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Old 11-24-2015, 01:42 AM   #1
Xianxia
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Chinese fantasy novels recommendations (just as good as Western fantasy)

Wuxia and xianxia are the two most popular Chinese fantasy genre.

I have been reading a lot of xianxia lately (in English of course since I can't read Chinese characters) through fan translations. In my opinion, they are just as enjoyable as Western fantasy (GRRM, Tolkien, Jordan, Sanderson, Rothfuss, Abercrombie etc...).

My recommendations for xianxia (immortal heroes) fantasy series:

Against the Gods 9.5/10 (wuxiaworld translating)
Tales of Demons and Gods 9.5/10 (wuxiaworld translating)
I Shall Seal the Heavens 9.5/10 (wuxiaworld translating)
Douluo Dalu (Battle Continent) 9.5/10
The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor 9.5/10 ------ highly recommended for those who are interested in Virtual Reality gaming
Battle Through the Heavens 9/10
Way of Choice 9/10
Wu Dong Qian Kun 8.5/10
Coiling Dragon 8.5/10
The Desolate Era 8.5/10
The Great Ruler 8.5/10
Sealed Divine Throne 8.5/10
Martial God Asura 8/10
Mad God 8/10
Stellar Transformation 7.5/10
Peerless Martial God 7.5/10
Chaotic Sword God 7/10


I haven't read any wuxia though but will soon.




More novels:

True Martial World 9.5/10
I'm Really a Superstar 9.5/10
Emperor's Domination 9.5/10
Martial World 9/10
Demon's Diary 9/10
Heavenly Jewel Change 9/10
Perfect World 9/10
The Empyrean Overlord 9/10
Transcending the Nine Heavens 9/10
Realms In The Firmament 9/10
A Record of a Mortal’s Journey to Immortality 8.5/10
The Nine Cauldrons 8.5/10 (skip volume 1 long prologue)

Last edited by Xianxia; 07-12-2016 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 11-24-2015, 08:14 PM   #2
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Interesting. I really can't think of a lot of Chinese fantasy that I've read, at least not fantasy that was originally published in China. Lot's of fantasy written by Western authors set in China, though. I wonder if they are covered by copyright laws here in the west.
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:20 PM   #3
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That's very impressive, thanks for providing a recommendations list as well. I wonder if you can buy any of them from an Indigo branch? Aside from that, I was hoping to give a few titles but realized I only know of a few chinese fairy tales and Buddhist tales I was told as a kid.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:10 AM   #4
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Read The Grace of Kings (Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu this summer. Didn't like it at all. Character development was non existent, repetitive storytelling with a simplistic plot. One main character is just dumb. That is his main thing. No female characters of any importance. Huge cast of paper thin characters that contributed very little, lazy world building (one country is just farmers, the other just fishermen, the other just warriors, etc etc), inconsistencies in technologies used (gas propelled airships and battle ships propelled by rowing). In one word a disappointment.
I really wanted to like it because I love reading fantasy from non anglo-saxon traditions, but alas.
Thank you for the recommendation list, maybe I'll have better luck with some of those.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:02 AM   #5
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Are you looking specifically for work by authors who live in non-western countries, or simply for work by authors with Asian heritage?

If the latter, you might try Aliette de Bodard. I'm more familiar with her science fiction ("On A Red Station, Drifting", "Citadel of Weeping Pearls"), but she's just released a Fantasy series, as well.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:23 AM   #6
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The translation of Coiling Dragon got completed recently. I found an ePub and will start reading tonight.

I will see how good they are. I am reluctant to read fan translation as they are usually not good at all, I am often disappointed with fan translations of light novels I read after watching their shows. Mangas are usually nicely translated but they only dialog and thus much easier.

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Old 11-30-2015, 08:43 AM   #7
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I enjoyed Liu's Grace of Kings quite a lot--though I wasn't blown away, or anything. Of course I'm very rarely "blown away" by any fantasy books these days. Good thing I don't really require anything other than a modicum of steady amusement when reading it. I tend to avoid fantasy (and its authors/proponents) who take themselves--and fantasy itself--too seriously.

Thanks for the list! I'll keep an eye out for translations.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:05 AM   #8
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According to novelupdates (think of it as goodreads for Asian fantasy novels)

Against the Gods

Rating(4.6 / 5.0, 340 votes)
5 82% (279 votes)
4 9% (30 votes)
3 4% (12 votes)
2 1% (4 votes)
1 4% (15 votes)

Tales of Demons and Gods

Rating(4.5 / 5.0, 242 votes)
5 73% (177 votes)
4 15% (36 votes)
3 3% (8 votes)
2 3% (7 votes)
1 6% (14 votes)

I Shall Seal the Heavens

Rating(4.7 / 5.0, 241 votes)
5 84% (203 votes)
4 10% (24 votes)
3 2% (6 votes)
2 1% (2 votes)
1 2% (6 votes)

I Shall Seal the Heavens is probably on par with A song of ice and fire in term of scope, world building, action etc...

Slow at first but after it picks up, WOW...
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:18 AM   #9
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Well, I finished the one Wuxiaworld published on Amazon (something called Martial God Asura) and it was spectacularly bad. I have no proper words to explain how bad it was, you should read it just for that. It is simply unbelievable. It is actually so bad, it is good if that is a thing.

Anyway, it was seriously weird. At least read one, and then hope you can forget it. Bad fanfiction shines in comparison.

It is not the writing that is bad, it has a weird style but not strictly a worse one. It is the story, the characters, the world and most of all the way it takes itself seriously. If all of these web novels are like this, there must be something very wrong with China. I could only hope that Martial God Asura isn't a good example of the genre.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GERGE View Post
Well, I finished the one Wuxiaworld published on Amazon (something called Martial God Asura) and it was spectacularly bad. I have no proper words to explain how bad it was, you should read it just for that. It is simply unbelievable. It is actually so bad, it is good if that is a thing.

Anyway, it was seriously weird. At least read one, and then hope you can forget it. Bad fanfiction shines in comparison.

It is not the writing that is bad, it has a weird style but not strictly a worse one. It is the story, the characters, the world and most of all the way it takes itself seriously. If all of these web novels are like this, there must be something very wrong with China. I could only hope that Martial God Asura isn't a good example of the genre.
Martial God Asura is not a good introducer to xianxia fantasy.

Try this one

Against the Gods
http://www.wuxiaworld.com/atg-index/prologue/

Rating(4.6 / 5.0, 357 votes)
5 82% (293 votes)
4 9% (33 votes)
3 3% (12 votes)
2 1% (4 votes)
1 4% (15 votes)
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:19 PM   #11
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It's modern, not classic, but I really enjoyed reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. "A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore"
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In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:22 PM   #12
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As far as I'm concerned, Wuxia begins and ends with Jin Yong. Not much of his stuff is published in English (officially, plenty of fan translations exist), so you're SOL if you can't read Chinese.

Outlaws of the Marsh (aka The Water Margin) by Shi Nai'an is a classic piece of Chinese literature that arguably started the entire wuxia genre and does have numerous English translations (Sidney Shapiro's is the best. Pearl Buck's translation reads well but leaves out some of the more questionable actions of the heroes... like cannibalism.)
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:44 AM   #13
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Some impressive stats from Wuxiaworld. Especially 1.35 million unique visitors so far this December.

http://www.wuxiaworld.com/wuxiaworld...ry/#more-38318

Quote:
Daily/Monthly Records:

Highest daily pageviews: December 20, we had 3.16 million pageviews (on June 16th, we had 858k pageviews)
Highest active users at one time: On December 20, we had 8352 active users on at once (on May 28, we had 3800 active users on)
Highest daily unique visitors IP: On December 21, we had 159,255 users (on June 19, we had 56,928 visitors)
Total unique visitors in Dec: 1,355,185 (up from 445,715 in June)

Total/Lifetime Stats:

Lifetime pageviews: 324.8 million (up from 60.5 million in June)
Lifetime comments: 197,323 (up from 71,976 comments in June)
Total registered users: 12,269, after deletion of several thousand bot-accounts (up from 8919 in June)
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:08 PM   #14
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In celebration of the 300 chapters translated to English, the author of Against the Gods posted a thank you message to overseas readers:

http://www.wuxiaworld.com/atg-chapte...om-the-author/

Quote:
After a nice and long chat with him, I asked him for a message to pass onto the the readers overseas:



“得知自己的文被翻译成英文, 有了海外读者,惊喜万分,感谢海外读者们的喜爱和支持,火星会更加努力!” – 火星引力

“Knowing that my work had been translated into English, and acquired readers overseas, I am extremely surprised and overjoyed. I thank the oversea readers for their adoration and support, Mars will work even harder!” – Mars Gravity
This series is very enjoyable. One of the top fantasy series I have ever read.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:17 AM   #15
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The translation of Coiling Dragon got completed recently. I found an ePub and will start reading tonight.
I discovered this one recently as well. Actually I stumbled over the comic adaption and that got me linked to the book. It's really massive, the whole story has 5000+ pages (or at least that's what my e-reader claims). I am halfway through and found it very enjoyable so far. Don't expect it to be a Brandon Sanderson but as far as indies go it's certainly top notch.

Coiling Dragon is quite "serious" fantasy, it has very little jokes/romance, and more fights and learning magic. If I had to compare it to something, it's like reading Dragon Ball without the gags. The main character grows stronger and stronger and stronger but his enemies always raise in strength as well.

Best "free" read I came across in a long time.
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