Death Sutra

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Born into a wealthy family, Gu Shenwei was spoiled and carefree. However, at the age of 14, his entire family were brutally murdered, and he was caught by some bandits who sold him into slavery. As a slave boy, he entered Golden Roc Fort by chance and found the man who had slaughtered his family. He endured insults and worked hard to improve his kung fu while working as a slave boy. He learned from and plotted against his enemy under the enemy’s nose. He became increasingly ambitious as he became more and more powerful. He would only be satisfied if he completely destroyed his enemy—by fair means or foul. Gradually his bitter experience turned him into a totally different person.

This is a kung fu fiction that is full of mysteries and surprises. This is a story dealing with love, betrayals and distances. This is the journey of an ordinary boy who, against all odds, fought against formidable foes. This is a tale regarding a person who felt abandoned by the world made unremitting efforts to create a new world of his own, in which he was alone.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Death Scripture
Sǐ Rén Jīng
死人经
Related Series
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Recommendations
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The Grandmaster Strategist (1)
Purple River (1)
Pivot of the Sky (1)
Hunting for a Delicious Wife (After) (1)
Major General Spoils his Soul-guiding Wife (1)
Recommendation Lists
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Latest Release

Date Group Release
04/18/19 Webnovel c605
04/08/19 Webnovel c604
04/08/19 Webnovel c603
04/08/19 Webnovel c602
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04/08/19 Webnovel c592
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26 Reviews sorted by


IMakeCopperMirrors
New IMakeCopperMirrors rated it
September 3, 2019
Status: c600
Rating: 10/10 (my favorite)

This is a true masterpiece. This has REAL character development. The first things that come to mind fascinating about this novel:

    • human nature: many types of character and their interaction
    • how life changes a person over time fundamentally and how it doesn't
    • the art of leading people and climbing to the top of power hierarchy (not dumb plain cultivation strength)
    • next level plotting
    • different cultures and society in kind of medieval world
    • a supranatural lore of the world that exists but is veery well hidden
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Daoist LastWish
Daoist LastWish rated it
March 21, 2017
Status: c31
The novel is set in a brutal, dog eat dog world where everyone is looking out only for himself/herself, and loyalty and friendship is hard to come by. There are no heroes here, only people struggling to survive. This is a place where clans are wiped out, not by a superhuman character, but by putting paralyzing medicine in food and attacking sleeping people. The Main Character is out for revenge, but ends up being captured instead. Will he live and complete his revenge, or will his life will be like... more>> a flickering candle?
Spoiler

PROS:
The world building is excellent. Brutal nature of the world is excellently demonstrated, not by telling - but by showing. From the start when Gu Shenwei's family is wiped out, to when Long Feidu appears - everything points to the bleak, harsh nature of the world.
CONS:
The story seems to be a succession of incidents, there don't seem to be any story arcs, so the story seems a little disjointed.
The author has mastered the art of writing cliffhangers, but too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing!

[collapse]

Note: After chapter 247, the translation continues with a different translator on webnovel with the name of Death Scripture. Webnovel translation is not even half as good as this one, but it is still readable.

RECOMMENDATION:
It is a great read, especially chapters 240 -247 are mind blowing. Read it if you are tired of retarded crap like Emperor's Domination, BTTH, WQDK etc. <<less
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WinByDying
WinByDying rated it
July 24, 2018
Status: c143
TL;DR: read it.

This novel has plot/plot twists. There's not much on this site with plot on the level of Death Sutra. Novelsby Fengling Tianxia don't come close. Maybe Nightfall, Mao Ni's novels? But even Nightfall is more straightforward.

This novel it has well thought-out characters. The characters evolve. I could feel that the author must've put himself into the characters' place regularly. Their actions are realistic.

Every bit of luck, like a sudden breakthrough, is there for a logical, acceptable reason. Sometimes, he's also very unlucky. It's balanced. One of the most... more>> balanced MC's I've seen in quite some time. And it's good that he's balanced, it allows for a good plot.

This warrants a 5/5 on NU. The novel is tragically unpopular.

I could do with a bit more worldbuilding, but it's kind of realistic that it's missing given the life of Gu Shenwei so far. For some reason, the start wasn't as interesting to me as the novel was later on, maybe due to the writing style of the author or due to the way it's translated. I'm not going to criticize the translation, it's been excellent.

Now to end off, a bit of a rant on character-/worldbuilding and reader patience.
A reviewer said it reads more like a real book, that it's not for everyone. Is it really not for everyone? Another reviewer couldn't get into it due to the... submissive, traumatic experiences early on. I loath the attitude of some readers on NU. They don't seem to have ever read a good paper book. The best of books often take their time before fully growing into something beautiful. Have patience. People don't have enough patience... They want their characters powerful right now and don't want anything bad or traumatic to be described. They love scarred MC's, but only if the first 100 chapters of the 1212 chapter novel are not about those scars, the foundation of the MC. Loathful. This will make every chapter to come that much better... Another reviewer called it all boring filler, saying he has better more entertaining things to read. This is exactly what I mean. Ignorance is bliss. <<less
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Fubarone
Fubarone rated it
February 26, 2017
Status: c22
Having only read up to the current translated chapter (22), I can honestly say this has been a tough, but engaging read.

It doesn't shy away from the brutal realities of the world, but thankfully doesn't get graphic with them.

And while it seems like a lot has happened so far, it also kind of seems like not much has happened.

... more>> Aside from the MC growing up and learning some harsh lessons, but with a surprising amount of self reflection for this type of novel.

And it will be interesting to see where the story goes since there are questions mounting, but answers are in short supply so far. <<less
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IRainstorm
IRainstorm rated it
July 16, 2017
Status: c67
This novel is really well written for a CN and the translator does a perfect job at transferring the overall mindset of the original text in a silky smooth english.

The start is slow, it took time for me to grow attached to the MC because he was still a child with a rather naive approach at life basically getting swept whatever the winds took him to, a few days to get till chapter 37 but from there I binged the rest in one sitting, this author mastered the Dao of... more>> cliffhangers and keep you on the edge of your seat, novels where the plot armor is so strong (most CN) don't have much suspense. However, in this story even if the MC has a plot armor it still fail to save him from hard times, and it keep you wondering what new scheme can he use to overcome the next obstacle.

Deserve 5 stars so far. <<less
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
June 12, 2018
Status: c380
I gave the novel three stars. My intention is to tell you, that you should try to read it, but beware, it is not for everyone. But that is a stupid sentense... the point of review is to tell, if you will like reading the novel... or if the novel is worth the time because of other reasons. I hope to provide more info on the subject.

The writing is very good, for a WN, it includes some philosophies, some - interesting, enlightening, important for the plot, others - stupid, nonsensical,... more>> unnecessary. Whatever, it tries to be deep, I only thought so for the first 30 chapters, it is still nice try, at least it is not pure irrelevant barter.

The novel has very intensive sexual themes. It touches many taboo themes, they are apparently pretty normal in the setting, fraternicide, rape, betrayal etc. etc. You will think half of the districs are nothing but whorehouses, you would think rape is the coming of age ceremony in this book.

Ok let us get factual. The only thing positive about this novel, in my opinion it tries to go a unique way. The main promise of the novel is: it is realistic, no plot armor etc., much gore, revenge, intelligent protagonist. What will you feel, if none of the points above are realised? Three stars are mild - my feeling.

So let us say, the world has no STDs, the brain of the humans of this world functions differently, our morals can not be aplied. Ok but still, let us speak about the society there. So the thing about this society is pretty much organised crime syndicate. But the organisation part is really lacking, is a pyramide with no control over members, members are chosen through gruesome methodes, which destroy unity of the organisation, the organisation provides members NO BENEFITS, NO RETIREMENT PLAN, NO SECURITY, NO POWER (from the position of member). How does such an organisation exist? The novel tries to cower it up with monetary reasons, but it does not work this way. And you can find more similar examples everywhere. Realismus... not true. The assassins, who I think is the most likely group, the novel is based on, were a bunch of drug addicted religious fanatics with external enemies... and they prospered for like less then 20 years.

No plot armor? - Not true either... just a small glimps: A certain female can not stop whoring, is not smart either, accepts all, even enemies of protagonist, while being a known ally and employe, provides critical information to the protagonist more then once at convenient times, ehhh... what, how?

Much gore? - ok that point is true, the sexual themes are included, and also used very liberaly, I think this point is what many people think makes the novel "realistic" and adult

Revenge... it is a joke... it is the main selling point of the novel, and it is never rached, like all the woman/man who never revenge for themself

Intelligent protagonist - he is a nice chap, he runs around, plots many things, can swing with his sword really well and so, but at the end, it is all Kindergarden, he and his enemies never move past IQ of 60-80. Like there is a s*x addict big enemie, who also swings sword good, like use poison or something.... or a trap, where you don´t sit in the bushes for 2 hours, while "your" women gets *** by him. Sorry for this small spoiler, so frustrating, I do not know why I read further, all traps are peeping Toms in the bushes... It does not get better. There are many plots, but if you move a step away you will see the limits.

Three stars, because I feel generous. In my opinion, it is not worth the read. <<less
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Queen of Sheba
Queen of Sheba rated it
February 12, 2018
Status: c143
Stayed awake all night to read this marvel. Hardly have I ever been as invested, or enchanted by a story. Death Sutra however is an absolute marvel of realism. It's undaunted. Dark. And even makes the stomach churn in discomfort. This is the type of the story that makes the reader feel. Sympathise, yet hate at the same time. It's a story whose agenda is cruel, whose motivation is bleak, yet its execution is colourful.

Death Sutra is a marvel of the genre. Unique. Esoteric. Beautiful.

Would recommend. Would absolutely recommend!
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args.equals.5
args.equals.5 rated it
July 22, 2017
Status: --
This is one of those novels that bored you with filler content, verbose context, extremely boring events, lack of adventure, and extremely slow pace to the point were it almost reaches your threshold.

When the adventure does pick up, it's pretty good but I'm a hard bargainer and have far better novels to read or reread.
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gamla
gamla
July 7, 2018
Status: c43
When I've stumbled upon this novel I was surprised about the consistent 5 star reviews and started reading it right away with high expectations. But once I reached chapter 43 it became more than clear to me that I've been completely had and this is nothing more than blatant fetish bait.

I'll just list a couple of plot points here:

- The protagonist's closest family member is his elder sister, who later on becomes his motivation.
- He is sold as a slave and ends up with a thoroughly sadistic bandit mistress... more>> and her equally harsh right-hand woman.
- One of the first arcs is about him preserving his butt-virginity, however two of his slave-buddies don't manage to get away (with relatively vivid descriptions).

Up to here I was still okay with it since this could have been just the prologue, but here's where it completely went wrong:

- The MC isn't accepted into killer-school, and his only way forward henceforth is to continue doing the bidding of his mistresses.
- They task him with ingratiating himself with a 10 year old princess (you can probably guess her type).

The following chapters of his sycophantic day-to-day are easily the most humiliating treatment of a protagonist I have read on this site so far. Checking one of the latest chapters there's some guy talking about masochism and the protagonist is apparently still nothing more than a lackey!

These 5 star ratings are shameless and need a disclaimer. <<less
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Rudeus30
Rudeus30 rated it
May 10, 2017
Status: c46
It is rare that I write a review, especially a good one, but this novel has inspired me to do so. This is by far my favorite of this site yet, a grueling story of revenge in a deep unforgiving world. There is not much that I can say that I like about the premise; it's nothing spectacular, but the true gold comes in the form of the execution of the story and characters. I really cannot recommend this novel more, of all that I have read, this novel has... more>> been the best and it seems it's only just going to get better. <<less
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Trent
Trent rated it
May 14, 2017
Status: c47
Death Sutra isn’t for everyone. I’m not sure what this is doing among the web novels; it reads more like a book, like a printed novel made up of web chapters. Because of this, it’s slow-paced compared to wuxia of recent years, and doesn’t use many of their tried-and-true tropes, which can make its beginning boring; try making it to the fifth or sixth chapter, where it picks up. The protagonist doesn’t have an easy journey where lucky chances fall into his lap. You think he’s getting an artifact that’ll start his road to power? Well...

It’s not a story about the MC growing more powerful (*sob sob*), though he does strive to improve his martial arts. I’m not entirely clear on why the MC thinks he can

Spoiler

gain revenge through his chosen method, instead of leaving far away, becoming powerful, and then returning, but it’s another departure from the standard wuxia fare. More importantly, he’s desperate, and acting like most MCs would just be wishful thinking; realistically, it’s not like he could just find a powerful master or school to teach and take care of him. Even if he could, he couldn’t necessarily become overwhelmingly powerful in his entire lifetime, nevermind quickly. After all, there’s not much cultivation in his world, but martial arts instead, so even the greatest masters probably can’t defeat armies.

[collapse]

Also, keep in mind that only readers see the prologue, so the MC’s missing some important information.

I’m happy to see that many people like the novel. I think a bunch of us had almost forgotten what it’s like to read a well-constructed story. As for why I’m “only” giving it 4 stars: We’re still early in the plot, the lack of excitement and regretful plot decisions keep me from enjoying it too much, the MC hasn’t been fleshed out much and doesn’t actually have any real plans, and although some situations are believable, others seem really contrived in comparison. Although refreshing for a modern wuxia (seriously, is that tag even accurate?), it’s a book more than anything, so I’m grading it like a book rather than giving it additional points for standing out among its internet ilk.
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Enryu022
Enryu022 rated it
May 22, 2017
Status: C48
This is a great novel with a great revenge plot, enemy is smart, they are very competent. The revenge plot is awesome, the only down side for me is the way the author depicts MC's character, he's very wishy washy, his head is all over the place, no direction of how he wants his revenge.
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Varum
Varum rated it
June 6, 2017
Status: c53
All is well in the Gu manor and the world at large. The major powers have reached a state of peace, after years of war the world is rebuilding, stable, and prosperous. The lord Gu Lan was a relatively powerful, but inconspicuous, Imperial Palace guard in the Central Plains; upon retirement he receives the title of an honorary general and takes his household to settle in the formerly barbaric and restless Western land.

Two years later his youngest (14yo) son (our main character) is living a carefree and naive life of... more>> a young lord, he's likable and despite his position hasn't been corrupted by his power: He's just never had to struggle and squanders his natural talents. He spends his days teasing and playing with his elder sister as the family prepares for her wedding, and resolves to become serious once she's gone. Then tragedy strikes and the MC is pushed by fate onto a precarious path of revenge in a world that is as compassionate as a slaughterhouse.

This is a grounded, realistic novel that goes out of its way to avoid cliches. Qi exists and martial prowess is respected but its not op. The first 20 chapters can be hard to get through as the point of them is to build the mc's personality and shatter his (and I think the reader's) illusions; the world doesn't work the way he wants it to, and he's not as special as he thought. So it can seem like there's no hope for him, which I found frustrating at times to read through, but his tenacity begins to open up a path of survival.

The writing is very good, and the translations are good too. The characters are well rounded and believable, the plot constantly keeps one guessing, antagonists are great; some may be weak but they're smart and scheming, others are untouchable with overwhelming power. The amount of mystery is just right; we don't know yet why the tragedy befell his family, whether a certain someone is alive and well, or any of the other characters' true objectives (but if I could read Chinese I would binge this novel and find out, dammit!) <<less
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Titan LLS
Titan LLS rated it
April 7, 2017
Status: c162
I have no complaint... not an iota of dissatisfaction to pick at. The plot come's in a bit familiar and seemingly unremarkable, to be honest. I came in with average expectation's, they were met and exceeded by a wealth of intricate and profound characters. It has become more of a trend for characters to appear and exist solely, for the sake of making the MC lvl up. a miracle spirit grandpa here to teach MC. a great beast companion next, with great potential who will end up following the MC... more>> and so on... I just want to say I've seen not a breath of that nonsense here. events are anything but optimal cherry picked development's.

it is a far cry in fact but the MC works with what he has and tries his best to circumvent the tragic and merciless world. everyone seems to scheme to some extent in it as well. everyone with a need to. as such the MC by necessity must grow to be able to do so as well. I hope the author won't abandon all the wonderful qualities he/she has used to build this all up. even if it would be abandoned it would still make a worthwhile read after-all no matter what a top quality story rarely drop's far as it is a 5/5 as of now at worst I see this dropping to a 3/5 still though a great read.

c551

I could not resist the urge to take a peek ahead, I regret that I did... this truly is a work that complies with the saying "The Devil is in the details."

The work is still solid, really, it's just that the author had to give the MC a bit more of a realistic setting. at the cost of some plot armor. I have faith it will be finely explained, by the end of this to an extent where it just seems like a development akin to a baby finally walking.

At any rate, the story is still solid. I actually kind of wish it was not. I mean, I am more accustomed to things like TTNH, as opposed to something like this. where martial arts really are not as big of a deal in comparison. <<less
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Icarus5300
Icarus5300 rated it
November 4, 2017
Status: c103
So far one of the best (if not the best novels) i've read.

Pros:

Beautiful writing: it's book like, and even if this is a exageration, it's still better then 90% of other things on this website.

... more>> Perfect pacing: The author achieves the sweet spot of not having the MC power up faster than Usain Bolt, and yet unlike many others achieves this whitout ANY boring moments, no fillers, no silly sections only to add to the word count, this leads to the next pro:

Alway on edge: Each chapter never feels to small or dissapointing, you are always enjoying the feeling of tension (and it is perfect cause it fits so well with how the MC must feel).

Characters: Every single character has multiple dimensions, even if not shown or even mentioned, the world building is so superb that you understand the power structure of the castle like its real. The villains are smart and crafty, the MC is not dumb, but he is not MegaBadass2000 either, he is not targeted only for the sake of it, and when he gets fucked (a lot) it is never "because some arrogant young master wanted." (also, the only arrogant young master in the story is the MC himself.

Cons:

MC: Nothing against him himself, its only because the worst 2 aspects of this novel come from him: His planning is all over the place, never focusing on one thing and getting it out of the way, sometimes this makes you fell mad like "why didn't you just x**?". Also, he sometimes releys on what he calls "hand of the heavens" or some sh*t like that, which is basicly Deus ex machina, but it dosen't really happen enough to compromise the story.

Basicaly, read this shit, even if you think you won't like it, it is comparable to the likes of Ze Tian Ji (only less light-hearted), amazing, 9/10. <<less
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omgitsaray
omgitsaray rated it
April 6, 2019
Status: c183
Something just irks me the wrong way about this novel. Granted this was written greatly with lots of intrigue and plotting, but the entertainment value for me was very mediocre. The first 80 chapters was like reading a malnourished cat that keeps getting beaten and starved, and then tortured. The MC just couldn't win in life. The next part when he does seem to gain a tiny bit of status and it turns into a Detective Conan novel. The worst part is that you think he has solved the mystery... more>> of who is plotting against who but the author says "nope, " this is the real reason and the reader has to accept it. And another mystery will appear once again and all the investigation done by the MC will be mostly wrong once again because the author says so.

As I'm reading this novel, I'm just waiting to see which chapter the MC betrays someone or gets betrayed by someone and the cycle continues. A lot of people enjoy this hence the high ratings, but to me, it's an average novel that you should give a try since you might like it. <<less
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keklel
keklel rated it
June 5, 2018
Status: c40
If it was a few months ago, Gu Shenwei would blush even after just listening to others saying such flattering words, but now he could blurt them out with a straight face. This was how suffering and hatred transformed a man.

"I can also find others, I just think that we have many things in common."

Just amazing.

Teaching someone martial arts only partially so as to cause his Qi to deviate and thus kill him. Just genius. I've not seen this plot in any other webnovel before (maybe I just haven't read... more>> enough). I honestly think the MC in this novel, even though he's just a kid, is probably smarter than most webnovel MCs who are adults.

The characters feel very realistic and believable. The naivety of young boys, their gullibility and volatile temperament, the conniving nature of the cunning kids, the way how every character is two-faced and lies with a straight face, it's all described perfectly.

The scheming and plotting has clearly been well thought out, for example having the killer get hired as a servant just a few months before the attack, so that the members of the household can be identified afterwards. Having intruders break in so they can determine the internal structure of the buildings before planning the attack, etc.

The plot feels a little bit contrived (the series of purely coincidental accidents that had to happen in order to save the MC from being found by the assassin organization was just incredible), but the tension is well done. <<less
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Pradeepwinks
Pradeepwinks rated it
May 3, 2018
Status: c1212
This is not a typical web novel, it has good story, good characters, good pacing throughout the novel, consistent characters, nice schemes big and small. But to me best thing about this is how real everything feels - no plot armor, there is some sleuthing, some romance but from first to last chapter literally it’s a story about killer, it’s not too dark and it maintains same mood throughout novel. The portrayal of war and strategy is more realistic in comparison with others. But this is not for everyone, Gu’s... more>> decision will be more realistic, neither cruel nor kind consistent with his character, Little or no face slapping (at least not within 10, 20 chapters), not fast paced, Death of his enemy might not be satisfying, romance might not be satisfying. As a previous reviewer put it it’s a bit unremarkable but I feel that is more realistic and satisfying. This Novel reminds me of “Godfather”, the mood & pacing is similar. This is absolutely the best novel in its genre. My favorites were ZTJ or Zhu Xian, so if you liked those you will love this one. <<less
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Ezmac1
Ezmac1 rated it
January 22, 2018
Status: c133
Pretty great story, I have really enjoyed it so far. Definitely worth sticking to beyond the first set of chapters. Occasionally the MC seems to have leaps of logic and cunning far beyond his usual capabilities when it suits the plot or story, but this isn't too overused. He certainly runs into all kinds of interesting problems, at this stage in the story (c133) he appears to be in pretty deep waters with little way out, I look forward to seeing how he either escapes or goes down in flames.
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shinikage
shinikage rated it
November 20, 2017
Status: c108
Great Work so far the best one I have ever read

Solid plotline, and no plot armor on sight until now, great character development, no bullsh*t cultivation that only serves to show how badass a MC is either by reaching high levels on a record time or beating foes whose cultivation is above the MC, NO CHEAT skills that make the MC deus ex machina the plot
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bearnanny
bearnanny rated it
February 6, 2019
Status: c247
This is a great novel with a ton of intrigue, betrayals, character motivations, character growth, et cetera. You have to get through the first volume to understand why this is a good novel, because even if you stop there, it feels like a complete novel. It goes on after that with a shift from the location of the castle towards nations and empires, and it's very different but well done.

This novel is not about cultivation, it's really about the characters, and they're all flawed selfish individuals. They are annoying, they... more>> are scheming, and you don't root for them because they are formerly trash, righteous heroes overcoming adversity with lucky cultivation powerups and saving jade skin beauties. People in this novel bleed. Life is cheap. Motivations are more important than outcomes. The beginning of the book is hard to get through because they aren't likeable characters, and the situations they are in are just opressive. If you can't get through it, you won't enjoy the rest of the novel, because you want simple, uncomplicated fantasy.

There are about as many important female characters with their own interests as there are male characters, but I have to say it. There are too many women who are so thirsty to get some that they try to kill people. The novel is heavily invested into the idea of plots of betrayal and assassinations, and you get a lot of that. <<less
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