Joy of Life


Links are NOT allowed. Format your description nicely so people can easily read them. Please use proper spacing and paragraphs.

That lonesome night as he lays dying in the hospital, fearing of death and desiring the taste of life, his mind became unprecedentedly complex with mixed emotions.

Myasthenia gravis — an incurable disease where one’s muscle slowly degenerated until the day when one can no longer move and only tears may flow.

“Is this… dying?”

When he opened his eyes again, he had crossed over into the body of a two months old infant, right in the middle of an assassination attempt.

He was born as the illegitimate son of a noble. His name was Fan Xian; and with that name came the burden of deep political secrets and the legacy of his mother.

He understood; to survive, he needed unparalleled strength, money and political power.

To a new world with the luxury of a new life, so named; Celebrating the Remaining Life.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Qing Yu Nian
Related Series
The Grandmaster Strategist (2)
A Step into the Past (1)
Legend of Ling Tian (1)
Great Demon King (1)
Otherworldly Evil Monarch (1)
History’s Strongest Husband (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Wow there's a manhua version (ML)
  2. My roman empire
  3. Adapted to Chinese Dramas / Movies (Includes all g...
  4. Unexpectedly ended up loving these
  5. Timeless Masterpieces - the Best Novels Ever

Latest Release

Date Group Release
11/24/15 MCM and Freya v1c10-30
10/05/17 Webnovel c76
10/04/17 Webnovel c75
10/03/17 Webnovel c74
10/02/17 Webnovel c73
10/01/17 Webnovel c72
09/30/17 Webnovel c71
09/29/17 Webnovel c70
09/28/17 Webnovel c69
09/27/17 Webnovel c68
09/26/17 Webnovel c67
09/25/17 Webnovel c66
09/24/17 Webnovel c65
09/23/17 Webnovel c64
09/22/17 Webnovel c63
Go to Page...
Go to Page...
Write a Review
48 Reviews sorted by

Keimichi rated it
August 7, 2016
Status: Completed
So I've read the raws. (Warning: Spoilers tags here might have spoilers from the raws)

If you're looking for a story of cultivation and fighting scenes, then this is not it. The main character actually only fights occasionally. Yes, we also get some grand battle scenes, but those only take a small percentage of the story. The focus and the charm of the story isn't about the fighting, but much more about the atmosphere, about the characters and their choices. There's always more secrets to be revealed. The character development... more>> is FANTASTIC. Each of the "villains" are so three dimensional that, even until the end, you aren't always sure what to feel about them (the same way the MC also have mixed feelings about them). It's not at all about the power of friendship, or about the "you insulted my face so I will kill your whole family!!" you see in a lot of CN's, it's all about the political balance that the MC has to juggle with... And his choices regarding what to do with his identity. His identities.

Like the description says, the MC's main goal is to survive, so he will do many things to acquire great political power in order to survive on his own terms... It's one of the rare reincarnation/transmigration novels that actually talk about the different moral values between a modern earth person and a society that resembles ancient China. Especially since...


He discovers that his deceased mother was also a person from modern Earth like him. And since that's secret that only he knows and understands, it will affect a lot of his actions, without others being aware of the motivations. (The MC is cunning enough to use their lack of knowledge and their wrong expectations to camouflage his true thoughts).

It's an extremely interesting idea that we see the aftermath of a character that could have been an MC. Fan Xian's mother COULD have been the perfect strong female time-travelling/transmigration MC that is so typical of online Chinese romance novels... In fact, she does everything that MC in those novels do. And yet she's isn't the MC of the story. We are left with only afterimages of a world travelling shoujo romance gone wrong. We only see the subtle yet powerful influences in a world in which she no longer exist; how she influences a world and its characters --- and how she impacts the life of our MC.


I'm saying this because the whole transmigration will actually play a big part in the plot, as well as the MC's character development.

I just have to say, our MC Fan Xian is a very interesting character. He's not the cookie cutter hot blooded vengeful prodigy, nor is he a Gary Stu in the making. He has his own way of acting that makes him very human and still very logical. He doesn't treat women like tr*sh. (This is despite the polygamy and the small "harem". His women are able to exist and thrive on their own ideals rather than serve as his attendants, and their attraction to the MC will not stop them from going against the MC if they need to. Their value is not based on their appearance, but on their individual strength, intelligence, etc.) He is able to play with his wits and pull onto his connections when needed. He is able to act as it benefits him. I am not saying he is a "good person", but that he is an interesting person. But hey, this story was all about nuances and motivations since the beginning; you might not like them all or agree with all their choices, but they leave you thinking and questioning.


He even acknowledges that he is two-faced and and his whole life is an act: from the moment he was born he has to put on a show. He had to play the part of the baby, of the boy growing up, the young man that went into the city, of the young noble climbing up the ranks, of the illegitimate child...

Because no one knows about the fact that he was born twice, that he had a previous life, no one is able to understand his motivation and his life values.

Fan Xian is extremely well aware of that, and thus he knows he must plays his part in order to protect himself and survive. (I won't explain these in details, please check out the novel~)


Mao Ni's novels just has that very weird charm to it. Yes, it's slow, it might be hard to wait for chapter-by-chapter updates, but then when you in one go you feel so deeply charmed by the atmosphere it gives.

Once again, it's not a cultivation novel. It is not a "level-up" novel. It is not a Xianxia. It has never been Xianxia even "technically speaking". At best, you can say it has Wuxia elements. So don't rate it less stars simply because it lacks cultivation and fighting, the same way you wouldn't rate a really good slice-of-life romance movie 1/10 simply because you were expecting to watch a horror movie but walked into the wrong room at the movie theater. What is this about? Politics, slice-of-life, existential philosophy, nuances, maybe even a bit of an examination of reincarnation/time-travelling tropes. What it is NOT is action, power fantasy, xianxia. Seriously, check the tags; it's hilarious that people complain that "this is about politics, scheming and conspiracies" when it is tagged exactly as such in the first place.

TL;DR: read if you like politics, nuances, thinking, and philosophy and likes to enjoy a long detailed read that will eventually thread together. Avoid if you want sorely power fantasy, wish-fulfillment, intense action, cultivation stuff, clear cut good/bad, and fast gratification. <<less
145 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
jsant rated it
February 10, 2018
Status: --
Had a nice start, gets boring later. MC is pretty bland. He''s also bordeline cuck

He let's a girl he likes become a concubine to one of his enemies and makes jokes after watching her get fondled by the enemy WTF


In the beginning the MC seemed to have some promise however he gets a lot of stuff/power on a silver platter.

Cliche romance. Cuck MC. Lack of tension. Subpar story. Boring MC.

Joy of Life? More like "Bore of Life"
52 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
WinByDying rated it
December 20, 2018
Status: c536
First a rant. Real review under the equality signs below.

Joy of Life is "slow". For a webnovel, not compared to books in general. It meanders just like a river flowing along the mountainside, like this unnecessarily long sentence. It may be a webnovel, but the inconsistent pacing is unlike one. And it's better for it. This is a novel about someone's life so it's only natural.

You think meandering is a bad thing? It is, but only for impatient readers. Look at The Name of the Wind. One of the best... more>> fantasy books out there, it's slow early on meanders like no tomorrow. Its reviews on Goodreads are generally divided into two categories: those loving the series, and those who didn't even get past half and disliked it. And it's widely regarded as well written, despite what the second category may say. Great prose.

There's a difference between "filler" and good writing. If you want to read a well-regarded fantasy book to experience what some here want to call filler, try Tigana. A travesty, that's what some of the reviews here are.

To a certain reviewer: Fan Xian is no "borderline cuck". If he really loves someone, he won't see them marry someone else, as he later in the novel shows with another female character. By the way, that reviewer should've read on. Because the situation is actually completely different from what he thinks. He'd have known, if only he read attentively, picked up on what's implied repeatedly. See, this is what I mean with impatience, readers not recognizing good writing. They don't pick up on the layering, their loss. And then they have the audacity to write a review...

Another reviewer used the word "xianxia" and compared it in some way to that infamous genre. Can't take someone like that serious, because that's not what this novel is at all and he would've know if he either read on or looked at the genres and tags.

On to the real review.


This novel has characterization in spades. You know a novel is well written if you feel excited about reading dialogue. Probably the only harem that I ever liked for the romance. Why? The characters feel alive. The villains have feelings and ambitions too. Characters can be hypocritical, but realistically so, like actual human beings.

It's more of a political drama rather than a cultivation novel or a romance novel. This part isn't pronounced at the start, but it only gets better the further in the novel you get. Right now, the translation is arriving at a plot climax! A culmination of built-up world, story and characterization, and I can't wait to see it all go BOOM. Such a satisfying, glorious feeling, the best reading sensation there is. Suck it, impatient readers.

The reincarnation gets a pass. It's not glaring despite its unrealistic aspects, because he doesn't constantly use "knowledge" from before his reincarnation or anything. The few elements related to reincarnation are all sort of limited. No, it's about something way more interesting: cultural differences between modern societies and ancient ones, as Fan Xian experiences first-hand. Luckily he's a man, but he does for example influence his sister and eventually supports her, gives her the power to be a modern woman in an ancient society. That's just one example, it pops up now and then, and plays a big role in one of Fan Xian's ambitions.

Joy of Life has three flaws in my eyes. First and foremost, it's a translation and that's criminal on its own. As with any Mao Ni novel, it is probably better in Chinese. Man, I wish I could read Mandarin. Second, it meanders a tad little too much. It could've been shortened by a little bit without endangering setup and characterization. This is about the start of the story though, no complaints about the middle and probably end. Third, the main character. Fan Xian is well characterized, isn't an emotionless robot, and is awesome to read about. But there's still a little bit of a sterile feeling, he doesn't often show extreme emotion. As with any of Mao Ni's characters. He's better than Ning Que in Nightfall though. <<less
30 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
mikaelhg rated it
October 10, 2017
Status: c81
Starts as a promising reincarnation xianxia story with more character depth than is typical.

After c70 or so, it turns into a cheap misunderstanding romcom Romeo and Juliet clone, like the classical story was reimagined by a mentally ret*rded teenage virg*n.

Filler chapter after filler chapter. Oh, traveling between two houses, with no significant events or interactions? Let's spend a chapter on that.
25 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Sdadragons rated it
February 12, 2018
Status: c158
So I read it up to here and if I’m being completely honest, I regret it. Started out slow and if you think it speeds up, it doesn’t. It’s at a constant pace all throughout and although there are time skips it’s still slow af. Main character is kinda boring, nothing about him stands out to me and nothing I’m particularly fond about but nothing I hate in particular and although I do love a mysterious background, I hate when it is hinted throughout a hundred or so chapters and... more>> I hate when it’s flaunted in my face just raising my frustrations, keeping in mind I’m already frustrated from the slow pace of the story. I’ve continued to read only due to the commitment and my curiosity but it’s become bland with certain enemies that seemed like a tough one for the MC to overcome just being solved with one simple move, two in particular so far that I’ve read. I read a review below and it said something about something the MC did with a girl he liked, I hate when the MC doesn’t get the best girls in the novel so when he doesn’t I usually drop, which is what I’m doing now and I just wanted people to here my thoughts before going into this, he cultivates only to fight 2-4 times throughout the novel and he has so many trumps but doesn’t seem to want to use them, he’s afraid of the emperor and sweats when he meets him but he could easily kill the emperor so idk why he is. His mum leaves him a trump he could use to rule the world and he’s afraid of a little prince smh <<less
18 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Fulminata rated it
July 18, 2019
Status: Completed
This is, hands-down, one of the best.

600+ chapters without a drop in quality? Check.

Excellent translation? Check.

Convoluted court politics with no clear distinction between 'good' and 'evil', and a deliciously selfish yet likable, morally grey MC? Check.

Surprisingly varied and 3d-ish side characters with backstories and importance? Check.

heart-pounding, shriek-inducing political drama? Check.

Mao Ni destroyed me.
I love it.
16 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
ieatp-ssy rated it
March 6, 2018
Status: c205
There's generally two ways to write a novel:

  1. IMPROV: this is the usual way of writing a CN webnovel, where the author starts out with a premise, and then the story would go all over the place, and where the author's inspiration for new plotlines end, s/he would let other factors dictate where the story goes. Factors like reader-feedback, plagiarised content from other novels or simply filler contents.
  2. OUTLINED: this is the conventional way of writing a (print) novel. The author considers an outline for the entire novel, and then only had to do some fleshing-out, as the actual chapters get written.
Usually, within a few chapters, one could infer which of these methods was being employed during the writing of a novel. Typically, with a CN webnovel, a reader would notice pattern... more>> no. 1 showing, but very rarely, a delightful novel comes along where the pattern no. 2 emerges.

As of chapter 205, I can't tell you which method was used to write this novel.

This is certainly a 'different' kind of novel. This is a novel featuring a boy/man as protagonist, but the story itself was written more like a shoujo novel, rather than a typical shounen novel. The arcs so far focused on scheming, plotting, backstabbing, etc., which are usually associated with a shoujo novel. There are snippets here and there with action, but they usually pass very quickly, and then back we are to the scheming, et al.

In short, this should be classified more as a 'drama' rather than what most people would expect it to be.

Sometimes the story feels like it's going somewhere, and other times it meanders all over the place, and cleverly written arcs interweave with utter drivel. Chapter 140-ish brings an unexpected surprise, since now there's an element of a 'secret' within the story, and in doing so, attempts to wrap everything up into an over-arc, though I'm not sure the story is doing that successfully.

Is it worth reading? If you're expecting drama, and don't mind the occasionally slow-moving plotlines, yes. If you read the re-incarnation beginning of this story and expect a bloody, mindless killfest, then no.

So far, this could either be a brilliant novel with an unnecessarily long first act needing desperately an editor to cut the drivel down, or it could simply be a novel that tries to be clever but failing miserably. I do sense the palpable attempt to make the novel 'clever, ' though missing the mark -- by quite a bit -- most of the time.

I'll try to write a better review when I read more. Hopefully by chapter 500 or so there's a clear indication of where this is going. Else, this would be like getting a bad massage at a legitimate parlour -- the massage is bad, and you know there's no happy ending coming. <<less
16 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
kagi rated it
October 4, 2017
Status: c35
I enjoy the story enough to keep reading, but wonder at some of the writing.

The MC is a 'wino' at 5 years old!

While still a child, he writes p*rnography stories and sends them to his younger sister. She's a noble living in the Capital, and she does have enemies, who could possibly use the p*rn to make trouble for her, and hurt her reputation. I shouldn't expect good judgement from an alcoholic pe*vert. :-) He wants to have many children, to spread the human genes from Earth. Author, does this... more>> make sense? On Earth, the MC died, and as a spiritual being went to a different world and reincarnated into a young body on the new world. So how is it possible to bring human-body genes from Earth? <<less
14 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
DNH2020 rated it
August 26, 2019
Status: Completed
This is among the most morally ambiguous stories I've ever read.

I love it. Mao Ni, you savage.

... more>>

The novel reads like what Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major" sounds like.

Almost from the beginning, you have a rough idea of what happened and who the primary actors are in this play. You have an idea of "where" things are going, just not "why". And the "why"...woof, what a "why". At the end of the day, you can't really hate the antagonist anymore than you love the protagonist. You can only really bemoan the seeds of karma the antagonist had sown in that one event and how he reaped it. You know he'll die for what he did and what he's doing, and that he should die for it, but you can't help but wish deep down that he wouldn't.

Still, he did die in a satisfying manner. There was no random xianxia-style plot armor, no "protagonist achieves his final form" event, or deus-ex-machinas. He died from being meticulously outplayed at his own game in a fitting, albeit eventually hilarious, manner.

Suffice to say, Fan Xian was right, there really are three genders of people: Men, Women, and Emperors.

Also, I'd like to imagine Asimov would stroke his beard if he read this novel to the end.


A finely crafted masterpiece of a novel. <<less
12 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
chenche rated it
October 17, 2019
Status: --
Novel is too dull and slow paced. Travels along a descent.

The MC is also a bit of wuss.

... more>>

He gives his first love money and sends her away to get married off to other men. What’s even more ridiculous is that she has a store nearby as well as a child with her husband. The MC enjoys visiting her and her child and the MC and her are not in any sort of romantic relationship.


Then there’s also another incident in which the MC had an opportunity to help a girl he liked stay but he lets her go instead.

He has power at his disposal but doesn’t make use of it.

11 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
zaim9999 rated it
October 16, 2018
Status: c452
Yeah sure, it's slow. Yeah sure, there's no epic incident every time the MC steps out of his house. But I thinks that's exactly what makes this novel so realistic. Then there's the character development which is just so relatable... or at least understandable. The interactions are so natural that you can easily imagine it happening.

One thing I'm really sensitive to, is bullsh*t from authors. This usually comes in the form constant deus ex Machina, consistent inconsistencies and half baked one line explanations for people's motives. So far I'm still... more>> really into it.

Even at chapter 452, I'm still not sure who is definitely evil (maybe cause no one is?) At times I got so confused and frustrated that I wish the MC would just kill them all and be done with it..... <<less
10 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
JetonS rated it
December 15, 2016
Status: --
As someone who have read at lot of western fantasy books, this story setting is quite similar to "Royal Assassin" from Robbin Hobb. This is the story of an illegitimate son who will temper himself through training and will learn poison from a certain master. Of course, since it's a Light Novel, it adds all this "reincarnation" stuff along with a lighter writing style. Some will say it's too slow, but I don't feel this way. In fact, the descriptive scenes are more or less overlooked, and the world building... more>> is told through the MC's POV. Just give it a try, it's neither boring nor too cliché. Personnally, I spent quite a good time reading this stuff <<less
10 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
fangyuan rated it
March 10, 2020
Status: Completed
Easily in my top 3 list of Chinese web novels. This novel is NOT for those who like basic fast-paced isekai novels with OP MC and can't be bothered to appreciate complex plot. Take note that cultivation and romance are mere sub-themes; the emphasis is on the life story of the MC.

Selling points of the novel:

  1. Actual character development for major and supporting characters
  2. Complex plot and good storytelling
  3. Harem is not forced and botched

    Although I would like to see more of FX&Haitang and FX&Doudou

  4. Abundance of Chinese cultural references and ideas (which I don't mind since I get to learn something new)
  5. Easy to visualize the world (most of the setting are based on real places) and the characters (there is a Chinese drama based on this novel)
P.S: Thumbs up to the translator and/or editor for the annotations throughout the novel. Really helps to understand various contexts/jokes in the novel.
9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
daoistfellow rated it
January 18, 2020
Status: c1
Started rereading this again after watching the drama, which made me think that maybe I misjudged it the first time. Besides the typical overacting, the drama is pretty good, well produced, good mix of comedy and drama. In short, fun.

The novel isn't fun. It's serious while being superficial, and draggy as hell in between arcs. The biggest issue is the MC is a hypocrite: a plagiarist who coasts on unlikely misunderstandings; a so-called supporter of the common people who chums up exclusively with nobles; a chauvinist with no loyalty; a... more>> so-called leader of men who offshores his work; a mysogynist who thinks he respects women; a compassionate torturer; a lazy product of lazy writing.

Actually after reading the novel it almost ruins the drama, you can see how the adapters whitewash this character by preventing his most morally bankrupt actions, and actually making the "bad guys" perform them in his stead. It's like watching the son of your hated enemy becoming popular and widely respected. <<less
9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
izznis rated it
November 28, 2017
Status: c116
Well... lets just say that this isn't your average reincarnated ML type of novel.. if you're just looking for a light read, then this isn't te right novel for you.

In this novel, EVERY chapter is important.. the MC grows along with the time. There are some time skips, but so far only during his childhood. He's not overly OP - sure he got one of the most powerful cultivation manuals but he still needs to do helluva hard work to reach his goals. So, yes his growth is slow but... more>> steady. But he got some powerful people behind him and his luck is high, hence he'll survive -, -

I love his character too. Not the type to irrationally kill everyone and destroys everything. Calm, looks gentle and wicked aka. Black-bellied. Knows how to act depends on situation. An actual smart thinker. Plus with a bit of cheekiness and understandable greed.

Plots are quite complicated... but none are left behind. The mysteries intensifies as the chapters grew. Skip one chapter and you'll be lost.

So.. yeah. Definitely not for light reading. But I recommend this for those who are tired of typical xianxia novels with overly OP MLs and their similarly stereotypical harems. <<less
8 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
ptbptb rated it
September 29, 2017
Status: c70
This is the first novel on this site I've given a five star rating to!

Although there is a little of the standard 'reincarnator with strong skillz' theme, this story is really well written and suprisingly deep. Often in these types of stories the MC's original life is either swiftly forgotten, or they keep whining about how they wants to go back. In this one it is treated well and you really get to see how his past life shapes his current one.
8 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
shirotan rated it
April 28, 2017
Status: v2c6
It's slow but I enjoy it a lot as I feel the author is building out the character development and the situation that the ML is in.

The ML has to adapt to his current situation. He may be older than his body but he has to adapt to his role or otherwise he arouses suspicion.

I look forward to reading the rest of the story.
8 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Traveler rated it
September 15, 2021
Status: v1 prologue
In the last 200 chapters or so, the MC become so hypocritical, it is disgusting.

- He said he is a modern man, so in his eyes man and woman are the same. But his action is very misogynistic, always saying you are just woman.

- He is very selfish and one of the most ungrateful character also he is kinda s*upid.

- He is angry about the girl he like doing as her teacher suggested, meanwhile he himself is like a dog to the emperor, worst is the emperor is the one... more>> that kills her mother and he knows it also he knows that he and his 3 old man won't have a good ending later on, but still doing what the emperor wants. At least the girl's teacher is good to him and what she does is also good.

- He said he wants peace for the common people, but it seems as long his people doesn't die, he doesn't care about other people even if there are war. So basically, the girl want to save her country and he is angry because she want to have her people and he want her to come with him and just let her people die.

- Someone treat and heal his father figure, but he want to kill him because he is from different country. Worst is the man and that country treat her sister and brother well when they are in need of help and stayed in that country for years. And he said he is a modern person that doesn't care about unification.

- The emperor treat his 3 old man that close to him pretty bad, but he still works like a dog for emperor that also kill his mother, and want war with other countries which he have close friends and have promise to give them peace.

- Also the translation for the early few hundred chapters are terrible. <<less
6 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Shiriusa rated it
May 30, 2020
Status: Completed
So I just wanted to say that this was a very well written book, no webnovel has this type of structure, a mostly well rounded end too, which is always a nice thing to have, it does become a bit too slow in the middle for a bit (hence the 4 stars if the author had an editor then is masterpiece territory) maybe it could have been done differently but it was a necessary plot in retrospective, just a bit too slow.

My favorite part is that even though is fantasy,... more>> it doesn't feel forced, sometimes you read a novel and a superpower is thrown around randomly for the sake of continuing a story, it doesn't happen here, it even has a surprisingly acceptable explanation for the source of the fantasy itself which was amazing, to the point that I honestly feel this could happen in real life.

Very honest characters too, you end up caring for a lot of them, even enemies, is not black and white, decisions have consequences for everybody, the MC does have a little bit of too much luck sometimes, but is part of his traits you could say. Kinda sad I finished it, that's how I know I just read something good. <<less
6 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
ZUN rated it
May 15, 2020
Status: Completed
If you like slower pacing, court intrigue and a veil of mystery to a fleshed out story and a hint of existentialism, then you are this novels target audience just like me.

Unfortunately although the novel is better than most webnovels its still a webnovel.

Unfortunately court dramas on their own are very hard to get right, and when you put the time constraint and limitations of a webnovel on it you get a lackluster product

The schemes are not that smart or intriguing, and the pacing suffers from the author needing extra... more>> filler in between storylines to flesh out his thoughts.

Interesting read but not that great, starts falling in quality visibly after 200 chapters or so.

The ending is not a big payoff either, but still worth reading over countless other books represented on this site. <<less
6 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
1 2 3
Leave a Review (Guidelines)
You must be logged in to rate and post a review. Register an account to get started.