Engraved in Bone


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There exists eight hardships of human life- living, aging, being sick, dying, resenting, parting with loved ones, being unable to let go, and being unable obtain something.

In each life, each person will experience their own hardship. Once they obtain happiness, they are furthermore unable to let go. Whether it would be heartfelt love or resenting someone down to the bone, would it matter? As long as that person’s bone has my name, it would be good.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Khắc cốt
Related Series
Recommendation Lists
  1. This list will outlive me pt 2
  2. historical/xianxia/wuxia (BL)
  3. Crying, crying, crying
  4. Want To Read
  5. magnum opus.

Latest Release

Date Group Release
08/15/20 Kahka’s Corner v8 extra 1
08/14/20 Kahka’s Corner v8c6
08/13/20 Kahka’s Corner v8c5
08/12/20 Kahka’s Corner v8c4
08/10/20 Kahka’s Corner v8c3
08/07/20 Kahka’s Corner v8c2
08/05/20 Kahka’s Corner v8c1
07/30/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c8
07/29/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c7
07/25/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c6
07/22/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c5
07/20/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c4
07/16/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c3
07/14/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c2
07/12/20 Kahka’s Corner v7c1
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11 Reviews sorted by

December 4, 2019
Status: v1c10
I read the first arc! I binged read it, now my eyes are swollen to the point of becoming stuffy, I couldn't open it clearly right after finishing the first arc! It was truly sad, pitiful, heart-torment, and beautiful at the same time.

The princess (Mc) was a boy but his mother was planning for her first child to get the throne, so she announced him as a princess instead of a prince (as for the reason, you should read it to get in-depth with the story). Along the way, princess meet the grand tutor and loved each other at first sight. However, after gotten married, ML didn't fulfill his vow to the MC and was the killed at the end. The extra was the heart wrenching one too, it was so hurtful to both of them. It was the worse, yet unforgettable ending I could ever imagine.

I would love to read more, but the rest of the chapters are not heart-wrenching like the first arc. So, probably later. I like to read tear-jerking one.


the hell? I think the spoiler button doesn't work?
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MeineMeow rated it
March 13, 2021
Status: Completed

Read the tags, this is tragedy. Nothing here have happy ending, since it’s about human’s suffering. What makes it worse, the romance is SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL and then the author stab you multiple times with the dull knife, ripped your heart, squeeze your tear gland, and crush your soul.

I had to stop reading between the arc because it was so painful, can’t finish it in one go. This novel is so beautifully written with poems and clear plot (might read it again to... more>> understand tho) and the translator was superb. It was so hard to translate this kind of novel without breaking the original charm of author’s words. It was dazzling.

Don’t read this if you want fluff and HE, nothing here have HE. But read this if you want a beautiful story about human. Yep, all of them contain the human’s greed and lead to their suffer. Guaranteed you’ll cry for all the chars in every arc if you have soft heart like me.

Please don’t rate it bad just because you don’t like BE. Enjoy this gem, and I grateful for the author and translator to bring me this one of the best angst tragedy novel. Now please let me curl and heal my soul. <<less
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Lann rated it
June 23, 2020
Status: --
Story is about human life's eight hardships. So it is not your bright story. Every arc's main couple is different people in different time and place. But aka "bone engraver" master and his disciple appears every time. They are mysterious characters that would later unfold their mystery. Like eighth arc is their story. All in all I cried my eyes out. My eyes are now swollen, hurt and stinging. Writing style of author is describing all those heavy emotions, actions and plots in short straightforward and most sentimental manner. Arcs... more>> main chapters aren't long which is good and it doesn't tire the readers. Every arc's name is in sync with its plot.


Arc one is about living. In short MC had no freedom and ML was his light. He freed himself of worries and followed MC only to be betrayed later. He killed the ml's unborn children and suffered mental torture. In the end he killed ML himself. Later he ascended the throne living alone and dying quietly. But in extra some misunderstandings will be unfold. It is sad story but nothing compared to second arc.


Second arc is sooooooo saaadd...I have never in my life hated shou this much.


In arc 2 MC was fallen noble's only son who lost his father and mother. He became prostitute and his personality was terrible. On day he met naive pure and sincere fox demon. But he was blinded by greed and wanted his internal pill (dantain) to stay beautiful forever. He pushed ML to his death. But still ML loved him dearly can't bear to hate him and willingly give his life to him. His years before death was torture. His entire being vanished never to be reborn or reincarnated. MC later regretted but his feelings for ML wasn't love. He just missed ml's pampering and sincerity. He engraved ml's bone before and after ml's death he payed back for that. He became ugly old man with disfigured face and blind eyes. Wanted to die but can't die. But it seemed like he in the end died.

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SayMrrp rated it
September 15, 2020
Status: v4c1
Angst. :D It's beautifully written! The author is quite poetic and always manages to maximize the feels. The extras really hit hard. They're from the ML's perspective and reveal new information that makes it hurt more. There was also a note mentioning how the author wrote happy endings for the pairings because the readers wanted it, but no translations yet.

The translator explains it immediately, but here. Basically, bad endings for everyone! Tragedy! Angst! No one gets together!

Each arc/volume is its own tragic story. Every pairing gets destroyed due to... more>> various reasons. The characters really carry some major regrets. The MC and ML aren't necessarily good people (One MC so far is pretty tr*shy), but you really feel for them anyways.


The stories are actually connected though! End of Arc 4 starts to show it. Love triangle, more like a love chain. Try to remember the named characters! They're important.


I think this novel is underrated, if you like tragedy. If you're looking for quality angst, here it is. There are some parts that might be a bit unclear, but I think it's because translating from CN -> EN isn't easy, especially if the author is quite poetic and uses lots of subtle details. I can tell the translator worked really hard on conveying the original intent, and the footnotes are highly informative. There are translated authors notes in the comment section too.

Hey, you might complain that it's formulaic (approximately: happy/bittersweet --> mad/sad --> despair, regrets, bittersweet), but if you came here for angst and bad (as in sad) endings, it's a really good read. I'm weak and cry easily, but I couldn't stop sobbing after the first extra. I'd say to not read this in public lmao... Enjoy!

Ah, but it does change from emotional to more analytical in the later arcs. The first 3 are for crying... the rest are for sighing. If you don't get what's going on, just keep reading! The TL explains something in the comments near the end that clears it up even if you didn't get it.

By the way, the gender bender (crossdressing) tag is only for the 1st arc. The horror isn't straight up horror, more like creepy, yandere, and gore in some arcs. <<less
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PeonyDancer rated it
January 18, 2022
Status: --
There are some I see that put this lower bcuz no one had a happy ending. So read the tags - absolutely NOTHING about this story is happy, so don't read it unless you're a sad*st haha \ (^o^) / This book writes based on the 8 hardships of Human Life, which (correct me if I'm wrong) is I believe to be something of the Taoism/Daoism belief.

Taking each hardship, the author writes a story for each one - connecting them all through the cycle of reincarnation. It's called HARDSHIP for... more>> a reason. This is basically a love... square? I'll explain to clear things up for y'all who might get as confused as I was at the start:


A love square: between Person 1 who's in love with the Good HALF soul of Person 2, the Bad half of Person 2 who wants the entirety of Person 1's love, and Person 3 who wants Bad Half of Person 2's love. So yeah, Person 2 is kind of 2 people in one lol.


Though it's not the greatest book I've ever read, I think it deserves a better rating than it's gotten so far. Give it a chance, be prepared to see the gross side of humanity, and I think you might like it <3 <<less
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Toungkoo rated it
October 9, 2020
Status: Completed
A tragedy with pitiful characters but still it was an amazing story. All arc is told as a separate story, but the characters are connected. I think the novel is an awesome one, a master piece, poetically narrated. The translation is top notch. Will read again.
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amruta rated it
July 17, 2021
Status: Completed
An excellent tearjerker. All the arcs are tragic and no one, absolutely no one gets a happy ending. Proceed with caution. Read all tags carefully. Lots of angst.

My fav arc is the very first one. I legit bawled while reading it. Loved the second (especially the Fox's POV) and fifth arc as well.

All my sympathy for Shen Qing Yi went kaput after reading how it all began. That guy deserved what he got. Chang Ge turned out to be the pitiful one but unfortunately followed his master's footsteps and made... more>> the same mistakes.

The only truly innocent and pitiful souls are Mo Li and Mo Jing Yu, who had the ultimate misfortune of coming across Shen Qing Yi's incarnation (?). Mo Li's soul is WIPED OUT of existence by Shen Qing Yi. WTF?!

Shen Qing Yi, Chang Ge, Mo Qi, Qi Feng... OMG. This novel is filled with obsessive psychos. <<less
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Vi2 rated it
May 31, 2021
Status: v8 extra 1
This absolutely lives up to the tragedy tag, it's about terrible people who do terrible things, but you still have to feel sorry for them because they are in such terrible situations. I definitely recommend giving this a try. I liked the first few arcs the best. Some people might like the arcs after that better, I personally didn't like them as much but I think the author set them up well. I also am very thankful for the translator working hard to convey the poetic writing and wrote so... more>> many translator's notes explaining. Read the chapter comments because some of them also have translations of the author's notes in them. <<less
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Reyleisha rated it
February 2, 2021
Status: Completed
Rating: 4/5- It's a tragedy and there's a good overarching plot that ties all the suffering together. But it was a bit of an overkill for me by the end. If it was the author's intention to convey a concept of never ending cycle of torment- then kudos!

EXCELLENT translation (this novel was incredibly poetic with very difficult idioms but the translator really excelled, so 5 stars there!)

The first arc was the best and I also enjoyed the 5th arc as well. The rest are good but towards the ending... more>> of the book you feel like you're in a karmic cycle of endless punishment and the novel ends on that note as well.

In a way, the story flows relatively well (although I felt highly confused at certain points and needed to read the translators comments to clear up some of my confusion).

I'm all for tragedy but I think my personal preference would have been for the cycle to stop at some point instead of carry on in this painful monotony. It didn't have to be a happy ending but it should have been an ending nonetheless.

I think all the characters had some crazy obsession issues and to be very honest, and I think it's actually mentioned in the novel, this is not love between these characters, it's pure obsession that is triggered and carried on over lifetimes where no one wins in the end. It's clear that the so called "love" born in the relationships don't seem like love but more like self-deprecating attachment and obsession that considers neither circumstance or reason.

The characters are pitiful and you don't know whether to feel sad for them, commiserate with them or shake your head at their poor reasoning and actions. No one learns from their predecessor only to go through the exact cycle of suffering whilst projecting and acting out the exact same way their predecessors did.

In the second last chapter there's an indication that someone finally understands but there's no real character growth or realisation in the novel.

No one has the intention to change, it's just pure greed, selfishness, jealousy and obsession. All the negative feelings induced when wanting something but not getting it is magnified and acted upon. It's like a realistic portrayal of how horrible people are when greed and obsession take over them.

The author did one thing brilliantly though. Conveying the 8 sufferings was truly magnificent. Even if the storytelling fell short here and there for the overarching plot, each individual arc representing the sufferings was very well built and told.

It's a good story with some slightly lacking execution here and there but nonetheless a unique concept. If you're wanting to feel desolate for a while to find solace in others misery then I suggest reading this. <<less
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Official_Fujoshi rated it
January 1, 2021
Status: Completed
This book is a masterpiece!!! An absolute tragedy!! Beautifully written!! The writing style is poetic and makes it especially melancholic. It has eight arcs, seven main plus the last extra, about the eight sufferings. Each arc has its different main characters

... more>>

Although at first, they don't seem to be connected, except the bone engraver, all the arcs are connected. They revolve around the same peoples' reincarnations.

You'll pity each and every single one of the characters. In the end, all of them had done something wrong, yet it feels almost impossible to hate any of them. They get what they deserve, even worse at times. Sometimes it'll even make you think about all the 'what ifs', 'if only this hadn't happened', or perhaps, 'could things have been different even if this hadn't happened?'

Like, I really really felt bad for the bone engraver, Chang ge because I felt that even if things had gone differently, even if all those bad things hadn't happened, he still wouldn't have been able to have a happy ending. Even his birth was kind of a mistake. If there was no bone engraving, he might not even have been born.

You can't blame any of them for their mistakes. They all had a reason, though that didn't exonerate them. All of them got their bad endings. In the end, no one got anything.

At the end of each arc, I'm like, "why did this have to happen, it was going so well?" It'll give you hope for a good ending (even though you already know it won't end well). It gives you hope and then crushes it. At times you'll feel happy (very very rarely) and at the next moment, you'll be drowning in sadness. The third arc even made me laugh at times. But it's like the calm before the storm. The sweeter it is at first, the more painful it'll be later.


This book is a must-read for tragedy suckers like myself, though it really will leave you depressed for a long time. It's been a month since I've read this, yet even thinking about this book makes me sad.


Everything gets uncovered in the seventh arc and it ****ing hurts when you get to know the whole thing. I simply couldn't stop crying at the end of that arc.


This novel will make you cry, curse and in the end, you can only sigh. <<less
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Peachzy rated it
January 19, 2021
Status: v3c1
I tried the first arc and I had to take a break because it’s heart-wrenching. The second arc is even worse even tho

the MC is scummy and the fox deserves someone better but


Whew, the amount of times I cried even when I haven’t finish the novel yet

10/10 prefect for a good crying session
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