I Shall Seal the Heavens

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“What I want, the Heavens shall not lack! ”

“What I don’t want, had better not exist in the Heavens!”

This is a story which originates between the Eighth and Ninth Mountains, the world in which the strong prey upon the weak.

“My Name is Meng Hao! The Ninth Generation Demon Sealer, I shall seal the Heavens!“

Associated Names
One entry per line
Demon Sealer
ISSTH
Ngã Dục Phong Thiên
Wo Yu Feng Tian
我欲封天
Related Series
Renegade Immortal (Shared Universe)
Pursuit of the Truth (Shared Universe)
Against Heaven (Shared Universe)
A Will Eternal (Shared Universe)
A World Worth Protecting (Shared Universe)
Recommendations
A Will Eternal (75)
World of Cultivation (48)
Renegade Immortal (40)
Transcending the Nine Heavens (29)
The Desolate Era (24)
Coiling Dragon (17)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld afterword
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld side story 3
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld side story 2
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld side story 1
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1614
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1613
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1612
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1611
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1610
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1609
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1608
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1607
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1606
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1605
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1604
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BlackHat88
BlackHat88 rated it
October 8, 2015
Status: --
I can't read any more of this stuff.

I read up to chapter 112 and the battles are really lame

Although the MC is a good guy and I like that and the overall world and magic theories are great etc..., the fights consist solely on both fighters using magic items after magic items until the MC wins/flee

... more>> MC has no skills/technics whatsoever and it's getting annoying to see the same fight over and over with a new magic item addition once in awhile.

The only pseudo skill he got is by making a hundred or so trash swords flight towards the enemy while hidding 2 OP sword in the bunch.

It's a shame cause it had a good start. <<less
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cognauticcreix
cognauticcreix rated it
April 24, 2017
Status: c1070
It succeeds most xianxia in many ways, and has several good characteristics (strong world-building, tasteful addition of humor, wide range of characters), but eventually it fails to capitalize on its greatest strengths. The world is fairly expansive and varied, and dealt with in a refreshing manner--introduced early on and interacted with in a non-linear fashion (as opposed to first sect->destroy, next bigger sect->destroy, etc). A wide cast of characters with different personalities and agendas, sometimes ones which may even be surprising keeps things interesting as Meng Hao travels and meets... more>> new characters. In addition, the author has a decent talent for situational humor sometimes crafting situations to the point of hilarity (bird sodomy a notable exception). Key concepts are introduced early on and dealt with and unveiled in an unhurried fashion throughout the series. Each of the different locations and sacred lands are interesting and fairly satisfying to envision. Perhaps one of the defining characteristics of ISSTH are the cultivation style and philosophical narratives. Instead of just his girl getting kidnapped and him going on a bloody onslaught through whatever universe is constructed around the protagonist or some new stronger asshole sequentially showing up out of nowhere to ruin his hard-gotten calm, it's a lot more organic and things proceed in a relatively non-repetitive way. Instead of just "there are ten levels each stratified from small, medium, high, peak etc" styled cultivation, many of the levels have interesting narratives and unique aspects to them, especially later when they become closely related to the novel's daoist concepts. Unfortunately, the daoist, emotional, and profound aspects of ISSTH end up seeming less and less pivotal in the scope of the plot or the growth of the character as time goes on.

Occasionally, Meng Hao will have some time to stop and contemplate, and will without fail determine that he is caught in a windstorm and unable to be free and act in the manner of his choosing, that he is forced down the paths that he has taken. This is absolute bullsh*t. There are obviously many occasions where he has to do-or-die, but there also plenty of time where he just doesn't need to do at all. If there's any thing that keeps Meng Hao a snowflake in the snowstorm, it's his insatiable, possibly obsessive-compulsive greed. Coupled with the fact that his dao is ostensibly about 'freedom' this type of logic is on par with that of a 'young master' who requests help from an ancestor in order to whoop up on the PT because it "might harm his dao heart" otherwise. Perhaps one of the most appealing ideas of ISSTH cultivation was that of spirit severing. One severs part of themself in order to seek the dao. Examples are given, and you see a few cultivators who have made incredible sacrifices in for their severing, such as family, emotions, etc.
Spoiler

This is, of course, before spirit severing cultivators become monkeys trivially slaughtered by the wave of a hand, before disappearing entirely after Meng Hao becomes an immortal, along with 100% of all sub-immortal cultivators, as if everyone and their mother just goes straight to true or false immortal after birth outside of South Heaven.

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However,

Spoiler

Meng Hao not only does not lose anything from these spirit severings, he gains incredibly from each one. In his first, he severs the resurrection lily, which had been plaguing him for the majority of the novel until then. For the second, he severed his perfect cultivation, or his past (nominally), in order for him to move forward from the loss of his cultivation, after which he conveniently gets an even better cultivation! Yay! He doesn't even lose a single f**king pill through that whole process! And for his third severing, he severs his crazy genocidal urges.
This is not "spirit severing", it's *stuff* severing. He severed *stuff* that he didn't want. There was no aspect of his spirit or his soul or his past which he had to let go of, no part of himself which he resolved.

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This kind of thing is typical of ISSTH. It teases you with a hint of a profound idea, then switches up on you by just lampooning Meng Hao with more incalculably valuable and powerful artifacts instead. There are so many special abilities and knick knacks that the author can't even keep track of them all, leading to many theoretically awesome things being forgetten. One instance in particular is when core qi was introduced as the Core Formation realms big thing and why they're so badass, only for that new knowledge to be instantly subverted by Meng Hao, and then basically never shows up in the novel again. Despite all this, iSSTH is still a decent novel--its only because of its ambition that its failures are so obvious. There are aspects where its attempt at being less profligate as a typical xianxia are successful - such as with Meng Hao's significant other.
Spoiler

That particular part of the novel where Meng Hao is briefly crippled from having his foundation stolen away is one of the best parts (along with the story of Chen Fan). It showcases how grounded the novel can be and how the crazy world shaking battles and pill popping are unnecessary to drive the story. However, the fact that it was so abrupt, ends so dramatically and without any sense of loss whatsoever, and the fact that was *totally expected* are the kinds of things which take this novel down two notches in quality.

Otherwise, I don't believe Meng Hao's moral degeneration removes from this quality because it (along with its end) was heavily foreshadowed and was supposed to be a big aspect of his development. However, the fact that his degeneration was treated so trivially, without any sense of self-awareness or conflict did make this a weak narrative and suspect the author was simply using it as a way to make Meng Hao's cutthroat behavior more passably by him.

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Finally, every time I read, "All of this takes some time to describe, but actually happened in the space of only a few breaths, " a little part of my soul dies for being kicked out of the narrative for a completely unnecessary explication.

It's because of this type of thing that I only gave ISSTH three stars. It has its moments and the style differs totally from most other xianxia, but impurities in the narratives make it so that it is not necessarily superior. <<less
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kedar080340119014
kedar080340119014 rated it
May 7, 2016
Status: --
Rating 4.5/5

One of the the best xianxia novels I have read since I started reading LNs. Including CD or ST.

It has a really good mix of humor, romance, action and mystery within the story. Especially the bigger plot within the story is mysterious enough that it can incite curiosity in the reader. One of the best part of the novel is that unlike the usual xianxia novels where good luck and opportunities just falls in the lap of the MCs without them doing anything here the MC actually usually takes... more>> incredible and daring risks to come across fortuitous events. Additionally, some of the scenes and chapters within the story are just amazing and awe-inspiring to imagine. For instance, in the crow divinity tribe arc where Ji Clan’s Ji Nineteen uses Karmic Annihilation Magic to try and completely erase the karma and existence of MC. Just imagining such an OP magic and that scene gives me goosebumps. There are many such epic scenes which if you imagine and visualize are just treat to read. I really enjoy reading this LN. And that is saying a lot. Since I am not a big fan of xianxia novels. I usually like LNs with more drama or politics involved (if cultivation is added into mix than even better) such as transcending nine heavens, galactic dark net or chu wang fei and so on. So for me to give such a high praise to this LN means if u r a fan or even remotely like cultivation/martial arts LNs then u will definitely love this one. Enough said. <<less
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Parth37955
Parth37955 rated it
November 11, 2015
Status: --
If nothing else, read this novel. It starts out a little slow, but the character development makes it all worth it. Meng Hao starts out as a simple scholar, but grows up to be an extremely witty and wise daoist. Romance is really slow but those few moments are really profound. You'll enjoy this book if you take the time to read it.
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clowred
clowred rated it
May 24, 2016
Status: v5c650
Welcome to ISSTH, abbreviated from I shall seal the heavens. Our protagonist, Meng Hao, is a simple scholar who is kidnapped along with a few others to a sect on its decline to either remain as a servant or become a cultivator. He, of course, becomes a cultivator. Now, I will not describe the rest of the story, but this beginning in itself can be described in one word, boring. The start of the story is slow and we never get to see a fast pace when it comes to... more>> the power-ups. Remember the novels from IET where his protagonists climb the stairs of practice very fast? Er Gen proceeds at a slower pace, trying to actually make some sense when he describes Meng Hao and his power. Because of this we see his quest towards perfection even if the heavens refuse it. In a way the name of this novel should be ISSFTH, I shall steal from the heavens.

Now for the actual plot a few things can be said to be the best in the entire xianxia genre. The first is the Dao, the connection between the Dao and the external practice. Even if Ze Tian Ji has a better description of it, the powerlessness of the main character makes it more of an encyclopedia rather than a novel describing a path. Next in line come the conversations. The third book which is about
Spoiler

Alchemy

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There were a few let downs, especially
Spoiler

The obsession Er Gen has with Xu Qing, a plain charcater, very plain. Even if simplicity had its own beauty, Xu Qing is more of a lucky normal woman who gets ahead because of Meng Hao, while the rest of his friends were forgotten. Even Fatty who was his best friend was forgotten. I just hope the story wont end with Meng Hao becoming a couple with Xu Qing. Sincerely, its boring as hell to see how their interactions are about looking at each other and communicating a thousand of words in a second. The rest of the female cast was at least a few tens of times better, especially the former fiance of the Wang brat, I sincerely forgot her name as the story only kept a Xu Qing as the main woman while the rest simply disappeared only to be replaced by the next group of female cultivators.

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Now, thats about it. I love it, sincerely, even with the few let downs, I still consider it as a very good story which is not sassy as ATG with its constant reminding of the cruel things he did in his former life and how much pain he feels especially towards his former lover from the other world who he can't forget, after he
Spoiler

f**ks a lot of other women

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<<less
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alphaGulp
alphaGulp rated it
November 17, 2016
Status: c750
I also dropped the story around 750 because the MC lost his external driving factors and then just became grossly abusive, for no better reason other than being in a permanently bad mood.

... more>>
Spoiler

The story starts off poorly for a dozen or more chapters, but then finally reaches a first segment where the MC is forced to try to survive in a sect full of sociopaths - in a desperate gamble to survive, things are good-to-great.

However, the MC never tries to leave or free himself from that psychopathic world of 'cultivators'- instead, he becomes strangely convinced that he must become the most powerful of them all, which obviously requires that he become the most extreme murderer, con artist and robber.

But before most people would notice this, the MC gets poisoned, which becomes another external factor that LOGICALLY forces him to get back into that world of sociopaths so that he can try to get his cure.

But once he cures himself, the MC dies and is reborn into an inhuman, murderous fiend who is, ironically enough, almost the polar opposite of his originally fairly reasonable Confucian scholar self.

Strategy? Who cares about that when you are in a truly foul mood: deeply unhappy people feel a powerful need and desire to make others around them suffer as well (when in fact they should be acting to solve the root of their problem: healing their wounded self).

With this MC, we see that he acts Confucian and thus moderately wise while he is weak, but once he achieves power, he uses is to destroy and hurt rather than create and heal. He primarily brings despair, desolation, envy, hatred and death upon his already crappy environment.

One could say he is the product of his environment, but I see it rather as someone who simply failed to transcend his crappy origins. Evil's first goal is to to turn you evil, so that you can be unhappy as well. But that just means losing *by choice*, since it is never too late to turn back to good, to happiness, health, symbiosis, true strength and pure fun.

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In general, even if I enjoyed certain parts of the story, there were long segments where the MC is scamming or conning people BY HABIT (rather than true necessity), which I was deeply repulsed by. I also didn't care for all the animal rape, which got extremely repetitive - by the 100th time, I wondered who could still be titillated or shocked by the SAME DAMN 'joke'.

Spoiler

I was at first laughing in slight shock when I read about all the animals exploding from their butts when the mirror was pointed towards them, and how the MC was testing this out all over the place like a scientist. (I was very curious about how that was going to get explained.)

But then I was frankly creeped out by Lord 5th, who is probably the rapiest animal sidekick I've ever seen. The thing to understand is that Lord 5th represents the author's repressed subconscious desires to brutally ass-rape all the chicks he meets.

The awful part is not the desire to dominate women, but rather the way chosen to do so: a man can proudly dominate by his wit, his mastery of game theory, his grace, his intelligence, etc. It is only a truly boorish man who fantasizes of so brutally dominating women - which doesn't even work at all BTW (which is perhaps why the author is so sore towards women: his smiley-rapey ways mean he is an endless failure at love and at women, whom he then resentfully wishes to harm).

Of course, this Lord 5th seems to target both s*xes equally with his terrible abuse, so really the MC not only subconsciously wants to brutally ass-rape most women, but also most men. I guess he figures he would get less lip from them if he did so....

It's like WOW: no wonder he turned out like he did! This poor guy desperately needs to heal and get some sorely lacking mental clarity, so he can stop harming his environment (and thus finally get the love and appreciation he needs), but instead we watch him just meanly lash out at the world in anger and frustration, purposefully choosing the bloodiest path to brutal domination just because it fits his emotional mindset.

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The MC is the kind of guy I would never befriend in a million years, since I know he is such a creepy scammer. Normally, karma would get him his just deserts for such lowly deeds, but with his plot armor he's sure to 'win' at being top bully...

Also, I enjoyed the early romance, but not at all the later developments:

Spoiler

The MC was like a boss when he was moving forward in life, disregarding all the babes throwing themselves at him ('cuz the dude was busy with being poisoned and becoming King Bully).

But then the relationship with his gf around c750 is 100% lame: they spend their time freaking holding hands and all sorts of other boring, childish crap, and then she is supposed to become his raison d'être and motivation to murder countless people to get her reborn, just so they can go back to holding hands and being super boring together?

It's just dumb and pointlessly difficult: choose a fun babe who isn't dead, bro, and life will be a lot better!

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---

To be fair though, I still gave it a 4 because some parts were outstanding. I enjoyed the first big chase quite a bit, and even if the fights were with silly magical powers, the underlying tension and backstory was convincing enough to make it work. Some setups were simply fantastic.

In general, it is a lot smarter and better done than most generic xianxia, but the MC becomes just too unlikable later on. Pure callous creep stupidly self-destructing. <<less
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Sondresnurr
Sondresnurr rated it
March 8, 2017
Status: c80
I honestly don't get all the rave about this novel. It's okay, but to me there are several faults that just makes the whole thing fall short. I have not read very far in so I guess my opinion doesn't count for much for many, but the problems I have with this series are some of the core aspects that you should know about before you start off. -The positive-
* The humor is great! Most of the time when I read something funny I chuckle a bit and move... more>> on. This novel however already managed to get some belly laughs out of me.
* The main character is great so far. How is it possible to not like his scheming?
* It has an interesting premise. Several things got me interested in how they will play out; family background, mirror, tower corpse.
* The writing is very good. -The negative-
* I have two major problems with this novel and the first one is the cultivation. There's no training, no understanding of anything deeper, no type of learning of any kind - just pills (and sometimes just dumb luck?). The increase in cultivation do not feel earned in any way, there's no feeling of accomplishment at all. He just locks himself up, eat a couple hundred pills and tada~.
* My second major problem is the fighting. I obviously don't know if things get better later on, but so far the fight scenes have been absolutely horrible. There's so many chase scenes. Seriously, you won't believe how many chase scenes there are. They go on and on and on and repeats close to every single time a fight is about to happen.
The fighting itself is also pretty damn bad. Nothing makes much sense and it seems like almost every fight is a treasure-off. Personal skill have extremely little to do with who wins and who loses. It's simply "who has more resources and weapons in their spatial bag". It makes the whole combat rather dull. There's no actual fighting and enemies basically just throws sh*t at each other until one have exhausted their resources. I really tried to get into this one. I heard it got good later on after a slow start, so I forced myself to read on. Then I searched around and realized that the "point were it gets good" were long past me and I still didn't think it was very good.
This will sadly be one of the very, very few novels that I drop. <<less
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EGen
EGen rated it
May 15, 2016
Status: c658
Unless you are in a firm position of refusal, for whatever reasons you may have, you will not regret giving this a chance. Honestly, just read 10 or so chapters, you will love it. Review anyways!

(TL;DR>Chapters ~60, Repetitive at times yet still fresh scenes with some little cliche plot fillers. Chapters 61+, Constant overt or subliminal foreshadowing yet constant well executed plot twists that lead you through the story without being bombarded with "Courting Death". Many comedic moments without ever getting bland, the comedy is given at odd times... more>> but absolutely never interferes with the story or tone)

~~~ Story, Plot, and Etc ~~~
The story begins with a slow and normal setting that beings to introduces our beloved main character's, Meng Hao, personality and experiences. You will find that while he changes some of his naive or original beliefs, he will never change who he is at the core. The world of cultivation and cultivators will open his eyes to human nature and give him many trials that temper his very being, from resisting devilish temptations to sacrificing an easy solution in order to uphold his bottom line. From the very beginning the story shows the growth of Meng Hao's self and this is ultimately where ISSTH differs from the vast majority of other cultivation stories. There is no grand revenge driving the story, there is no great mystery that is used to push thing forward, and there is no magic almighty master behind the scenes. You will read about Meng Hao, an average talent that slowly but steadily cultivates his mind and body to create his path and pursue his own Dao.

In other words, ISSTH has no story, at least this is what many people attempt to say. The truth is, one moment you will be in an auction house and the next a great valley, followed by an ancient volcano and great tribulations, only to find yourself with a talking hat that has no use. The story leads in many directions, without using the cliche scenarios other stories use to push the narrative along you will end up with many unique, tragic, funny, interesting, bizarre, and profound moments. The story of ISSTH can be summarized as a first person biography of Meng Hao and his life.

There will be light character relations and a very minor amount of love interests. Surprisingly from beginning to end no character is given an overblown emotional attachment or sentiment to Meng Hao, nor is there a constant "I must protect waifuuuuu~~~!!!<3"/"The power of friendship compels you!" motivation behind his actions. The side characters are given a bit of personality without being too shallow, they aren't simple yes men but they also aren't given a major amount of flesh. I feel as though each side character is given just enough to establish that they are a person, the have some emotions, and ultimately they are also cultivators with their own life so they don't need to spend every moment serving Meng Hao nor explain their every action/thought to Meng Hao.

Now for the annoying information... Violence, Cruelty, s*xism, Racism, and blah blah etc. I'll take these one by one.
1. Violence ~~~ Yes. Unnecessary violence at time, necessary at others. They are cultivators, violence is normal. You will rarely see truly violent and cruel genocidal existences, but no cultivator is without some history of violence. It is a path of blood and broken dreams, for every success 10 must fail and 100 must fall in the background. Meng Hao is, at first, very much against violence and doesn't wish to hurt people, but eventually accepts that violence and cultivation are intertwined. People who are violent to others or violent to Meng Hao obviously are the majority, but Meng Hao will also be the one to be violent or arrogant to others. Self righteous justification is almost nonexistent, in a world where everyone has blood on their hands you can say Meng Hao is nicer than most. Definitely more tolerant.
2. Cruelty ~~~ Duh. Yes. When it comes to cruelty, I can safely call it excessive. Light cruelty is a limb, mild cruelty is death, and excessive cruelty is turning a cultivator into a cripple that can never train again. When something cruel happens, it will usually be mild to excessive. Personal opinion, losing a limb is nothing but annoying, losing your life is average and nothing to write home about in the cultivation world, but living while crippled of your cultivation is a life worse than death that is much more cruel to straight up murder. If ISSTH isn't your first novel, then have already experienced this.
3. s*xism ~~~ No. Some have complained that the treatment of women in the novel is s*xist, but those people are idiots. Everyone has a fair shot, both genders suck up to others, both genders can cultivate, stereotypes and reality often coincide because stereotypes are based on reality.... ETC. If you want an easy life, men will become yes men, henchmen, and bootlicker pieces of trash.... If you want an easy life, women will be bootlickers, yes women, and 'lovers'. Pathetic Men=Henchmen pawns to die --- Pathetic Women=Pawns to grope. Neither side gets it easy, but nobody is telling, forcing, or setting up systems that make men or women more advantageous than the other, personal talent and personality take first place here. A powerful man has a flock men and women at their beck and call, a powerful woman has a flock of men and women at their beck and call. In short, you will find s*xism if you want to find s*xism, objectively speaking the only true s*xism that which you confirm with your own preconceived biases where you attribute "Malice to actions that can easily be explained with neglect" (ie think is it s*xist or is it "1+1 actually equals 2, what do you expect to get when you add 1+1 together? Sometimes there isn't a deeper message".)
4. Racism ~~~ No. The closest we get to this is "Some rocks and flowers are sentient, other well its still a rock! Harvest it!". You will not read any racism in ISSTH... Intolerance exists in the ISSTH Universe, but absolutely none of it directed at race.
5. Blah Blah Etc ~~~ Mild violence, 99.9999~% non existent s*xism and racism, mild to excessive cruelty at 7/10 turns, and in general most people and situations are superficial (ie; if you had power/background you were fine, if you didn't you were screwed)

~~~ Progression ~~~
Cultivation levels are both firm and loose at the same time. There exists modern and ancient cultivation standards, and we exist in modern times so the knowledge we have in the martial dao is open to being changed at times. An example of this is that in modern times the stages of "perfection" are both sealed/censored and frowned upon by the powers that be.

Levels of cultivation include;
Mortal to cultivator, transition: Qi Condensation (a stage above mere mortals but not considered real cultivators, almost negligible because with enough resources this stage doesn't matter)
Stepping foot onto the path of cultivation: Foundation Establishment (a stage where you establish a foundation that will support your future cultivation)
Becoming a real cultivator: Core Formation (a stage where you melt your foundation to form an inner core, the stronger the foundation the stronger the core)
Stepping foot onto the path of an immortal: Nascent Soul (a stage where you turn your core into a vortex and turn one of the 10 elements into a soul, consolidating your cultivation with your very being)
Consolidating your immortal foundation: Spirit Severing (a stage where you step off the mortal path and begin to defy the heavens. You begin to understand certain laws/concepts here)
Watering your dao seed, birthing the final transition: Dao Seeking (the final stage before reaching immortal ascension, your dao and abilities are put to the test here)
Immortal Ascension: #### (Too far away, no point expanding on it)
~~~ Power Ups ~~~
At first, the power ups are nonexistent. Meng Hao will slowly cultivate and achieve results himself, however not long after reaching a certain phase power ups become more and more pronounced, and eventually are almost the only time of progression in cultivation base. This, however, is not a big deal compared to many other novels. Very few of the power ups are unearned or pulled out of thin air, almost all power ups are a result of Meng Hao working exceedingly hard or risking his life in order to obtain the power up. I will give one pulled out of nowhere powerup and one somewhat earned powerup, these are pretty much the maintained theme of powerups throughout the story and most powerups are obtained by effort + some luck rather dumb luck + fortune.

Out of nowhere power up:
Is told a phrase similar to "If you call it a mountain it is a mountain, if you call it a rock it is a rock." and experiences enlightenment that somehow to 1 into 4 without explaining the exact steps... I mean, we all know how 1 can become 4, 1+2+1, 1+3, 1-5, 1/4, 1*4, 1*2*2, 1*3+1, and ETC ETC.... I am personally not a fan of hearing 1 became 4 without also reading the steps behind it.

Powerup earned through effort + a bit of luck:
Basically risked his life, used some hard core conning to trick some old powerful people, proceeds to get conned himself, takes revenge against the person who conned him, and proceeds to emo cut himself to absorb Qi to power up. (if you can't tell I'm trying to not give spoilers thus<<<)

If you like powerups that are earned + mix in a bit of luck, ISSTH will meet your needs. If you want more unearned but insanely lucky/awesome powerups out of thin air, ISSTH will rarely meet your needs.
~~~ Godly Treasures, Teachers, etc ~~~
In ISSTH there will be the occasional high level treasure/teaching experience, but these don't really add up to anything godly in the end. A small example of this is finding an ancient legacy technique, that ends up only helping him do things he could already do a bit faster.

The crux godly mystical treasure in this story is very unique compared to many other stories. Meng Hao isn't an extreme or even above average talent, he doesn't have some godly time dilation 1 day inside equal 100 days outside treasure, he doesn't have some comprehension treasure that shows him the essence of techniques, he doesn't have some magic crystal that lets him magically absorb all types of energy without repercussions, he doesn't have any overpowered dues ex machina treasure, and he doesn't have any plot armor treasure.

what does he have?

A mirror. What does the mirror do?
Abilities 1 and 2 introduced near the beginning of the novel
Spoiler

Ability 1: Has the profound ability to make creatures with fur or feathers, but no creatures without fur or feathers, butt explode. Sometimes arms/etc will explode, but 99% of the time the butt will explode.
Ability 2: Duplication, non exploit method. The duplication ability is Meng Hao's god trump card, however it has a major crux, it requires spirit stones equal to the item being duplicated. A weak little medicine pill that has the energy of 1 spirit stone will require 2 spirit stones to duplicate, because the medicine was processed and contained ingredients etc it requires more than it is worth to you in effectiveness to dupe. 2 spirit stones refined slowly is better than 1 easily refind pill, on paper. All in all, the ability isn't OP!

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Abilities 3 and 4 introduced 200-300 ish chapters in
Spoiler

Ability 3: Bloodline masking... This is a very strange ability that has not been explained at any real point, up to my current chapter of 658. Imagine a lock that requires you to have the bloodline of Huangfe (random surname), well with mirror instead of being electrocuted to death upon touching the lock you instead are somehow able to open the lock without being of the bloodline of Huangfe.... Oh well. Not really that important of an ability, so far.
Ability 4: Have faith in Lord Fifth! Release a magic flamboyant perverted parrot named Lord Fifth. Have faith in him. Gain eternal life!

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Ability 5 somewhat introduced 600ish chapters in
Spoiler

Ability 5: Absorbtion. During a certain incident Meng Hao uses the mirror to absorb another weaker version of the mirror... It seems this absorbtion will soon indicate that items inside can now be duplicated without spirit stones, albeit the items will be destroy/heavily damaged if done that way.... So far very interesting, very little expansion and explinations, so while absorbtion ability is confirmed what it can do afterwards is still just conjecture.

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Compared to many other novels, Meng Hao almost feels as though he has no godly amazing treasure.... I find that it makes the story more enjoyable, as I root for Meng Hao, and as such I enjoy that it feels like he does more all by himself rather than relying on treasure cheats. Although, you could argue this point. <<less
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CultivationGod
CultivationGod rated it
July 9, 2017
Status: Completed
A truthful review of I Shall Seal The Heavens. A brilliant Epic turns dour, ultimately becoming just above average. A paradoxical novel where brilliance and mediocrity combine, leaving a sweet and bitter feeling. Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

This is where I explain my bias as the reviewer. I enjoy reason and thoughtfulness in my novels. In the latter half of the novel, after chapter 1315, this aspect completely falls apart. It's as if Er Gen doesn't know how to write a novel after a certain point in Cultivation. The... more>> Mountain and Sea War against the 33 Heavens Arc, which I was unhappy with, but could still get through, and the AllHeaven Final Battle Arc, which was complete garbage and left me wanting to drop this novel, even though it was the last Arc of the novel, hurt the overall positive view I had on the novel.

I've also just finished the novel, and the disappointment and bitter feelings are still there. I understand that the topics of discussion in the novels are incredibly difficult to understand, express and make advancements in, such as Space and Time, along with Karma (Cause and Effect in Essence), but Er Gen seemed to hit a mental block at some point and no advancements were made at all. Inconsistent logic and overly dramatic language are also cons of the novel.

I mean, does Er Gen even understand the implication of Celestial Bodies bowing and entire Starry Sky trembling? Or Cultivators who's mere snort could kill all living beings on that planet yelling at the top of their lungs? Most battles in the novels also lack shock waves and collateral damage. There is absolutely zero consistent logic or physics within the novel in regards to the Universe itself, and it very much hurts the novel. There was distance, but metrics like Joule for Energy could also have been added.

Old knowledge and idea's were regurgitated in new forms. Er Gen basically stuck with old knowledge and philosophical comfort zones and made no effort to improve. Core concepts of the novel, like Alchemy, were completely abandoned towards the ending Arcs. Grafting, which was an advanced technique in Alchemy, which had insane potential, was forgotten.

It's also difficult to meet expectations. Low Intelligence of the characters for example, when it's not a quirk of the characters themselves, can't be advanced with Cultivation because in reality, it's tied to the author. This is where problems start to arise.

There are moments where certain characters were incredibly brilliant, in accordance with their superhuman lives and traits. In the following chapters however, these characters lose all shred of their intelligence because Er Gen cares more about Plot advancements, Aka another challenge to overcome, than any reasonable coherency. This is also a flaw in pre-made plans that aren't adjusted, and the addiction Er Gen has to writing obstacles and tribulations which in hindsight, seem benign and hurt the novel. It seemed like an act to fill word count, a necessary evil for an Author in China, but one that hurts the novel none the less.

It's also when all powerful beings, and the expectations to the capabilities and intelligence of these beings are in complete conflict. I'm speaking of a character in particular, AllHeaven.

AllHeaven is one of the worst characters in the novel. With the bevy of wonderful characters, he seems like one of rare failures. He is also a critical character, which pretty much ruins hundreds of chapters of the novel. With the capabilities shown of this character, there should have been absolutely zero reasons why Meng Hao should have been to live and advance the way he did, even with the bronze soul lamp and the clones of the other Transcendent helping him in crucial moments. AllHeaven's intelligence, foresight and experience were also below the threshold of acceptability and believably. This, in my view, is a critical plot hole, and a fatal one that topples the brilliance of the novel.

Er Gen also relies on the emotions and instincts of these powerful Cultivators, when their countless years of life and Cultivation should have made them immune to these types of provocations.

Another minus point for the novel is that towards the several hundred ending chapters, new techniques and abilities are no longer introduced. No new Dao or Essences are learned (aside from the final hexes), and even when new techniques were indeed passed onto the main-character, they weren't used. Previous abilities also seem to advance with Cultivation base, but advances in the techniques themselves are never explicitly stated. The first instance was with Greed, which Meng Hao never made an attempt to unlock his soul and gain the much needed, and useful techniques. Afterwards, when Shui Dongliu passed on his techniques, they were forgotten and unused. Even after tens of thousands of years, all that Time was used to create the 10th hex, with other abilities remaining the same.

That said, most of the novel is brilliant, and the intelligence in planning and connection in-between plots is fantastic. The speech is human and the glib tongue of the main character is praise-worthy. The humour in the novel is some of the best imaginable, and had me roaring out loud. There were some sections where I had cried from laughing too much. Er Gen is also a virtuoso in writing endings of plots.

What could have been a brilliant novel, in the end, is just an above average novel. I hope A Will Eternal doesn't suffer the same fate, and the Chinese community has hounded Er Gen enough so he's learned from his mistakes. <<less
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bushwhacker2k
bushwhacker2k rated it
January 3, 2019
Status: c700
It starts off so well. The main character is interesting and fairly unique, and the progression happens at a pretty good rate. He seems intelligent and I like how he specifically doesn't talk during combat.

The only significant problem through the early part is the lack of romance, even when he's surrounded by obvious love interests. Even when he's basically devoted himself to a girl he loves, they never really spend any time together and they're constantly pulled apart, to the point that their relationship has no real depth to it.... more>> It gets to the point that they've been alive for literal centuries and have only even LOOKED at each other a handful of times yet they're both convinced the other is the love of their life (which I wouldn't have a problem with if they'd actually properly spend time together instead of just paying lip service).

For the rest of the story, chapter 518 is when everything goes downhill.

The author abandons most of what makes the story good and instead just uses cheap narrative tricks for emotional manipulation, like forcing drama and tension constantly.

Spoiler

Meng Hao 'dies' repeatedly, for over a hundred years each time, making the time he's spent outside of these timeskip segments seem so minor as to be pointless.

He constantly has to rush around to save someone or something important to him which is in immediate threat of death.

His parents show up then make excuses as to why they won't help him when someone way more powerful than him is actively hunting him.

Even before all this, he never spends time with his friends/loved ones anymore. Even the comedy relief characters who are technically always with him NEVER show up. It's so desolate, lonely and boring that it raises the question of what he's even trying to do by cultivating? Does he want to just spend eternity alone, as an immortal virgin?

At the chapter I stopped reading, 700, it's been literal centuries since he's seen numerous significant people who are important to him or at least consider him important to them. For cultivators who are already hundreds or thousands of years old, this isn't as big of a deal, but many of those people were under one hundred years old when he last saw them, would they even have strong memories regarding him considering the minor amount of time they have spent together?

Long, hundred, or even thousand year timeskips can be acceptable in the right context, but he's so isolated from everyone else that it's just become boring.

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DeathStroke96
DeathStroke96 rated it
April 12, 2017
Status: c1560
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Honestly this novel has been a disappointment, as compared to Renegade Immortal (Xian Ni)...

Why do you ask? Very well the first 100 chapters were the most biggest boringness you could ever experience in a novel, and it wasnt any useful other than MH getting the stupid mirror and blowing the asses from furry beasts - thats it!! I know that the english audience, for some reason found it hilarious or something, but to me it was just, meh...

but lets ignore the boring stuff and focus on the mass murderer... more>> that Meng Hao is, because usually people compare Wang Lin and call wang lin the evil one because he killed and the like... so lets make a simple comparison by the age of 200 for both characters

Spoiler

Meng Hao killed around 100, 000 cultivators/people, when Wang Lin was the same age at most he killed around 1, 000 cultivators/people - there will be people saying that Meng Hao was defending himself, but wang lin was just randomly killing - well then thats also incorrect, as most people that wang lin killed was due to them trying to kill him as well

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so from both cases MH the bigger butcher, now at the age of 500

Spoiler

MH killed around 1 million additional cultivators just so that his technique could grow stronger - that was a pointless slaughter of 1 million, at that point Wang Lin, stopped killing and at most killed around 500 people since the last comparison and the reason was because they tried killing him first

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To me ISSTH was somewhat readable from around 150 until lets say 800 but this is a rough estimate and here is the reason, why I nearly dropped the novel but decided to continue reading although I already invested a significant amount of time into it

Spoiler

lets say that from c1 MH was potrayed as this character that was against killing and the like and as he killed the more conflicted he was becoming to the point of his heart becoming black (literally - something devilish) and it could be seen how he was struggling against it and the like, so what did ergen do? easy solution have a spirit severing that was out of this world that directly shot his cultivation to half immortal and deleted all the characterisation that was revolving around this struggle!! but thats not the worst part if all that deletion was never going to be mentioned again but around 1400 guess what, it was brought back under just a different name demon something but was explained exactly as the devilishness meaning that, the deletion by severing was utterly pointless

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Of course there were some memorable arcs in this novel such as the alchemist arc, but thats the only memorable arc that I can think of on top of my head, if you asked me to do the same for renegade immortal I would be able to list at least 5 or so and thats only from the translated chapters...

Now people say that it is hilarious or something, honestly I dont remember laughing from anything from this novel unless I did and my memory is foggy, but at least I can honestly say that, this is a very mediocre xianxia as compared to Renegade Immortal which in my opinion is one of the best novels currently in translation...

but everyone has their own opinions I guess, if they prefer something worse over something better than its their choice...

PS: that greedy male character thing was also a very tedious thing to like, I mean the best was to describe MH is to just call him a spoiled brat that likes money to the point of extortion which is not really funny whatsoever as at times, it is a but over the top!!

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there are 2 good arcs in the entire issth novel one has already been tl'ed early on around 200/300s the violet sect/alchemy arc after that we had to wait for over 1000 chapters for another good arc which will be around 1450 to I think 1525 something along those lines, it will be focused on Chu YuYan and without true MH being involved but it will be about her happiness, so only 2 good arcs in a novel of the length of 1600 chapters whereas renegade immortal had twice that in only 400 translated chapters... this speaks for it self, and the reason why issth is because of the translation speed, which people choose over the better ergen novels which is a true shame. <<less
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Sharkeisha69
Sharkeisha69 rated it
October 28, 2016
Status: c1110
I am thoroughly annoyed!!! Not because the novel is bad, but on the contrary it is just too good. After reading this I just can't build up the motivation to read any other Novels anymore they all just feel mediocre in comparison. My main complaint with this novel is the slow start (I read about 400 chapters in about half a year...) But even then when I look back on it the slow start is actually a good thing. This is because the start of the story sets the foundations... more>> of the story, ranging from the world expansion to character growth.

When I say it sets a foundation for character growth I really mean it. The latter parts of the story just would not be the same without the start of the story be it for the emotional attachment Er Gen forces the reader to feel for Meng Hao, or the emotional attachment he makes you feel for the numerous side characters. Yes I said side characters too! This story doesn't forget about the side characters like other Novels do. The side characters stay in the plot and all have their own experiences and personalities which makes the story as a whole that much more enjoyable. Not like other Novels where the side characters either disappear or are just inferior to the MC in every way. Plus in this novel the side characters have potential to keep up with the MC.

Now onto personalities. The personality of Meng Hao was portrayed in a truly immaculate way. Meng Hao doesn't bore me like I find in a lot of different Novels protagonists. I always find that the MC has just got a boring personality and that some side characters actually have more personality than them or they start off good but as the story progresses they just get more and more dull and stupid and predictive. But this doesn't happen with Meng Hao. Meng Hao has a very... unique personality which Er Gen displays in his thought processes and his actions. Also Meng Hao goes through rough patches and become depressed only to overcome it and undergo some true character growth. Yes in this novel there is actually clear character growth from both Meng Hao and the other characters which makes the reader feel a very strong emotional attachment to most characters and not just Meng Hao.

Next is emotions which the author really knows how to use. This novel isn't like others where every character on the MC side will receive protection from the god of plot armour. Tragedies happen to both the main character and the side characters. Everyone has there own story and problems which allows the reader to sympathise with them and become more engrossed in the story. However, all these tragedies create a path for the growth in cultivation the characters. The true thing which shows the skill of the author is how he makes the antagonists likeable. He knows how to make you hate the enemies only to show their stories and make your feelings turn on their heads. And how Meng Hao handles his enemies is... LOL.

This novel is unpredictable in every way. Which is soooo great! Be it cultivation, the plot or the world building it is truly all amazingly done. The cultivation isn't done in a set way and each step is different which makes you not know what to expect next. Plus the way Meng Hao achieves his next steps of cultivation is always done well and is never done the same way twice. The author is incredibly creative. Although Meng Hao has plot armour it doesn't feel forced and is always written in a way which makes it believable. It is also fairly slow paced so Meng Hao won't have a power up for ages then suddenly he does have one and it is so satisfying to read about. The world is always growing too and the way stronger opponents are introduced is done well.

Anyone who has read the story will agree with me that it is a masterpiece. Be it from the comedy in the novel which is probably the funniest from any novel I have read, or the world building which carries on as the story goes, the character growth which includes side characters too, the cultivation system which never follows just one path, the plot which is unpredictable, the emotions which take you for a ride or how you can tell the intelligence of the author for the beautiful bits of literacy he adds in which give you the feels. This novel tops them all.

Overall, I can assure you that you will regret reading this as it makes all Novels pale in comparison to it so only read it if you want to quit all other Novels because trust me you will lose your motivation. Also although the start is longggggg you will realise after you get through it how worth it it was.

P.S. I just have to add that I wasn't a fan of the romance. But it doesn't really matter that much in this novel. Although Er Gen should take some notes from Tang Jia San Shao. <<less
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ArCiel
ArCiel rated it
August 20, 2017
Status: c1404
Well this is my first review on Novel Updates. I have read up to 1404 and skim the rest as reading the last 200 ish chapter is an uphill battle. I find ISSTH is like one of the rarest raw diamond out there, that is carefully polished just to have a terrible finishing.

First of all, somewhere up to ch 795, I can only describe it as epic xianxia novel that have one of the most exiting climax at every volume to keep my reading appetite growing. It also have quite... more>> a deep philosophical things which increase my immersion to the story.

Such as:

Spoiler

if you believe it as a lake, its a lake, if you believe it is an ocean, its an ocean.

or,

I am the snow during winter. If I get too close to summer, then... summer will melt me. That is not the world of snow, nor is it my world.

or the one with the golden pill and tree.

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Then from 795 onward, author just throw a random bunch of crap, yes crap, into the story. Maybe its just me, in which I could not accept such absurd setting with little to none foreshadowing. There is little to none of the novelty left from the early chapter, up to chapter 1404, in which I feel there is no point on continuing to suffer.

Spoiler

The 33 heavens is first foreshadowed when MC become a true immortal and open 33 immortal meridian, then suddenly poof, they are the enemies? wtf? Then suddenly another allheaven, fight? wtf?

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Spoiler

Also things like the temple of doom legacy, the agarwood legacy, his 2 other burrowed time sword, the other terracotta soldier, the sword lotus formation are forgotten, like no explanation, its just gone.

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So, for me. Its one of the best xianxia novel and if the author can persist with the same quality up to the end, it will be one of the masterpiece out of all xianxia stories I have read, but the higher your expectation is, the more butt hurt you feel when its not met at the end and that's how I feel.

My suggestion, read untill 795 and proceed on your own risk. <<less
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thecursedone
thecursedone
May 5, 2017
Status: c1437
It's so good that I need to hack the site so I give it 6/5 stars and I'm not kidding!Lets not compare all xianxia novels out there with this one ok... u can't compare it... why? because I don't feel any discontinuity in the plot I feel like that's how it should be but still surpsises me somehow with it's plot, it's kind of golden gears working togheter when u read it that u think u are yourself in the storry.

The autor just creates a world which u can... more>> feel it to be real... I can just feel that I'm watching something at the cinema (yeah images/sounds the feeels man the feels) when I'm reading.

The main character is just awesome it feels like he's real not some op sh*t that gives u the feeling he will win anyway. I mean the battles feel real and well fought by both parties not just ah I trow something well the main character trows 10xsomething and wins this is not like that if u read from the start u will feel like all the "abilities" he uses are rly well defined u feel like u've "gained elightenment" of them urself because the autor makes it so that u can corelate to everything "magical" in the story everything has a deep understanding while being simple sort of writing.

Anyway enough of Meng Hao lets talk about how good is the mood that the autor creates. Yes the mood u can see that the story is in chapters of idk how many thousand words but u feel that you are watching a movie without stopping (I mean between chapters) he creates a mood that caries in between the chapters but somehow makes the suspanse after each chapter feel real.

What we see here is actual writing skill guys making simple look complex and vice versa while giving us the fantasy that we desire the feelings that we desirein our daily lifes from the world that the autor created in a realy beautifully way (ps u can watch Er Green talking about ISSTH and how he is "making" the story and the feelings behind his work on youtube just go search for it). <<less
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Amnesiac
Amnesiac rated it
March 20, 2017
Status: v4c519
This review contains spoilers - you have been warned.

... more>>
Spoiler

Let's get this out of the way: "I Shall Seal the Heavens" is a good Xianxia novel. One of Er Gen's many strengths as an author is his prose, which, though at times repetitive, is eloquent in a sense that cannot be compared to his contemporaries. Irrespective of its significance to the plot, each chapter in "I Shall Seal the Heavens" is well written in its own right. In describing new locales, rare artifacts stumbled across in the depths of an ancient and mysterious ruin, or even one of Meng Hao's foundation shaking epiphanies, Er Gen is succinct and articulate. Much of the writing lacks density by design, making it an unequivocally relaxing undertaking to read sit down and start reading. Furthermore, "I Shall Seal the Heavens" is largely bereft of the vacuous padding that many Xianxia novels receive. The story frequently skips large chunks of time when necessary. And while this aspect of the story's composition may have resulted in a work that lacks cohesion and structure in the hands of a lesser author, in this case, it only adds to the feeling that the audience is experiencing a cultivator's journey through life. There is an inherently immersive progression to the world and characters, a feeling that the world is changing and evolving along with Meng Hao, and that, though the readers discover Planet South Heaven through the eyes of a protagonist, it isn't necessarily beholden to his whim. For instance, the incident that prompts Meng Hao to leave for the Southern Domain is when Patriarch Reliance (who turns out to be a giant turtle) decides to up and leave, taking the entire state of Zhao along with him, just because he doesn't want to be the protagonist's dao protector. Plot developments, while often predictable to those who've read enough Xianxia, can still surprise you either by being intriguing, downright silly, or, at the best of times, eliciting raw emotion.

One piece of criticism that is often levied at the novel is that there is a lack of variety in cultivation. This fault, while often articulated, continues to astound me. I can only conclude that individuals who find the story's variety in cultivation deficient either haven't read very much of the story or were lobotomized as children. One of "I Shall Seal the Heaven's" principle strengths is evident in the manner that cultivation is handled. The protagonist begins his journey by pouring over a Qi Condensation manual in every moment of his spare time, all the while holding onto the errant hope that he will one day manage to become an outer disciple of the Reliance Sect. While a member of the outer sect, he relies on pills and demonic cores to increase his cultivation base but begins to realize that such methods will eventually prove ineffective. While many of his minor breakthroughs are instigated by pill consumption, he is oftentimes only able to break bottlenecks through introspection, meditation, diligent cultivation, and ultimately, enlightenment. However, the topics upon that spark this enlightenment are so varied and his realizations are so profound and philosophically complex that these segments never grow dull or uninteresting.
However, the story still has flaws. One of the most glaring (and oft-articulated) issues here is with Meng Hao's character. While he begins the story as a scholar with nary a violent thought in his mind - a naive mortal with aspirations that amount to little more than crossing the sea and gazing upon foreign lands, the second stage of his character arc is far more interesting than the wonderbread generic protagonist that he eventually develops into. Meng Hao begins the story as a simple scholar, but after becoming a cultivator and a part of the reliance sect, he quickly begins to understand the rules of the cultivation world - thrown into a land where the law of the jungle is the sole governing force, the audience watches as the childish, small minded protagonist first introduced begins to develop. Meng Hao's moral struggle and attempts to reconcile the teachings of Confucius with the "might makes right" attitude ubiquitous to the cultivation world along with the young scholar's reliance on wit rather than strength make the first novel the most engrossing portion of "I Shall Seal the Heavens" that I have read thus far.

However, Meng Hao needed to develop for the story to continue, and as he "grows" through his travels, he begins to drift closer and closer to the rightly reviled archetypal badass, morally ambiguous (but not really) protagonist paradigm that is all too common within Xianxia. Some of Meng Hao's original wit and charm still remains, and his character progression is well defined. The audience develops a profound understanding of why the protagonist acts the way he does simply by being privy to his experiences and inner thoughts, but as the story continues onwards, Er Gen begins to rely more on character tropes, the most obtrusive and plot convenient being Meng Hao's clear moral code. Characters that act according to a set doctrine without variation are innately boring, and each time Meng Hao is described as "a cultivator who repays kindness with kindness and enmity with enmity" my heart sinks a little, for each repetition of this epithet sounds the knell for the character that carried the story through the first novel.

Fortunately, many of the story's secondary characters remain interesting as the plot progresses. They, like Meng Hao's path on the road to immortal ascension, remain unpredictable and interesting.

In Summation, while "I Shall Seal the Heavens" is better written, more ideologically complex, and more plot intensive than the majority of modern Xianxia novels, it is by no means free from the faults and tropes that plague the genre. However, the story is demonstrably its own tale, and, many of the things that manage to bog down lesser tales - most principally a one-note protagonist, and various plot conveniences - are relatively inconsequential in this epic narrative. If you have not read "I Shall Seal the Heavens, " for what it's worth, I would proffer that Meng Hao's story is about as worthwhile a read as any Xianxia novel that can be read online today. It's not the Citizen Kane of Chinese Novels and it doesn't have to be. A solid read that does what it sets out to doesn't have to be subversive or revolutionary to be good and well worth your time. So, If you're a fan of Xianxia and aren't bothered to death by the issues inherent to the genre, then you'll probably enjoy this one, and if you can't read stories that aren't genre-defying works of art without involuntarily lodging an icepick in the cerebral cortex of the nearest civilian out of sheer hatred for humanity and all that that it has engendered, I recommend that you try "I Shall Seal the Heavens" out anyways - you might like it.

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knightandstars
knightandstars
September 28, 2016
Status: --
It was alright and interesting in the beginning until around chapter 300. Fights began to be incomprehensible and nonsensical, just a bunch of bull. The characters were interesting at first, especially the interactions in chapter 200 which were hilarious. All downhill from that point on though.
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KKristen
KKristen rated it
September 21, 2016
Status: c960
Currently my favorite LN of all time. I will hold off on posting a full review until it is complete. HOWEVER, I do want to put these facts out there for those of you who are still debating whether to read this or not:

Quick Summary: (because the official description does this story no justice)

- After being forced to join a small sect, a scholar uses his brains, creativity, and shamelessness to pursue the path of immortal cultivation and con his way to riches. While exploring the Dao and accidentally... more>> stealing legacies along the way, Meng Hao rises to prominence with a bashful smile.

Pros:

- I Shall Seal The Heavens has one of THE BEST TRANSLATORS in the world of light novels.
Deathblade is fast, responsive, detailed, cares about his readers, and actually has a great vocabulary (which improves the quality of the story). He posts at least TWO FULL CHAPTERS EVERY DAY, answers questions on Twitter, leaves detailed translation notes and story notes in case you forget where you met characters, shares info about his life in China, etc. - Er Gen is a fantastic writer.
The characters he writes are memorable (all hail Lord Fifth!), the story arcs aren't repetitive, and the world building just gets bigger and better as the story goes on. Characters, powers, and treasures discovered very early in the series aren't forgotten, and you still see the MC using all the things he's learned 900+ chapters later. Er Gen is GREAT at writing comedy. He also has a talent for writing really emotional scenes -- a couple of times you'll feel like sobbing, and the little bit of romance will have you proclaiming ** **** as absolute best waifu.

- Meng Hao is a VERY likeable main character.
He's intelligent, humorous, sneaky, focused, and ruthless if needed, but without the overbearing arrogance common in Chinese light novels. He stays humble (but not in an annoying Japanese LN way) for most of the series, and his character development from a youthful, mortal scholar to an ambitious, powerful immortal is great. He's the type of guy who doesn't talk a lot, but when he does it's always for a reason (or it blows everyone's mind).

Cons:

- Like most folks said, the beginning starts out a bit slow. I didn't have a problem with it, but lots of people have said they had to force themselves to get through it. Get through it. It's worth it.

- There isn't much harem and the romance moves SLOW. I like this (I think slow romances are more realistic/meaningful), but if you're looking for a bunch of romance you will be sadly disappointed.

- If you are a shounen bro and just want OP-action-bloodbath-revenge-harem-gary-stu-cheat-codes-yelling-action, you will get quite a bit of that, but you'll be bored with all the alchemy/thinking/philosophy/character development that goes on in this novel. If you want mindless bloody over-powered MC action, go read MGA or ATG.

- UPDATE: As some other reviewers may have mentioned, the ending of the series feels a rushed and less thought-out. I really enjoyed this series in the beginning (when it was all on Planet South Heaven) but liked it less when it expanded at the end (from the 33 Heavens onward).

- ENDING UPDATE: The story does lose a bit of its finesse towards the end (as seen in many other series where the characters become super all-powerful), but the ending is a very nice wrap-up to the series and will leave you satisfied. There are 3 epilogue chapters to satisfy your last questions, too. Regardless of the ups and downs of this story, in the end ISSTH is an epic tale that shouldn't be missed. <<less
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Cowtail
Cowtail rated it
June 5, 2016
Status: c706
I've read a lot of web novels and this is my favorite out of all of them. There are so many subtle and obvious plot elements with a spectacular deep and ever-evolving main character that it's above and beyond anything I've read so far. There's humor, romance, skill building, killing, and Meng Hao's a badass. ISSTH has better pacing than the others, and is without all that immediate gratification and mindless killing and endless tourney-style events.
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Felix3D
Felix3D
June 3, 2016
Status: c701
ISSTH is everything I want from a novel.

1) It goes beyond traditional Xianxia tropes and elevates the Genre
2) There is agency in every character, there is a clear personality and motivations of each faction
3) The escalation is not only organic, but the type of conflict evolves over time
4) The Novel itself evolves as time goes on
5) It is something a literary analysis/book report would actually give the analyzer something meaningful after it's done.

It is not perfect. The first book is very slow. The translation is not... more>> the best during that time, which makes it feel so slow, as if you follow the work, you'll realize that this novel is heavily influenced by Poetry. There are so many allusions, contextual in jokes, and more that really require knowledge of not only chinese, but chinese classical literature and culture to get.

Deathblade, the translator, does a masterful job of translating it, but there is still clear improvement on his part and the authors as the volumes go on.

This leaves the First book to be the weakest.

I don't like the second book much either.

But every detail is important - often one-off mentions come back hundreds of chapters later to mean something serious, or as a particularly interesting, funny, or engaging pieces of (dramatic and comedic) irony.

There are pacing issues. There are

5 stars doesn't mean "perfect" in my ratings/reviews.

It means that this novel is worth your time. That the author achieved what he set out to do very well. That this novel is one to reread for more than the fist-in-your-face catharsis moments. That even if you don't enjoy your self as much through chapter 200, by the time you hit chapter 400 you'll be thinking it was worthwhile.

There are definite pacing issues. Moral issues. Excessive author indulgence issues. If you abhor rape humor, there is a character that will really tick you off. If you hate Excalibur... the same. You could probably skip everything and go straight to the third book, to be honest if you're ok with learning as you go.

But read it. It's definitely worth a try, even if you don't usually like chinese novels or Xianxia/Xuanhuan. <<less
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ZhaWarudo
ZhaWarudo rated it
March 11, 2016
Status: --
So many reviews so if you're reading this one I should really sum it up and say what others haven't. To put it simply if you prefer solo action like PMG, MGA you may not like this. Around chap 50-150 if I remember correctly is kind of a boring saga with slaping lots of dimensional pouches to bring out a 1000 kinds of magic artifacts you will never even see in a story again, so it's a thing to get used to - no standard spells or artifacts. Mostly it's... more>> a serious novel but when the jokes come up they really crack you up XD. This is the most original novel on NU, well other than the xianxia aspect (kill or be killed and a decent sum of arrogant idiots - not too much like in MGA, ATG...)

Edit: It has some boring arcs, some epic and hilarious arcs, giant heads everywhere mkay... (yeah just heads) I got tired of the drunken philosophy and saying random stuff like it's deep. What made me drop it are the chaps where the MC and his wife are in that philosophical repetitive nonsense, I die for you, you die for me, I live for you, you live for me blabla repat I die, I live blabla repeat... ugh cringe, reducing it from 5 stars to 3 <<less
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