The Devil’s Cage

the devil cage characters

The web novel I’ll be talking about is called The Devil’s Cage by Rusty Dragon

It has 16 million views, 1,854 chapters, and a rating of 4.5 stars. Our story starts off with our main character, Kieran, who’s desperate for money because he has a genetic disorder. For him to be able to get treatment, the medical fees cost upwards of 3 million. He realizes he’d never be able to earn enough money to pay that off.

He only had a year left till his illness kills him. So with the savings he had, he bought an illegal game that has the equipment and material worth in millions if you’re able to get them in game. The only catch was you could potentially die in real life if you’re killed in the game. All of us who watch anime know where we’ve heard this trope before.

So Kieran eventually decided since he only has a year left, he might as well try and gain the money he needs by risking it all in the game. So the way the game works is that each player is required to complete or live through a mission every couple of weeks. Or that player will end up having something happening to them.

Where I currently am in the novel, it hasn’t really explained what it is, but all the players know this is the case. So all players involved in the game are incentivized to keep playing to survive, whether that be betraying other players or teaming up with other players, whatever it takes. Each mission transports them to different worlds and have unique missions to complete.

As you complete more and more missions, the level of difficulty increases. The entire world is completely dynamic and unique. Some worlds have magic, some worlds are modern, and some take place in different worlds. Like in the Middle Ages, for example, the player can drastically change the flow of the game or mission to gain even more rewards if he or she is clever enough.

No one world is the same as the other. If you like VR, MMO, RPG novels, make sure to check this one out. In the devil’s cage novel, the main character visits all sorts of different scenarios. Each one has their own tale to tell. And it’s an interesting mystery to unravel. This makes each arc fresh and exciting and allows the book to move away from standard clich├ęs.

But depending on how you perform on some worlds, you can re enter with another mission. But the mission requirements will change. So in between missions, players also have a lobby type town where different players can interact with each other. Each player also has a house where no one besides the owner is able to get in unless you let them in.

The main character, Kiran, is pretty smart and clever. He’s kind of a lone wolf, so he doesn’t take crap from anybody. Also, when threatened, he’s ruthless to other players, so you don’t have to worry about a naive main character for this novel. In each mission, he goes through, he finds ways to get better results, better equipment to further level up his character and to help him protect himself from other missions and players.

Kieran is a clear example of how playing the game and strategizing is better than brute forcing through an obstacle. The only thing that takes me away from this main character is considering that Kieran is a teenager. So it’s kind of hard to believe that he’s this clever. But I could be wrong. He had to mature really fast because of course he’s an orphan and had to fight for everything he has, plus the disease he has.

Got to keep in mind, this is fantasy. After all, the character development is steady and there’s no visible, overbearing plot armor. It has just enough, in my opinion. The writing quality is really good, even though it’s apparently a translated novel. No grammatical errors to speak of, if any. In my opinion, the translator did a pretty good job in the devil’s cage.

The author does a good job in world building each mission world. Each world has huge amounts of detail within it, not just the world, but the NPCs in that world and how they interact with the players. The author shows a lot of attention in the dialog between the players and the NBCs. That sounds natural and it doesn’t take you out of the subplot for each dungeon mission.

Once you actually make the time to read this, you’ll understand what I mean. There are a lot of side characters to keep up with, especially because of the different worlds he goes through and comes back to. But it’s not too overwhelming. You’ll definitely need to keep paying attention as you read this novel.

The main character doesn’t get overpowered quickly, but develops gradually.

Also, one more thing the development of the side characters is kind of lacking. Although the main characters and the side characters interact a lot emotion wise and dialog wise, it doesn’t seem like they actually get any stronger themselves power wise. Throughout the story. But then again, they aren’t the main characters of the devil’s cage, so it’s kind of expected.