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Out-of-Placers is a standard medieval fantasy world completely devoid of medieval fantasy tropes. No dwarves, no elves, no dragons. Instead we get giant millipedes that are somehow also extremely cute, giant snake creatures with multiple appendages and bone-like helmets that are part of their bodies, and the Yinglets themselves, who are an absolute treasure. It's honestly surprising how such slight changes can result in a story and setting that feels so drastically different from the typical Tolkien copy-pasting.

No Dark Lord either, or even any kind of straightforward villain. Instead, the main plot revolves around the political intrigue between a powerful, long-standing human noble house that's earned the ire of most other noble houses because of their unorthodox yet highly successful approach to maintaining authority over their lands, and a Yinglet tribe who fears their community and way of life will be undone by humanity's rapid rise to power, not merely because of numerical and technological inferiority, but because even the most intelligent members of the species are only at the level of an adolescent human, and the average Yinglet significantly less than that. Again, not that unique a story on the surface, basically just a standard political intrigue plotline, but the context it's put in is what makes it so fascinating.

The mystery around how the protagonist becomes a Yinglet and the hints as to what's really going on are just the cherry on top. I recommend Out-of-Placers to anyone who likes fantasy but is tired of seeing the same few cliches over and over.

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