The single best Chinese fantasy novel I have ever read hands down. And I have read a lot of them but never have I been interested in reviewing them, simply because they could never compare to any of the great western fantasy writers like Martin or Abercrombie etc. This so far is they only Chinese novel that had managed to kindle that sense of awe and immersion that comes when you get lost in the author's world.
The best part is the world building and the plot development. At the time of writing this review a total of 1911 chapters are available (raws) and the entire novel is still set in the same "world". There is no "but wait.... There's a more powerful world with stronger cultivators, better treasures" and so on and so forth. The magic here is harnessed by using "Gu" insects which have a single purpose like increase strength, shoot blades etc. They are then combined in interesting ways and one cannot simply pile on a bunch of them together because they need to be fed and can have opposing properties.
The plot is absolutely amazing with no lucky "I just found the greatest treasure in the universe, in the trash bin." Everything the MC gets is truly earned.
It's not all perfect though. The unavoidable issue with the stereotypical "dog eat dog" cultivation world is that it does not allow for deeply flawed characters, all of them inevitably are a bit too realistic and many a time can seem a bit mechanical. Most of them are still well written. The biggest concern though is the main character who has a psychopathic attachment to increasing his strength, where it is the entire point of the novel. While there is a reason why he gets this way it's a problem with all xanxia.
EDIT: And when they punch during fights the fists do not connect with each other. Just trying to imagine that sequence of events makes my tooth itch.
"The theories of Daoist internal and external alchemy have continued to be derived to this day. The so-called cultivation to produce a core is in fact to 'cultivate the Dao'. All cultivation systems from the Daoist school of Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, and the beginning of Core Formation. However, you can also say these days that 'cultivation' is in fact a type of thing, the Dao and the truth. There are two kinds of explanations. If the Dao is said to cultivate something, it is an internal alchemy system. The truth is said to be one's comprehension in regards to the Dao, the physical and the metaphysical