Sage Monarch

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Yang Qi was the son of the patriarch of a wealthy family from a small town.

Believing himself to be in love, he stole a pill for his lover, only to have the girl betray him, by taking the pill and leaving him behind.

Caught, his dantian was crippled and left to die under the lightning.

This lightning helped him to recover his lost martial arts and also helped him gain a new, divine-like cultivation technique.

After this second chance, he gains more power as he sought revenge and also to find about his missing mother….

Associated Names
One entry per line
Sage Emperor
Sheng Wang
SM
Thánh Vương
圣王
Related Series
Yang God (Chinese Novel)
Recommendations
Fallen Monarch (4)
Clash Of The Sword Titans (1)
The Immortal King In The City (1)
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05/01/19 Wuxiaworld c100
05/01/19 Wuxiaworld c99
04/30/19 Wuxiaworld c98
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04/26/19 Wuxiaworld c90
04/26/19 Wuxiaworld c89
04/25/19 Wuxiaworld c88
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04/24/19 Wuxiaworld c86
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83 Reviews sorted by


susano
New susano rated it
January 19, 2022
Status: c1601
After finishing this I have to say that it was pretty decent overall other than the rushed ending that left out many questions unanswered and we didn't really see much of the other figures that were spoken from the beginning until the end. At the end of the day I would recommend if you don't have anything else to read.
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Arkanth
New Arkanth rated it
January 1, 2022
Status: Completed
A succession of generic tropes, steamrolled opponents, and arrogant young masters. If you've read other novels of the genre before, you know what this one is about.

What if a religious fanatic was a power-hungry, demon-eating cultivator on his path to becoming a tyrannical dictator sage monarch? That is more or less the plot of this novel. The story begins with a fairly ridiculous premise that defines the personality of the main character moving forward and starts a rapid succession of arrogant young masters throwing themselves at our protagonist and threatening... more>> his family and friends just to be completely obliterated and/or subjugated by him, leading to some other experts showing up to chastise the main character for doing the exact same thing they are here to do and once more threaten the main character's family, producing an endless loop which moves to plot forward.

As you might expect from such a novel, the main character is overly strong, fighting enemies leagues beyond his own, the secondary characters are completely forgettable and two-dimensional, and any other plotline other than the main character's conquest is quickly forgotten and abandoned by the author.

That being said, the novel is a fast-paced, explosion-filled, entertaining mess that might fill that void while you look for the next one.

The Good:

    • Pium pium! Aahhh! EXPLOSION!
    • The names are quite funny. Old Man Superdestruction? Ape Electrospace? I mean...
The Bad:

    • Just about everything else.
    • Technique and treasure names are way too long, e.g. "Universe-Origin Many-Heavens Myriad-Manifestations Transformation-Destruction God-Sphere."
In conclusion, the novel is ridiculous and generic, but you already knew that if you are looking into it so might as well give it a try. If, on the other hand, this is supposed to be your introduction to the genre, you might want to look somewhere else, lest you think this is the best it can offer. <<less
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UnifiedDivide
UnifiedDivide rated it
December 22, 2019
Status: c609
From the various comments I've read in other reviews (1/5? Seriously?), I'm not 100% sure what people were expecting to see. Other than yet another standard xianxia.

Over 600 chapters in and I still find my expectations being subverted in some great ways. If you've seen me in the comments of the chapters, you know I'm that annoying guy pointing out typos and writing speculations to the character limit. I've correctly called some things, but I've been entirely wrong about others. Surprises are fun.

Complaining about tropes in these novels is hilarious... more>> to me. Show me a novel without any of them. In fact, you could probably argue that this novel even created some of the ones used today.

I started reading originally because it had the excellent "Deathblade" name behind it. I stuck around because the story was good, the characters range from instantly likable to instantly hated, and the fact that the translation is far above average for the Chinese novel world.

There are elements in this novel that I have yet to find in others. Such as certain civilisations that you'd expect to see in other genres and a profession you'd not expect to see in any Chinese novel, the way that it is portrayed.

The main character, Yang Qi, is the epitome of badass main characters, imo. He's smart, methodical, funny, ruthless and cuts through the bullshit. How often have people waffled on in a novel while the MC just stands there and listens to their garbage? Yang Qi literally calls them out on that and cuts them off in the process. The growth he sees from the start of the novel up to this point is astounding. Quite literally from zero to hero.

This is a novel of ever-increasing hype, expectations, power and story threads. Long threads that require a little patience to see the end of. Anyone that gave up after 1/200 chapters is truly missing out. 600 chapters in and there are 1000 to go. I honestly can't wait to see what else the journey has in store.

With the Deathblade name comes the assumption and expectation of "Er Gen." This isn't xianxia and is certainly not Er Gen. While Er Gen is incredibly popular, he does have various negatives to his stories and writing, in my humble opinion. ISSTH is not the untouchable masterpiece people claim it is. This novel is xuanhuan and that absolutely shows at this point. Are there negatives? Absolutely. But the positives of Sage Monarch outweigh them immeasurably. It is absolutely worth the read, as of 609 chapters, and wholly deserving of the 5-star rating I've given it. <<less
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Much Much mrm
Much Much mrm rated it
January 20, 2020
Status: c636
Yikes, some people hating on this novel don't seem to see their double standards. But let's address the 'faulty' points being pointed out.

  • Tropes:
Firstly this novel predates a lot of the translated cultivation novels. Secondly, It's crazy how much cultivation tropes this novel trivialises and does right, including but not limited to the copy and paste sect to sect "junior generation" conflicts that fill even highly praised cultivation novels. Amusingly, these conflicts are thought of as 'tempering' for the MC; the more pressure they're under, the more they advance (asspulls).... more>> However, in this novel, it's more focused on kingdom building. By the time he has a galactic empire, your average cultivation novel MC is still going from sect to sect like a bum, incessantly handling arrogant young masters.

    • Arrogant Young Masters:
Pretty sure most if not all cultivation novels have them, even a certain novel rated high on this site has them (even though it has characters so arrogant they snort a million times in a single chapter).

    • Character Development
This novel is a cultivation novel on steroids, bloodshot eyes he is already farting out galaxies. In just the first 20 chapters, he has set goals that lay out his entire path and more character development than 100 chapters of any other cultivation novel MC. If you mean 'development' in the form of struggle, the shounen struggle and perseverance followed by a climatic shout of ideals at the peak of the fight that haunt Er Gen novels and many other authors... Then this is novel is probably not for you.

    • Main Character's Progression
The fact that he doesn't struggle as much as he should really seems to put people off, even going as far as call him THE Deus Ex Machina. These very same people seem to either have given up too early or are blind to the fact that MC bets his life against opponents comparable to him or stronger and handles the situation better than most MCs. This very same element is what seems to tick people off.

    • Main Character's Intelligence
It's a sign of blind hatred if you really can't see how crafty and smart MC is. His accomplishments are usually not as detailed as they should be but the results speak for themselves. <<less
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Voracious_Cachinnations
Voracious_Cachinnations rated it
March 20, 2021
Status: Completed
Definitely a classic. It sufficiently satisfied my general frustration with the genre. The MC is a combination of Er Gen's Wang Lin's bloodthirsty nature, Bai Xiaochun's youthful nature and Meng Hao's perfectionism. Although in terms of mental capacity he surpasses all 3 combined. Rather than rely on luck, he leads his enemies into a false sense superiority before he defeats them -- a luxury affordable by those stronger than him.

Typically, cultivation MCs seek to cultivate in peace and the author has to weave together some conflict of interest or just... more>> resort to throwing cultivators at the MC for any sort of action in the novel. However, in defiance of this norm, this novel exists.

Yang Qi (MC) is already in conflict with everything in existence as he seeks to subjugate it all. If one isn't on his personal list, then it's probable you've been delegated to be conquered by his subordinates. At some point as the reader, you'll come to the conclusion that he may very well be the main villain of the series.

Additionally, this novel does go a different route in terms of opponents for the MC, than the typical norm. Rather than focus on people in his generation, he aims directly for their masters and sect leaders. Thereby breaking the endless youth tournaments that typically plague cultivation novels.

Spoiler

This is of-course after he defeats his first antagonist, the crown prince.

[collapse]

If I had to guess at what would put people off reading this novel... Is how Yang Qi effortlessly does things. Which isn't a fair point considering he thinks things through and isn't some hot-blooded stubborn character going around offending people due to their 'dignity' or some other false bravado. Thereby creating some conflict, usually with some powerful clan (a plot point that also plagues these type of novels). Yang Qi bows when it's needed and stands on his own two feet once he analyses the other party's power and connections.

Lastly, the items and fights are extremely detailed. Typically, the peanut gallery is assigned the task of being the encyclopaedia of items and abilities but in this novel, that's handled by 3rd person (author) that not only mentions how powerful something is, he goes out of his way to explain it's nature, process and sometimes it's origin. <<less
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Jeebus
Jeebus rated it
April 28, 2019
Status: c94
I started reading Sage Monarch because Deathblade is the translator. He did a great job with A Will Eternal, so I figured I'd give this novel a chance. Deathblade's translation of Sage Monarch is a cut above most other translations. You can't polish a turd, though, and the source material really stinks.

There are a host of issues with this novel. The primary problem is that the author does too much telling and too little showing. Rather than the author putting us in the middle of the action, far too often,... more>> we are just told what happened. The majority of it reads more like an encyclopedia than a novel.

Another gripe is that there's no delayed gratification. The MC is both invincible and unimaginably lucky. Other than what happens to him in the first two chapters, he experiences no setbacks. If he needs something, he already has it, knows where to find it, or stumbles upon it in the following chapter. With only one exception, he immediately resolves any grudges, sometimes even in the same chapter that the grudge began. Because of this, the novel never builds tension. It's always just kind of flat. The author just tells you that the MC is awesome as he does random things that somehow increase his cultivation.

To top it off, because he practices an insanely powerful cultivation technique, he can fight people many cultivation levels above him. There's no reason to have cultivation levels at all if the MC can just kill anyone, regardless of their cultivation level, with little-to-no effort.

My final issue with the novel is that the MC is just unlikeable. His character is flat. His motives are vague. Instead of taking principled actions that propel him towards a goal, his actions are largely dictated by random, external circumstances. The result is that there's not much of a story or character development. You're just told the MC did random stuff that doesn't really matter in the greater context of the narrative.

TL;DR: The writing style is so poor that it feels like the author didn't even try. There's hardly any action; it's all just expository narrative or dialog. Further, the author does nothing to build any tension or action. The end result is that the whole novel is just a boring powertrip.

Worst of all, the MC is a Mary Sue. The author does little to endear any character to the reader, including the MC. The MC doesn't really seem to have any goals. The MC is so OP that cultivation levels are irrelevant to him. Between his godly cultivation technique and his uncanny ability to just find everything he needs immediately, he encounters no bottlenecks or cultivation issues.

All of these issues culminate in a boring novel where you don't care about anything or anyone. <<less
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Twentyfithbaam
Twentyfithbaam rated it
March 29, 2021
Status: Completed
Pros:
- Less snorts

- Less face slapping

- Less tournaments

... more>> - Less auctions

- Less pill shenanigans

- Less lecherous fiends

- Less chapters needed to leave home world

- Less peanut gallery moments

- Less moral speeches to justify MCs ruthlessness

- Less nail-biting moments (moments MC could end it quickly)

- Less escalated forced conflicts (MC not dealing with the opponent early, letting it escalate before a climatic fight (often after his friends die or suffer))

- MC isn't passive. Anyone is doomed to die or be subjugated by him (MC isn't reactive like other MCs, so less chapters of schemes by his enemies)

- MC crushes most schemes in their infancy

- MC knows when to not escalate things

- MC doesn't need his family and friends to be killed or held hostage for him to release power above his limit

- MC knows when to retreat

- MC would not sacrifice his power and life for his friends and his family when he knows he's weaker than the other party, because he is under the belief that at the peak of power, he would be able to revive them (unlike other MCs that charge into sects to save their friends and their asspull victory is ignored by fans because of their desperation and emotions)

- No romance

- Lastly, MC is a chad with a huge winning streak :)

Cons:

- Lack of most of the above that is typical for cultivation novels

- Lacks significant side character development <<less
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PedwAlco
PedwAlco rated it
April 2, 2021
Status: Completed
Those last hefty extra chapters was worth it! Anyways, this one is a rare gem, almost on par with a certain novel that has yet to be translated.

Tired of over a thousand chapters of MCs going from competition to competition with a smug like ISSTH, as if that's all it has to offer?

Tired of an entire novel of jade like beauties and the horny arrogant kids that target them and the chapters that are wasted on them?

... more>> Tired of an entire novel full of kindergarten 'comedy' like AWE/PW?

Tired of an entire novel of MCs rarely ever taking the initiative against enemies like NSHBA?

Tired of an entire novel of MCs standing around listening to the opponent and their arrogance like 99% of cultivation novels?

Tired of the author writing an entire arc building up arrogant kids and how 'evil/shameless' they are just to justify MC killing or looting them?

Tired of MCs gaining a conscious and letting the enemy go?

Tired of MCs not being on guard and prepared against anyone that showed them the slight hostility (MCs being surprised and furious someone antagonistic towards them suddenly targeted them or their family/friends)

Tired of author tactic of MCs trying to pretend to mind their own business but is constantly provoked by some arrogant kid arc after arc, rather than immediately dealing with them?

Then this novel is for you! ❤ <<less
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Vallain
Vallain rated it
December 22, 2019
Status: c573
The Novel is really good. These clowns saying it's not are idoits. Specially the ones who say it is bad but havent even read half the novel. These reviews are a prime example why you should not base your opinion on someone else's opinion.
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LeapTallNovels
LeapTallNovels rated it
April 27, 2019
Status: c11
I know that 11 chapters in this kind of stories is not considered even finished the prologue, but I couldn't bare reading further, yet that doesn't really matter, because the author managed to put every Xuanhuan cliche you can think of in those first few chapters. However, I'm not even going to talk about them, there is really no need, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

So, let's review "the plot"
Our MC, Yang Qi, is the 3rd son of the leader of the pretty much most powerful and... more>> wealty clan in their city, he's recognised as a promising individual and his father cherishes him greatly, so the obvious action he takes is to try and... escape. Why, you may ask? Well, because of a girl who told him to steal one of those great-dragon-great-power-great-giving-great pills, which is in the possession of the biggest dude around and of course he not only agrees, but also manages to do it. How? Well, take a look at that quote:
Spoiler

"Yang Qi was very well aware of what a Latent Dragon Pill could do. It was a first-class medicinal pill that was supposedly refined from the blood of dragons. After consuming it, one's blood would gain traces of dragon power, which would increase both physical strength and lifespan.

The city magistrate had originally possessed two. One of them he had used to break into the Master of Energy level, and the other he had kept locked up in a private chamber. Yang Qi had somehow bribed the guards to gain access to the chamber, stolen the pill, and then given it to Yun Hailan. Of course, his attempt to win her over was a complete failure, as she betrayed him."

[collapse]

As you can see, his plan was a masterpiece, so obviously it worked out. Well, not really, his great love betrays him, takes the pill and leaves and of course suffers no consequences for doing so, while our MC gets the punishment and all the blame. The guys that find him don't even bother asking where the pill is, they just f*ck him up real quick and start looking for payment from his clan like the pill doesn't even exist anymore, even though the girl escaped litteraly 2 seconds before they showed up. Anyway, from then on is the tipical Xuanhuan, he gets a power no one else has, trains in it and surpassess veterans in mere days, gets underestimated, beats 2 guys, surprises everyone, challenges a 3rd guy and starts training. That's where I dropped it.
For people who are into Xuanhuan it may be more than 1, but to the people like me, who are fed up with all that repetitive sh*t (seriously, if I read the word "cultivation" a few more times, I will be the one to transcend into divinity) don't read it. <<less
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Twindragons77
Twindragons77 rated it
December 22, 2019
Status: c575
Well I have been reading this novel since it began and I have to say I'm in love with it??❤. The main character has grown soooo much along with the story and the power levels Imean just wow they're on another level since the beginning! Its really awesome to read this story I hope you continue translating ❤ ? Because I love this story a lot! Thank you very much!?
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DragonSlayer13579
DragonSlayer13579 rated it
April 30, 2019
Status: c400
Don't try this series, it's nothing like A Will Eternal or ISSTH. Even for a generic xuanhuan series, its pretty mediocre.

The story is as generic as it can get, betrayed by his love interest, op cultivation technique, mysterious background, an ridiculous amount of plot armor.

The fights are pretty generic, nothing mind blowing, the MC is broken as fluf with his op cultivation technique he can easily defeat even those 5+ lvls above him (in the same realm). The MC's cultivation technique is the same as the technique that the MC... more>> from Dragon Marked War God has, but it's not with dragons but with elephants.

The MC is dumb as fluf, he gets used and tricked a lot, he doesn't become smarter as he becomes stronger, he only becomes more ruthless and the MC is kind to unsatisfying lvls. For example:

Spoiler

The MC is part of the Celestial Academy, the headmaster of the academy is a piece of shiet. He favors the crown prince (the antagonist, and not because of his talent, like later on he can clearly see that MC is 1000 times more talented than the crown prince, but because he had some relationship with the crown price's mother) , and treats MC like shiet. He send the MC to his death 2 times, and if the MC didn't had the God Imprint (the weird thing in his head) that protects him, the headmaster would have killed him. The elders of the academy are all part of the crown prince faction and attacked/bullied the MC multiple times. And when the MC finally has the chance to take revenge on this shitty academy that treated him like shiet, he decides to not do it, and to become the next headmaster of the academy ?like wtf, why would he do something like this, after they treated him like shiet... in the whole academy he only had 1 elder that was on his side (and pls don't get me wrong they weren't that close, like that elder barely helped the MC 1-2 times, but it was nothing major, so it's not like that elder was the reason why he decided to stay at the academy, he even repaid that elder later on), so I can't understand why he would waste the effort on some tr*shy academy like this, since he is perfectly capable to start his own academy. The MC himself even said that he wants to create his own academy for his family, so for me at least his decision made absolutely no sense.....

[collapse]

You might doubt me, just a 1 star rating ???for a series that's so popular ? (at the time I write this review, the series is ranked 16th) but trust me my good brothers, this series only is somewhat decent at the beginning, but everything becomes utter garbage after the tournament arc.I think that we can all agree that the only good thing that this series has is that this series is more or less satisfying, like even thou the plot is tr*sh and generic, its at least satisfying. But even this, completely disappears after the tournament arc.

Spoiler

So the MC fights in the tournament, and gets into the finals, where he fights with that bit*h that betrayed him at the beginning of the story, the MC wants to kill her, he fails but still wins the fight. And when he wants to claim his prize for winning the tournament, the Crown Prince randomly appears and nearly kills the MC, the MC can't do shiet and no one besides his sworn brothers help him. And all of this happens in front of all the elder of the academy including the Headmaster. The Crown Prince had clearly broken the rules, and no one does shiet, FFS he nearly killed the MC in front of everyone, The Crown Prince's excuse "Power is above rules, as long as you have power you make the rules". He broke the rules in front of everyone and nearly killed the MC who was the winner of the tournament........ ok, ok I can understand. And what do you think happens fkin later on in the story ???? When the MC is finally strong enough, and does the same thing as the Crown Prince did (the MC killed a couple of elders that bullied him, it was self defence...) , the Headmaster of the academy decides to punish him by sending him in a place in which he should have died, (of course because of his broken and godly plot armor he survives). So when the Crown Princes nearly fkin killed the rightfully winner of the tournament in front of everyone just because he wanted to do so it's ok, but when the MC wants do to the same it's illegal. I call this pure and utter bullshiet. This is how the only good thing that the series had for it died.

[collapse]

The only good thing left that this series has is a good translator (Deathblade). Also I've read the series till chapter 400 and till that point at least there was no romance.

For me this series was a shittier and less satisfying version of Dragon Marked War God, try this series only if you have absolutely nothing better to do. <<less
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Bhelliom Rahl
Bhelliom Rahl rated it
December 22, 2019
Status: c577
I really enjoy this novel. The writing is good, the story interesting and the universe intriguing.

The scope of the world initial seems small but quickly the size of the universe becomes apparent and something new always appears and you just want to know more about.

The battles are handled swiftly with little amble but the author comes up with some interesting names for techniques.

... more>> The initial 300-400 chapters are mostly about the character growing stronger and starting to create the foundations of his future universe.

After this however, we start to see more of the Major Plotline forming and realise the scope which has only been hinted at previously.

I am thankful that WuxiaWorld and Deathblade selected this novel as it is swiftly becoming one of my favourites and I would recommend it to anyone as it covers so much of the Xuanhuan genre. <<less
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Devil_Cry rated it
May 4, 2019
Status: c370
I can't understand why Deathblade chose this novel for translation. The previous novels picked by him were too good in quality especially ISSTH. When I saw this novel at Wuxiaworld and saw It is translated by Deathblade, I had thought it will be an amazing novel like previous ones. But all my hopes shattered after reading 50+ chapters. Then again I thought may be after some chapter there will be good plot and character development. So I chose to read Raw chapters as well. I read till 370 chapters and... more>> I can only say one thing : This novel is not for me why? Let me tell my thoughts.

Spoiler

MC is too dumb he reveals his secrets to others like it is nothing. He knows there is danger but he still insists to live there and go there. He doesn't even warn his aunt. In this novel it seems author doesn't like female characters because most of the women will be killed by s*upid MC.

[collapse]

This novel had potential and author could have developed story in a good way but he didn't.

I am sorry to say but this novel is complete sh**.

I only hope Deathblade will choose a good novel in future like previous ones not like this one. <<less
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LeaningMaple
LeaningMaple rated it
May 28, 2019
Status: c348
Here is a realistic overview of the positives and negatives of this novel. And yes, I don't pull my punches, I criticize it too, but I also explain why I'm quite fond of it:

Positives:

    • The pace of the MC's cultivation is very fast. In fact, at the beginning, it's at practically a breakneck speed. There are 9 levels within major realms, and it's not uncommon to see the MC only take around 5-10 chapters to achieve the next breakthrough. This is great because you have constant satisfaction of seeing the MC become more powerful, coupled with the author's prose describing in an exaggerated faction how powerful the ancient megamammoths are.
    • Constantly seeing the MC slap the faces of enemies, and defeat or kill them. Honestly, it's a bit of a running joke how often random idiots pick a fight with him (see the "negatives" section) but it's satisfying and serves to show how strong the MC has become since his last cultivation breakthrough.
    • Intelligent MC who tries to think ahead and be cautious. Yes, he's intelligent, though not a genius. Much of the narrative deals with his inner planning, because he has to come up with ways to further his cultivation and avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention or reveal his secrets, along with protecting his family and friends from internal and external threats. And the solutions he comes up with are usually decent.
    • Beautiful translation from Deathblade. If nearly any other translator tried to handle a novel like this, which utilizes many fantasy cultivation terms that are defined largely by their context as well as countless entities within a vast continent, it would honestly seem like a blur. But DB does a wonderful job making the prose flow smoothly (always fun to hear about how badass those megamammoths are) and also cleaning up redundant parts of the original Chinese text (part of the economics of meeting word count quotas in web novel writing) and fixing frequent small technical errors on the part of the author.
    • This is just becoming apparent in recent chapters, but he's building friendships with other side characters. They're not just becoming either his sycophant subordinates or enemies determined to kill him. He even turns enemies to friends. This is always a positive, because it's a breath of fresh air after all the times in cultivation novels (including this one) that some random incident causes a blood fued between the MC and some powerful faction.
    • Solid, above-average writing. It's not perfectly meticulous in every way, but it's far better than many I've seen, balancing its breakneck speed with adequate explanations/rationales for plot developments and visual descriptions of fantasy elements. According to Deathblade, the author Divine Dreamwalker is actually more reputable than Ergen among Chinese readers who've read his various works.
    • For social readers like myself, it benefits from a very active comments section, getting a minimum of 20-30 comments and frequently reaching closer to 60-70. And still going strong; chapter 145 had 71 comments. The full novel has 1600 chapters, so I'm looking forward to seeing it grow in popularity.
Negatives:

    • The power levels are a bit loosely defined. By power levels I don't mean literal power levels, as those are more or less clear, so much as the relative power of various organizations, or the explanations for why certain people don't attack others. Sometimes the author will sort of forget what he said earlier, or he'll qualify it in some way, or in rare cases outright have the MC realize he was mistaken. For example, in chapter 1XX, the villain says: "Yang Qi is back from ***. Now is the perfect opportunity to make a move. The only reason we didn't dare to do anything to the Yang Clan was that he was holed up in ***. If we wiped out his clan when he was away, he would never let the matter drop until he got revenge." But then a few paragraphs later, he says: "Although, our orders were to kill Yang Qi in front of all the other clans of Yanhaven. If we strike fear into their hearts, and show them that we don't even care about ***, then they'll definitely acknowledge allegiance to us." Those two statements don't seem contradictory at first glance, but if their orders are just to kill him in public as an example, why would they be so afraid of his revenge? Thinking about it a bit more, someone readers would probably say, "It's because they expect him to hide himself and increase his cultivation strength, or try to borrow the influence of *** to strike back, which would be inconvenient to them." But since it's not clearly spelled out, it's left the readers' imagination. In another case, it's not clear why the Sage Ancestor Dynasty would acknowledge and send congratulatory gifts to a place that had rebelled against them implicitly, but readers could guess that it's because they are so politically weak they're currying favor. And in another case, a certain person was unable to leave their current location due to "enemies" yet at the same time were able to act as a deterrent to a different (weaker) enemy faction, and that was never fully explained (yet--we still don't know who those "enemies" are). But still, it's not like it's impossible to come up with an explanation, it's just too much to expect that of readers. So anyway, if you like to nitpick, you'll probably notice some pseudo-plot holes.
    • The fights are just the MC smashing enemies with his overwhelming energy arts and/or devouring their cultivation bases. No real strategic elements at all, beyond the interaction of different attributes of arts like godly versus evil. And he's practically guaranteed to achieve a breakthrough in every mildly challenging fight, because that's how his "godmammoth" cultivation technique works. Well, the fights are admittedly still fun to read/skim, because the author utilizes vivid imagery.
    • The apparent biggest one: Many Western readers of cultivation novels have fairly different tastes from mainstream Chinese readers of cultivation novels. In particular, they love calm schemers. Whereas the MC here is the orthodox type, a hotblooded youth who pursues power constantly, which is probably easy to identify with for younger Chinese readers. He's the type of person who, before he kills an enemy, will reveal one of his big secrets just to see the look of despair on the villain's face. And whenever this happens, the commenters on WuxiaWorld basically FLIP out and call him an idiot, because they are paranoid that someone will overhear it! Even though it's been established that his energy arts let him monitor the surroundings. It would almost be funny, if it wasn't also kind of sad... that this trope of having someone "overhear the MC's secret" and then run away to tell a senior is so prevalent, that readers have been traumatized by it. Anyway, the MC is a teenage kid, who will even do things like angrily tell his enemy that he's looking for a chance to kill them covertly later, unlike some other cultivation novel MCs who will act aloof until they suddenly strike like a shark beneath the waves. So yes, many Western readers of cultivation novels obviously HIGHLY prefer the latter type of protagonist. But still, the MC of Sage Monarch is far better than, say, Lin Dong, because he has a sense of wit. He's not the sort of "thug/murderhobo" that people use as a joking description of a cliched cultivation novel MC, either; he honestly tries to NOT make enemies. Though frankly, he still does "stand up for himself" a lot.
    • So far, there have been no emotionally compelling plotlines. It's largely a story of the protagonist adventuring and obtaining strength amid various obstacles and enemies, without any touching plot elements.
    • Cliches. To be completely fair, I actually had to list "cliches" under negatives, but cliches are a staple of the cultivation genre. Yes, it's the same basic start as novels like WDQK and BTTH and Invincible and ATG, where the MC is crippled but finds an OP secret item/cultivation technique and proceeds to rapidly cultivate and slap the faces of scheming fellow clan members. And yes, people constantly arrogantly pick fights with him. And yes, there's a high-handed ex-fiance-like character who he's targeting for revenge. And yes, his mother has a mysterious past and was forced to disappear when he was little. If you really dislike these tropes, don't read this novel! It feels like 90% of the negative reviews here amount to "*gasp* It's a power fantasy that utilizes a lot of cliches!" Well, I can respect that some people legitimately hate that, but the rest of you, just admit it, power fantasies are the reason you read cultivation novels.
Anyway, I highly recommend checking this out. If you love well-translated novels and don't mind orthodox style stories, you're missing out if you skip Sage Monarch. Sorry for the wall of text, by the way, that's just how I roll.

Update 2019/9/1 (C152->C348) : The story has steadily improved, with a lot of solid worldbuilding, politics, and intrigue that made me much more emotionally engaged in the story. The first major arc just concluded, and it was extremely satisfying--the comments sections were on fire.

The MC Yang Qi has solidified his personality as a guy who faces powerful enemies with a cold, sarcastic, and imperious bearing. He's used to being schemed against, and while he never hesitate to kill villains, he still properly considers the consequences of his actions. His realm is lower than his enemies, but his insights are so profound that they're usually unable to effectively ambush him or cause him to misjudge the fight, and his energy arts are so diverse and powerful that only overwhelming qualitative and quantitative power is a serious existential threat to him. Of course, he has to protect his family and friends and has various other objectives, so merely surviving isn't acceptable to him.

The next arc is off to an interesting start as well, with a clever scheme by an enemy faction that caught most readers by surprise.
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happyfanatic
happyfanatic rated it
April 26, 2019
Status: --
I started reading this because deathblade was translating and he's translated both I Shall Seal the Heavens and a Will Eternal which I found to be entertaining. (Hey at least the translation is well done) I even forced myself to keep reading for a little while but it never got any better. It's extremely formulaic with no redeeming qualities to make up for that. Privileged young master gets betrayed and "crippled" but not really because he immediately gets struck by super special lightning. What are the chances?! And then... more>> follows the standard trope of special secret trump card which enables him to beat other people at higher cultivation levels etc.

Lots of twirling mustache one dimensional villains etc. <<less
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edoc
edoc rated it
March 21, 2018
Status: --
I read this years ago and I loved it, the greatest part is that his family isn't forgotten as the MC works hard to increase their cultivation. In fact the way he does it is something I haven't seen in any other novel and works great.

Be advised, I remember the story having a slow and rather cliché start.
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ZUN
ZUN rated it
May 1, 2019
Status: c96
TL;DR -Terrible generic novel with little to nothing redeemable about it.

--------------------

Does the following sound familiar?

... more>> The MC is a cripple/untalented young guy with no personality to them except for being ""righteous" and has a parent or parents with a mysterious background who's origins he needs to uncover?

He receives a ridiculously powerful cultivation technique that allows him to be stronger than anyone else, able to control every element, makes him immune to all poison, allows him to absorb any type of energy AND acts as the plot armour vehicle for him to do anything the story needs?

The entire novel is limbo of him perpetually insulting someone of status only to kill them, thus insulting someone else in a domino like effect?

THATS RIGHT!

You have read this novel before!You have most likely read it 10 to 15 times if you are into this genre.

Its the same boring uninspired garbage written by someone who supposedly never spoke to a living person long enough to figure out how dialogue functions, but when you see what they actually write in their novels you are not surprised normal people are keeping safe distance.

There is nothing interesting about the novel and its generic enough that it makes me wonder why it exists every time I read a paragraph.

The story is uninteresting from a narrative standpoint and a wider perspective, the writer never makes you invested in anything nor does he pique your interests with a fleshed out world.

The writing style is something that would get you kicked out of a writing class and the dialogue just makes me cringe because its always between these onedimensional stereotypical characters that seem like they were programmed NPC's that got half of their lines cut due to file corruption.

Honestly there is nothing redeeming about this novel and as I have read these 90+ chapters out of respect for Deathblade, 80 of them felt like a chore I had to force myself trough.

People at this point say this is something you read when there is nothing else to read because at least its not PMG but at just chapter 90 I can already see plotholes and consistency bursting at the seams to the point where I am not comfortable doing so.

Save yourself the time and do not read this, because chances are that you already have... <<less
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ArgosYesu
ArgosYesu rated it
December 20, 2016
Status: --
There wasn't really anything exceptional about the story. I read up to when his family destroys another family and then got really bored. The use of Elephants as his system of power is... fun? I think. While I could understand its background, I couldn't really get into his training system much. I forgot which chapter this was, so meh.

Also, the tag, Second Chance, was used incorrectly for this novel. Dying and reviving in the same body in the same timeline does not make it a Second Chance novel. Second Chance... more>> is if the MC returns to his old body and is allowed to start his life over from there, AKA, having a Second Chance at his life. <<less
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Zores
Zores rated it
June 17, 2019
Status: c340
Well, this history is really bad.

Beginning is somewhat good, there is interesting plots, rules of word established. MC is good temper boy who was betrayed and need to change to become strong.

And if you think, what in such initial plot there will be interesting changes in his character, you are wrong.

He is deus ex manchina, who will never ever get in really bad situation. If there will be someone stronger than him, *BAM* - he will get immediately power up and destroy everything. And there is main problem of this... more>> novel - hero almost don't do nothing to get power. He is very arrogant and never use his mind to resolve problem. If there something, that he can't resolve on this moment, sudden power up help him to kill or retreat. But don't worry, even if he retreat, then next sudden power up, and he will kill people, that threaten him. I'm read ~340 chapters and stop on moment of logical end. There reason, why I'm even don't want read this novel:

Spoiler

Crown prince became very powerful Great Sage. Our hero can't even kill weak Great Sage. He returns to his academy and Principal set him 100 days deadline to begin fight with Crown Prince. MC with his almost godly luck get several very mighty power ups. But no matter that there too short in time.

After 80 days Crown Prince returning, he is even more powerful, than was predicted. And has party of 18! Great Sages, most of them more powerful, than standard Sage. Some of them even from higher plans! MC has only one powerful Great Sage on his side.

So, MC never fight with Great Sage, has lower cultivation level and only one helper. That he will do to win?

NOTHING!

He is really simple became very powerful, say to his Great Sage not to involve and singlehanded kill 18 powerful enemies. Simple kill so many overpowered Sages. He is even don't get any damage! Longest plot with many injustices was resolve with sudden power up. He kills every of his enemy, don't trying to talk and establish friendship with them, only kill everyone. Many of plots were cut with such illogical way. And this was finish of his revenge and many chapters, where tension is built.

[collapse]

So, if you want short review - can't kill somebody, get sudden power up, can't get somewhat powerful artifact, get even more powerful artifact. So, you are in desperate situation, pff, get sudden power up and kill all enemies.

MC don't get any development, don't do anything, but always became more and more powerful without any logical standpoint. He is very young, only one time was in academy library (it was said in novel, and author forget about it), but he knows everything, that he needs. There sometimes is wrote, that he will need several years for next level - forget, he will get sudden power up in next chapters.

With good beginning Sage Monarch very fast became very simple "kill everything without any logic" novel without really interesting plot development. All problem will be resolve with power, MC will never ever use his mind to do anything creative and unorthodox. <<less
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dustystaff
dustystaff rated it
November 12, 2019
Status: c495
Before I start my actual review I would liked to say I wanted to like this novel, and primarily came to this site to see if I could find some reconfirmation of why I once thought this novel was different and good in the beginning ; however I have now realized I can no longer stand reading this novel for these following reasons.

1 character development is flat and uninteresting

I can live with the fact that his background story of having a beautiful lover that betrays him, and parents of mysterious... more>> origin is rather generic as they say if the wheel aint broken don't go trying fixing it. What I can not accept is that side characters are so easily discarded and forgotten. At times it feels like the MC only meets to people as a plot development element, which can be fine but every single person he meets is so one noted t0 point you can describe them as being rotten and greedy, or he likes them so he can considers them as his brothers/sisters. it feels like character development is so bad there is very little point in memorizing character names, even if a past character is reference its only to justifies his action. This would be acceptable if he was more interesting, however his only characteristics are that he is arrogant, pretentious, and dimwitted.

2 cultivation system is a mess

In this novel it seems like you do not cultivate the dao, you cultivate body mass. Because in this novel it seems like the only reason people get stronger is bc they find xxx item, which gives them x reason to chase after the MC for x item. To say this suppose to be a cultivation novel, its ridiculous that at almost 500 chapters in, at no point does the MC, or anyone really train, or struggle to point cultivation is pretty much equivalent to eating. And breaking through cultivation is even more ridiculous as less than 1/3 the way through novels already requires "enlightenment in concepts such as space, time, fate..... are concept that typical not present until late in the novel. However the MC has not even ascended into the immortal realm yet people are easily capable of revving the dead, consuming entire worlds to advance, facing countless tribulation which at least to the MC are pointless, and people have life span in hundred of thousand that makes me question how well the author organized there ideas.

3 Morality of the character makes no since

As character he easily commits slaughter of entire groups of vaster and more ridiculous scales as the story progress, which can say that he is not releasing the tiger back in the mountain, however it quickly becomes obvious that's not the case. I am fine with morally dark characters such as Leylin from Warlock of the Magus World who is a major schemer that knows the dark side is more practical and fun ; and moral gray character such as Su chen from Divine Throne of Primordial Blood who performs sadistic experiments on the living, but has a heart of gold. Unlike theses two characters the MC tries to act all holy while he performing tragedies, its kind of like if a super vegan judges you for eating a cheeseburger as a animal slaughter, only to notice that there wearing a minx coat and gator skin boots, yet you can not judge them bc they have the moral high ground as a super vegan; while he represents the legion of the gods. Plus the whole title of the books as sage monarch is utter hogwash once to learn what the term means, in comparison to his actions.

ps: the only reason this novel is worth 2 stars is bc death blade is a great translator, and the novel is readable if you are willing to symbolically wear rose tinted glasses the novel is enjoyable. <<less
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Drag0n
Drag0n rated it
July 5, 2019
Status: v1c213
Akin to what others stated, I began reading and sponsoring this work on account of Deathblade translating it. AWE, ISSTH and others were all incredible reads. I don’t know why he would choose to adopt Sage Monarch, however.

You can expect everything to fall into the MC’s lap in this novel. He’s not smart, crafty, savage, funny or other beneficial trait that would make him superior to everyone else. If you ever read Renegade Immortal and follow Wang Lin’s journey, you’ll understand how inept, lucky and unworthy of his domination Yang... more>> Qi is by comparison. The author paints him to be brilliant, but he’s really just the best by nature because he is the MC and any schemes are paltry. There is no jubilation to accompany any progress in his cultivation because it doesn’t feel earned. Yang Qi has the overpowered nature of Yun Che from ATG paired with Lin Ming’s sometimes dry personality without any of the intelligence, humor or plotting abilities of an Er Gen character.

I have tried but struggle to read this because it actually fulfills all the mind-numbing tropes you could expect from this genre. Revenge motives, super-powerful and borderline invincible assets, sect conflict, so on.

Maybe Deathblade knows something I don’t and it will become good in 600 chapters, but as of right now, it is nothing to write home about.. <<less
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