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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
Return of the Swallow
March 4, 2018
Status: --
It's one of best ancient Chinese ver of Cinderella I have read so far! You can tell that the author put a lot of thought in how the MC acted. She isn't a transmigator, but someone who knows how to conduct herself. While not as clueless as she should considering her background is a bit off, author manage to explain that being a real lady in her blood make her upbringing matters not so much on wild department.

What strike me the most is how MC know when being silent... more>> is more advantegous rather than blabbering cunning words like other female lead in novel. She also acted using her hand once when it's appropriate, and good at being docile but not taken advantage of. This alone make me as reader feel MC being a refined lady doesn't have to be written, you can tell she is. Which also make this MC safe from untrue character's glorifying praises plaguing most Chinese novel.

Kudos for some of her biological family members too, especially her grandma and father for not being biased blind idiots. This can be noted towards the fake lady that get switched with MC, they appear to have bias at first but they have enough brain to see what's good for them and the rest of their family.

This is a good read you won't br ashamed to admit a quality novel you enjoy. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
Empress Running Away with the Ball!
June 20, 2017
Status: c110
Well, first of all... the premise wise this is NOT an original story for Chinese Web Novel. I REPEAT it's not original but the usual terrible husband and white lotus sister. We know how much this setting grows like cancer in web novel community next to Isekai Reincarnation in Japanese web novel, but we can't stop ourselves from loving the various takes available anyway~

However this novel manage to have original takes in this familiar setting.

For one, she is not so ruthless and blindly seeking revenge to her husband and sister.... more>> She did humiliate them but she tried her best in getting the hell out of their way and live leisurely instead. She does fight back when she is cornered, but not overly so. She is a street smart and obviously have extensive knowledge about cuisine so she could have killed her annoying family members but she didn't.

Take note, her specialty seems to be detective like mind and smart mouth to swindle people. So yes, the meat of this novel is reading how cunning she is in earning money and defending herself. This could be boring for some since there romance is still nonexistent by chapter 100 as in... the possibly Male Lead didn't meet her properly yet. The synopsis is also hella misleading if you expect to see that scene by now, it's an intriguing synopsis but... yeah, annoying since we haven't get there yet.

So this is for patient reader looking for comedy and witty MC, as for romance... don't start reading this for it. You would be disappointed. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
If the summary didn't clue you in, be warned before start reading this story because the start is very confusing. Simply because this story start from the 'middle' of timeline before backtracking half-way to the past to explain the start of MC's relationship with the male lead, the emperor.
That aside, the summary hints the female character is very unusual for a woman in ancient era due to two factor. One, she was raised as a boy and go through an interesting puberty period due to gender-bender confusion.
Two, she... more>> got brain damage sometime in the past and since this story is told from first person perspective you can see An Yi while pretty aware for someone with brain damage, we can't say she is completely sane.

So, while her character background will burst our tear duct, she is not bent on revenge or anything. Instead of the usual more competent avenger woman post-tragedy in web novel, we got a girl so burn-out from everything she couldn't even bring herself to care about people who wronged her.

In the other hand the male lead is also quite a damaged soul himself, and the author somehow manage to write a background that justify why the Emperor, Feng Zhao Wen is so possessive and obsessed with An Yi. Surprisingly, not because he is the emperor who did just because he could.

They make interesting dynamic and fresh characters we could love.

However, due to this story told in first person perspective of female lead with loose screw... while it makes the narrative very amusing, in the same time it makes some part of the story unclear especially when it concern other character. Some of them become very flat because An Yi's worldview is screwed. So she'd either gloss over them or has amusing bias about their character. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
The Fierce Illegitimate Miss
July 11, 2017
Status: c54
Another transmigration story, but this is no Princess Wei Yang. At least by RAW chapter 54 this story is less darker than most with how as the summary put it, the MC Yu LingLong didn't use silver tongue like most MC of this genre but her fist. In fact she barely talk about justifying her action, she is like punch first and speak later.

As of now this story seems to lean to comedy rather than political intrigue, there's no dull moment of how Yu LingLong spends her day not taking... more>> her family's attempt to straighten her out. She certainly didn't waste her time to put fear of God in her family. Her relationhip with Male Lead and her maids is especially entertaining.
Spoiler
  • There's nothing romantic about her first meeting with ML, she beat him up but it seems he is a masochist so she got a stalker.
  • Her loyal maid *a staple in this genre for the poor young miss* at first is a timid mouse whose first act whenever her miss is bullied is either throwing herself to be meat shield or suggesting them to run away from home. A dozen chapter later, the angry general dad come and her first reaction is to grab a wooden bat and handed it to Yu Linglong as weapon. It says a lot of how good this girl adapt to her new miss, Yu Linglong is very amused.
  • Her other maid, Ling'er is smarter and come later. She saw ML playing music to woo her miss right in their front yard, her reaction is complimenting the scenery + handsome guy is more beautiful than painting before coming back in and says "Miss, it's the prince again!" as if a prince is no different than a persistent salesman
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All in all, this is a hilarious light reading... however three stars because it's quite unrealistic a girl so unruly in body that never work out *she is a skilled fighter but that body is a weak young miss* can beat
Spoiler

her general dad so easily

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and she is a bit too reliant to violence so far. Not exactly a masterpiece but OK for light reading. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
Youjo Senki
July 26, 2017
Status: v2c2
This series is my favorite in NUP, and still is even if translator drop it. The perk of Youjo Senki is we can enjoy it in three media, light novel, anime and manga. So it's like having three in one delicious treats.

Youjo Senki from the premise alone speaks clearly about the author's opinion about Another world + Reincarnation setting which grows like fungus in JP web novel.

  1. Instead of Mr. Truck, we got Mr. Train and instead of saving a kid the salaryman was murdered simply for doing his job laying off people.
  2. Meeting the God, instead of panicking over his life as an Atheist he just got to argue and nickname said God. He is also not excited at the prospect of second life, his life is done so reincarnating is just a matter of course.
  3. Reincarnating with memory of an adult isn't a walk in the park, and with brain capacity of baby you will sleep off most of it. Baby can't monologue life problem even with adult soul.
  4. Reincarnating to different gender isn't exciting, even if you turn to pretty blond loli since it won't help you get a job and there's no novelty looking at your own body especially if your puberty comes late.
  5. God is God, ask and you shall receive isn't happening here.
  6. Getting reincarnated to past, just a century backward from your era is already a pain as there's no child protection service. You'd wonder how other MC of transmigration series live in older era so conveniently in era where toilet isn't exist yet.
  7. Cheat item from God makes life easier but it's not free, especially since Being X isn't sorry for Tanya's fate.
  8. Hero to your allies is devil for enemy.
Basically Youjo Senki is a series that turns the idea of exciting second life with cheat blessing from God we see in other Isekai reincarnation story. Especially being young prodigy... more>> in magic as shown in early chapter didn't help Tanya much because grown up still can throw her around, and she understandably can't carry riffle that's too heavy for her. The cheat item she got eliminate this problem and gives her OP status, however Carlo Zen prove being overpowered subordinate means nothing if your superior is incompetent in war as larger picture. A person can't carry the whole country on her own.

Tanya did take advantage of her history lesson in the past and shamelessly plagiarize a couple of them as her own to advance her career. It do her no good when she is the one who got saddled to execute that plan.

The enjoyment reading this story come from hilarious misunderstanding caused by Tanya's mindset as modern salaryman, and how she tried her best to appeal to her superior as a competent and patriotic soldier. She is a very unique character, cynical, ambitious, cold and ruthless but in spite of her less than sympathetic quality Tanya appeals to me. All starts from one line of her monologue in the past, where she admit she has all complex known to man and less than a genius but she work hard to earn her salary.

All the good things about Youjo Senki, in this review I will say the bad side too.

This is a light novel, but it seems Carlo Zen is pushing the limit of light with his writing. By right light novel is written is format meant for quick reading, yet Youjo Senki can have wall of text on war theory and history. You can finish reading ten chapters of other series and still half-way through one chapter of Youjo Senki.

Prologue of this light novel is very misleading, originality aside. When I start reading it, I thought Carlo Zen is writing a thesis in form of light novel. This could be pretty jarring to some, and skipping it didn't hurt. It explain Tanya's mindset as a very rationalistic individual and philosophy to get by in life. However... if not for a video in youtube explaining why the prison experiment and school of Chicago relevant to Tanya's character, I will never get why that thesis like prologue is even there.

Yes, info dump is frequent in this light novel. It gets so bad, Skythewood says translating Youjo Senki is like writing university level thesis.

This is an amazing series, but if you want to read the light novel version you have to endure lots of info dump on history, philosophy and economy. If you can't stand it, you should see the manga and anime instead. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
Kusuriya no Hitorigoto
June 30, 2017
Status: c24
This novel have different take on narrating the story of harem in alternative ancient China, and written by a Japanese, which is unusual enough so some of traditional term is mixed up with Japanese. Funnily enough, the author does show influence of typical Chinese web novel in describing one particularly attractive male, throwing flowery words the translator admit is giving her hard time to come up with variation of heavenly, celestial, immortal and so on. Yet not so much when describing female characters, so rather than cringe worthy quirk like... more>> in some Chinese novel it's more of a running gag.

Also, a warning for this translation project. According to current translator, unlike typical web novel the author occasionally use classical Japanese grammar, perhaps to match the setting of this story. So translating it to English is hard and the translator sometimes use awkward phrasing to match the original story. The raw text with online translator is also impossible to read due to this so no reading ahead ;_;

The main character is Mao-Mao, a pharmacist as the summary said. She is level headed, smart and snarky type of MC, and she is almost obsessed with being low key.
Spoiler

It gets to the point she use her make up skill to uglify herself. She is still average looking, but this is emphasized from her point of view and she described her face as neat.

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The story is narrated mostly from her perspective so if you enjoy snarky monologue, this story is your cup of tea. I think what highlight this character the most is her curiosity, and yes... she is a pharmacist/doctor by trade but she is more of a researcher and a mad scientist at that as she even experiment of herself.

The 'possibly' Male lead is a mysterious character, but it's almost confirmed since he has the most interaction with her. Jishin is described by Maomao as a man so sinfully beautiful, it's a shame he is a guy *and since he can walk around in harem, she assume he is an eunuch* and in spite of his 'unclear' but obviously high rank seems to have too much spare time to bother her. Jishin seems to have a lot of interest in her quirky personality, talent and disgust for him. Yes... this guy is pleased Maomao is creeped out by his perfection, though it doesn't stop Maomao from doing dubious errand on his behalf
Spoiler

Like making aphrodisiac/love poison, and very enthusiastic at it in spite of not knowing what Jishin wanted it for.

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SO IF this guy is indeed the male lead we can expect a strange romantic dynamic developing in this story.

Plot wise, it's a slow going as the MC act as problem solver all over the inner court. She is very knowledgeable, and doted on by her superior. Definitely not what you would expect in imperial harem kind of story, as Maomao in spite of being an odd ball isn't a domineering character at all. There's no clear direction of where is this story head for now, but it's pretty enjoyable as slice of life as it is. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
As we all know transmigration story grows like cancer, but since it grows to be a genre instead of overused plot... we can't say it's lack of originality. If anything, diving to this genre test an author's skill. The author is undoubtedly put a lot of effort on character and plot.
First of all, while I haven't checked the history background of this story judging from how much material laid out about culture says a lot about meticulousness in world building. There's not much artistic liberty since this is a... more>> real historical setting, which is rare for transmigration story.

The main character is a forensic doctor as the title says, Yan Ran. What's so admirable about this character is her strong resolve to survive. She transmigrated to the past with only her knowledge and skill to support her. She might be the legal daughter of the family, but she has nonexistent power and her father seems to view her as political marriage tool so far. Even though she is a modern woman with modern mindset of a career coroner, she looks at her present world logically and decided her previous career choice would give her trouble. So she opted to be a doctor and try to make a living once again.

She is also not eager to pay back family members who wronged her, as she logically concluded even if she has solid case against her step-mother it's not worth making a real enemy in Yan family. Which I find a fresh take on transmigrated character, whose vessel more often than not suffer injustice. Yan Ran is more concerned in making livelihood and taking care of her two loyal servants.

Side characters more often than not are weak points in Chinese web novel, more often than not there's not much background and characterization in them. This story is a slow going so there shouldn't be much but some of the character like young teacher Sang Chen has well-thought character. He is not exactly the best one but he is unique and betray the first impression spectacularly.

Yan Ran's servants are also described well in their character. The young servant is cute, loyal but impulsive Wan Lu. Steadier, wise, loyal but bitter Min Xiang mama.

As for the plot... there's no significant progress in romance as we don't even know if we have seen the male lead yet. Possibly there's one appearance but that's it, so when reading this novel don't expect romance as much as drama of Yan Ran exploring life in Ancient Tang Dynasty. This is a slow burn story with good length in each chapter, the drama and Yan Ran's wit is enough to keep reader hooked regardless.
Be warned of graphic description of forensic record, the author definitely did her homework in this. Some delicate issue like prostitution and STD are mentioned so perhaps there's a need for R-15 rating at least.

All in all, this is a rare well written transmigration-timetravel story so I highly recommend it! <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
This story basically use the 'typical' reincarnated to otome girl background at first glance, but this is definitely NOT a fluffy romance. All of these cliche and overused elements are used just as catalysis to jump start the story, it's a vicious and realistic story of politics and military development. The MC also have no cheat power nor advantage of modern knowledge to help her developing her kingdom...

In short, all common Isekai story is nonexistent, and... if you're looking for otome romance all tags in this story while not wrong... more>> is very misleading because there's no love interest, no school yet and the story start with her killing her whole family at 2 and fighting war at 6.

In overall, I am very satisfied with this story that use typical isekai background but keeping the originality if not taking a completely different route.

A couple of warning if you didn't see the last line of summary... Once the war start, it emphasized heavily that war is a completely gray area where chivalry is outdated and moral is overrated. Rather than proving who is right, it's more about who can finish the war with their side in upper hand.
Some of the war scene will push your button as if mention the worst facet of war, such as child soldier, excessive cruelty, raid, and so on. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
Kenkyo, Kenjitsu o Motto ni Ikite Orimasu
August 21, 2017
Status: c154
It's just everyday life of an Ojou-sama, BUT! She is actually a peasant reborn, who foresaw doomed future of her family as villainous love rival of manga she red in her previous life. So what did she do to avoid the destruction flag? What the title says, and save her allowance just in case the destruction flag was inevitable.

The summary says it all, and if you expect something happen in Reika's life with climax and plot twist... there's none whatsoever. At least not on the level of drama worthy that... more>> happen to her, in fact when it happen to other character Reika manage to narrate even a terrible heartbreak to sound like something out of comedic gag. Being a peasant and an otaku in her past life make her nothing like noble Ojou-sama she appear outside, as her joy in life consist of stealing chance to eat peasant food she missed in this bourgeois life.

You'd think this novel would be boring, being slice of life of modern Ojou-sama with no fantasy element whatsoever. But the author manage to make Reika's life interesting with showing different shade of typical shoujo characters from manga she read. The Emperor was actually a romantic idiot with no common sense, and his best friend and sidekick was a black hearted prince. Surprisingly, this novel also explain why the original Reika turn to villainous rich girl she was, and how terrified current Reika was when she realized...
Spoiler

her parents nurtured canon!Reika's obsession for Emperor.

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There's also a lot of misunderstandings about Reika image as Empress of Suiran, general population believe she is the epitome of high class young lady and admire her for her geniality to peasants in school. She did her best acting like an Ojou-sama, and only a few manage to see through Reika and think she is a weirdo.

It says something for quality of writing if the author can make daily life of Reika-sama from primary school to highschool an interesting read without any major time skip. Then by the time you read the last chapter you'd wonder if Reika going to cram school, dieting, and eating sweets is that interesting? You still can't stop though, and that's what make this series wonderful because Reika's antics alone is enough to root you to your seat. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
Katahane no Riku
June 16, 2017
Status: c100
First of all... take FamishedPants' advice on starting to read this story with no expectation that Riku (The main character) is a good person or sympathetic in the long run. The main character is a broken person because she is abandoned cruelly by her family and the brother who could have helped her did not because she is 'not cute enough and weak' so even though her benefactor isn't a good person and not so caring to her she clung to the fact he 'needs' her.

Riku's character design is not... more>> meant to be sympathetic in the first place I think, but portraying a different take of reincarnation plot. Riku isn't using real world knowledge to improve anything and she has no cheat abilities either. She is however... a butterfly effect from careless action of Rook (The canon MC of the game world) where the world in the end is real and no game like he thinks. Ironically, it's this frivolous brother who get more character development than Riku.

The plot spiraled downwards as Riku without mercy killed 'heroines' one by one. Noted that she didn't seek them out for revenge but simply because they're her enemies. She is only vengeful to select few especially her father. She didn't forgive anyone, this characterization isn't sympathetic but realistic for a broken girl in her situation. Her benefactor doesn't value her so much but she is fine with it simply because she is loyal and not dumb. It's perhaps touch the nerve of some, but since the beginning of her relationship with said benefactor it's very clearly one sided and tragic.

Character wise, this series did an amazing job especially how the author dives into some typical portrayal in this love SIM games and how in 'reality' it's not acceptable such as demon princess who was easily swayed to fall in love with protagonist and abandoning her duty as a regent. Which is not okay at all to her people when her allegiance is swayed.

The plot however... too many death in a sense the protagonist Riku seems to be fated to kill all heroines siding with Rook. So it get predictable for a while. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
Legend of Concubine’s Daughter Minglan
May 27, 2017
Status: c20 part2
This is a fresh story for transmigration genre that littered this site. First of all... this story takes a realistic approach on HOW a modern person would find difficulties to adapt in ancient era, especially when a concubine daughter like her would be oppressed and not valued by her father. Especially since she doesn't have a mother to support her. There's no shortcut, and Minglan definitely didn't take the ancient people life like duck to water like other transmigration character.

... more>>
Spoiler

Minglan didn't react well with how her new life turns out, while she was not an overly successful career woman she is no slouch either in her previous life. So she takes the living in era where woman could only relied on marrying good family hard, and proceed to spend her days idly waiting for death because she thinks this life is not worth living.

Strangely enough, she change her mind and inspired by potential murderer of her mother of all people to survive in this era. She pretend to be slightly slow witted girl but those with sharp eyes see through how intelligent and diligent she is.

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Her family also consist of realistic and well rounded characters, unsatisfied official wife, cunning favored concubine and her siblings also have personalities that fit their background. There's no evil character for no reason whatsoever in this story, and you can see how their environment MOLD them to be the way they are.

If there's any complaint about this story it would be the beginning, where the old madame and father of Ming Lan discuss the issue of their family. It's an important scene but would be confusing since there's no main character for a while after the story starts so I recommend new reader to give this story a chance for at least three to five chapters to judge this story fairly.

I will be honest, this isn't my favorite story but I give it 5 stars for succeeding in what other author fail at. Creating realistic characters with background that explain why they are the way they were and the plot is written very well in slow pace that would grate nerve of some readers. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician
Hidden Marriage
January 7, 2018
Status: c803
This story start as great... but let me tell you it goes from a perfectly good story with solid plot to repetitive plot that makes your eyes roll so hard. No spoiler, but the reoccurring event is usually either some sort of scandal that threaten MC's career that got solved with little to no problem. Or the male lead upstaging MC's former boyfriend in being a great friend to MC's white flower sister, and showing off how much better the main pairing and shaming the other couple.

The other concern is... more>> how in her five years living the country, Ning Xi had been very busy you would wonder why the heck did she get into all of that.
Spoiler

The changing boyfriends like sock is just one of the smallest thing, but getting involved in a crime organization

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serve little to no purpose for the author other than highlighting what a badass Ning Xi is. Even though Ning Xi's personality is still solid and appealing, she has way too many topnotch skills that would make Mary Sue jealous.
Obviously the author gets carried away with giving her so many buffs.

At this point I am still reading the story just to see the ending and get the obvious secret about Little Treasure, Lu Ting Xiao and five years ago scandal out of the way~

I will concede to call this story interesting, but after six hundreds or so chapters it cease from being a good story. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
The Princess Wei Yang
July 7, 2017
Status: c127
First of all... This is not for someone with weak stomach, and unlike fluffy drama adaptation the viciousness of Wei Yang could be considered legendary even by standard of revenge genre web novel. The drama mix several character background for Wei Young and Le Minde, the drama and novel are completely different thing.

Revenge-time travel element in this story weave intricate plot as Wei Young find the past-future and present-future she face now start to fork to completely different path. The meat of this story is a very complicated plot in... more>> Wei Yang's family and royal family. Wei Yang, learning from her mistake in the past become a champion plotter who avoid traps her enemies laid out to her. Wei Young while vicious, sticking firmly to her principle to only retaliate against those who wants to harm her. She didn't blindly kill everyone who wrong her in her past, but they're not so merciful.

The amazing plot against each other aside, the weak point of this novel is repetition of her enemies, they're all doesn't know when to quit. Reading the RAW ahead, it takes 127 chapters for a sensible character on opposite side to appear and choose to get the hell out of her way. And the guy isn't even the smartest one around.
This story really abuse the notion of 'your enemies won't quit till they're six feet under' as proven by how Wei Yang avoid outright killing until they go overboard.

As for romance... strangely enough nonexistent so far

This is an enjoyable read nonetheless, not the most original story in term of idea but well written with a lot of thought put into the plot. <<less
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Fantasy-Magician
Fantasy-Magician rated it
The Sorcerer Laughs in the Mirror
March 20, 2017
Status: v2c9
First of all this is a very original take of gender bender genre, there's nothing humorous about the switch that usually prevalent in this genre. The identity crisis and emotional trauma from genre switch expected if it happen in real life is portrayed in this novel, albeit my only critiques is the writer could stretch the unstable emotion period in more vivid detail. It's not that the writer completely gloss it over, the character take it 'badly' is shown in this story but not described in a way that easier... more>> for reader to be able to sympathize with MC better. The plot is well written, and the MC's character development could be seen from naive Ojou-sama to more dependable and sociable individual who could hold his own ground
.
The plot is unique, and it's a fresh meal for us avid readers from typical plot other web novel recycle over and over. <<less
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