The Desolate Era


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Fate had never been kind to Ji Ning. Wracked by illnesses and infirm his entire life on Earth, Ji Ning knew early on that he would die as a teenager. What he didn’t know was that there really was such a thing as life after death and that the multiverse was a far larger place than he thought.

A lucky twist of fate meant that Ji Ning was reborn into a world of Immortals and monsters, of Ki Refiners and powerful Fiendgods, a world where Dynasties lasted for millions of years. A world which is both greater… and yet also smaller… than he ever could imagine. He would have the opportunity to join them, and in this life, Ji Ning swore to himself, he would never let himself be weak again! The Era he was born into was a Desolate one, but Ji Ning would make it his era.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Age of Desolation
Jade Sword (official English title of drama and anime version)
Mãng Hoang Kỷ (Man Huang Ji)
Records of Barbarian Ji of the Primeval Era
Related Series
Coiling Dragon (23)
Stellar Transformation (12)
I Shall Seal the Heavens (10)
Swallowed Star (9)
The Nine Cauldrons (8)
Tales of Demons and Gods (7)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Novels I read + MTL
  2. Just Favorites
  3. Cultivation Novels
  4. My top novels list
  5. My Favs on NU

Latest Release

Date Group Release
04/20/18 Wuxiaworld afterword
04/20/18 Wuxiaworld v45c17
04/18/18 Wuxiaworld v45c16
04/18/18 Wuxiaworld v45c15
04/18/18 Wuxiaworld v45c14
04/18/18 Wuxiaworld v45c13
04/17/18 Wuxiaworld v45c12
04/17/18 Wuxiaworld v45c11
04/16/18 Wuxiaworld v45c10
04/16/18 Wuxiaworld v45c9
04/14/18 Wuxiaworld v45c8
04/14/18 Wuxiaworld v45c7
04/14/18 Wuxiaworld v45c6
04/14/18 Wuxiaworld v45c5
04/12/18 Wuxiaworld v45c4
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156 Reviews sorted by

intisntwis rated it
May 17, 2016
Status: v13c7
I absolutely love this series. It is in my top 5. I actually enjoy most of IET's works. Coiling Dragon is my favorite (also the first xianxia I read). This novel has a lot of philosophical elements, it has cultivation, a strong male lead. I think the worst parts are actually the "fight" scenes, which is actually not even what I read or look forward too in this story. I love the plot, the constant improvements and the other characters that get introduced. I especially love the philosophical insights even... more>> if the author doesn't touch too deeply into them in this novel.

If you like Coiling Dragon or God's Trials, I would definitely give this a shot. <<less
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ElDorado rated it
June 2, 2016
Status: v45c17
Finished reading this a while ago. Purely as a story, Desolate Era is something I would give a two point five. But as a 'training montage/ journey to godhood and beyond' of a character from weak to strong, I believe that no other author in this genre does a better job than IET.
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kalp456 rated it
January 3, 2017
Status: v21c23
IET's novels in general overview (which includes DE) :

Perhaps one should be told that if they want to read the works of IET, then expect that all of his stories are rehashes of his older stories with only one difference, the different worlds in it. Most, if not all, MCs would all have the same traits, same weakness, same abilities, etc. Most, if not all other characters, will be presented as either one or two dimensional ones that will be either used as plot devices or MC character "development" devices... more>> (note the ""). In other words, one should already expect that as far as characters are concerned, IET is tr*sh in this one. As for its themes, I guess being filial is nice but repeating that for the zenith times? Yeah, no way! The only thing that could be called as passable in IET, as far as my standards are concerned, is his ability to create interesting worlds. Of course, the further the story progresses, the easier one will find the created world by IET as tr*sh. But since the beginning and the middle parts are interesting, it is still passable. One can compare it to eating a fried chicken leg. Eating the skin and the juicy meat makes you want to eat them more but as you eat more and more, you will soon discover that the only parts left are the shitty tendons and other hard stuffs but since you still want to eat more, you just eat them until the hard bones are left. To make your meal more satisfying, eating another fried chicken leg will be the only way to satisfy you.

As for the writing style, it is too childish, imo. Too many repeated words, phrases, sentences, terms, etc you'll just want to skip them all. One might even be able to save their time reading a whole chapter by just reading the title alone. Even though I said it is childish, it still makes my blood boil since, you know, action, cheesy and s*upid cliffhangers, underestimations, whatnot, those kinds of things.

Excused Scoring:

Excused Scoring (for 1st half of his stories) :
Writing Style: 4/10
Characters: 2/10
Story & Plot: 4/10
Enjoyment: 7/10
Total: 4.25/10 = 4/10
= 2/5 (poor)

Excused Scoring (for 2nd half of his stories) :
Writing Style: 4/10
Characters: 1/10
Story & Plot: 3/10
Enjoyment: 4/10
Total: 3/10
=1.5/5 = 1/5 (bad)

Average: 3.725/10 = 3/10 (see my Genius Black Belly Miss review for the reason)
= 1/5 (bad)


Edit: I just realized that I should at least give much credit to his world building (with much bias since I find them quite interesting) so I'll just add a point to story and plot for each part.

Edit 2: I wanted to add a point for the characters part for the 1st half of his stories since there are at least some sort of personality to some characters in that part of the stories (e.g. Ninelotus) but I soon realised that these characters are too miniscule to add for the big part of the factors included in scoring the character department, so I'll just keep it as 2/10. Well, for Desolate Era, it might be different, though, since I think 3/10 for characters (for first part only) is not a shocking thing.


Explanation (first part only) :
Character presence: 1/2
Ji Ning is the only one you will notice so in a way, there is a presence but only the MC.
Character Personality: 1/2
Like other IET novels, people are treated more as plot devices or "MC is so amazing, wow!" speaker-character.
Character Backdrop: 0/2
Most don't have. Even those that have are only used for the plot and not shown as some sort of causation for their current personality, if ever they have.
Character Development: 0/2
Like hell there is one!
Catharsis: 1/2
Bad writing forced you to somewhat care for Ji Ning's well being, so yeah, there should at least be (even if there aren't).
Total: 3/10

Edit 3: Miscomputed, lol. It's 3/10, not 4.

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cutterline rated it
July 5, 2017
Status: Completed
First, I want to clarify the rating I gave, I'd like to give this 2.5 (between poor and ok, more towards poor). You may see people giving stellar review for this, like 'this is best thing ever from IET'. In a sense, that is correct until a certain point of the story because IET's way of writing improved but I'm guessing many of the reviewers hasn't completely reading this yet, hence partial reviews. Now, you've also read many of the bad reviews saying recycled settings, non creative, etc and that... more>> is also certainly true if you have had read IET's novel before. Overall, for me, it's a quite enjoyable reading experience, not perfect, but a good way wasting time to ease mind. Out of 3 IET novels I've read (CD, ST, DE), I prefer CD because that's my first novel and my first time introduced to IET's way of plotting which hasn't changed much between that 3 novels. A bit subjective, yes, but its initial setting is a novelty in CN world making it worth that extra star for me. You can actually notice IET's improvement in each iteration but honestly, all of them suffer the same problem. They have good story building in early chapters but until certain point

which usually is moving/ascending into "upper" plane/universe

After that, BANG!, all of the sudden, the story lost its initial brilliance, dejavu all of the sudden (if you've read other IET's novels) and forced story extension. The forced story extension is noticable when you have finished reading the book and just recollect your thought about it. DE suffers worst of the two because the new objective (actually pretty similar to CD), IMHO, is pointless and this could have been a better novel if it had just finished earlier. ST has 600ish chapters, CD has 800ish chapters and DE has 1400ish chapters. Now if you connect those numbers with recycled settings, etc, you'll know what I meant. Should you read this? Go ahead, the basic foundation is different with CD and ST as it uses Chinese Mythology. It's fun read but after certain point, everything is just boring repetition and meaningless until the usual IET hero ending (You'll know what I meant if you have read IET's work before). So far, I never give 5 stars review to IET's novel because their ending is a meh ending to me. I hope he can surprise me in the future. <<less
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KingCahir rated it
June 7, 2016
Status: v14c1
Honestly if you read anything from IET then you know what your getting yourself into. The store is great, tho it get a little to fast and not CD, but that does not take away from the store, at the same time CD was 18 books this is double that so I kind of understand. Anyways great store, great fight scene and great vileness.
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TheGuyWhoReadsStuff rated it
August 7, 2017
Status: --
This is my first review on anything.

... more>>

This was a good read until the the great war ended and the MC went up a level.


How many levels are their in his world? Like he is literally learning new move just to say "I can't use this on this guy because he is to strong." I don't know how many the MC just learned a new move just to forget it when he rank up in power.

The MC shouldn't make friends because he will just forget them when he get powerful.

He had a f*cking daughter for no reason. Like really, What type of father would just leave his daughter alone when his own daughter can become strong? This should of really ended after the great war ended. Imo


I really enjoyed this book, but now im finding myself just skipping a chapter or two.

The author could of make a sequel to this. Like his daughter for a example. The MC failed to get his wife back and his daughter is now trying to get his father and mother true souls back. Or the MC daughter really hate the MC for not being their with her and she ran away to start her own adventure. Or the road of revenges on the MC. Do you guys remember the kid? The MC killed his father and the shameless gate supposedly train him off his anger and hatred for the MC? Well that would be a great sequel to this story. <<less
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newbage rated it
January 20, 2017
Status: v17c1
I'd give it a 2.8/5

It's not the worst xianxia read. The action is alright and the plot progression is decent.

However it suffers from shallow interactions and 2 dimensional characters -- main characters included. No one really feels or acts like real people. Their motivations tend to be shallow, unrealistic, or non-existent. My guess is that the author only has average or below average emotional intelligence so he's not able to flesh the characters out well.

Also, the author's sense of scale is ridiculous, and the world building is unreasonably... more>> shallow. It's like the author thinks "bigger means more awesome so i'll just keeping throwing in larger numbers"... like a child who doesn't realize that size and scale doesn't work that way. An normal sized ant can lift 21x his own body weight. A human sized ant wouldn't event be able to lift itself.

For Example:

He has people using bows to shoot hundreds or thousands of kilometers... WITHOUT propelling the arrow with their cultivation energy/qi/mana/divine sense. In fact, the protagonist's first archery instructor is an archery "genius" who focused on archery specifically because his cultivation was crippled. Like WTF? Even the world famus english longbow only has an effective range of 100-200 yards. Any bow capable or generating the force to launch an arrow that far would be larger than a person.


As another example:

This world has COUNTRIES with a surface areas LARGER THAN ALL OF EARTH. Dude... for one, the gravity of such a land mass would literally kill humans. And it can't be saved with "well they're cultivators" because most humans in this world aren't cultivators. These people would need to be an alien race and would need to be shaped far different than us to survive there. Furthermore, There's no way to govern a territory like that, espcially with communication and information technology vastly inferior to earth. Cultivation doesn't help with state governance. And furthermore, in a territory that large there's no way that social cultures would be anywhere near as homogenous as in the novel. Look at how many cultures exist on earth.. and you'd realize how ridiculous it is to have a homogenous culture across a low-tech territory larger than earth.


I've actually stopped reading now because the scale has gotten so ridiculous, the most recent arc I've read has him literally fighting space battles against an insectoid enemy whose 3 queens are nearly planet sized. And no he's not in a space ship or wearing space armor or anything. It's just him. It's gotten so s*upid... <<less
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Aldnonymous rated it
October 15, 2017
Status: v33c20
Commentary : If you have moral standard and start thinking that MC of this novel have the same moral standard like you just because he also came from 'our' modern world, you couldn't be more wrong.

My Review :

This novel can be considered as copy of Coiling Dragon (Pan Long/盘龙) Except Coiling Dragon is Xuanhuan with western element, while this one is exactly XianXia with Daoism/Taoism element (and that's it! The only difference between The Desolate Era and Coiling Dragon). These two novels came from same author so you should already... more>> expecting this. You as reader of IET novels shouldn't be complaining about these matters, because as I already said, you should be expecting these.

Now let's get right into the news! real review! This novel, as the previous novel IET wrote, still have terrible pacing, too many time skipping, too many problem in the story left alone (some are even crucial), too many side characters left 'unused' that later become irrelevant in the future as MC becoming stronger, there's absolutely no point of introducing a new character by giving it a whole two to three paragraph for introduction just to be irrelevant in less than seven to ten chapter. From this we could see IET haven't improved 'that much' from his previous novel, but we should gave him benefit of the doubt (don't please don't!).

This novel also severely lacking of other people POV (Because they become irrelevant! Duh!), the point of other people POV that author should do to their novel is not to praise the MC (like what most XianXia and Xuanhuan novel author did), but to explain the plot or further the plot of the story. Why I'm saying this? Because other POV on this novel could help a lot on that time skipping and terrible pacing (But of course as expected from IET, he wouldn't do it, because what's important is only the MC and MC alone).

There are also other things to mentions (as our honorable mentions), technical difficulties (if you can't understand this, it's fine), use of the wrong terms, wrongful use of power scaling, size scaling and time scaling (I still find these wrong even after I turn my brain off for scientific fact).

That's all for this review (criticism). I hope this is helpful. <<less
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freedom1x rated it
February 16, 2018
Status: v38c17
Let me recommend reading Coiling Dragon and then Stellar Transformation first.

My reason is. The boundaries of each stories grew bigger as you read along. With Coiling dragon as the smallest of the three.

You are about to immerse your self in the world of boundless cultivation. So first you must witness the universe in it's early stages as cultivators push the envelope as they try to go beyond the unknown reaching new heights.

Immortality is just being able to live longer than others, in the eyes of a mortal, being able to... more>> outlive them couple of times is enough to be called an immortal. In this series you will understand that what you know of the term immortality is just that. And their are something beyond them. <<less
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DaBrick rated it
December 18, 2017
Status: Completed
This is one of the web novel I like the most as it revolve around laws/ dao comprehension.

For those who expect romance in this WN, it's very scarce as it was only shown in the early chapter and the latest chapter before it ends like only 1 chapter and it's only the last few paragraphs then the WN finished.
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killthetrees rated it
August 3, 2017
Status: --
it was pretty exciting in the earlier chapters. Idrc enough to remember exactly but after a certain "great war", the following chapters became, ironically, progressively bland, truly tasteless. I noticed the author tried inserting weak humor into the story at some point, which was really some half-hearted dry bantering between characters really, which was awkward and disappointing, and I knew that author had run out of ideas and now if you do keep up with the current chapters, you can/will see that it is endless repetition of the same things.... more>> It's just not worth explaining past this.

it could have been so good but it's ruined now, for me at least. I'm sure some people can appreciate the "classics". Good bye desolate era, hello copy paste era. <<less
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mrttao rated it
December 24, 2016
Status: v15c16
OP MC power fantasy, the OP MC is OP because of his good fortune, tripping over super rare and precious inheritances by the bucketload.

The MC is one of the dumbest MCs around and only survives because of his plot armor. The only motivation the MC ever has is revenge, to ensure he has target for revenge he and his loved ones keep on acting like complete and utter suicidal morons so that an extremely unreasonable scenario will unfold allowing the MC to have a new revenge target.

Also, despite being an... more>> OP MC power fantasy, the MC's personality can be described as "frantic little b*tch", which is ironic because his name literally means "Calm" because he is allegedly such a calm person. In terms of plot and writing this is simply awful. Worst IET story (despite being almost the same as the other ones) <<less
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UnknownSaint171 rated it
July 25, 2016
Status: --
Well this was heartwarming and pretty good at first... but it turns really bad. I had to cover my face with my hands and say "What is this nonsense?" I don't know what I am reading anymore. The story is everywhere man! I had such high expectations of the creator of Stellar Transformation! It feels like he's just irresponsible and lazy writer. Even the way the Villains die is the cheesiest way I've seen.

This has a lot of Parallels with Chaotic Sword God so I'm guessing that other Writer... more>> was influenced by this. I think this Novel is just as good as Chaotic Sword God.

I sincerely don't know why this Novel is rated so highly. None of the Characters are fleshed out and they are just discarded and removed. (Like ST).

Ill rate this only 3 stars. Only because I admire the Author courage. He did his best and doesn't write perverted or Harem plots. The Characters he makes are good guys.. but it doesn't suit a world where they kill each other.

MC was like a saint who saved lifes but suddenly becomes a typical Wuxia killer. What the heck? He used to give a very calm and gave a wise feeling. Where things go right despite of being a innocent guy. Now its "killing everyone is my solution." <<less
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funtastic rated it
April 19, 2016
Status: --
The novel is nothing new, same as ST and CD. The MC has a questionable personality and s*upid taste in romance.

The MC is introduced as someone who is so kind that he has loads of karmic points but when transfers to the new world his personality changed, he's fine with s*avery and killings. I get it. New world new rule but the MC even kills other over small dispute and even s*aves. IET tries to justify this by saying killing these guys will even earn him more karmic points cause... more>> they're "evil". The other thing that annoys me is how thick the plot armor is. It may be even thicker than the wall of china. evil guy : IM GOING TO KILL YOU

ji ning : no prob, i'll make a breakthrough during our fight

evil guy : you dead now bruh

ji ning : LOL, no thanks. Im gonna comprehend some laws during our fight.

evil guy : ha ha ha my level is higher than you

ji ning : look again bruh. I gots this super duper killing item.

The constant plot armor save is annoying. Overall. The novel is nowhere impressive. Frankly I dont even understand how it gets all these 4 and 5 ratings. Though its not super but its not too bad either. Just read it while waiting for your favourite series to be translated. <<less
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Deicide rated it
October 21, 2018
Status: Completed
Honestly I wanted to enjoy this novel but it's best if you can just speed read through and not be horribly turned off by all the cringy repetitive speech and sometimes silly sound effects excessively thrown in with the most lazy and disgusting manner for the author's extra monies.

I managed for a long time but after that reading became an ordeal, and the only good parts were anticipating what would happen next (which is an acceptable reason to enjoy the novel by itself, author makes situations well enough).

There are a... more>> lot of parts where you are unable to fully follow with the authors intent though due to poor, often redundant, description choices--I perhaps blame the worldbuilding overall? In any case it really feels clunky when you try to "get into" situations within the novel.

Why mention the speed of light if you have no following reasoning to back up how exceeding it works? What on Earth are you talking about regarding these constant optional talent definitions that you change so often? I'm not sure I remember feeling good about how heavenly daos were divided and described either

... for Pete's sake just a little more attention would have made everything flow so much better. I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty there as it's been a long while since I've read this, I just wanted to make sure I got this review out of my system.

There are definitely merits to this novel, but mostly within the occasional intrigue/settings, not really sure if it's worth the headaches but I do recommend you read some and see if you can get past it. <<less
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ZeroBlink rated it
September 11, 2018
Status: --
Showed a lot of promise. Enjoyed it to half point. I think it would be much better if it finished at that.

Dual cultivation and progression. It's all over the place.
Bull**** mid-fight breakthroughs.
Random characters becoming "Top villeins" out of nowhere.


... more>> Nice world
Likeable characters, some complex character, characters with their own specific ambitions that don't always lick the Mc's boots.
cool concepts (However abandoned later on eg Mind duality)
Ridiculous powers especially in 2nd half of the story
More action than talking when appropriate and vice versa

The unforgivable
2nd part of the novel for majority of it has no punch to it.
MC is an idiot, walks into every single trap despite the fact that everyone tells him it is a trap.

"Oh look a super Dangerous and deadly ruin that I KNOW I will get messed up in... Let's go check it out" <<less
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lPedro rated it
April 28, 2018
Status: Completed
Well, I don't have a lot to say about this novel. Just that I'll never forget it for the rest of my life. This novel was the first novel that I read that made me happy reading it. And it was this novel that made me like swords and dao compression. It may not be the best novel, but it's a novel that I'll never forget.

Sorry if there are a lot of errors in the English as it's not my main language. Thanks for reading it.
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Kergonan rated it
April 21, 2018
Status: afterword
Well, after Coiling Dragon and Stellar Transformation, IET has done it again with another great novel

The world of Desolate Era is very well written, with enough details that it feels truly alive, both in appearence and in its underlying secrets. As a welcome departure from its previous works, the author does not give us a world set in terms of levels (like with Coiling Dragon and Stellar Transformation) but in terms of scales, both in space and time, sometimes at measures so great that they can seem a bit ludicrous,... more>> but which make sense on the long run. Also here, there is an heavy emphasis on the History of this world, which drive most of the plots of the story, beyond the quest for power or love (although the latter is still the underlying motivation of the main character for the latter haf of the novel).

Speaking of characters, the core cast does not remains as constant as in other IET novels. Except for the protagonist, the characters in the spotlight vary considerably over the course of the books, as they are often left behind as the MC rises in power. Still, they are detailled enough that they are not seen as mere "tokens", with enough differences in their personnalities and motivations. Even with antagonists, there are almost no occurence of the so common (in this kind of novel) archetype of the "arrogant young master".

So most of our attention is centered on Ji Ning, who I must say is a fine protagonist. First, as usual of a IET main character, he is not a misoginistic, borderline sociopath, he is a positive person, truly invested in the way of the sword (you just feel that this weapon is an "art de vivre" for him), motivated by the protection of his loved ones, and even in his most "raging" moments, his anger has its origin in righting the wrong they suffered. Also important to him is his wife and true love Yu Wei who, while not as physically present as other love interests of the other IET novel, is well written and always here as a fond memory and source of motivation for Ji Ning in his growth as a sword cultivator.

And I got to say, the power system, or more accurately the cultivation system in this novel is very well made. While it is not the best I ever read, it is "grounded", consistent and logical. It divided in three progression lines of Body/Qi/Soul with the Dao ultimately linking the trio and conditionning the evolution. I won't give too much details, as a fair part of the plot is linked to it, but let's just say that while the cultivation here has a part of "hard logic" it also has a dimension of feeling and "artistic perception". And, one point I love in this novel, the author make us feel the difficult of advancing as the protagonist goes higher and higher into the power rank (in fact, some books pass with the MC, while getting new insights, not rising in rank, especially toward the end), making us understand his position as a "forerunner".

As for the translation, it is as expected from RWX, in other words: top notch. Reading a chinese novel translated by him is an insurance of quality, both in term of the text itself (vocabulary, grammar, typos (or lack of)) and the tone and emotions it transmits.

So, in conclusion, Desolate Era is an excellent novel, and the best I Eat Tomatoes novel I've read so far. With the combinaison of a wonderful world building, a great positive protagonist and very good side characters and a solid cultivation system, all of this supported by a truly professionnal level translation, this masterpiece has everything required to take you along on your next ride through the world of Chinese Fantasy. As a matter of fact, I regret a bit that I finished reading it.

P.S: thank to I Eat Tomatoes for writting this novel, and the Ren Woxing for translating it. <<less
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March 20, 2018
Status: v43c13

Overall best CN novel i've ever read from other IET novels. Good world building, but many detail are exaggerated just to display how big this novel's world is.
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NEOSSPACE rated it
December 9, 2017
Status: v33c15
I was engrossed by the action and the cultivation of the MC. I'm an absolute I Eat Tomatoes fan the difference between his works and others is that I feel that the characters in his novels are all slightly more emotional than others especially all of his MC's.

The problem with desolate era is that it is too emotional especially regarding the MC's family. Maybe its just me but aren't cultivators suppose to have strong emotional control Ji Ning is the exact opposite of that.
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