zelda game. It has fun with a lot of RPG tropes and does a pretty good job of it.

That being said the tone fluctuates wildly. Part of the time it seems like they're just dicking about and then suddenly they're risking their lives to save tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

We are also expected to be invested in a geopolitical situation that is, to put it mildly, glossed over. By then end of the story I think there was one human kingdom but at the start I'm sure there were several.

The main character is really fun and tries to circumvent all the normal rules in the style of "This door is invincible and locked so let's smash through the weak wall instead." There could have been a lot of mileage here but for some reason she teams up with companions who are fairly traditionalist and keep insisting on doing things the usual way for no good reason. When you're whole thing is an MC who can cut corners with cleverness it really hurts to see that stopped in favour of the more boring route.

I thought the companions might grow to overcome this absurdity but they don't. That was a shame, the lack of character development makes all outside of the MC unsympathetic. The villain was pretty poor too.

So yeah, there's a lot wrong with it but the narration is great and it's a short bit of easily listening. I wouldn't recommend it but if you're into this sort of thing give it a go.

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Enjoyable

I liked this but in many ways it felt too similar to Andrews other work and not a whole lot to differentiate it. The main character, if you take away personal circumstance, could easily be replaced by Corrin for example and it wouldn't sound very out of place. My only complaint is that the character stuck to the trend of other focal characters in Andrews work and didn't set enough of a personality that stands from the other main characters of the series.

Having said that, I enjoyed it. It works well as a standalone and doesn't take itself too seriously. There's more humour in this book than the others and the characters are just as likeable.

Suzy as narrator was amazing and I really enjoyed listening to her voice. She kept the story interesting and sounded very comfortable with the work before her. Steve West was great in his part too and it added a new dimension to the story.

I also liked the sorcery concept in this one and would love to see that explored more in other works in future.

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It took me half the book to realise what this was

Disclaimer I was provided a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

I like LitRPGs but have read a lot recently meaning I was feeling a little burned out when I started this one. But...after one chapter I was hooked.

With a likeable cast, very interesting world anf fantastic narration I was really drawn in and was perpetually excited to hear what was going to happen next.

I think I was halfway through when I realised where the game was set and, looking back, I realise the truth was there all along but, rather than make me feel cheated or tricked, this really made me laugh.

With such a likeable group of characters, cheeky style and overall sense of fun this is one of my favourite LitRpg books to date and one I'd happily come back to again and again.

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I loved it.

the voice actors fit the characters perfectly. my only complaint is that its to short.

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Great book, good PoV

A nice view of what adventurings like of whats basically a D&D character perspective of random stuff they have to do to progress

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Light hearted fun

Every 100 years a hero is born to defeat the demon king, but the cycle repeats. A young girl tired of waiting for the hero decides to do it herself.

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  • Heather I
  • 01-05-20

The Best Audible Original Book I've Heard

The book is a hilarious commentary on the tropes and peculiarities of video games and LitRPG in general. The book has an overall very light feel, although there are moments of seriousness. I was wary of two narrators at first, but it is executed perfectly. Steve West only narrates level ups and Suzy Jackson does all the other prose. The editing is perfection. This light novel is well worth picking up, and if you're like me, devouring. 5 stars.

86 people found this helpful

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  • Phx17
  • 07-05-20

Lisa Simpson explains how she leveled up

As a free Audible listen, I set my expectations pretty low. It just need to be somewhat interesting to feel worth it. I listened to the whole thing, expecting it to get better. Never happened.

The entire book felt like a twelve year old telling me, in tedious detail over the course of five hours, how she leveled up her warrior skills so she could defeat a supposedly evil enemy. The main character, Yui, sounds like Lisa Simpson and, like the cartoon character Is drawn, Yui is just as flat and two dimensional.

There’s no character development. Other than telling you how she moved a rock a hundred times to level up her bag skills and killed slugs to level up, and killed skeletons to level up, I couldn’t tell you anything else about Yui - not what she looks like, what type of personality she has, or her motivations for embarking on this quest. Same goes for her companion Ken, the fairy Vex, and, well, everyone.

There’s no world development. We’re simply told there’s a demon king who’s ravaging the lands... but we don’t get any details about what he’s done, we never see a single destroyed village, or witness any loss.

Thus, in the final hour of the book, when Yui confronts the Demon King, there’s no sense of peril and no doubt about Yui prevailing.

I get that this is YA fiction, but that’s no excuse for giving us a magical game instruction manual instead of a story we could care about.

79 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-04-20

Fun Story in a Familiar World

A lighthearted story that mixes elements of Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest. Even if you aren't familiar with those properties you'll find something to love in this somewhat short romp through through this world of magic, heroes, and the demons they fight.

57 people found this helpful

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  • Customer X
  • 01-05-20

Adored it in every way

First off, I am incredibly picky about audiobook narrators, and this was one of my favorites, ever.
The story is charming and hilarious, with just the right splash of feeling amidst the self-awareness. It's very apparent the author loves the source material, and it made for a nostalgic, yet refreshing fantasy romp.

44 people found this helpful

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  • jeremie
  • 01-05-20

Zelda fan fiction

this is a love letter to the legend of Zelda this book is adorable I love the MC Outlook on the rules of this world and her creative thinking

31 people found this helpful

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  • Gregory Rivera
  • 30-04-20

this guy can really write some good books

I'm only about halfway through I just found it this morning on my way to work looking through new releases. I'm a big fan of Arcane Ascension and six sacred swords so as soon as I saw it I said I would take a shot glad I did picks up easy and so far has been just fantastic

27 people found this helpful

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  • kas
  • 01-05-20

bahahaha gamers delight!

if you don't know what inspired this novella then you need to be hit in the face with a fish!

20 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-20

Surprised

This book was very enjoyable, good for all ages.
Definitely download this book for your free monthly selection.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Greg
  • 01-05-20

Absolutely recommend!

This narration was one of the best performances I’ve heard on audible! And I absolutely loved the story as well - pretty lighthearted, but with a depth to the world and the characters that really draws the reader in. The straightforward quest layout with the twist of having a main character that is always questioning everything and creating unorthodox workarounds and schemes was highly entertaining! Thanks to all who helped create it, and I hope all you future readers enjoyed it as much as I did!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 01-05-20

Fantastic!

This was a fantastic novella! It was clever and sweet, it was like breath of fun fresh air.

13 people found this helpful