Road to Mastery Book 1 Review

7/19/20232 min read

This is a review of the new Litrpg novel by Valerios, Road To Mastery.

First off, let's address the elephant in the room: Yes - this book is VERY similar to the Defiance of the Fall series, particularly the first book. The style of writing, the mechanics, the cultivation\rpg system are so similar that it is easy to see why many critics would point this out and pan it to some degree. However, that is not to say that they are in fact identical, as they are not. Road to Mastery does have it's own unique elements and in general is a much more light, and less intense read. So given that we will discuss it in more detail and what are the good and not so good elements about it.

General plot:

Road to Mastery uses the subniche of "post-apocalyptic system arrives and forces itself on the earth" type setting we have seen in other works. The setup is similar to a series like The Legend of Randidly Ghosthound where the main hero Jake is stuck in a dungeon at the start and forced to get strong quickly or perish, hence getting a jumpstart on power compared to the rest of humanity. In this case Jake does not possess any real magic powers other than his fists, and uses his raw power to literally punch his way to survival. Within the dungeon he will also encounter a group of friendly "brorilla's" and essentially become their leader and ally. Eventually Jake will conquer the dungeon, and make his way back out to the rest of the world where he will then have to compete against other power houses in a tournament hosted by the new overlords of the earth, the Animal Kingdom and their proxies. The Animal Kingdom will ultimately be the main enemies that Jake will be forced to come to grips with both in this series and likely in future series.


1 - Well written: no major grammatical errors, no real typos or funky terms due to translations.

2 - Good action: the book as some fun and interesting action, especially when Jake uses his raw fist power to destroy his enemies.

3 - Mostly sticks to main character. Although there are a few deviations into the mindset and sub-stories of supporting characters and enemies, for the majority of the book we stay with Jake.


1 - Redundant self reflections. There's a bit too much of the "why is this happening/why am I here" going on throughout the book. Which is normal to have in the beginning, however much of it just appears to be the same thoughts recycled over and over, which can get a bit annoying.

2 - The "Brorilla's" are too cringe. Even the name is cringe. I understand the author wanted to introduce some humor and companionship into the mix, but sadly this felt like a Jar Jar Binks type situation. It really wasn't needed and just makes the work look a tad silly.


This is a solid first book and may well turn into an entertaining series. It's one of the few books we've read that focus on a pugilist type character, and does it quite well. There's something very satisfying about reading how a hero that just smashes his enemies with his fists. There are still some issues that author needs to improve upon, but hopefully will occur in future books. If you are in-between series would recommend giving this one a try.