Heaven Official’s Blessing

Description

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Eight hundred years ago, Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of the Xian Le kingdom. He was loved by his citizens and was considered the darling of the world. He ascended to the Heavens at a young age; however, due to unfortunate circumstances, was quickly banished back to the mortal realm. Years later, he ascends again–only to be banished again a few minutes after his ascension.

Now, eight hundred years later, Xie Lian ascends to the Heavens for the third time as the laughing stock among all three realms. On his first task as a god thrice ascended, he meets a mysterious ghost who rules over the ghosts and terrifies the Heavens, yet, unbeknownst to Xie Lian, this ghost king has been paying attention to him for a very, very long time.

Associated Names
One entry per line
HOB
TGCF
Thiên Quan Tứ Phúc
Tian Guan Ci Fu
สวรรค์ประทานพร
天官賜福
天官赐福
천관사복
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
The Founder of Diabolism (23)
The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System (15)
The Husky and His White Cat Shizun (7)
Thousand Autumns (6)
The Legendary Master’s Wife (6)
The Reader and Protagonist Definitely Have to Be in True Love (5)
Recommendation Lists
  1. [well written/good quality BL]
  2. Finished Reading (Highly recommend)
  3. Fav bl <3
  4. BL - My Top 50 novels
  5. Complete BL

Latest Release

Date Group Release
08/04/21 Sakhyulations c25
11/29/20 Deep Dream Translations c40
10/07/20 Deep Dream Translations c39
07/18/20 Deep Dream Translations c38
06/08/20 Deep Dream Translations c37
05/17/20 Deep Dream Translations c36 part2
05/06/20 Deep Dream Translations c36 part1
04/19/20 Deep Dream Translations c35 part2
04/13/20 Deep Dream Translations c35 part1
04/06/20 Deep Dream Translations c34
03/26/20 Deep Dream Translations c33
03/09/20 Deep Dream Translations c32
03/01/20 Deep Dream Translations c31
02/23/20 Deep Dream Translations c30
02/15/20 Deep Dream Translations c29 part4
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Review
392 Reviews


Melili500
New Melili500
Oct 21, 2021
Status: Completed
Love, love, love the MC and ML! 🥰🥰🥰

The whole story was practically building up to push those two together while adding in a sprinkle of mystery or two that adds up to a whole conspiracy that whoa!

I laughed and I cried, especially what MC had to go through, but he now has ML to go through it together so all good!

The romance is low-key (for the most part), but it's because of that which makes it so prominent in so many ways. Especially to outsiders, who were like, why am... more>> I getting thrown dog food?

One downside I would say about this is that it is kinda draggy, especially the flashback part. I wanted more MC and ML interactions but got interrupted by flashbacks that explained the past and how things were the way they were now, which ok, fine. But it was soooo long....

But other than that, awesome story! I've even watched the donghua version of it as well as the manhua. ☺☺ Love it! <<less
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iruka92
New iruka92
Oct 19, 2021
Status: Completed
No words. This is my favourite danmei of all time. San Lang is the best believer and Xie Lian is the God of Gods <3
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eikyrona
eikyrona
May 12, 2018
Status: Completed
The five stars is purely based on the english translation thus far, and not on the original chinese novel that should be reviewed on jjwcx instead, as the quality of the writing and translation is evident. As I've read the whole novel, and not read to halfway and skipped to the last chapter, I think my grasp on the novel's characterisation and plot is fairly solid.

Probably because the plot and characters hit a lot of the tropes that I like, reading this story was a very enjoyable experience for me.... more>> The MC's past is hinted at and slowly unfolds in a series of emotionally devastating flashbacks, revealing his tremulous fall from grace: from his position of coddled crown prince beloved by all, to being able to pick food off the ground and eat it without a care. His acceptance and resignation to his current state of life is something that hurts both me and the ML.

As the translation is currently up to chapter 5, the ML has yet to appear, but the ML's characterisation is still very interesting: beginning with the impression of that suave all-knowing, all-powerful seme, to gradually unveiling his insecurities and his reasons for struggling so hard to become powerful. The reasons for the ML's devotion start out opaque, but the more of their past interactions you see, the more it's understandable; culminating in that flashback where he says 'I still have a beloved person in this world' and the ML's previous skittishness all makes sense.

I personally really like both the MC and the ML's characters and personalities. MC on the surface seems like a soft, innocent angel, but in reality that's all because he's been worn down by 800 years of struggling to climb his way out of the mud. He lets most things slide without a care because he's long stopped caring about what other people think of him and has mostly become numb to his own suffering. But the MC has a steadfast nature and an unbending will and he's shaken out of this numbness by the ML.

On the other hand, the ML starts out appearing like the perfect boyfriend: ultra smooth, ultra powerful, and always like he's in control of the situation. But that's just how he's built himself to appear in front of the MC. Because he's devoted 800 years to becoming someone who can protect the MC from other people's cruelties and yet knows he's failed already because the MC has already become accustomed to pain in those 800 years. Behind the perfect facade, the ML is still that young boy who worships the MC with his heart on tenterhooks and never dared contemplate that his god might love him back. <<less
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ritpoppy
ritpoppy
Oct 19, 2018
Status: Completed
I've just got to say, physically reading this was exhausting. Not because of the storyline, but because I read all 252 chapters in a short amount of time cause I was so freaking invested in the whole story!

This follows the story of Xie Lian, our bubbly protagonist, and his adventures after ascending to Heaven for the 3rd time (you've got it rough buddy). On his first assignment, he meets our Male Lead (who has me sweating). Hua Cheng is literally the smoothest man you'll ever meet. If you're looking for... more>> a fluffy, angst, fantasy, bl, story driven novel. Boy, you picked up a fantastic one. Flashbacks get tiring sometimes, but they play such an important role in the storyline that it's SO worth it. Story is extremely well-written and let's not forget the romance. Based on this author, most of the book will be fluffy pinning (which I'm actually perfectly fine with, but if you aren't into slow burn be cautious), but they get together quicker than in GDC and Scum Villain (at least that's what I thought ¯_ (ツ) _/¯)

More information on the 2 Main Characters:

Xie Lian

Spoiler

A cute old grandpa. No one can tell me otherwise. He's one of the oldest gods in Heaven and also the one that's been through the most. Only though so much hardships did he get to the him he is now, a kind, understanding, logical, and non-biased angel. We need more people like him in the world. I just wished he valued himself more. I want him to be able to happily smile and joke again. There's one line later on in the novel where Hua Cheng does something for him that causes him to start laughing, and he just says along the lines of, "Thank you for making me realize how simple and wonderful the act of laughing is." *ugly sobbing*

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Hua Cheng

Spoiler

I LOVE YOU. Honestly, so dedicated and a huge romantic. He loves our MC so much and is completely loyal to him. I enjoy his small gestures and hints that tells us that he adores our MC. So kind but everybody excluding our MC thinks he some malicious and sinister demon (in which he some ways is). The thing about his devotion is, when MC finds out about how the other harbors feelings for him, they way he found out made me kinda have chills for a moment. The whole atmosphere of the place made me think like I was in a horror movie and I had a wild murderer chasing after me. Feng Xin Mu Qing, I feel you. But in all honesty, a great confession scene nonetheless.

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This novel's main theme can be described using two question.

"Are gods really as gracious and virtuous as we worship them to be?"

and

"Is mankind really worth it?"

Overall, this novel was a fantastic read and if you can't read the Chinese chapters, english translation is slowing getting there, the wait is so worth it. One moment I'm screaming my sister to insanity from the fluff, and the next I'm curled up in my bed sobbing my eyes away. I really love this author and her works, and hope you'll too ❤ <<less
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chenjiayi
chenjiayi
Jun 15, 2019
Status: c190
2.5 - 3 stars... This novel admittedly gave me a lot of frustration, so I need to relieve that here. I tried really hard to like it but it felt like I was forcing myself to read it and that is never a good sign.

WRITING STYLE

  • I liked her other works but this writing style was a miss for me
  • Romance and plot often have very little correlation. It's like the plot is happening, to other characters, while XL & HC are observing and flirting occasionally.
  • MXTX writes gore and misery in more detail than everything else, which was especially the case for this novel. Obviously some people will like it but some won't
  • IMO the misery is excessive. It's supposed to provide contrast to the romance but I feel it's so overdone that it's in poor taste. Like 20 chapters of straight misery is not necessary... You would only need 5 At Most. Her writing style is about being efficient but when it comes to suffering she seems compelled to write it incessantly.
  • There's little to no resolution to the suffering. The romance is the only positive aspect and suggests romantic love is the end goal and the solve all to your problems. Not to mention that the characters betray each other every 5 minutes; you can't trust anyone unless they... Worship you?
  • I'm a softie so maybe you'd like TGCF if you need a lot of simulation to feel anything. Then again the tragedy was so exaggerated that it brought me out of immersion completely
  • Comedy is not a strong point unlike Scum Villian
  • She doesn't write the gong's thoughts which means it's left to your imagination. I feel it doesn't work as well for this particular novel, and only seeing Hua Cheng through Xie Lian's eyes greatly reduces character depth.
  • The other novels trick you into thinking there's hate instead of love, which is why the singular perspective works. There was never any misunderstanding with Hua Cheng for the audience, so there's no need to narrate from Xie Lian's perspective. Seeing Hua Cheng's thoughts and reactions would be so thrilling yet we get almost nothing. It's also contradictory. Xie Lian, having an interest in Hua Cheng would definitely examine his reactions, so this is purely for convenience's sake. I find that there a are a lot of small "ooc" details like this
  • Randomly introducing new arcs for side characters feels jarring. Many mini arcs come and go, and it feels like an episodic anime where you have 'monster/crime of the week' but you just want to find out the main plot. I'm probably quite biased because I tend to struggle with episodic anime ^^;
CHARACTERISATION

  • Characters don't have enough depth...
  • Hua Cheng's main flaw was insecurity about his appearance but he's confident and self assured 99% of the time (not to mention, this is a baseless insecurity because he looks fine). This is basically his only flaw other than not caring about anyone but Xie Lian, and it manifests like once every 50 chapters.
  • He also is quite relaxed around Xie Lian despite being obsessed with him. I also consider this an 'ooc' detail. Maybe he can feign composure, but to the extent that he does, it's not believable. I would honestly like him more if MXTX made him something like a socially awkward character; it would feel much more dimensional and make room for humour too (side note: imagine if his hand was trembling during the ghost groom scene? more interesting, more believable)
  • Xie Lian's creed is compassion and Hua Cheng just doesn't... adopt any of the qualities that he praises Xie Lian for, which is incredibly strange/not thought out?? He says he admires Xie Lian for wanting to save the common people, yet despite having the power to help civilians now, it's not as if he is actively seeking out ways to better the people. He runs a casino so others won't and that's probably the only mention I've seen
  • Xie Lian's flaws are also quite... Mild. 'Being too nice' with 'unable to cook'...
  • In all honesty I struggle to enjoy the story overall because of Xie Lian. His fundamental positive personality trait is that he wants to help people. But to say that Xie Lian helps others on the basis of nothing in return, all the while being unaffected by slander and mistreatment is just dehumanising... he.. just doesn't feel relatable or human
  • Even just from a writing point of view, having a protagonist that rarely stands up for themselves isn't satisfying
  • Well let's look at his other traits. He's 'savage' sometimes, and it's interesting to see him throw away his inhibitions, but this only happens when he's under intense emotional pressure, which is also very rare
  • I think familial or sect bonds are a beautiful thing. When she writes about Yunmeng trio or disciples or Cang Qiong Mountain it's beyond precious and emotional, but there isn't anything like that here... Only mentions of a shixiong that wants to kill his shidi and many other passing, unpleasant relationships
CHEMISTRY

  • The constant blue balling was annoying and tested my patience to be honest.
    Spoiler

    180 chapters to get together is just ridiculous, and I know there are longer waits out there but bottom-line is anything longer than 150

    [collapse]
    starts to become absurd, especially when these characters have been around for hundreds of years. In truth, there is very little preventing them from being together, there is not much romantic plot to speak of.
  • The romance is really vanilla... when they each started liking each other, they didn't know the other that well at all. Gratitude and admiration can lead to love, but they legitimately only met a few times, so it's bewildering how Hua Cheng liked him for 800 years. The basis of the relationship seems to have been mainly idol worship, which is obviously not that wholesome or romantic. (And, I know fictional relationships don't need to be healthy; sometimes you want to read questionable content but when they are romanticised this intensely it feels weird.)
  • Spoiler
    • TBH Hua Cheng is a straight up stalker lol. He's definitely a charming character but I was turned off at the thousands of statues he made of Xie Lian... whew.....
    • They kissed several times before getting together which was a turn off. Like the only action we could get between them had to be physical because MXTX wouldn't write true pining or romantic hurt. So rather than getting a nice, bitter-sweet, heart squeeze you just read about making out every now and then...
    • What bothered me moreso was the really Anime esque pretenses like 'spiritual energy is best transferred via kiss', and you don't see any of the other characters making out, it's just them...? Like kisses should be for love not for transferring energy or air!! Or relentlessly under the guise of doing so.
    [collapse]
  • Their romance is really cheesy. Maybe that's why some people like it so much, but personally I read danmei to get away from those kinds of 'he fell on top of me', 'he needs mouth-to-mouth', removed from reality shoujo tropes
END NOTE

Overall I was desperate to fall in love with this novel but couldn't. That frustration was furthered upon seeing people make fun of the characters as dumb gays or making incredibly elaborate fan theories to justify why characters act inconsistently (ooc even), and why certain things happened, when a lot of it was just ill-conceived writing.

I want to end on a more positive note by saying that I have the utmost respect for MXTX and I know that she put a lot of work into tgcf. Thanks for reading and I hope people find this constructive.
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PotatoCakes
PotatoCakes
Jan 10, 2019
Status: c143
I'm usually a huge fan of this author (5 stars for both GDC & Scum Villain), but this book was a huge disappointment. The high point for this author is her ability to create likable and compelling characters who travel through a fantastic world with a beautifully crafted storyline. She may have been overly ambitious with this novel. The larger cast of character with multiple boring plot lines makes it feel long, slow, detached at the same time.

The issue may stem from the MC and ML being uninteresting in themselves.... more>> MC is an typical hero (similar to WWX) who always tries to do the right thing, but sometimes fails because that's just how life works. ML is a perfect, powerful, and utterly devoted husband type who watches over MC, with his only weakness being his inability to write calligraphy. The fact that the combination of the two of them as the most powerful couple in the entire world makes all their problems seem trivial. There's also very little relationship development since the ML has been devoted to MC for 800 years and the MC is clearly in love with ML within the first 30 chapters.

She uses and abandons great characters throughout the series: Yi Rong becomes comedic commentary after acting out his part in book 1 despite being one of the 4 evils, Feng Xin and Mu Qing become increasingly petting/childish after giving them great background story in book 2, the Black Water Demon becomes s*upid and worthless after acting out his ingenious plot in book 3, and every side arc MC collects random children/other pets etc.

For me, the biggest turning point where this book goes from a 5 star to a 3 star is chapter 124. Chapters 90-124 was amazing - the character development, sense of mystery and discovery the reader gets as they follow the MC's logic/deduction was suspenseful and rewarding. However, she completely dropped the ball with the aftermath.
Spoiler

Perhaps I am biased since Shi Qing Xuan is my favorite character, but how she handled the aftermath of that plotline was atrocious. There's no explanation as to what happened between "please kill me" in a dungeon with the Black Water Demon in ch124 and "life is good" as a beggar in imperial city in ch200+.

[collapse]

If this novel shortened by 50%, removed some irrelevant monster of the day side plots, reduced the cast of rotating comedic side characters, introduced some kind of high stakes friction between the MC and ML, this novel would have been much better. <<less
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rakuu-en
rakuu-en
Oct 06, 2018
Status: Completed
I don't use this phrase lightly, but this book is a literary masterpiece.

I found the first ten chapters in English, and the premise was captivating enough that I gave the rest of it (200+ chapters!) a shot with my banana Chinese. That's how good it was, that I was willing to invest that much more time and effort in reading a book written in a mother tongue I am unfortunately not very well-versed in.

It was worth it.

The English translation is quality work, but invariably a lot of the original nuance... more>> and tone gets lost in translation. If you are able, I would recommend that you read the work in the original Chinese it was written in- to preserve as much of the hilarity and heartbreak that the author managed to skilfully convey as possible. Even if not, the countless plot twists, the strong supporting cast, and of course the stepwise progression of the main couple's romance work together to create a story that I really believe can transcend the language barrier to move any reader's heart.

The English fandom for this work is sadly minute at the moment, especially compared to the author's other works (ahem GDC I'm looking at you) I assume due to the dearth of translated chapters. Don't get me wrong, I love that other piece, but (this is my personal opinion) it pales in comparison to this one. If Baidu is to be believed, most of the Chinese fandom agrees with me on this. So I really hope that with time, this novel will receive the acclaim and fandom size it truly deserves. <<less
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kly
kly
Aug 07, 2017
Status: c50
Okay, even though there's only one chapter translated it's a bit ridiculous to cast votes already because the actual novel hasn't been completely published by the writer so there's no telling how this novel will go. Rating this a one star is poor judgement on whoever that casted that vote so these five stars is in hopes to counter that.

in terms of the novel, from where I've mtl'd up to, the plot progresses quite seamlessly. Intrigue and some stellar 'aww' heart-melting (in a good way) vibes are there too which... more>> is always a big plus in my books. Just like the writer's previous works (Founder of Diabolism, Self-Saving Scum), you don't get the full picture at once but as you progress through the chapters, pieces of info weave together a beautiful story with much more depth that you'd assume. Both MC and ML are both very enigmatic, and together they're one of the most adorable couples (even if they're not together at this point of the novel so far) I get the pleasure of reading.

In this genre of BL novels, I find it challenging to get the chance to read well thought-out novels that can juggle engaging plot and warm fuzzies so stumbling upon this writer and their works is an absolute blessing for me. I have high hopes for the writer and from what I've been reading, my faith isn't misplaced ;)

(I'll edit this review once more chapters are released, both raws and tl'd lol - one star ratings off the bat for any novel drives me up the wall a bit, especially for a novel with so much potential!)

In terms of the translation, it's readable and flows well so no complaints from me. I'm not sure about the updating schedule considering only chapter one has been posted but I don't think the translator, Evangeline, intends to drop this. Also, many thanks to them for picking this novel as their first (?) project!!

All in all, give both the translator and this novel a chance, I say! <<less
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TimeToEscape94
TimeToEscape
Nov 05, 2019
Status: Completed
Okay I don't even know where to start, but basically THIS IS A MASTERPIECE !

  • This story is about pure devotion, unconditional dedication and love -over a period of 800 years- = thanks to our ML; Hua Cheng.
  • MC: despite the fact that he is deprived of his powers, the main character is absolutely not weak. He's intelligent, strong and calm (when ML doesn't make him lose his means).
  • The romance between the MC and the ML is built throughout the whole story (not only at the very end). In other words, you're gonna fangirl/boy a lot because there're a bunch of sweet moments between them (specially in the last chapters).
  • There're many humor's scenes! Almost all characters are concerned. For example, the relationship between Mu Qing and Fen Xin is hilarious (frenemy). Here is another example (not a spoiler) : " However, it was too late. PuQi Schrine was only so big and had no place to hide. Immediately the two saw behind Xie Lian's person stood a SuPrEme GhOsT KInG who was in the middle of doing dishes" LMAO
  • In my opinion, there weren't too many characters. Everyone has a role to play. Even the minor characters come back throughout the story. I didn't find it had any "useless" characters.
  • The scenes are very detailed (nature, feelings, sceneries,...). It's very easy so imagine the story in your head (?)
  • Every arc is somehow related to the final one.
  • Volume 2 & 4 are flashbacks about the MC's past. It's coherent and not boring at all since there're constantly new revelations and links with the present time. OH and you're gonna LOSE YOUR SOUL while reading volume 4. It's the saddest one. Even when you think the MC's past can't be more sad and tragic, it becomes worst :))))
  • Very satisfaying & happy ending! The last chapters are a big emotional rollercoaster. Be ready to cry from sadness & happiness.
  • No "smut" scenes, but it's implicitely confirmed that they had s*x at the end of the story and many times in the extras ;-)
Aaaah there're so much to say, it's definitely my favorite MXTX novel!

A manhua is also available! The art style is insane omg go have a look!

(Sorry this is my first review & my english sucks)
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alexfilia
alexfilia
Aug 11, 2017
Status: c1
Its another novel by the author of the Founder of Diabolism and The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System!

It may not have many chapters out yet but just from the spoilers you can tell its going to be an epic story <3....I mean the mc's favorite past time is trolling the heavens!!!
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optionalpanda
optionalpand
Nov 07, 2019
Status: Completed
I wanted so desperately to love TGCF that I'm almost frustrated to find that it's only a solid 3.5/5 read for me in the end. Don't get me wrong, I mostly liked TGCF and enjoyed parts of it. I just didn't love it, and at some points actually struggled to maintain interest. Some vocal fans have assured me that this is a gorgeous romantic masterpiece that would sweep me away with its emotion and incredible writing, but I find that the obvious flaws detracted too much for this to be... more>> a masterpiece by any stretch.

Pros

  • MXTX has a really easy, engaging style that is her trademark, as in her previous works. She excels at pulling readers quickly into the vivid worlds she writes and being pulled into the world of the gods was great fun. She also incorporates both supernatural and murder mystery-type elements to great effect here, although to a lesser extent than in MDZS.
  • Xie Lian and Hua Cheng are both eminently likable, much like her other protagonists. In classic MXTX style they're both OP as heck, which I personally enjoy, and to no one's surprise ever, MXTX delivers some lovely moments between the two.
  • Wind Master Shi Qing Xuan (and the Shi brothers, really) are a highlight all by themselves! Theirs was the most engaging and emotional arc in the novel.
Cons

  • Two volumes of flashbacks. I know MXTX's flashback format in MDZS received varying reviews, but I felt that it was done well, with the past scenes cleverly woven into the present timeline so that the mystery of Wei Wuxian's past and relationship with Lan Wangji was gradually revealed. In TGCF, though, it is a massive flashback dump rather than intermittent chapters; both Book 2 and Book 5 are entirely flashback. Worse, they seemed to wallow in the misery of Xie Lian's past; chapters dragged on as he experienced every pain imaginable - not so that he developed as a character or in his relationships, but solely to see him brought to his knees. Then it cuts off just as he finally reached a turning point.
  • There is a distinctly stronger focus on romance in TGCF, in comparison to her more plot-focused previous novels. This is by no means an issue, except that it feels too deliberate in its handling. It almost felt like the author wanted to make this "the most romantic CP ever!" With the mish mash of everything from thousands of lanterns to red strings of fate, poetry, butterflies and flowers as romantic themes, it was simply overkill. I still liked the sweet moments, but the OTT was a bit of a turnoff and there was a lack of any tension or stakes. More importantly, I never felt like the romance was developed well enough to warrant such sweeping dramatics.
  • This extends to the use of similar tropes, but dialed to 150%. While I love MXTX's devoted MLs (like Lan Wangji) and Hua Cheng has a similar appeal, I'm of two minds on whether this was taken a bit too far sometimes here.
    Spoiler

    Specifically, the Cave of a Thousand Gods. It's supposed to be a major romantic gesture, underscoring Hua Cheng's single-minded devotion to Xie Lian, and it IS touching and sweet in a way. Yet, if you think about it more deeply - carving a thousand extremely life-like statues of Xie Lian in various poses, from his standard godly image to him with clothes half torn, suffering from the effects of an aphrodisiac?! Added to the fact that Hua Cheng has effectively worshipped (or if you look at it differently, stalked) Xie Lian for 800 years, I couldn't help but understand Feng Xin and Mu Qing when they said that it's actually kind of creepy. I also find the repeated emphasis that Hua Cheng considers Xie Lian his god and himself as his most devoted believer just a bit uncomfortable for the romance.

    [collapse]
  • Character development mostly happens off screen, even for the protagonists. Xie Lian was mentioned above, but this is particularly true for Hua Cheng, whose entire M.O is that his whole world, his reason for doing anything is Xie Lian - we never get to see how it developed to that point. He starts off already that way and we see almost nothing of his past. Xie Lian's impact on him is explained in passing, but aside from being pretty on paper, it hasn't enough depth to convince me that it'd be significant enough to warrant 800 years of devotion. I wanted to see how his love for Xie Lian would affect him, but apparently aside from being his raison d'etre, it seems to have zero effect on his character growth.
  • Xie Lian himself in the present timeline of the novel is rather adorable, if unbelievably naive and silly for someone who's been around for 800 years. He's almost like a damsel in some ways, despite being incredibly strong physically. However, past!Xie Lian's naivete was compounded by a frustrating tendency towards self-righteousness and bullheaded stubbornness that brought about his ruin and also made the flashback portions really not fun.
  • Side characters seemed to come and go, forgotten once their arcs were over. Loose ends abound! Poor Shi Wu Du and Shi Qing Xuan, though at least they had a proper storyline (even if it fizzles out rather than having adequate closure). Lang Ying, Ban Yue, Pei Su, Lang Qian Qiu - all promising characters that are treated as afterthoughts. Even Qi Rong, who hangs around being a pest for most of the story, just disappears from sight and mind as soon as he's no longer needed narratively. We jump from arc to arc, with no such thing as a smooth narrative transition; aside from Xie Lian and Hua Cheng, everyone and everything just drops in and out of the story as necessary.
I know this seems like a huge list of cons, but I did ultimately enjoy TGCF and still find it one of the better examples of its genre. Perhaps my greatest mistake was allowing myself to be swept away by the excessive hype and build overly-lofty expectations based on the author's other works. <<less
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rICKY
rICKY
May 10, 2018
Status: Completed
UPDATE EDIT: In a fit to convince myself that the author didn't really drop the ball on such an interesting world, I read the last 20 chapters or so. And wow it's worse than I thought. Final thought: This story DESERVES 1.5 STARS AND THAT'S ONLY BECAUSE HUA CHEN EXISTS IN IT. Author completely did not give a f*ck about this story. She didn't tie up any plot points, gave us this whole cast of characters that she didn't know what to do the f*ck with. It felt like she... more>> was tired and done with the universe, tbh.

HUA CHEN DESERVES BETTER DAMMIT!!!!

Spoiler

Everything about hua chen's past is idk haphzardly mentioned in 3 paragraphs???Wh at?? This is how we find out some of what he went through and where his weapon came from?? I got so angry for hua chen. HUA CHEN DESERVES BETTER.

[collapse]

----

i read up until halfway and then stopped (then read the last chp lol...). Honestly speaking, it's not that great. The plot is slow and plodding, and feels like it doesn't get anywhere. It also tries to be too "smart." Every plot point is entangled in some other plot point, every person is entangled with another person somehow. And some plot points aren't even resolved in the final chp! Cardinal sin!

i also didnt care for the main couple either. MC is refreshing in that he's not super over-powered dude, but has failed over and over again. But his character is just sorta eh.... flat. His dialogue scenes are uninteresting. Side characters are far more refreshing. ML is typical par per course for this author: SUPER in love with MC. Very powerful. But sadly... so powerful to the point that it's not really interesting. Like where is my flawed ML like crybaby maiden Luo Bing He ???

But this author always has an interesting slant in her novels (hence 3 stars even though reading it was pulling teeth). I thought it was cool how sometimes "doing the right thing" is never clear, or how you can try your best, and still f*cking f*ck everything up. Thought it was super interesting that a lot of characters had to make difficult decisions or face situations where there really was no easy answer, or much less, a "right" answer. It's a theme the author's been getting at since Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, and I think it was even more explicit in this novel.

Really disappointed - I thought her other two novels were superb and engaging. Her first novel had a really interesting premise that unfolded in ways that were unexpected and dare I say subersive. Her second novel had a lot of interesting characters (i could read 300 more chapters of the MC and ML just doing nothing) and a complex plot that was deftly handled. This third novel is unwieldy with FAR TOO MANY FLASHBACKS, uninteresting central characters, and what feels like... low stakes.

It's weird - the romance felt really low stakes. I never felt like they weren't going to end up together lol. They didn't fight, have misunderstandings, or value clashes. And that's usually refreshing, but it felt like.... they got along too well to the point of..."why should I care about how this relationship turns out?" <<less
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oceanofstardust
oceanofstard
Aug 07, 2019
Status: --
Spoiler

Ahahahahahahahaha read some reviews from the mighty critics! Honestly guys, do you ever feel yourself as humans like a REAL HUMAN BEING? Would you love a child like Cuo Cuo? I don't think so. You guys are just like those mortal believers who stabbed and stabbed Xie Lian, burnt down his temples after not getting their wish fulfilled. Or should I say the remaining people of Jun Wu's Kingdom who are basically responsible for the man to go CRAZY to the point of no return? This is exactly why this story felt sooooooooo boring to you LOL! 'Oh MXTX usually writes so good. But this one lacks so much. We must not show any mercy while criticising it.' Please, all literary gods, do write a story with all the lacking this one has. I will be the first one to read! You have heart this narrow and self centered, you couldn't really grasp onto the messages this novel tried to give. Yes it has some lacking but that makes it more humane. A HUMANE story told by gods and demons that live inside us. We can be the god and also the demon. Hua Cheng refused to be a God and became a demon king who didn't exactly act like one. Jun Wu was both God and Demon. At the end he only needed a FRIEND to stay beside him. A kind gesture which he yearned for but never received.

Black Water was forced to become a demon but after he accomplished his revenge he was just lost and embarrassed. Victim who felt ashamed to face the person who is basically the reason for his own ill fate. Hello psychological storyline.

Qi Rong, growing up with an abusive father, having to face the shame because a mistake his mother made developed such negativity inside him. In modern world he would have needed therapy. Guy only looked up to his cousin brother who never really recognized him, tried to understood him. HUGE flaw in Xie Lian and we see how he regrets his carelessness later. Anyway his fall caused the guy to go full on crazy. Who stabilized him? Gu Zi. What did we learn? Qi Rong always yearned for a father figure. He found that being one. What else do you need him to do?

And the protagonist Xie Lian, a talented yet spoilt prince with a good heart learnt the truth of this bitter world after experiencing it. We all say this world will never change, full of bad people claiming we are the only good ones and we start to criticise a fictional character for trying to be someone who helps common people. See that's our psychology? There's no need to point out other characters in details. Because it's very hard to think stepping out of your safe, happy bubble and see what exactly is happening in the real world and how humans actually crave to see any simple human gestures. Humanity is becoming rare. Anyway I loved this story and you didn't and that's that. Remember to write a man booker prize worthy story mate!

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BumblingBamboo
BumblingBamb
Feb 22, 2020
Status: c135
I really tried to finish this. I really did. But in all honesty, I couldn't bear it any longer. I came into this novel having seen the absolutely amazing fanart out there and everyone praising how great these characters are. And to be honest, I didn't mind it at first.

In the beginning, the comedy was funny and the main character was interesting and likable. I can't say the same for the side characters though because other than Nan Feng and Fu Yao you don't get much.

And there's where the problems... more>> start. The more you learn about the Xie Lian and, later, Hua Cheng, the more unlikable those two start to become. Their romance is awkward and it never fits in the scenes that they are in. Together they are just too OP over all the other characters to the point where it becomes condescending and annoying. And it really doesn't make sense how HC who is the Ghost King and natural enemy of the gods could walk around and hang out with XL without any problems from the other gods. Don't they think that it's strange that XL and HC are so cozy? Wouldn't they be suspicious of both of them? Why isn't there a rule about gods being friends with ghosts if their jobs are to eliminate dangerous ghosts???

Spoiler

Hell at one point XL is walking around the Ghost City and sees a butcher chopping up humans bodies... but he is just grossed out by the sight of it. Shouldn't he be against something like this? Shouldn't after he comes back to the ghost city he should kill the butcher who is killing humans? Isn't protecting humans his job? Why is he okay with all of the ghost in the ghost city as a heavenly official???

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SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT:

I'll start with the things that I liked.

The side characters:

After the story gets moving (which takes forever well into the 3rd book) the side characters get more fleshed out. Especially the Wind and Water brothers. Their stories in what the Water brother did for his younger brother to protect him from having a horrible fate and the way that he died doing pretty much what the Xie Lain was trying to do but succeeded in where XL failed, was honestly the most badass thing. I was really sad that he had to die but I was cheering him on the whole way.

And even though I thought the Wind Master was annoying at first, he eventually grew on me and every time he showed up I was honestly wishing this story was about him and his brother instead.

Qi Rong was also a really fun character. Even though he is shown to be really horrible and detestable, he is really funny and after a while, I was starting to agree with some of the stuff he was saying about XL. He was definitely more interesting than XL and I'm sad that he didn't have much screen time.

.... And that's it. That's all I liked.

The things that I disliked was pretty much everything else.

The MC was OP as hell and came off as condescending and selfish throughout the entire story. Like this is his story, but he doesn't even have any motivations or a goal or anything! Like he says he wants to help the common people, but he hasn't done that at all! The only time he has helped anyone is because either someone told him to (a mission), he was curious (the whole desert adventure), or he needed something like food or supplies from the villagers, so he helps them out in exchange for praying at his temple or giving him food.

Not once did he go out of his way to help anyone out of selflessness. But somehow I'm supposed to believe that he is the kindest purest person? Even when he promised to take care of Yang Ling, he never paid one ounce of attention to the kid until HC disguised himself as him.

Which is another thing. Whenever XL and HC are together they completely ruin whatever scene they are in with their out of place romance. Numerous times they are put in dangerous situations and the tension is supposed to be high. But every time, without fail, the two of them go off to the side to flirt for no reason. And it's always inappropriate.

Like every time HC comes around XL completely loses interest in his friends and the people he is supposed to be protecting to fawn all over HC. Like when his cousin QR possessed a little boy's father, during the time when the ghosts go into heat, he threatens to eat the boy as he is running away. Instead of going after QR and saving the defenseless child, XL turns around and tries to help HC who is a grown-ass man and the Ghost King on top of that! And the kid is literally forgotten about and in the hands of a psychotic human eating ghost. XL really has no priorities to anyone but himself and HC.

And this sort of thing happens all the time. XL gets into a new adventure that has nothing to do with him, HC shows up to cause some awkward flirting, XL and HC solves the mystery in seconds while dismissing everyone else and pretty much calling them idiots, some action happens, some more mystery happens but nothing is solved this time because XL becomes bored and goes home.

It's like when the Wind Master was kidnapped by He Xuan after his brother was killed. XL could've looked for him or show some sort of worry for him, but he went home to find HC and romanced more and forgot all about his friend who is probably in danger.

The story is really flawed too. The entirety of Book 2 was a flashback of XL's life from before he ascended to just before he was banished, and it is entirely pointless. Aside from telling us how HC and XL met, the flashback didn't tell us anything we weren't told already. If anything I think the story should have started out with the flashback and worked with improving XL's character and making him learn from his mistakes. All it did, though, was make me think that XL is a stubborn idiot who could have avoided major disasters if he just listened to people. And the worst thing about it was that HC pretty much validated his flawed thinking by saying that XL should continue to do whatever he wanted because he was right. (Except he wasn't and things blew up in his face because he was wrong about everything.)

I really wanted to like this story and I started out enjoying it, but it was a real struggle after a while because XL and HC were just the worst people in the story. But hey if you like nonsensical and inappropriate romance with OP main characters who have little regard for everyone around them, then be my guest. But I'm tapping out here. <<less
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scratchienails
scratchienai
Apr 30, 2019
Status: --
Went in with high expectations because it was highly recommended, and was sorely disappointed. The story moves impossibly slowly, the MC and ML aren't particularly interesting, and the rest of the cast are underdeveloped. The few interesting characters will come and go in the blink of the eye, but there are some good moments and the very occasional cool plot line. MC and ML's romance was by far the weakest link for me, as every development between them was completely lacking in any sort of tension. Probably only good for... more>> readers that only like sappy interactions.

People told me the story would be emotional, but I'm afraid to say it really isn't. Some "emotional" stories are told, literally told by word of mouth, and always fall flat, and you rarely get to see anything with any genuine emotional impact. The story's opening arc is probably its strongest, with the intrigue and side characters, but its pretty downhill from there, until maybe the climax of the arc of the Wind God, and even then, that far more interesting tale gets frequently interrupted by the MC and ML completely erasing any of the tension the story can have.

Every time the story tried to make me feel bad for the unfortunate MC, I ended up wanting to laugh instead, at best. However, lots of other people seem to enjoy this one, so I think its really a matter of taste. But if someone tries to sell this to you as a fantasy epic, don't believe them. It's not. What little action you actually get to see falls flat and even fantastical events and places that should be interesting come off as bland. If you like a slow, sappy romance however, this is up your alley. <<less
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miichan1202
miichan1202
Jul 14, 2020
Status: Completed
Spoilers and unpopular/critical opinions ahead! Beware!
I tried to like this, I really did, but this novel really makes me frustrated. It clearly has so much potential, but so much of that potential was wasted on pandering romance and shallow caricatures of main characters. Overall 1.5-2 stars because it gets worse the more you think about it.
CHARACTERS:
1. The main character, Xie Lian was wildly bland and boring. He is presented as the kindest, purest, most selfless person in the world, but really he was just a bland white... more>> lotus. With Xie Lian, his personality can be described in just a sentence or so, while the author's other two MC's (Wei Wuxian and Shen Qingqiu) are both charming, funny, and deep with their own motivations. Xie Lian just walks around in the story with no purpose and he says that he wants to help the common people, but he really hasn't done that! He's barely helped anyone at all, and those times he did help people are quickly followed by flirting with the ML and forgetting all about the people he was supposed to help. Honestly, in the past, Xie Lian was also the biggest jerk ever. He gave up his own friends and family's well being for his own sense of justice and was stubborn to a fault and refused to listen. What's worse is that none of these flaws are actually addressed, and the story just lets him roll with it and never actually calls him out on it. If you want to see all the reasons why he's a poorly written character, check out this reddit post: https://www. reddit. com/r/MXTX/comments/j2l9ye/why_xl_is_a_poorly_written_character_in_my_opinion/

2. The ML, Hua Cheng, is equally as bad. He is extremely shallow and such a static character, with his development in the present times being nonexistent and his development from the past to the present being wholly nonsensical. His personality is very cliche and his motivations and thoughts are left entirely up to the reader's imagination, which significantly reduces character depth. He could've been such a great character, a ghost king who rules over hell and is morally grey, but instead he is dumbed down to a Xie Lian fanboy. Everything about him not related to Xie Lian is thrown at us in a few paragraphs if at all, and what little motivation and thoughts about him we do get always fall flat. [Like apparently this guy saved him once, and he fell in love with him and became devoted to him for 800 years? Like people get saved all the time and we don't see them going 800 years and 3 deaths for a guy they've barely talked to] Also, he is wildly unlikable. Of course, this is purely subjective, but he is irritatingly smug and lords over literally everyone he meets. It doesn't help that he's an insufferable Mary Sue with an endless array of powers, intelligent as hell and knows literally everything, really good at painting, sculpting, woodworking, and on top of that the richest, most powerful, most handsome, and most charismatic man in the book. His biggest flaw is supposed to be his insecurity and inferiority complex, but that barely ever comes up and 90% of the time he is arrogant and smug. More information on why he's badly written here:
https://www. reddit. com/r/MXTX/comments/iskkp5/why_hc_is_a_bad_character_in_my_opinion/

3. The side characters in my opinion are written far better, but obviously quite underdeveloped. They are all three dimensional and have their own thoughts, emotions, and feelings as well as a believable backstory, but so many of them are quickly offed to make way for the main couple, some of them not only not becoming better, but actually getting quite a whole lot worse. Qi Rong, who was supposed to be super strong demon that is one of the 4 great evils becomes a comedic relief gremlin who just shows up for some comedy and then leaves. Feng Xin and Mu Qing, the MC's childhood caretakers disappear for like 100 chapters after we're given their backstories and then once they reappear, they don't do anything either. Shi Qingxuan, who in my opinion is by far the best character in the book, has his arc left open with no ending at all, only to be forgotten about for 80+ chapters only to reappear completely the same with no character growth at all. All of this is because the main couple take up so much of the book, and the rest of the side characters and their character growth is sabotaged for the author's ego so that the main couple can look better and get more screen time.

4. I lost interest in the story pretty quickly due to the bland characters and their out of place romance and how unlikable they were. A lot of this novel was very surface level, and it's pretty on paper, but when you think about the characters a bit longer, the more bland and shallow they become.

PLOT:
1. The plot was... There was no plot. It was just a collection of monster of the day arcs that aimlessly meander about and then everything returns to the status quo once they return to Xie Lian's temple/home. Obviously books 4 and 5 were a lot more to my taste because the writing was a lot more concise and the pacing was less slow and pointless, as well as actually incorporating fantasy elements and shaking up the status quo. However, the other 3 books, especially books 1 and 2 had way too much fan service, pointless romance, and plot lines that don't go anywhere and don't contribute to the story.

2. The past plot line, or the flashbacks were pretty interesting, except for how b*tchy the MC was. Book 2 has a lot of important information and some action, but a lot of it was boring fluff that didn't really contribute to the story other than introducing the villain and showing how XL and HC met. The rest, we're literally told already and there's no new information. Book 4 was supposed to be suffering heavy, and I agree that the character development was alright, but it was too brooding and oppressive. In the end, I just stopped feeling bad for Xie Lian because of how bad the story was trying to make you feel for him. I was not invested in him, and although he was significantly more deep in this book than in the other 4, the bad logic is still there. [you wanna kill people but then someone gives you a bamboo hat and you're all sunshine and rainbows again?] The suffering is excessive in my opinion, and although it's supposed to provide contrast to the romance, it just feels done in poor taste. seriously, 20 chapters straight of suffering is not necessary, and the pacing and tone suffers because of this. The flashbacks really don't contribute too much to XL or HC's character development, but is just there to be angsty and cryp*rn.

3. The final battle was the most unbelievable thing I've ever read. All the gods got together and the first part seemed pretty epic as we got to see all the side characters finally showcase their powers.... Until the MC and ML show up. The MC and ML show up, and instantly the background extras—excuse me I mean side characters, go back into hibernation as the main couple show off how cool and powerful they are. And then we get to the final confrontation, which has our MC, ML, and MC's two friends face off against literally the most powerful being in the freaking universe. I thought it would be a tense fight scene with lots of close calls, but I was so disappointed. Instead the ML is so OP that he breaks the spells binding MC's powers, and MC becomes so overpowered and slams the big boss into the wall with the power of love while his two friends just stand there doing nothing.

4. A lot of what happens in the flashback is directly Xie Lian's fault, but the book never seems to register it? I won't go into detail on this point since it's already covered in the first Reddit thread, but basically because of XL's s*upidity and refusal to listen to anyone else, the people around him suffer.

WRITING:
1. The writing wasn't great. It was very choppy and as I said previously, very monotonous and monster-of-the-day. Yes there were great scenes which got to me, but most of it was really boring and descriptions and dialogue dragged on and on with no end, and with the bland MC, it wasn't even interesting such as the dialogue in MDZS was. Side arcs were introduced with no warning and ended with no warning, leaving the reader wondering "Why was that even there in the first place if it was just going to be forgotten about?"

2. The water demon/wind god arc. The opening and most of the middle of this arc was extremely good, the logic and mystery was written well, and Shi Qingxuan's (the wind god) antics were funny. But after the big reveal and the tense climax, the story just... stops. Like it's literally forgotten about. [The MC gets dragged out by his all powerful lover, they romance some more, and forget all about Shi Qingxuan who is literally left in the hands of the second or third most powerful demon ever who is also his mortal enemy]

3. The incessant flirting really got on my nerves. The tension and tone of the entire story got completely ruined because of the MC and ML flirting and the MC blushing and giggling while the ML teases him and everyone else is literally fighting for their lives. This felt very fan-service like, and it felt like the author stopped trying and just fed us dog food after an emotionally taxing arc so that she wouldn't have to close out the arc properly, completely destroying the tone. Speaking of the tone, the tone whiplash was just... wow. You're fed fluff and romance during or after a high tensity and highly emotional scene with no connection at all, and you're just supposed to accept it instead of wondering what's happening to the characters you actually care about.

4. Romance and side arcs quite disconnected from the story. Quite frankly, most of this book is just romance with the plot and characters put in second place because "lOOk hOw CuTe the COuPLe iS!" You could literally take out all the side arcs and the story would literally be no different. The romance overtakes the entire plot and becomes the main point of the story. With her other two books, the romance is like the icing on the cake. With this book, the icing overtakes the cake and becomes the cake.

5. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I was uninterested through most of the book was due to the lack of tension and suspense. The flashbacks were better in the sense that Xie Lian was helpless and couldn't figure anything out, which was why he was just as likely to get hurt as anyone, making the stakes significantly higher. But in the present, with the existence of Hua Cheng, that tension is completely gone. This is because HC knows basically all there is to know, and what he doesn't know he can figure out in seconds. Additionally, he is super powerful to the point that anything that can harm XL can be one shot K.O'ed by him. At this point the conflict becomes trivial to the point where I'm just asking "why are we solving this mystery anyways when HC can just blast it into oblivion?"

6. The fact that HC does the bare minimum in arcs frustrates me. If you're going to include a character with powers that will basically deem any threat against them null, then actually use them at least! HC's apathy does not feel like a coherent part of his character, but an excuse for MXTX to drag out plot lines and make things unnecessarily long and winded. Additionally, his apathy is contradictory. On one hand, he is super overprotective of XL and wants to make sure he won't get hurt a single bit, but on the other hand, he has this advanced ideology of the 21st century that he believes XL is capable so won't constrain him as much. If anything, they should start out with HC as this overprotective follower and have a dysfunctional relationship, and end up with XL teaching HC that he is able to do things and doesn't mind doing them, and that HC can live a life outside of him as well. That would've introduced some narrative stakes and romantic tension, but no, MXTX just had to make these characters perfect in every way.

ROMANCE:
1. The logic is so flawed here. The reason that HC started loving XL is literally because Xie Lian saved him once as a child and therefore he will devote his entire life to XL, not caring about literally anything else. The reason that XL started loving HC is even more so. The thing is someone like say Shi Qingxuan has done every bit as much for XL as HC has, but we don't see XL fall in love with SQX, do we? HC literally listens to him talk and XL falls in love with him, and although it does make sense due to XL being lonely for 800 years, how low the bar is set really bothers me.

2. The constant blue-balling was annoying. At some point, the ignorant MC became annoying and self indulgent instead of cute, and having it be drawn out over nearly 200 chapters makes it even worse. The MC is supposed to be super intelligent, but he literally misses all of the super obvious hints the ML drops at him, which is so weird.

3. It felt like MXTX (the author) went overboard on the romance here. Like she tried way too hard to the point where it was obvious she wanted to make this "the most romantic CP ever". The aesthetics went so overboard with butterflies and flowers as romantic themes, thousands of lanterns, the red string of fate (which didn't even do anything in the actual story), poetry, etc.

4. The romance could almost be described as kind of creepy. Like the ML obsesses over the MC for 800 years, isolating himself from the world and not taking any side of the story besides MC's is supposed to be romantic, but it really isn't. The ML carves thousands of statues of the MC, which is sweet in a way, but also really, really creepy. To quote someone from NovelUpdates who put it 100x better than I could:
" They don't feel like equal lovers, HC obviously worships XL to an unbelievably amazing degree while XL only knew he existed from only a while ago (Is this obsession? Stalker-ish? I know his stalker-ish tendencies are usually played for laughs, but realistically?) HC very very very rarely calls XL by his given name but with GeGe or CrownPrince, dude has a name you know. I know you feel lower than XL, but seriously man, the guy's your life partner. HC would destroy the world if XL said to. He'd probably try to talk to XL first, confirm things, but if at the end XL really does want it, HC would do it. He lives for XL, he has no other reason to do something aside for XL. No reason to say NO for himself. They're not equals in which one wanna do something bad, the other would stop him because they have their own convictions. You can't tell me one only lives for one person's sake, will do anything for that guy, and has no attachments in the world aside from that guy, is a healthy person. It may seem romantic, but when you actually think about it, it becomes uncomfortable."

5. The romance was really cheesy. There were some powerful moments, but it was mostly flirting and "he fell on top of me" or "he needs mouth to mouth". Most of it was just the ML flirting with the MC, which you may like if you like this kind of stuff, but I really didn't enjoy it.
Overall, I was desperate to love this novel, but I couldn't because of the shallow characters, unlikable main pair, and the constant abandonment of great plot lines in favor of the shallow romance. It felt like MXTX was constantly trying to one-up MDZS in angst, drama, and romance, but at the same time it felt like she didn't know what to do with the characters and world, and therefore fed us fan service and took the easy way out. This review is purely subjective, and if you want to read this go ahead, but I'll be seeing myself out. <<less
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aiji
aiji
Dec 27, 2018
Status: Completed
After reading this novel, no doubt, I've officially become this novel's author's fan. I gave this one a full 5/5.

[Wall of words, incoming..]

STORY:

Having read the author's other two novel's (FOD and The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System), I must say the story's execution and pacing is quite similar to FOD's, which contains an interesting plot, intriguing chain of events, action-packed scenes, and unexpected plot twist. The fluffy/cute and heartwarming moments is also present. Though they have these mentioned similar elements, this story's premise and universe is completely different, which you... more>> can't help but be emerged and ride along in fascination and amazement.

As expected, the author did a great job in establishing a brief background of the MC, giving you an idea what his character is like which aids you in understanding why he do what he does, giving you a preview of how his world works. And yes, gods and ghosts/demons are present here.

The pacing is not too slow, and not too fast either. Just enough to give room for the necessary details for the story's development. But please we warned of the looong flashbacks and sad stories along the way as their bitter history unfolds. Though long, it's not at all boring. If you don't have a fragile heart (unlike me) and can stand heartbreaking scenes, I suggest you finish it until the end.

The story is not that too complex, I think. But a little deep. The only problem I encountered was the poor english translation I was reading painfully, and also had a hard time distinguishing names.

CHARACTERS:

Same with the MC of FoD's Wei WuXian, Heaven Official's Blessing's MC (Xie Lian) is very likeable, as they are both witty, caring, lovable and.. A little dense (which I truly love about them 'cause it adds to the 'kyaa..!!' factor). The only difference is, though Xie Lian is also a little shameless sometimes when it comes to his personal actions and decision-making, for me, towards others, he's too.. 'pure'. He's so kindhearted that you'd feel the urge to protect him at all cost, but also scold him at the same time. But he's not weak, mind you. He's just a selfless-type of god. But, by being so, sometimes invites harm and hurt himself in the long run. If you continue to read up until the end of the novel, you would somehow feel and understand why the ML (Hua Cheng) harbor such kind of feelings towards the MC. He is such a precious bun.

Speaking of Hua Cheng, the male lead (the 'smooth criminal'), I have a mixed feeling about this guy. At first, I was simply intrigued about the small description regarding him as the ".. Mysterious demon who rules the ghosts and terrifies the Heavens" and "this demon king has been paying attention to him (Xie Lian) for a very, very long time". I was like, "???".

If you think that Lan WangJi's (of FOD) love and devotion to Wei Wuxian is admirable enough to categorize as "eternal" and unrivaled, Hua Cheng's devotion to Xie Lian is in a completely whole different level. As in. To the point of sometimes you would pause for a moment and think of his actions as a little.. creepy. But in the end, you would only think of him as a very loyal guy, full of unconditional love and devotion for the MC. Like Lan Wangji, they don't have to say long and corny and cheesy words to express how they feel for the other. They just express it through their actions, which leaves you speechless in awe and admiration. This is what I like with the author's way of writing—you don't have to read straight from the ML's mind. Their action is enough for you to understand their intention and feelings, then just sigh and cry at corner, saying to yourself, "I also want this type of guy.." They got my utmost respect.

The side characters are all likeable, especially the ones who are frequently interacting with the MC (his two hot-tempered, cats and dogs-like "attendants" whom he had to babysit with extreme patience). The funny scenes mostly happen when they are around. Their reactions are gold!

OVERALL..

All in all, this is a pretty good read. The conclusion is good, but how I wish.. (See spoiler), but nevertheless, I'm very satisfied. The extras/side stories are especially good, too. JUST A WARNING: you might get a diabetes!

Spoiler

.. How I wish, at the later chap, their long-awaited reunion should have ended with a kiss, coupled with whispers of sweet-nothings or something..

(Although I'm a newbie when it comes to reading shounen-ai/yaoi novels, but I think that should've happened at least, right..?)

Oh well, it's just me. It's still a happy-ever-after story, nonetheless. Congratulations to Hua Cheng, especially. I think he received more than what he could have ever hoped for in the end.

*wipes tears of joy*

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If you're a fan of fantasy/xuanhuan genre with likeable characters, a good dose of comedy, pure love (or eternal love?) story, and *ehem* not minding a mild BL story, give this novel a try. You won't regret it. <<less
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mariaphoebe
mariaphoebe
Sep 04, 2019
Status: Completed
Eh. I've got to be honest, I loved Mo dao Zu Shi. Adored it, even. So it is understandable that I started this novel with high expectations. Everyone loved it, rarely anyone would rate it bellow 4 stars, I was convinced I was about to find my next obsession. Nah. The protagonist is portrayed like such a selfless martyr in pretty much the overwhelming majority of the novel that it gets boring after a while, not to mention gives absolutely no depth to his character. I get it, it is... more>> mainly used for comedic purposes, plus the fact that the author has a thing for making her main characters seem like underprivileged angels that suffer through hell just because, but she still managed to overdo it here.

The male lead is okay, typical almost, if I get past the fact that he waited 800 years for his loved one while making statues of him, he is indeed likeable when he talks with our MC. But if you think about it for more than a second, his character is flat. He only cares for our MC and that's about it. Every detail about him that didn't involve the main character was thrown at us in a few lines, if at all. Super disappointing.

The romance? Meh. I mean, it is there (not as much as you think), but it didn't move me by no means. The thing that did annoy me is that the MC just accepted any advances the male lead threw at him, without a logical thought process. What I mean by that is: "He flirts with me, I don't know how to feel about it yet, but he is the only one who treats me so nicely so I must accept it!"
Yeah. Our MC barely has a character.
And it is so sad because the author clearly knows how to write good characters, clearly knows how to write compelling plot lines (Did I mention that this book has hardly any plot?), but delivered such a poor attempt of a great idea that is almost saddening.

Also, why the need to write 2 whole books dedicated to flashbacks? I sincerely do not understand how so many people love this, let alone prefer it over Mo dao Zu Shi. Now, to the good bits:

The writing style still flows with the same intensity that the author got us used to, so even though the plot and the MC lack a lot of work, the writing is consistent and I get how it can give a fellow reader the illusion that the book they are reading is of good quality. Nice use of vocabulary, really nice transitions. Thus the 2 stars. Compared to most danmei novels, unfortunately this remains as one of the best one of its kind. Take from that what you will. To all the people that liked this novel and to all the people that didn't, I wish us many good bl novels to come in order for us to find common ground. <<less
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LeaVIII
LeaVIII
Feb 24, 2020
Status: Completed
Much like other readers who gave the novel 1 to 4 stars, I went into Heaven Official's Blessing expecting — wanting, even — to love it. The hype surrounding it and the praise it received, along with the genre being Shounen Ai instead of Yaoi, made me expect a lot from it.

It didn't live up to my expectations. In fact, this is the novel I like the least out of MXTX's works. I won't go into detail about everything wrong with the plot (such as the criminal waste of Shi... more>> Qing Xuan as a character) since I think optionalpanda did an amazing job summarizing everything mediocre about the narrative. However, I want to elaborate on one of the two biggest reasons the novel didn't work. And for that, I'll draw some comparisons to The Founder of Diabolism, which everyone reading this has probably read already. I promise I won't take much of your time.

There's something The Founder of Diabolism got very right, and that is the chemistry and backstory between its two main characters. Heaven Official's Blessing is on the other side of the coin, getting this very wrong.

Spoiler

You see, Hua Cheng and Xie Lian's past is... underwhelming, at best. They were basically strangers, but Hua Cheng began idolizing Xie Lian after some brief interactions with him because of his acts of kindness. Xie Lian became an idol, a god, a savior for Hua Cheng. On the other hand, he was just another unmemorable face in Xie Lian's life. Okay, so far this is a solid backstory. I can get behind Hua Cheng starting to idolize the crown prince because he saved him.

How did this develop, though? Well, Xie Lian became an object of worship to Hua Cheng and then we're told Hua Cheng waited for him for over 800 years, while simultaneously sculpting thousands of statues of him, surrounding himself in a creepy Xie Lian stalker hideout and making Xie Lian his sole reason to exist.

This is where my comparison to The Founder of Diabolism starts. If we had been told Lan Wangji waited for that long for Wei Wuxian and gone to such lengths for him, it would've made sense. As readers, we would've been able to empathize with him because their connection was shown. The flashbacks between Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian showed how close they had grown and how they were a significant existence in each other's life. Wei Wuxian took Lan Wangji's world and turned it on its head. Lan Wangji grew to care so much for Wei Wuxian it was almost painful. Likewise, he was one of the people Wei Wuxian got the closest to in his life.

Heaven Official's Blessing just goes, "Xie Lian saved Hua Cheng and was kind to him one (1) time, so Hua Cheng decides to dedicate the entirety of his existence to worshipping this guy to the point of coming across as a creep."

Xie Lian's relationship with Hua Cheng is one of the main points of the novel, if not THE main point of the novel, so the fact that it's handled so badly already destroys at least half of the narrative and the reader's investment in it.

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amruta
amruta
Feb 05, 2020
Status: Completed
A great story. Good translation. Then why only 3 stars? Let's see....

The MC has ascended to godhood for the 3rd time when the story starts. He meets the ML fairly quickly. The romance happens fast within the first 30 or so chapters. The romance is fluffy, some of the dialogues are amazing. MC's life and his past are shown in flashbacks. His journey is described in detail. As a reader, it makes you cry and laugh at the MC's experiences. Unfortunately, the same doesn't happen for the ML.

The story starts... more>> with the OP ML. His past is explained in small parts. We know his journey and how he has been protecting the MC with all he's got. But we never see how he actually got his powers. Hua Cheng (ML) is so devoted to the MC, that his life and death all revolve around the MC. While it may sound romantic, it's actually sad.

The story would have been amazing if the author had explored the side characters and story lines more. The wind and water master storyline had so much potential. But it abruptly switches to a new arc. Same with Qi Rong. His character could have been much better. All the angst between him and the MC is left unresolved. Qi Rong's death was so ridiculous that it left me wondering if I had missed something.

I was hoping that the extras will tie up all the loose ends. Alas, the extras are just fluffy stories about the main couple. But what happened to Ban Yue and Little Pei?Ke Mo? What about the child spirit and his mother? What about the kid who thought of Qi Rong as his father? What about Qi Ying and Lang Qiu? Who is the emperor after Jun Wu?

Finally, a great read. What sucks is all the unanswered questions. This story could have been epic. <<less
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hy-d-ra
hy-d-ra
Jun 30, 2019
Status: Completed
It seems every other MXTX work gets longer, her style solidifies over years and as a reasult we get another great piece. If you're acquainted with her previous novels you may notice common traits and those include ghost/scary stories. But MXTX's works are also spiced with a good drama.

HOB involves three realms: human, gods and demons. With MC and ML coming from 'gods' and 'demons' respectively.

Setting on a journey of a not so simple task to find new devotees for MC we dive into solving mysteries of the present with... more>> a strong involvement of past events. Which is also one of MXTX things - flashbacks. The story is actually like a snowball which gets bigger and bigger, finally creating an avalanche finale.

THE WORLD:

  • Beautifully described locations, it's easy to imagine where things are happening and it creates unique atmosphere for each grand scene/arc. Even most favorite parts like ghost stories serve different purposes, it might be a demon rooster who baths in a boiling water so there will be a chicken broth or they might be ghosts of prisoners unkept and crying bringing the feeling of despair;
  • Because gods/demons are a big part of the human world the interwined fates of those work really well together and the worlds don't feel like existing in different universes;
THE STORY:

  • Is GRAND. Get ready for big and small arcs. The main line will follow adventures of MC and ML on solving, what it seems, unrelated cases, which eventually leads them to a greater mystery. But it is divided by past events to show how the present was built on that past;
  • Flashbacks may not be everyone's cup of tea, but here they are necessary. Firstly, you can feel the difference between how MC and ML used to be and who they are now today. It shows the actual growth of a person, especially MC. You get to experience his road to adulthood, on what he believed in, what he tried to do, what he achieved and where he failed, how he came in terms with himself. I find this part very helpful to lots of people;
  • Each arc comes with its own message, like a morale of the story, which I think is great. My main favorite is the - is evil entirely evil and is good entirely good? The drama is impactful. Some relationships are bittersweet, but it's never one-direction, everything is moving and changing with the point of going somewhere.
CHARACTERS:

  • There's ton of them. Maybe it's a good thing or bad thing, it's your decision. One thing is clear, there's a set of character that will follow thorugh entire story, some will appear, surve their purpose and are never mentioned again. Like any big story. Yet each character is special. But most notable are still MC and ML;
  • MC - Xie Lian - the fake simplicity of his character comes from a lot of suffering. I have no idea how MXTX could grasp it, but her depiction of XL is similar how people simply grow up, when you reach a certain age you understand how different you've become, how you take a totally different approach on things. But yet he stays kind, compassionate and righteous, he's the one who doesn't judge;
  • ML - Hua Cheng - is the epitome of devotion. Devotion to one person. When you finish the novel you realize that it's not simply love, it's devotion, it's where the story actually begins. This is why I say flashbacks are important, while sharing events in the past with XL you slowly unveil the strength of his feelings, how something simple can turn into life-time commitment.
This is a great read for anyone who enjoys heavy-plot, multi-arc stories. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who is into stuff with quality knives :) <<less
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bugvisordx
bugvisordx
May 05, 2019
Status: --
The sad truth of this novel: it's boring. The story starts at probably the least interesting place it could, in regards to its plot-line and the character's backstories. Everything that would be cool, all the fantastical elements, get shoved into side-stories, flashbacks, and weird moments of the characters standing around telling each other stories?? There are so many times I wanted to scream in frustration at the author to show the story, to actually write it out and let me experience it, instead of just having the characters sit around... more>> a camp-fire like they're telling ghost stories and not giving major plot points the only extrapolation they ever get. It's either that or the scene will cut away as soon as something intense happens, like the author couldn't actually write the exciting event and decided to just tell us what happened later through yet another story-time session. This seems like an flaw inherent to how the story refuses to leave the protagonist, even though he does the bare minimum in most arcs. And when the author can't find a way to force him into an event, the reader doesn't get to experience that event.

The ML more or less carries the whole novel with his charisma, and even then, his natural charm isn't enough to make it worthwhile, or even make the MC likable.

It kind of feels like the author just wanted to write some silly slice of life domestic thing about an unlucky guy and his absurdly successful husband, and then forced it to be fantasy because that's what worked for her in the past. The result is a half-hearted plot made up of threads of what could have been far better plotlines had they actually been written out, and a completely unsatisfactory tale from start to finish. <<less
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