Help me find the right novels

Hi there.

I love to read WuXia novels, but I am quite picky about them.
I am having trouble selecting good novels.

At the moment I am reading "Talisman Emperor" and it is quite bad.
The book doesn't impress me at all.
It is not really a problem that the book isn't about talismans at all. These are minor details.
What truly annoys me is that during the whole book the MC is either preparing for some sort of competition, or is competing in that competition.
The plot of the whole thing is literally "Follow these rules an win the prize. Then go to the next competition"
Almost as if the author has some sort of obsession about comparing his MC with everyone else, just so he can write that the MC is better in every way.
There is no conflict. It is predictable and boring.

My 3 favorite WuXia books are "Renegate Immortal", "Warlock in the Magus World", and "World of Cultivation"
All are amazing.
In all of them many of the cliches are broken apart and replaced with situations which actually pull you in the story.

For example - In Warlock in the Magus World the MC at one point creates a few ornaments with pieces of his magic.
These pieces of him pretend be an ancestor locked in the special item.
They land in the hands of some  youngsters and start teaching them "techniques"
This plays with the trope that is used in SO MANY of the WuXia books and turns it on its head.
"What if this locked Ancestor soul doesn't actually act in my best interest?" is a question that I have never seen anyone ask in any of the books.
It makes all other character in the books look naive in comparison.

Renagate Immortal (Xian Ni) is even more extreme. In this book almost everyone has some scheme going on.
- Teachers teach their students cultivation suicide techniques that turn them into living pill furnaces.
- The MC actually dies. It's very real.
- The amazing secret space for which the legend says is full of treasures turns out to be a trap, because OF COURSE IT IS. It is naive to think the opposite - treasures won't just be left lying around on the ground in some dungeon or whatever.
- Unlike other books where the MC will cultivate with the speed of sound, surpassing all geniuses, the Renegate Immortal simply stops for 50 years and lives a full life like a mortal man. All so that he can comprehend life. He didn't just figure this out while in battle. He worked for it.

In World of Cultivation, the MC doesn't do everything himself. He has friends, and later he even has armies. He knows how to find the right people and delegate the workload to them. He doesn't micro manage and hi gives his people enough resources to really achieve some great feats. He's a pretty good boss.
It is a book that often moves attention from the MC to all other characters. Kinda like if the author doesn't really care if you project yourself in the MC or not, and is much more focused on crafting a compelling story.
Additionally, Fighting skils aren't the only focus. Instead there are plant growers, equipment makers, beast breeders, and so on.
At one point the MC even built a town with his bare hands. How many WuXia books do you know, where the MC actually buids something, instead of just destroying everything in front of him.

There are many other examples I can give from all three books, but if I had to summarize the similarities of the 3, it will be as follows:
- The MCs have some advantages, but they are not invincible. Many times they are at Real Danger. Many times they have to run or hide to survive. There is a Real risk for their lives.
- The MCs do not care about "Face". They do not try to impress everyone with ability or wit. Some of them prefer to stay hidden, while others simply aren't motivated to show off. The MCs of Renagate Immortal and Warlock in the Magus World routinely pretend to be much weaker than they are in order to learn something new or achieve some goal.
- The people around the MCs are not props and decorations. They don't exist only to cheer for the hero. They have their own goals and work towards them.
- There is no "good guys vs evil guys" drama. Everyone has their own interests. Enemy characters do Not get portrait as extremely sadistic so that the reader can think "They are evil, so it's ok for the MC to kill them". Instead it's all about benefits. Resources.

I hope I managed to explain why I like these books.

Please recommend me more books that have that type of atmosphere.

Thank you.


  • Mao Ni's works - Ze Tian Ji, Nightfall, Joy of Life. All of them have a good and interesting story, great side characters. The side characters aren't just throwable goods. Personal favorites of mine alongside Renegade Immortal.
    Pursuit of the Truth, (Er Gen's second work). Similar feel and intensity as Renegade Immortal.
    Lord of the Mysteries - Interesting story with good side characters.
    Reverend Insanity - Villain Protagonist, similar vibes to WMW.
    All these aren't generic novels like Talisman Emperor.
  • did you ever try reading coiling dragon?

    my first readthrew of that novel blew my mind, it's the one that got me into light novels to begin with.
  • Thanks both of you.

    I did try reading Coiling Dragon but I dropped it in the middle. Don't remember exactly why, but I just stopped being interested.
    The story had a great start. The part about the first teacher was cool. How he was chosen and his first lesson (that a trained hand is not sharper than a good blade). Good moments.
    But later the book simply lost my interest.
  • edited July 2019
    I would like to recommend you try The Godsfall Chronicles or Gate of Revelation although the genre is not the same but those are novels you can tell the authors put a lot of work in writing. The status of Gate of Revelation is  curenntly unknown it has not updated in 3 months hope the author is allright.

  • release that witch
  • edited July 2019
    as above said Release that witch, it sounds about magic but its actually using magic to go all science.
    I couldnt find another perfect book's English name but its "奥术神座"  or "Ao shu shen zuo" writen by "Love Diving squid"  爱潜水的乌贼, it explains how magic works by using science in a very enlighten way.

    also, "Terror Infinity" 无限恐怖 by zhttty
              "ultimate evolution" 最终进化 by 卷土( its actually the second book in the serie the first one is 王牌进化 but I dont know the English name)
    I dont know every book's English name but feel free to ask for other books  I'm a Chinese living aboard and have read these types of books for more than 10 years bet I have read more than a few good ones

  • ISSTH (I shall seal the heavens)

    AWE ( a will eternal) 

    both these MC's start off as normal people, friends they make stay relevant throughout the entire story and some of them have deep backstories, they are often outnumbered and use unique methods to survive/achieve their goals, plenty of humor but also serious cultivation/alchemy arcs.  

    both these are top 5 novels of all time, on the wuxiaworld site, and both completed.  
  • Refining the World (on this forum under translations) and will soon be on WW main-page under refining the Rivers & Lakes
    Nine Star Hegemon Body Arts ... just love it for the literal face-slapping
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