Ballad of the Desert

Description

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Yu Jin is an orphan, who was raised by wolves in the desert. She happened to meet a man of Han living with a Xiongnu tribe who takes her back to his camp due to her saving his life from thirst. She soon becomes friends with Xiongnu’s children. One year later, due to political changes, her foster father is killed. His only wish was for her to return to his hometown of Chang’an, in the Han Dynasty while hers is to live with the wolves for she has lost the one who she relied on. While going on life’s journey she met two men on the way hereby starting her story which will span years with so much colorful and stunning trials and tribulations.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Da Mo Yao
The Sound of Desert (Drama)
Đại Mạc Dao
ลำนำทะเลทราย
大漠谣
Related Series
Song in the Clouds (Sequel)
Recommendations
Our Second Master (2)
Song in the Clouds (2)
Mei Gongqing (1)
Sansheng, Wangchuan Wu Shang (1)
To Be A Virtuous Wife (1)
Chaos Of Beauty (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. My favorite novel
  2. My Library Of Treasures
  3. Historical Romance
  4. elite novels / ancient china
  5. Amazing writers

Latest Release

Date Group Release
03/25/12 A Koala’s... v2c22 + epilogue
03/23/12 A Koala’s... v2c21
03/21/12 A Koala’s... v2c20
03/19/12 A Koala’s... v2c19
03/15/12 A Koala’s... v2c18
03/12/12 A Koala’s... v2c17
03/10/12 A Koala’s... v2c16
03/07/12 A Koala’s... v2c15
03/06/12 A Koala’s... v2c14
03/04/12 A Koala’s... v2c13
03/02/12 A Koala’s... v2c12
03/01/12 A Koala’s... v2c11
02/29/12 A Koala’s... v2c10
02/27/12 A Koala’s... v2c9
02/26/12 A Koala’s... v2c8
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Review
16 Reviews


KKristen
KKristen
Apr 20, 2017
Status: Completed
This is a real masterpiece -- a heart-rending, soul-stirring, epic romance set in the desert, the imperial palace, and the prosperous city of Chang An during times of war.

I think Ballad of the Desert is now one of my favorite Chinese novels. Definitely in my Top 5. It also taught me to appreciate really tragic romances, and introduced me to the fantastic author Tong Hua.

PLOT:

Shortly after a girl raised by wolves is adopted and taught to be human, her new "Papa" is killed and she is forced to escape... more>> back to the desert. She stays with the wolf pack until years later, two chance meetings with two different men inspire her to go to the city.

MAIN CHARACTER:

The main character is very likable. She's spirited, stubbornly optimistic, and practical. Because she was raised by wolves, her personality starts out simple and straightforward (she's naive, but she's not s*upid). Over time, her character (and writing style) develop and become more complex as she's faced with political intrigue, new emotions, and the difficulties of being human.

SIDE CHARACTERS:

All of the side characters are well-developed and have clear personalities that develop and change as the story goes on. Their changing relationships with the main female lead are realistic and complex. The two male leads are particularly interesting (and VERY attractive), and you'll find yourself liking one, disliking the other, then flip-flopping, not knowing who to support, and in agony for both of them... This is one of those great stories in which there's no clear "bad guy"... because even the antagonists are real people with flaws and stories that you can't help but empathize with.

REVIEW:

I don't know why this doesn't have more reviews. It is very well translated and perfectly paced, with long chapters and a balance of political intrigue and sweeping adventure. It's more of a formal novel than a typical "light novel, " and wraps up neatly in two books (about 22 chapters). It will make you laugh, it will make you cry... and cry...

A truly good romance and tragedy novel will hurt to read. And this HURT. Everything is light-hearted and positive and fun and then UUUUGGHH EVERYTHING HURTS. THE FEELS. THE FEELS ARE TOO REAL... But you can't help but come back for more. There's humor, excitement, romance, tragedy... and this is one of those great stories where the romance develops slowly but deeply.

Usually I like to write more detailed reviews, but I don't want to spoil this for you. Just read it.

If you like a free-spirited and honest female main character, if you like handsome and vastly different male leads, if you like slow-but-truly developed romance, if you can withstand one of the most real and heart-tearing love triangles of all time... just read it. <<less
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XD
XD
Feb 06, 2017
Status: Completed
A well thought-out story that had me crying and laughing (but mostly crying my eyes out). Every once in a while I remember this story and flip to a chapter (or look up a scene from the drama). I recommend learning the history of the characters first (some of the characters are historical figures, such as one of the main leads). OR, if you would rather delve into the story without any background on Chinese history, I suggest learning about them afterwards and re-reading the novel.
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Ivivivi
Ivivivi
Sep 06, 2017
Status: Completed
my heart hurt, really hurt

It feels like pang! Pang! When reading second male part.

Story is AWESOME!

I suggest you make a lot of time if u gonna read this cause you'll end up bingeread like me.

You'll feel Character development for MC and it's satisfying for me (I wuff her. She DOESN'T MAKE IT HARD FOR OTHERS unlike some other MC).

... more>>
Spoiler

what makes me give 5 star despite my ship not sailing is MC gives a lot of chance to the second male (I haven't seen this in novel/drama I've seen So far) she approach him first :) , but u know he has a terrible low self esteem : (that's because his condition

When he realise it n try to find MC. The male lead already block second lead to meet MC. Mmmannn...! MC and second lead almost have their sweet tear-jerking reunion and end up happy ending forever ever after then bomb male lead DID THAT! (you'll know what I mean when u read it ?) . Uughhh I really hate male lead in here hahaha... I keep despising him the entire novel ?

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Prepare your heart n Ready your tissue. I wish you a safe journey <<less
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joeyburbz
joeyburbz
May 04, 2022
Status: v2c22 + epilogue
I should really preface this review by saying I should have never picked this up. Not because Ballad of the Desert is bad writing. But because I can say that this story ripped my heart out of my chest, and tore it to shreds before setting it on fire.

This might be one of the greatest historical romances ever written, and it's not between the endgame couple. The story starts off by introducing Yu Jin, a girl raised by wolves who is taken in by a nomadic tribe, but then later... more>> has to flee back to the desert to due internal political struggles. Through her wandering, she comes across a mysterious merchant by the name of Jiu Ye, who is the first male lead we meet.

How to describe such a man? My words will not do justice to him who is as beautiful as the moon, as gentle as the surface of a lake, devoted, loyal, benevolent and talented. If I had the fortune to meet such a man in this lifetime, I would probably be even more shameless than Yu Jin in her absolutely infatuated manner of courting him! Jiu Ye gives her a life-saving grace and the two part ways.

After she leaves, she stumbles across our other male lead, Huo Qu Bing, surrounded by enemies and ends up swooping in to save his camp in an epic damsel-rescuing-the-hero moment. HQB is a rougish commanding military type, the antithesis of the scholarly and mysterious Jiu Ye.

Afterwards, fate takes the drifting Yu Jin to the city of Chang An, setting the stage for one of the most tragic love (triangle) stories ever put to paper.

I will add that even though I was distraught that the end game was not
Spoiler

my poor Jiu Ye

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Tong Hua's work unquestioningly gets a perfect 5 rating from me for the meticulously constructed narrative, charming writing style and characters that are so vividly written that you can feel their love, ambitions, emotions, regrets flow from the page.

Spoiler

In my younger days, perhaps I would have been drawn to HQB's fiery dominating personality. But for me, there is just something about a man who is intelligent, physically handicapped yet can take care of himself, powerful yet modest, aloof yet tender, that is so lovely and rare in fiction. And that is where the Shi Enterprises 9th Master comes in.

The scenes with Jiu Ye and Yu Jin are so well-written that I could feel myself falling in love with his character from their second meeting. How well the author shows the unspoken tenderness between the two, seeing how Yu Jin's straightforwardness left the normally unflappable 9th master exasperated and flustered, how Yu Jin's admiration for his thoughtfulness and the way he secretly helps the common people who had their land ravaged by war.

Then it broke my heart. Each time he pushed Yu Jin away. I wanted to curl into a ball and cry when she finally leaves him in Chang An without knowing he was searching for her because I just want this poor, poor man to be happy, dammit!

We were cruelly teased with the possibility of love. Only when Jiu Ye finally decides to give up everything for Yu Jin, her heart has already been taken away by HQB. In the novel, the author even acknowledges that Jiu Ye was truly pitiful - he had no family, no household or power, nor the use of his legs, losing the love of his life, and even saving love rival's life because he couldn't bear the thought of Yu Jin heartbroken. I can only lament that the author is a massive sadist, orchestrating such a depressing fate for this character!

It's not that I dislike Huo Qu Bing. For what it's worth, his character is well-written and his unrequited love in vol. 1 does make me pity him. But I am personally not a fan of that kind of controlling and possessive character. To me, Yu Jin seemed fated to be with Jiu Ye from the start. HQB was the military poster boy with talent and prestige with the backing of the royal family. In fighting for a nation that is encroaching on the lands of the nomads, his actions comes at the price of hundreds of thousands of lives. The tribes and their struggle to protect their land from invasion was something that was touched on early in the novel. Which is why I was so conflicted over HQB's military character and overbearing actions at times. I think I would have preferred to see Yu Jin happy with the gentle Jiu Ye helping others, travelling the world, and opening a clinic.

What made the first volume of Ballad of the Desert worth sticking around for was Yu Jin's journey to reuniting with Jiu Ye, the mysterious man who helped her in the desert. Reading about Jiu Ye's self-sacrifice in the latter half was hard to get through. The man literally refused her affections because he was afraid his identity would bring danger to her, while HQB threatens to hurt her wolf family if she leaves him and drags her around regardless of the danger that puts her in. In the end, Jiu Ye SACRIFICES HIS LEG to treat HQB and then leaves without a word because he does not want her to feel guilty towards him...

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If I had to say whether this was worth the read... maybe I'll have a different opinion in a week. Did it destroy me to read until the end? Sure it did. But at the same time, I am grateful to have had the chance to fall in love with the beautifully tragic world that Tong Hua has painted, the most romantic of tragedies that will probably stay with me for a long, long time. <<less
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Yuki Chan
Yuki Chan
Jul 10, 2019
Status: Completed
One of the best novels I ever read. I look differently at all the novels I read now. This was really something. It felt realistic in a novel way. I like how Mini_Ninja7 stated it, "experience the worries, love, anxieties, sorrow, heart-break, and just life of the FL." You also get to see other characters POV. You would not regret reading.

Spoiler

First story (and maybe only) I rooted for the 2nd ML with all my heart. I felt so much for him, so much. I volunteer myself to be his wife. He deserves a better life, and I don't like how the author finished his story. I want to see fan fiction for him. I want his destiny changed. I don't care about anyone else, but I want him to be happy.

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The ending was a bit short, but complete. There isn't much to complain about, except some personal dissatisfaction with a certain characters end. I have to say, this was a cleverly written story, the way it guided the readers thoughts, and the actual thoughts the characters have is impressive.

Read this maybe 2-3 years ago, still can't forget him/ I mean this story.
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tiffyisland
tiffyisland
Dec 04, 2015
Status: --
I loved it, I always like novels where the main girl is awesome, though. In the sense that she doesn't 100% rely on the guy but can kick bu*t on her own. She should be smart/ talent in some way in one the non-conventional idea is alright. Some people think it's SE and what not. But it's definitely HE to me. The guy is nice to her and only her, he is indifferent in general, smart, and strong. He did a lot of things for her and waited so long.... more>> Anyway You will find out once you read it. I don't think you would ever regret reading it so this is a must read. There is also a drama on it, it isn't perfect but alright in my opinion. <<less
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NightAir
NightAir
Feb 22, 2018
Status: v2c22 + epilogue
Highly recommend you devote some time off to read it all in one go, to get the full OOOPMTH of this majesty.

Really, the translation was amazing and the plot was consistently moving along and never had me feel for a second it was lagging. World was well built, pacing was fantastic, MC's personality was really great, and how she grew and her idea of devotion and love. Other characters felt alive too. One of the male love interests (you will know TOO who he is when you read and you... more>> will die from all the sizzling chemistry like I did) was amazing. The other also just... broke my heart, because he was amazing. I loved him a lot and I'm never gonna get over him or either of them.

Just so you know, I don't go for tragedy, but I figured, why not try for this? Ended up quietly crying from choice moments in volume 1 and then having a huge lump in my throat for the end of volume 2, even though technically it's apparently the author's version of a HE. (It's not, really. Bittersweet Ending, more like).
Spoiler

Though I guess I should be grateful no one died lol because that was what I thought at first until the epilogue revived me and choked me and regurgitated me back to limbo.

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... shakes fist. A masterpiece, but please pick my fragile heart pieces up off the floor and use it to strengthen yours when you read. You really won't be able to stop thinking about this story when you finish reading it. <<less
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Mini_Ninja7
Mini_Ninja7
Mar 09, 2019
Status: Completed
1000% recommend.

It's been a couple of months since I finished this, and I still hold this novel as the best romance series I've read. I can still feel the joy and pain of the story, it is THAT impactful.

This is more on the serious and more well-written plot rather than a light, fluffy, 4th-wall breaking series (which I sometimes crave). It is really refreshing to not be able to guess the ML and experience the worries, love, anxieties, sorrow, heart-break, and just life of the FL.

One of a kind. Truly... more>> impactful. I cried and sobbed like my own heart was hurting and felt absolute fluffy butterflies at times.

You won't regret. <<less
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trippy-chan
trippy-chan
Jul 22, 2017
Status: v2c5
The pacing is insane; it's a masterpiece holy shit. It's just slow enough that you can really appreciate the character development and their everyday life but also fast enough that things are never in the doldrums. How does one achieve that balance????

Seriously though, I would rank this among my top 5 novels. At the very least, top 10. Maybe there's such a thing as destiny and fate, but what is more vibrant than struggling against it? DMY is that kind of story, I think. I'm really into the MC precisely... more>> because she's that sort of person. Certainly, this brings a lot of heartache and sometimes you want to shake her, but I can't help but admire the conviction and strength of will it takes to be the one acting on kindness and honor even if everyone is telling you to shut up and keep your head down. <<less
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hanisahhilmi
hanisahhilmi
Jun 05, 2017
Status: v2
I just finished reading volume 1 and I felt like I must write a review. Seriously, I think everyone must read this! YOU HAVE TO! I love how the author does not drag out the story and writes so utterly beautiful, slowly revealing the mysterious. Each chapter is very long but everything is well though out and everything has to be read. The characters are also amazing and I like how everything and everyone is not as they seem to be on the surface, there is always that layer of... more>> mystery that makes you think about the characters and the story line. I've never cried reading a Chinese novel before but I did for this one, when I finished volume 1; and that just tells you how good this novel is.

I feel that the story is very unpredictable as well as the actions of the characters, and this is one trait of the novel that I really like. AAAAHHH!! There's so many things to love about this novel. So, everyone, START READING IT NOW!

now let me get back to the novel, hehehe :) <<less
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Yeehaw
Yeehaw
Feb 21, 2022
Status: Completed
The beginning of this book I especially loved. The way they introduce the main character and weave in her past is fantastic. With that said, this book is incredibly sad. It’s a miserable love triangle and a mess of court intrigue. I cried my eyes out ten times over reading this book. Thinking on it further I would probably give the book 4 stars because the plot doesn’t really address her past and the related people as much as it should, it was still an enjoyable read and I would... more>> recommend. <<less
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chocholate
chocholate
Dec 18, 2020
Status: Completed
This story is really traumatic.

I already read this novel years ago, but then when I told my friend about tragedy story this novel came to my mind AGAIN. N made my stomach hurt.

This novel makes me don't dare to read any novel with tragedy tag.

Please don't read this if u have any symptoms of depression or stress. 🙂
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strongandindie
strongandind
Jun 06, 2020
Status: Completed
Satisfying, happy ending romance with very compelling male leads and an awesome female lead. Probably the most traditionally happy novel by this author if you’re onboard the right ship :P anyhow, there’s loads of adventure, swoon, romance, intrigue.. Heartily recommended for fans of novels set in ancient China. Quality translation by Koala.
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insteadofdeath
insteadofdea
Jul 30, 2017
Status: epilogue
Edged into melodrama territory a bit too often for my liking, but overall a definite 5-star read: No matter my criticisms, at the end of the day, I laughed, I cried, my heart was touched, and I was rooting for the protagonist the whole way.

I would classify the ending as an ME... neither sad, nor happy, but the resolution is satisfying.

This is probably my favorite work of Tong Hua. It's epic, the plot twists and turns, and all the characters have their own motivations and reasons behind their actions. There... more>> are no 2D villains here. The main character is smart and capable; the male leads are each attractive in their own way; and the setting is rich (and made richer if you're familiar with the background). Would definitely recommend reading this... but if you do, block up a nice chunk of time and make sure you don't have work or school the next day, because once you pick up this novel you won't put it down! <<less
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Leenleen
Leenleen
Jun 06, 2021
Status: Completed
I like how this book is written with the balance of romance and war. With the FL being clear of who she loves and no dilly dally going on, thought I felt bad on Jie Ye ending. I actually ship them at the beginning but after the ending of book one, I change my mind and ship HQB more with how he doesn’t give up.

Now I can’t wait to get a head start on Yun Zhong Ge, which I don’t think will disappoint.
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mielru
mielru
Nov 01, 2020
Status: v2c22 + epilogue
The novel is well-written and I enjoyed it very much. It was so heart-breaking in the middle of the novel (emotional climax of the main character) ToT

The MC is unique and quite loving. She grow and maturing throughout the story. I like the ML so much, the 2nd ML is also good and has his own uniqueness.

The story is unique - that's all I can say. Have to read. This is my first Tong Hua's novel, and I definitely will read his/her other novels! To say it's short novel, it... more>> is but each chapters is lengthy! Plus the old interface of the blog/website it looks extremely lengthy ^^ Just enjoy the story! <<less
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