What is your favourite wuxia/xianxia novel/series?

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books' started by Readsalot, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    I just recently discovered wuxia and xianxia novels and series. I never knew there was an entire genre dedicated to the adventures of martial heroes and immortal heroes in ancient China. Watching movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of the Flying Dragon, Hero and The Forbidden Kingdom I just thought of them as kung fu movies with wires. :D

    Last year I read Will Wight's Cradle series and fell in love with it, then this year I read The Coiling Dragon series and it was just as fantastic. Now I want to make up for all my years of ignorance and read as much as possible. One of the names most often popping up is I Shall Seal The Heavens, so I've placed that next on my To_Read list. Has anyone else read it?

    Does anyone else here read wuxia or xianxia? Do you have any recommendations and opinions? Please share!
     
  2. Viergacht

    Viergacht Thunderdragon Roleplaying LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I don't read it but I used to watch a lot of the movies because they had a good selection at the video store where I lived.
     
  3. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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  4. FrustratedEgo

    FrustratedEgo Level 11 (Thief) Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Something about my disciple keeps dying - a fun comedy where the main character keeps dying (every few arcs or so) and gets reincarnated as something silly.
     
  5. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    This one? http://scrya.org/my-disciple-died-yet-again/

    [​IMG]

    Seems like good, silly fun.
     
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  6. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    The ones I've noticed that seem quite popular are:

    Coiling Dragon (which I've read and very much enjoyed)
    Stellar Transformations
    Desolate Era
    (both of these by the same author as Coiling Dragon)

    I Shall Seal The Heavens (next on my list)

    Against The Gods
    Martial God Asura
    Peerless Martial God
    Martial World
    Tales of Demons And Gods
     
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  7. FrustratedEgo

    FrustratedEgo Level 11 (Thief) Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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  8. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Since I was summoned...

    I really hate to say this, but I have no real love for any of the 'modern' wuxia. I mean, I really, really tried, but I grew up on Jin Yong's translated works and nothing else comes close to the degree of epic-ness and literary level of those books. Unfortunately none of these seem to be available in English (the fan translations are really not that great and capture none of the literary quality of the prose, and the only one translated work made a very weird choice of translating the character names!), and the tv/movie adaptations leave a real lot to be desired :(

    That said, I thought the newest adaptation of The Legend of the Condor Heroes (2017) was pretty good - a step closer to what Jin Yong's work should look like. There are 50+ episodes, and the story doesn't really start until the third episode, and they really erred on the 'cute' side (with a very cute female lead) -- I think Eng subs are available over at cdrama or similar sites.
     
  9. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    To be fair, that's like saying that you grew up on Tolkien's work and not liking other stories because nothing else comes close. And I mean that literally since Wuxia and Tolkien-style works are so damn similar when you dissect them.

    As you can read here: http://www.kanzenshuu.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31707

     
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  10. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    There is nothing new under the sun.
     
  11. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    Which modern wuxia did you try? Since I'm quite new to the genre I'm happy with any feedback. I have a feeling that just like with anime I'd be better off with more modern series rather than trying the old stuff, no matter how classic and revered. At least until I have more of a grasp of and appreciation for the genre, anyway. I realised with anime that even though I can appreciate the older classics, I will probably never enjoy them as much as I do the modern series: Grand Teacher Onizuka and Initial D come to mind.

    Or to put it another way, since Yuli mentioned Tolkien: If I was given a choice, I'd choose modern fantasy series like Sanderson's Mistborn over Tolkien's LOTR every time. Doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the old classics or how influential they were and still are.

    As I said, I read Coiling Dragon and loved it. I suppose I haven't read a classic wuxia yet, since both CD and WW's Cradle series are actually xianxia, if I understand correctly, but I'm not too interested in the fine distinctions just yet. I've heard I Shall Seal The Heavens is quite good, but I've decided to try Martial God Asura first because it's shorter than ISSTH.

    FYI: Here are some links to wuxia and xianxia I looked at while trying to find out which are the most popular at the moment.



    https://www.novelupdates.com/series-ranking/?rank=popular

    http://m.wuxiaworld.co/top/all.html
     
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  12. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Since I don't watch many movies and my book reading has declined over the years, it sounds like Wuxia could be the perfect step after litRPG (yes, litRPG is actually my "return" to regular reading).
     
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  13. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    Right now the first volume of Will Wight's Cradle is free!

     
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  14. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yeah, I know what you mean. It's not I'm not open to modern wuxia. I've just tried too many of them and found all of them pretty badly written. And I'm not asking a lot -- I just want some decent prose, a good story, likeable characters and a certain level of emotional maturity, but what I've found so far seems to be pure wish-fulfillment and harem. That was about ten years ago, though, so maybe things have improved since then and there are now decent stories out.

    The thing is I grew up when wuxia was less 'magical' and more 'historical', so I guess I'm also looking for a certain kind of historical flavor too. A recent adaptation I really enjoyed was Nirvana in Fire, but that was more probably more Count of Monte Cristo than wuxia.

    While I don't think anything comes close to Tolkien, I greatly enjoy modern fantasy when they're well-written. I really love the Locke Lamorra series which I think is way more 'fun' to read than Tolkien. I'm certainly open for suggestions for good modern wuxia, but I'm rather picky, and I've reached an age when I'm looking for a bit more than just 'fast-paced fun', so I want books that challenge me a bit as well.
     
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  15. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I picked up and dropped so many modern wuxia (modern as in 'ten years ago when I was a wee child') that I don't remember the name of. There was one promising one I was following for a while, which was decently well-written. All I remember is that it was fun and there was a secondary character called Han Bai. I did a search and that seems to be Talisman Emperor (?) -- My memory's kinda hazy and I only read up to what was translated at the time and the translator was taking a break so I never continued.

    One thing though is that Jin Yong is very different from Tolkien in that he is not 'high-brow'. His works are actually action-packed and fun to read. He was doing 'daily chapters' for the newspaper he was the editor of for a while and that was what essentially sold the newspaper. If I could use one word to describe his works, it would be 'colorful'. You get lots of fantastical stuff -- crazy kung fu masters, disfigured bad guys, masked strangers, kidnappings, poisons, interesting kung fu techniques, and weird, weird situations characters find themselves stuck in. Some parts are hilarious, some parts are tear-jerking. There are lots of action, but lots of emotions as well. And almost everything is set against a historical backdrop and he throws in historical tidbits that make his work feel very well-grounded, and all this without sacrificing the fun. The stories start slow, but once you get into them they're brilliantly woven. (The Legend of the Condor Heroes starts with the MC's parents, and the MC spends quite a bit of time as a child. The real story starts when he turns 18.) I love both Condor Heroes series, and Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, as well as The Smiling, Proud Wanderer which I think are his most well-loved and well-known works.

    Another 'classic' author, Gu Long, wrote 'pop' classics. His works are shorter, faster and less complex, and definitely a lot more pop-py. The MCs are usually already OP at the beginning of the story. His focus seems to be male friendship, and in some there's a hint of sexism that I find a bit off-putting (girls are either innocent brainless damsels or evil bitches), but a lot of people really like his aloof, quick, 'pseudo-philosophy' style, which is pleasant to read as long as you don't really think about it (then it doesn't make that much sense). His most popular work seems to be Xiao Li Fei Dao (the MC uses throwing knives as a weapon) -- but for some reason I kinda liked this very short one called San-Shaoye ('Third Young Master'). Not sure if they're translated anywhere. I remember enjoying his Chu Liuxiang series (wuxia murder mysteries!) -- the guy is surrounded by pretty girls but is actually only in a relationship with one of them (despite what the world thinks and condemns him for) and he goes around fighting bad guys and evil cults while solving mysteries in a fantastical version of ancient China.
     
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  16. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    Tolkien is objectively terrible as a writer though.

    Don’t @ me.
     
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  17. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    Thanks for the recommendations!

    I agree, but hoo-boy I've have had to dodge some poisonous daggers aimed my way when I dared to voice my opinion in fantasy forums. I try to make it clear that I think he was a brilliant world-builder and deserves all the fame and acclaim, but all they hear is boring writer. ::))
     
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  18. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yeah, Tolkien is all world-building and just that. The whole thing is just a huge linguistics experiment, which is exactly why I love it. (Plus a lot of indulgent 'look and feel', 'mood and tone' moments, which I also love) And I like it that he's just so in his own world doing his own thing that it's just... kinda special... [Like, oh, ya, I'm just going to insert a 5-page poem filled with words people don't understand here and try to get internal rhymes going, don't mind me] :p

    Jin Yong and Tolkien are my absolute favorite writers but I'd actually rate Jin Yong a bit higher, because of the perfect balance between entertainment and literariness (and humanism).
     
  19. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    He was literary not pulp... Long, drawn out descriptions...about the flora and fauna and history and, oh, by the way, another side-branch...

    I write (try to) pulp/genre...
     
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  20. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    Tolkien built a beautiful world and populated it entirely with cardboard cutouts.
     




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