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Harry Potter and the Natural 20 by Sir Poley
"You probably already have an opinion about fan-fiction. And you probably have an opinion on mash-ups. Personally, I'm a fan of all of it. So be warned, this is both.

And it's brilliant.

Basically, this is a retelling of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Harry and Ron and Hermione are all still present, as is the general plot... mostly, sort of. I mean, they take some liberties.

This time, instead of following Harry, we follow Milo, another 11-year-old Wizard. The difference is that Milo doesn't come from the Potterverse, but from a universe that follows the rules of D&D. He is a Player Character, and he is fully versed in the rules and how to bend them. The main conceit is that Milo must follow the magic rules of his universe, where an eight-hour rest cures most anything short of death, but transfiguring a matchstick is insanely powerful magic, while everyone else follows the Potterverse rules of magic.

It is ridiculous and funny and Milo repeatedly points out literary elements from the original works, as well as flaws in the original narrative, along the way. For example, he points out who the important characters are going to be later based on how many adjectives they can be described with. Or that a topic is important to the overall plot because it keeps coming up.

I know some of you are already upset because I said it points out flaws in the original book. But trust me, it is all done in good humour, often while leaving the flaws completely in tact. For example, this exchange:

"So, ask Madam Pomfrey," Hermione said.

"Ask her what?" Milo asked, perplexed.

"If that's actually the antidote," she said.

Milo blinked.


"Because she'd tell you. She's a mediwitch; she knows what she's doing."

"I don't understand," Milo confessed. Asking adults for help was not something he, as an adventurer, had ever considered doing before.

While the writing isn't the best thing I've ever read, the usual fear of fan-fiction isn't necessary. I've certainly read published books with worse writing. I'd even go as far to say the writing is good, without any qualifiers for it being fan-fiction at all. I did read the whole thing in a couple of days (though it is online, so I have zero idea how long the portion I read is, wordwise).

I don't know if this would be any good to someone who doesn't understand D&D at least to some extent? Though if you can easily accept the premise of "the rules for Milo are just completely different in every conceivable way", you'll probably be ok.

As I said, I read this online at The author is still writing this series (last updated Dec 2017), but know that if you look at it there, he has put all three books into the same story. IE, it currently shows as having 72 chapters, but only the first 33 are this book. Starting with Chapter 34, we're off into Book 2, which I imagine I will start reading shortly. Based on the update times, this appears to be a very slow writing process, so probably mentally prep yourself for there being only two books, if you plan to check this out. We might be waiting quite a while for the end of Book 3 and rest.

Still probably have the series done before we get the third Kingkiller book."
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