Broccoli Bunch is a 16 year old Canadian teleported to a new world and given a quest – “A great evil has set its root in the world. You are called upon to save it!” To help her, she is given a class: The Cinnamon Bun, “Too good for this world. Too pure. You are the perfect support and friend to all. Nature itself smiles upon you.” Thus begins her adventure across the planet Dirt, in a high stakes yet surprisingly slice-of-life high fantasy story that is guaranteed to make you smile.
I’m not going to lie, there’s going to be a certain type of person who doesn’t like this story. If you’ve ever played a role playing game at got irritated that another player was trying to talk to a monster instead of killing it, this story may not be for you. If you expect your main characters to kill first and ask questions fifth or sixth, the naivety of Broccoli Bunch may not be for you. If you don’t like puns and other word play, this story might bog you down. It’s also a bit saccharine; lord knows while catching up on it at times I had to put it down because I just wasn’t in the mood. Finally, it’s an ongoing serial, which means that while there are three books collected and published on Amazon (complete with AMAZING audiobooks) the story is primarily presented with story arcs, which may be a deterrent for some.
And those people probably can’t be my friends. These series is absolutely wonderful. The “Cinnamon Bun” class is a play on a memegen created by The Onion of all things. It suits Broccoli Bunch quite well: the child of hippie parents, she wants nothing more than to make friends and maybe make sense of the world she finds herself in, and she does so by… mastering cleaning magic, of all things. Turns out, when you don’t know where you are or how to survive, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is make some friends.
Consider purchasing this series from Amazon. The website may benefit if you do.
There are a lot of story arcs I don’t want to ruin, but the overarching story is that in the world of Dirt dungeons exists to filter mana out to the world around them, and each dungeon has a core. Evil plants are springing up and taking over dungeons, which is kind of a bad thing. However, for most of the story Broccoli’s only way of stopping the spread of this infestation is to destroy those dungeon cores, which is a crime far worse than genocide by this world’s standards. Along the way, she joins the Exploration Guild and finds herself travelling with her two best friends: a tsundere harpy girl named Amaryllis and a shy yet lovestruck human noble named Awen. A lot of other characters come and go as well, like the sylph Paladin named Bastion. Along the way, Broccoli Bunch will find herself fighting in tournaments, exploring dungeons, surviving political drama, and flying her own airship.
There’s some stat tables that get a little tedious, as the LitRPG genre often sees, but the stats themselves usually take a back seat to other world mechanics, such as leveling up acquired skills or how different characters are granted different and sometimes unique classes. The fight scenes are handled with a fairly even hand, and there’s a nice variety between “she won that fight with skill” and “she almost didn’t win that fight at all!”
Some of the word play and humor uses double entendre play, which places this series rather firmly in the “teenage” audience; a shame, as otherwise I’d probably share this story with my daughter. That said, this series completely shattered my expectations of it. I am legitimately surprised this franchise doesn’t have more reads, and I’m not sure why that is. Hard to believe such a solid story could be considered, in some ways, a “hidden gem.”
The Cinnamon Bun has three books listed for purchase on Amazon with the option for audio books on Audible, and is also a serial available for free on Royal Road. The author, RavensDagger, does not haver a website, but does have a Patreon.