The Desolate Era

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Fate had never been kind to Ji Ning. Wracked by illnesses and infirm his entire life on Earth, Ning knew early on that he would die as a teenager. What he didn’t know was that there really was such a thing as life after death, and that the universe was a far larger place than he thought. A lucky twist of fate (one of the few in Ning’s life) meant that Ning was reborn into a world of Immortals and monsters, of Ki Refiners and powerful Fiendgods, a world where Dynasties lasted for millions of years.

A world which is both greater and yet also smaller than he ever could imagine.

He would have the opportunity to join them, and in this life, Ning swore to himself, he would never let himself be weak again! The Era he was born into was a Desolate one, but Ning would make it his era.

The Desolate Era average rating 4.3/5 - 1089 user ratings
Associated Names
One entry per line
Age of Desolation
DE
Mãng Hoang Kỷ
Mǎng Huāng Jì
The Legend of Jade Sword (official English title of drama and cartoon version)
莽荒纪
Related Series
Coiling Dragon (Chinese Novel)
Inch of Radiance (Chinese Novel)
Stellar Transformation (Chinese Novel)
The Nine Cauldrons (Chinese Novel)
Lord Xue Ying (Chinese Novel)
Legend of Xingfeng (Chinese Novel)
Recommendations
Coiling Dragon (14)
I Shall Seal the Heavens (8)
The Nine Cauldrons (7)
Stellar Transformation (7)
Swallowed Star (6)
Heavenly Jewel Change (3)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/16/17 Wuxiaworld v22c6v22c6
01/16/17 Wuxiaworld v22c5v22c5
01/14/17 Wuxiaworld v22c4v22c4
01/13/17 Wuxiaworld v22c3v22c3
01/13/17 Wuxiaworld v22c2v22c2
01/12/17 Wuxiaworld v22c1v22c1
01/11/17 Wuxiaworld v21c37v21c37
01/11/17 Wuxiaworld v21c36v21c36
01/10/17 Wuxiaworld v21c35v21c35
01/09/17 Wuxiaworld v21c34v21c34
01/08/17 Wuxiaworld v21c33v21c33
01/07/17 Wuxiaworld v21c32v21c32
01/06/17 Wuxiaworld v21c31v21c31
01/05/17 Wuxiaworld v21c30v21c30
01/05/17 Wuxiaworld v21c29v21c29
Write a Review
63 Reviews sorted by


bloomsburyhouse
bloomsburyhouse
January 15, 2017
Status: Completed
Read the whole series in Chinese.
... more>>
Spoiler

Actually quite good. There were a lot of unexpected plot twists for me. I think it's fair to say that this novel has departed from a lot of the cliches of other xianxia. MC is not always incredibly lucky, and there are times when he loses.

I won't spoil or summarize; other people have done that. I blazed through most of the novel and ignored a lot of the filler, so maybe some people who took their time with the novel will have better insight. From my point of view, reflecting back on the experience, it was very not bad. 4/5

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Feuer Frei
Feuer Frei rated it
January 4, 2017
Status: v21c28
This is the first novel by IET that I've read. That being said.

Characters: The novel focuses almost entirely on the MC. Non-MC characters get no character development. Bad guys are either cannon fodder or dime-a-dozen villains with no development that the MC mows down in a few short chapters. Non-baddy characters are mostly temporary companions and completely forgettable, there is zero relationship building done in the novel between the MC and theses people who he's supposedly deeply attached too. The MC's own daughter got little more... more>> than a few paragraphs and she's like over a hundred years old now.

World-building: Shits big, characters travel near the speed of light all over the place. Little is done to set a "stage" for this novel beyond, "MC is in a forest, MC is in the mountains, MC is on a different planet/dimension/etc".

Story: I actually enjoyed most of the story despite my criticism of the above, right up til the end of the Grand Xia Relmwar. The story has gotten progressively worse and less believable after that, the MC becomes progressively more evil yet the author continues to present him as the "good guy". <<less
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BlinkToThePast
BlinkToThePast rated it
May 15, 2016
Status: v13c4
This novel is a very well polished IET novel. I like it, If I wanted to share CN with someone who has never read it I'd pick this.

So Lets get it out of the way and say this novel does nothing revolutionary when compared with IET's other novels. However, revolutions do not always end well or for the better. He has mastered the incremental improvement.

We have a reincarnated protagonist that ended that way because he was lucky enough to be at the crossroads of death when a larger (plot-relevant) events... more>> shunts him off course and into the beginning of the story. He reincarnated with his memory and proceeds to be a well-balanced MC. Except for the occasional bouts of "VENGEANCE, KILL KILL KILL, CHOP CHOP CHOP". he is a relatively level headed main character who develops in a nice steady way (as much as any genius can).

There is an established Karma system set up that means if you kill evildoers/do good you gain good karma and by doing evil you gain bad Karma. This can actually be used to cultivate by some and the concept is taken so seriously that Empires take heed to accumulate good Karma using different means. It also gives a reason why the MC can be righteous yet rain fire and brimstone on his enemies without karmic reproach.

The thing I like best about this novel is the beautiful expressions of the Dao IET manages to convey in his characters abilities and powerups. It adds a great depth to his standard linear power setup. The Dao domains are a brilliant example of how simplistic concepts like rain can be made into a terrifying force or a beautiful attack. In fact, I'd say the battles in general in this novel have been well-written and brilliantly translated. It reminds me of how ATG draws people in with the same ability. I hope that is not lost as the scale increases.

This novel does a *better* job of not forgetting minor character immediately but it still falls victim to the power creep effect where people simply lose their relevance as the MC grows in power and influence. However, IET does put some effort into making the characters relevant and fleshed out while they are there. So far the MC has collected a nice gaggle of loyal, likable and powerful friends and I hope they stay part of the plot later.

His enemies have so far escaped the trap of being one-dimensional, not that any are super intellegent by any stretch. On the whole, to me, they are nothing to write home about. Others might disagree with me given how linked some of them have been to the plot and the familial struggles the MC has gone through.

In terms of the Romance in this novel, it's OK. At first it was 'meeeeeeeeh' then 'oh, that's reasonable and mature' back to a rushed 'meh' to me. But then again it's still developing and it's IET. All you non-harem shippers will be having a hell of a time ramming every harem hopeful in sight.

This is a nice round 5 star for me. Partially due to the fact that I can clearly see how IET has improved from the earlier novels that first introduced me to CN and mostly because this is just an enjoyable read with a great translator. Never bored here. <<less
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strixflash
strixflash rated it
September 25, 2016
Status: v18c10
Another ripoff by IET of his own previous work. If you have read one of his novel than you have read them all!

No creativity at all. He just like to exaggerate details (millions of kilometers territory, trillion worlds, 100 km giant, etc) for he believes that means strong world building ~_~

Why did I say it was a ripoff of his previous work? Let's see:

1. MC would always be born in a strong clan who has large influence in their area but then we learn that the clan is just trash.... more>>

2. MC' father would be strict. MC would strive for his affection.

3. The clan has suffered grave injustice in every novel. MC would always help his clan achieve revenge. All the times revenge is focused on his mother's enemy. Yeap...Coiling Dragon, Stellar Transformations and now this novel.

4. How could normal measurement be sufficient? Everything has to be exaggerated. Trillions of worlds,Millions of km territory, thousands of kingdoms, 100 km giants...why? Do they serve any role? Nope! Just plain stupid exaggeration.

5. Descent of 0IQ arrogant enemies. Every enemy is same. Author would like to say that the enemies are smart and cautious but at the end they are plain idiots.

6. Stupid love interest. God I hate the romance in IET's works especially after reading Stellar Transformations. This book is also pretty much same in that regard later on. That annoying girl serves his motivation for powering up! How genuine!

I could go on. You might think that they are used in every xianxia...nope. IET literally copy-paste his works. His protagonists are same. Everything is damn same including the ending. <<less
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XavierDark
XavierDark rated it
May 22, 2016
Status: v13c14
I wanted to write this review to express how much I've enjoyed reading this novel and to express my thanks to the translators. I absolutely enjoy the writing, the plot, the characters etc. Also, I wanted to write a few characteristics which, in my opinion, differentiate the novel from most of the same genre:

+Great writing which doesn't get boring or needlessly complicated.
+Quality translation.
+Detailed world building(though the author does tend to hyperbolize a lot of details).
+Well written action scenes.
+The main antagonists have some depth to them and... more>> they don't just go around thinking they are the center of the world, most immortals don't wish to throw away their life. The ones that do are a very small minority and when they realize the difference in power they either try to escape or plead for their life, differently from most other novels of the same genre where they would just refuse to accept reality.
+Most minor characters aren't forgotten and they re-appear, albeit shortly, constantly during the story, while in other novels they just disappear completely.
+Most of the characters have an actual backstory.
+The protagonist cares about his clan and doesn't go around forgetting them after he grows powerful, he constantly returns trying to improve it.
+Good character development.
+Slow, but fulfilling romance.
+For me at least, the protagonist has a great personality.
*Neither arrogant nor annoying. *Intelligent. *Realistic. *Mature. *Loyal. *Level-headed/equanimous.

@Delroy I really have no clue where the protagonist was branded as a "saint" in his previous or current life. He wasn't some sort of holy man who went around the world helping every person he saw or something. He was ill all his life and was stuck living locked in his room, so as to pass time he started earning money online. Then, because he knew he was going to eventually die and his parents were already rich, he decided to give the money he earned to charity, saving a lot of lives. While that makes him a good person, that doesn't make him some sort of saint who embodies the seven virtues and goes crazy the moment he hears an injustice being committed, or else everyone who has donated money sometimes in their life to charity is a saint.

Also, having a lot of karmic points means you have done a lot of good deeds, it does not mean you have a heart full of kindness. If a terrible demon started saving lives to accumulate karmic points, he would get those karmic points even though his heart is pitch black. It's like a reward system for doing good or bad deeds it isn't a system to judge your personality. You could have a lot of karmic points simply because you accomplished a lot of good deeds in your previous life, even if you had no memories of it. <<less
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Delroy
Delroy rated it
March 24, 2016
Status: --
I've got to say, while I really nomally love IET's other works, this one just came off as unpalatable for me. In as much as it started off really well with a protagonist that was at least morally upright, it quickly went down the gutter.

The first thing that made it a no no was that while the mc was previously described as a saint in the previous world, the moment he came to this new one , he became a shitbag hypocrite. I have no qualms with protagonists who are... more>> not good. In fact, in the right circumstances, I have no problems with protagonists who are evil, however when you go about making a protagonist who kills everything for no reason whatsoever and still brand him a saint, then you should know that there is something wrong with you.

For example, when the MC came into this new world, even after seeing slaves he was just like "ooh, whatever" . 'Ooh whatever?' You were a saint from friggin modern day earth what the hell is with that kind of reaction. More so, what makes it even worse is that a few chapters later the author comes up all in our faces like "Ji Ning had come to develop a calm and benevolent soul as he had been meditating to the *spoiler* since he was born.

All in all, the hypocrisy and double standards in this one is what ruined for me. Other than that, I am pretty sure that those of you that are numb to such things will enjoy the story pretty well.

P.S: This story is considerably darker than all of IET's other novels so I would reccomend those of you that cannot hundle such things to back away early. <<less
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Apocalypse
Apocalypse rated it
May 2, 2016
Status: --
I have read all of IET's translated works and this is the best one so far! Main character Ji Ning is one of the most calm, cool-headed protagonist that can be found. He is neither servile nor arrogant and treats everyone with due respect. (Unless they're asking for it, in which case it's whooping time.) He get's OP pretty early among his age group, but that does not mean that he can, as Chinese say, "show disdain to all creations" yet.

Action scenes are described in a very intriguing way,... more>> you won't get bored reading a couple non-stop action chapters. World building and power system is fabulous! As it is IET's forte. Romance... Well, it's acceptable. It has clearly improved from his previous novels by a large margin... so that's a plus from me.

Over-all this gets 5/5 from me, and is highly recommended! <<less
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kedar080340119014
kedar080340119014 rated it
June 7, 2016
Status: v42c2
This review will be quite controversial. I have read every popular IET novel I could get my hands on. How Should I say this....The Desolate Era looks, reads and progresses like EVERY OTHER IET NOVEL EVER. There is ABSOLUTELY no divergence from other usual IET novels like CD, ST, Lord Xue Ying and so on. If you have read CD or ST then by volume 20 or so you will start to see some tremendous similarities to CD or ST.

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Spoiler

Objectively speaking only talking about Desolate Era, it is a decent novel till volume 11. Afterwards, it starts to become boring. The fights described in the novel are poorly done with just bang bang sfx and no imagination put to them at all. Secondly, there is lack of any proper story. And readers will start to feel this towards end of volume 24. Volume 24 is when the civil war in Grand Xia Dynasty ends. After that till volume 42 (till what I have read), there is no substantial story AT ALL. Its just usual progression with no real substance. The MC only wishes to resurrect his lover. But for this to go through 20 WHOLE volumes with 30-35 chapters in each volume is asking too much from readers. This is one of the flaws of all IET novels. They are usually too long with story development happening too far and few in between the chapters. This happened in Stellar transformations, Coiling Dragon and Lord Xue Ying. Plus, if you have read other IET novels that you will know that all the MCs are interchangeable. There is no difference in the personalities of MC in ST,CD or any other IET novels.

You could put Qin yu in CD or Linley in DE and it would hardly make any difference. Plus, the entire story is just about MC. There is hardly any interesting side characters. If you are looking for casual read go on ahead, the LN is OK till volume 24. After that it just gets progressively worse with author just expanding the power realms and world building as story goes on. Oh you think Daofather is most powerful??! Oh but wait till you reach volume 24 to realize that they are nothing but regular guys when you go beyond three-realms....WTF...

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Shishin
Shishin rated it
May 14, 2016
Status: v13c4
I'm currently at v13c4

The best things about this novel are, it has the most humble MC. MC has no harem or pervert thought, not selfish, have great responsibility towards his clan, have great loyalty (even enemies have loyalty towards themselves), have great ambition, hardworking, it is hard to find flaw from his personality.

While the bad thing about this novel is the time skip. The time skip is real in this novel, sometime 3 years, 5 years then 9 years. It can't be help because the age of immortals most of... more>> them are hundreds of years. Some are thousands and even reach millions. <<less
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PustardPie
PustardPie rated it
July 14, 2016
Status: v1c1
There's no getting around the fact that IET is a bad writer who frequently tells instead of shows, shirks characterization, and has a tendency to shove aside non-main characters when power levels grow.

That being said I'd still take him over 99% of the other xianxia/xuanhuan/whatecer writers being translated today. Even when his web novels fail as actual novels on many levels they're still enjoyable as an encapsulation of a mortal cultivating to immortality.
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Saitama.sensei
Saitama.sensei rated it
June 16, 2016
Status: v14c12
Honestly I've read quite a few Chinese xianxia novels and imo this is BY FAAAR THE BEST! And I don't I'm quite stingy in rating things, especially novels. Very well written and extremely well translated, obviously even if it's written well, if it isn't translated well then it's useless. The pace of the story is great and really builds up a solid foundation for the MC as well as those around him. I highly recommend this to all people who have yet to be bewitched by this amazing novel!
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cognauticcreix
cognauticcreix rated it
December 1, 2016
Status: v23
Disclaimer: I only read the first 23 volumes, which is
... more>>
Spoiler

just before Ji Ning leaves the Fuxi...galaxy?

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Desolate Era manages to both improve upon and be a totally unimaginative instantiation of I Eat Tomatoes works at the same time.

On the upside, the universe of DE draws heavily on real Chinese mythology and contains a lush world with attractive locales and memorable scenes. DE is simply a huge aesthetic improvement on the its two predecessors. The main character, Ji Ning, although you shouldn't believe the whole "fate hasn't been kind to Ji Ning" shit, because it's not true, is entertaining to read about, and he comes across several actual moral dilemmas and personal problems. Additionally,

Spoiler

His family actually dies in this one, and there's an actual sense of his loneliness and the sacrifices he had to make. However, I don't know whether he resurrects his family in the end, which, if he did, would almost make me want to deduct a star from the rating.

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The martial arts are much more picturesque and enjoyable to envision and think about, and there are elements of pyschology mildly interwoven with them, giving them a little more tasteful punch and reminding somewhat of Linley's training voyage in CD, perhaps the best section of that novel.

Spoiler

Ji Ning's first girlfriend actually ISN'T his one true love, which is nice, although his second is.

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Some scenes manage to impart a sense of tranquility and grandiosity that in his other works have totally fallen slack. There's really a lot of good to say about DE, especially the first quarter or so.

However...

It ends up being a lot more of the same shit. Power divided into levels, absurd deus ex machina, a continual unveliing of power levels and absurd increases in scale.

Spoiler

IET brings back science fiction elements into DE, except even more egregiously. The whole Chinese pantheon is actually just a bunch of scrubs in some weird larger universe rife with kooky aliens and spaceships. This totally butchers the fantastic and mythic qualities of DE and makes it another kooky entry into an already kooky bibliography.

As I said in my review of Stellar Transformations, there's nothing inherently wrong with a spatial setting, but it undermines the spirituality and aesthetics already present inside the novel. Chinese mythology has a broad set of associations, mixtures of bureaucracy, profundity, awe, and quaintness. Having the Jade Emporer going out in squads with his bros to another planet to do battle with googly-eyed aliens is one of the most absurd and cognitively dissonant ideas I've ever heard! The fact that not only does this occur, but all of the Chinese Pantheon is parameterized in a levelled system of strength, power, and ability, totally demolishes the ambiguity and mysticism surounding them. It's to the point where even *karma* is stratified in the novel!

Finally, IET needs to figure out how to have his characters deal with loss. Having them all romp across the universe because they're unable to accept death of close ones, and then having them succeeding is acceptable once, but a childish habit when spread across multiple novels...

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I sincerely recommend the first half of this novel, but quality wanes near the ending of that half, and what comes after I cannot comment on. <<less
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iSYNDICATE
iSYNDICATE rated it
October 6, 2016
Status: v21c28
Do yourself a favor and read the da*n novel.

Super fun read. Although a bit similar to his other work but hey I ain't complaining. Start was a little slow but slowly it keeps building up your hunger for chapters and before you know it you have to wait.

Don't expect any good romance as IET has already proven in his other work.

... more>> A must read, especially if you're out of novels to read like me

Update: would rate it 4.5/5. Currently it's starting to get irritating because if the 3-realms war arc which is I think the biggest arc spanning over book 17/18-book 23. Don't know why is it taking so long. Wished the translation was around 15-20 chapters like ISSTH or even 20-28 chapters like MGA <<less
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jacobpaige
jacobpaige rated it
January 10, 2016
Status: --
If you like IET's other works and are looking for more of the same, then you'll like this. If you're looking for something original or different or with any sort of depth, read something else.
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YarfYarfDDS
YarfYarfDDS rated it
March 22, 2016
Status: --
Love this series, it’s a heartwarming tale of a bedridden boy dying without sin or choice only to finally have a choice at his own destiny and life in another world. He then gets another set of parents, exotic uncles and flat out more thrilling society bashing choices as his life goes on. Oh the sweet sorrow, misery and challenges he has to face, It just makes you wanna root for him more. And after each life threatening disasters, he just comes out stronger, better and way more heaven defying.... more>>

Just finish reading until the middle volumes, you will be hooked, heartbroken and probably gonna start have an addiction problem <<less
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daf rated it
October 2, 2016
Status: v18c39
Top three on the site. Decent plot. Best action. Slow but decent romance. World building is top notch. Fighting is drawn out, but the author still makes you care. Highly recommended.
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rincewind
rincewind rated it
July 28, 2016
Status: v16c1
Best IET novel I've read but that does not say much as IET is a bad author, in true IET fashion the starting books are good and as the MC grows in power he loses his character and the plot is centered no , the plot IS revenge nothing deeper nothing better just edgy teen stuff.

The battles are quite boring and the powers not described correctly and seem kind of stupid, the world building makes little sense all in all only saving grace is the starting books that are quite... more>> good and none of these negatives are there strangely. <<less
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craBebe
craBebe rated it
May 15, 2016
Status: --
Anything by IET is fantastic and this is probably my favorite work of his. The scale that DE has compared to his other works feels much more vast, and the world building feels much more fleshed out than some of his other works. Easily one of my favorite reads right now and one I look forward to on a daily basis. If you haven't picked this one up yet, just do. IET's an absolute master when it comes to xianxia and it's remarkable how he's able to pace his story... more>> so well given the chapter to chapter release format.

Give it a go if you haven't yet, you won't regret it. <<less
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ElDorado
ElDorado rated it
June 2, 2016
Status: v45c17
Finished reading this a while ago. Purely as a story, Desolate Era is something I would give a two point five. But as a 'training montage/ journey to godhood and beyond' of a character from weak to strong, I believe that no other author in this genre does a better job than IET.
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intisntwis
intisntwis rated it
May 17, 2016
Status: v13c7
I absolutely love this series. It is in my top 5. I actually enjoy most of IET's works. Coiling Dragon is my favorite (also the first xianxia I read).

This novel has a lot of philosophical elements, it has cultivation, a strong male lead. I think the worst parts are actually the "fight" scenes, which is actually not even what I read or look forward too in this story. I love the plot, the constant improvements and the other characters that get introduced. I especially love the philosophical insights... more>> even if the author doesn't touch too deeply into them in this novel.

If you like Coiling Dragon or God's Trials, I would definitely give this a shot. <<less
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KingCahir
KingCahir rated it
June 7, 2016
Status: v14c1
Honestly if you read anything from IET then you know what your getting yourself into. The store is great, tho it get a little to fast and not CD, but that does not take away from the store, at the same time CD was 18 books this is double that so I kind of understand. Anyways great store, great fight scene and great vileness.
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Gauldoth
Gauldoth rated it
June 2, 2016
Status: v13c2
After Coiling Dragon and Swallowed Star, the author IET give us another great novel with a story line much more rich. He gave more personality to the MC and secondaries characters. I cried sometimes, i laugh too but most off all i was exited to read the next chapter as soon as possible!

So go read with me and like thousands before, this great story to enjoy your time.
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