The Immaculate Collection

Good read, tiny quibbles.

Slice-of-life merchant progression where Reid becomes store manager for a famous retired adventurer.


While the other boys of his village dream of becoming mighty warriors and mages, Reid Aveno dreams of becoming a merchant. He dreams of brokering deals, traveling the world, forging trade between nations, and being the kind of person people look up to. But most of all, Reid dreams of magic.

In an age of lost old magics, the only path of growth for the people of the Kingdom of Avennia is by connecting with items imbued with magical powers and abilities. These sources of magic are handed down through families, bought and sold by merchants, and for those who live near the ancient places of the world, sometimes found by those who search for them.

When Reid comes upon power of his own, he leaves his small town behind. He is bound for the capital city of New Avennia, where he hopes to fulfill his dreams and become a merchant without equal.

Basen Koh is a retired adventurer and renowned mage. He has spent his life searching for power, protecting his home, and exploring the world. When it was all said and done, he found his collection dusty and disused. He’d spent years building it up, only for it to lay forgotten and unseen. With an eye toward spending time among the people, he took his collection and opened a shop in the heart of the kingdom.

Now Basen finds himself in an odd and unfamiliar place. Failure isn’t an easy thing to accept for someone who has the kind of power he does, yet deep down, he cannot deny that his business is teetering on the edge of a cliff. If something does not change, he might lose his collection forever.

When these two men meet, they find out that not only do they need what each other have to offer, but they actually make a great team. When debt collectors, thieves, foreign powers, and competing merchants try to crush their budding business, Basen and Reid need to work together to save the Immaculate Collection.


Review written after reading all (38) available chapters (490 pages).

I got this recommendation from /u/ASIC_SP, who is a legend, as I was in dire need for a chill, laid back read after my latest system apocalypse bender, and this story seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Reid is a fun character to follow. Young, kind, and earnest. Some might say naive. Not a murderhobo, which was what I needed. He has friends, a caring family, and dreams to chase. Chase them he does, and the main plot of the story started when he reached the city of New Avennia and made friends with the retired, eccentric, famous, feared, and utterly chaotic Basen Koh.

Basen is, without any doubt, the best character in the book. The epigraphs at the start of chapter from him are a clear highlight in the writing, and the humour, wit, or inanity in them brought many smiles to my face. Basen is, however, a bit of an idiot, it seems. What sort of man sets up a store and then fails so incomprehensibly at every aspect of it?

The stores many issues provide the challenges for Reid to work through, and all has to be done while learning about the city, the guilds, the factions, and in general, The Way Things Work. This source of conflict, though… felt a little contrived to me at times. I think its to do with the economics of it all not making sense to me.

Slight numerical spoilers (but no plot spoilers) below.

Basen had a debt in the hundreds of gold, loaned from Redacted. He—effectively the most famous adventurer in the nation, personal friend of the King, yadda yadda yadda, doesn’t have the funds to cover this or get any personal friend to cover it in the interim. Or know anyone who would buy one of his many ridiculously overpowered and rare items for a big sum of cash. So you think, alright, hundreds of gold is obviously a phenomenally large sum. But then people start getting paid in multiple gold a month for a salary. A single item of Basen goes for 200 gold, and its not even an item of the highest tier Basen has.

Items have tiers, by the way. Stars, would be the proper term I guess. One, two, and three-star items are pretty common. Factories can even produce cheap magical items in bulk. Four, five, and six are in the spicier, more valuable territory, and items six stars and above are rare and highly valued. It is then also odd that Reid’s minimum selling point for an item is “One gold per star”. Like, my friend, you are trying to be a merchant, and a seven star item is indescribably more valuable than a one star “This rock glows in the dark”, not seven times its value.

For a story centred on mercantile discourse, my inability to buy into the pricing system or store finances without suspending disbelief was a bit frustrating. I am hoping that there’s some more depth added, perhaps to explain all this, in the future chapters, but unfortunately it’s been a few weeks since we’ve had an update, and I’m not sure when we’ll get the next chapter.

I think this story has some good potential, especially if numbers get hammered out, so I’ll wait to see if the small hiatus breaks, and we get a few hundred more pages. Then I’ll gladly jump back in and see how it’s going. Right now it’s a short (490 pages) read, but if you’re looking for a palate cleanser like I was that gives a kinder and more relaxed take on the LitRPG genre, check it out.