The Founder of Diabolism

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As the grandmaster who founded demonic cultivation, Wei WuXian roamed the world in his wanton ways, hated by millions for the chaos he created. In the end, he was backstabbed by his dearest shidi and killed by powerful clans that combined to overpower him.

He incarnates into the body of a lunatic who was abandoned by his clan and is later, unwillingly, taken away by a famous cultivator among the sects—Lan WangJi, his archenemy.

This marks the start of a thrilling yet hilarious journey of attacking monsters, solving mysteries, and raising children. From the mutual flirtation along the way, Wei WuXian slowly realizes that Lan WangJi, a seemingly haughty and indifferent poker-face, holds more feelings for Wei WuXian than he is letting on…

Associated Names
One entry per line
Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation
Ma Đạo Tổ Sư
Mó Dào Zǔ Shī
魔道祖师
魔道祖師
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System (19)
Heaven Official’s Blessing (16)
The Reader and Protagonist Definitely Have to Be in True Love (9)
Every Day the Protagonist Wants to Capture Me (9)
The Legendary Master’s Wife (9)
Pulling Together a Villain Reformation Strategy (6)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Stories That Go Well With Tea
  2. Danmei / BL
  3. Quality Danmei
  4. Danmei | BL Novel Library
  5. My Favorites

Latest Release

Date Group Release
08/18/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c126 (end)
08/11/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c125
08/06/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c124
07/28/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c123
07/22/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c122
07/14/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c121
06/25/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c120.5
06/03/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c120
05/26/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c119
04/21/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c118
04/15/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c117
04/13/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c116
04/07/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c115
04/06/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c114
03/31/19 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c113.5
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209 Reviews sorted by


Gluttony
Gluttony rated it
June 2, 2017
Status: --
You can tell just from the 11 released chapters that this is a fantastic novel. It's humorous, the romance is developing so naturally and the plot and world building is absolutely amazing. If anything, people who aren't a fan of gay romance can be as equally engaged in this. I'm so eager for someone to commit to translating this and release regular chapters. From what I've heard around from people who can read Chinese, the novel has excellent reviews so I know I'm in for a great ride.
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karwasama
karwasama rated it
August 20, 2019
Status: c126
In reading this, I hope y'all realize that whatever I have to say will never give justice to just how good this novel is. This was absolutely phenomenal, a story that will never compare to any other, and it has everything you would ever want in a book (romance, evil ghosts, sword fighting, magic - the list goes on and on).

Let me break it down for you before I gush on for another 3000 words about how much I loved Mo Dao Zu Shi.

Plot Summary: Wei Wuxian, the son of... more>> servant who gets adopted by the leader of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect, learns cultivation alongside his shidi, Jiang Cheng, and becomes renown for his genius/talent. The two are sent to the Gusu Lan Sect to further their studies and that is where they meet Lan Wangji, the male lead. Both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji bicker throughout their youth until the oncoming battle against the oppressive Wen Sect arises, in the midst of which Wei Wuxian begins to cultivate the demonic path. As a result, the Four Sects turn on him and kill him, only for him to come back to life thirteen years later in the body of Mo Xuanyu. By coincidence Wei Wuxian meets Lan Wangji again, and the rest of the novel depicts their story as they try to solve the mystery of a disemboweled corpse but end up discovering something much more sinister.

What I liked about the novel:

Plot. My god was the plot amazing.

I think with BL a lot of novels suffer from pushing the more 'fan-service' aspects over the actual story-line. Needless to say, Mo Do Zu Shi did not suffer from this at all. Everything was planned out perfectly, with every single detail being relevant and leading to something else. For example, the twist at the very end was shocking, but when I went back to reread this novel, I realized all the clues were already there.
Spoiler

I kind of felt stupid at the end for not realizing that Nie Huaisang was the mastermind behind it all. I mean, it was his brother that was murdered and no matter how incompetent and kind he may be, who wouldn't want revenge? Also, the thing with the dead cat and acting like he didn't know Mo Xuanyu even though he should have and so on was clearly there in the novel; I feel like I could have connected the dots on my own. Regardless, it kind of gave me shivers how the author planned for this so well.

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There was literally a connection for everything that happened. At one point, Wei Wuxian becomes 'arrogant' and stops carrying his sword around after cultivating the demonic path, but when the reveal to why he does that happens it will literally make you go 'oh my god! So that's why this happened...' and then you'll figure out his motives for his other actions as well.

All in all, this novel had like no filler moments that didn't have any significant meaning, and I never got bored once while reading the entire thing. If that doesn't meet the plot was phenomenal, I don't know what will.

The. Character. Development.

Mo Dao Zu Shi made me empathize with everyone, no matter how heinous their crime was. I hated some of the antagonists, loathed them from the bottom of my heart, but at the very least I understood why they felt like they had to do what they had to do, and often that dislike was tinged with pity. It wasn't because 'oh boohoo the villain had a sad childhood' either - it was because each of the villains were human, and they were unfortunate enough to be thrust into circumstances where their humanity would be tested and broken. Xue Yang, for example. Oh my god, where do I even start with this little gremlin.
Spoiler

Although he did have a somewhat tragic childhood and this did contribute to him become what he did, it was his time with Xiao Xingchen and A-Qing that really got me emotional. He is undeniably a horrible character who murdered hundreds at a mere grievance, and him forcing Xiao Xingchen to kill the villagers is absolutely unforgivable. But I think, despite his aggressive intentions at first, Xue Yang really did come to value his experience with the two. Above all, he seemed like someone who was intensely lonely and used evil to fill that hole inside him, and being with Xiao Xingchen and A-Qing did that better than any killing could ever do. However, I think he realized it was probably too late to have a change in heart and that's why he continued doing what he did - it was just in the end he still couldn't let Xiao Xingchen leave him. The black candy in his fist made me cry. : (

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Jin Ling's words kind of sum it up perfectly: "He didn't know why, but he felt like he couldn't hate or blame anyone. [name of a person], [name of a person], [name of a person]—every one of them should be responsible to some extent for the deaths of his parents, every one of them gave him a reason to loathe them with all he had. But it also seemed like every one of them gave him a reason that made him unable to do so."

Of course, Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian, and Jiang Cheng's character development was good as well. It's just that most novels don't bother with it for side characters, but the way the author for Mo Dao Zu Shi managed to develop everyone equally and still retain the audience's interest impresses me a lot.

The romance was healthy, adorable, and honestly, relationship goals.

What can I say? Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are perfect together. As a ML, Lan Wangji isn't overly forceful to Wei Wuxian and is super considerate to his wants and needs. You will literally never find a more devoted lover - he pined after him for thirteen years, playing Inquiry (asking spirits about Wei Wuxian's whereabouts) and hoping for Wei Wuxian to come back. Lan Wangji also doesn't hesitate to put himself in harms way to save him, and sacrifices so so so much to lessen his burden.

Wei Wuxian is really oblivious to all Lan Wangji's feelings at first. In fact, I think he was oblivious to his own feelings as well, since he would always call Lan Wangji 'handsome' and tease him for attention as a teenager. It's only in the later parts of the novel that he actually understands what his emotions mean, but nevertheless throughout the novel he returns Lan Wangji's devotion fully.

And that confession scene.... you guys will have to read for yourself how that played out... but I have only two words: freaking hilarious.

What I didn't like:

Nothing. There is not a single thing in the novel that I did not love.

Mo Dao Zu Shi is the first of many for me, and it is also the first novel where I have absolutely nothing to critique. It is absolute perfection all on its own, and to change any part of it would be a travesty. If forced to find a fault, the only thing I could say I am upset with is the fact that it is over.

Mo Dao Zu Shi is the only novel I have ever given a 5.0/5.0 rating to, and probably will remain that way in the future. The sheer quality of the plot, character development, and world building is unparalleled. I have no other words. I just want to thank the author and the translators from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to read this piece of art, and all of you readers out there for giving them the support. <<less
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kisa-chan
kisa-chan rated it
September 5, 2018
Status: Completed
THIS. IS. SUCH. A. GEM.

It doesn't even focus that much at BL at all well maybe in a subtle way..., and the main point of it all is the story. It's like, romance is just the sub-plot of it, or like, a bonus. I cried, I laughed, it kept me guessing as I read along the way. The WHYs and HOWs was just so intriguing it kept me going until I MTLd to the end and side stories.

Some may find the flashbacks irritating for being long-winded, but that's where the... more>> story is based on. It explains the current characters' actions and I personally enjoyed reading those flashbacks because I get to understand the feelings of those characters a little better. I say 'a little better' because their feelings aren't always explicitly exposed and narrated, some may be only hinted at and the author leaves it up to you on how you interpret some of them.

Basically, I'm telling you that if you've got some spare time, read this. No regrets at all. And the length of the whole story is just perfect, I believe. Just a little past a 100 chapters. <<less
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hy-d-ra
hy-d-ra rated it
January 21, 2020
Status: Completed
FOREVER NUMBER ONE.

I came to appreciate one thing - the story can be the moving force in a BL novel and romance can be a part of it, yet not take main stage. In BL there can be stories that will send a message. I've read/seen/listened to all adaptations. Surprisingly, each adaptation is like a part of a whole, yet can be treated as a separate piece that complements the story.

MXTX brilliantly weaved the elements of xianxia, detective, horror, drama and romance together. Comes forth her main trick, simingly unrelated... more>> events slowly, but surely, lead to an avalanche finale. Recognizable by now love to show past and present. And let's not forget, boi MXTX loves ghost/gory parts :) Her imaginative style helps you dive headfirst into incredible world of cultivation, but also the story doesn't leave you indifferent:

  • Narrow path with just heart. This is most dear to me. The story heavily stresses on how hard is the struggle of one person against everyone can be, but WWX consciously chooses this path, because he chooses to be truthful with himself and his choices. And he bears the consequences.
  • Our past defines our future. WWX lived two lives. His past is an inseparable part of what he is. He lived through struggling with his past and he lived through accepting it. Acceptance is one of the moving things that truely touched me.
  • Let me walk this path with you. The romance that exists in this story, I have no idea how you can not like it. The relationship between LWJ and WWX is one of the dearest to my heart. What I came to appreciate is the fact that it's not simple. They never started with love at first sight, they held mutual attraction and respect for each other, there also was a clash of principles that couldn't be avoided, there was also pressure from outside. In the end it was too late. No one from them is perfect, they made many mistakes they regretted, but the secon chance they were given they didn't want to mess up, thus next path they decided to take, no matter how narrow, they walked it together.
  • No one is perfect. I think the greatness of characterisation in MXTX novels is that she is able to bring good and bad sides of a character. Even if it's a main character, he's not without faults. Even if it's a villain, he's not without reason. They can be repuslive, yet you're able to understand their motivation. And in reverse, good characters can take actions you do not agree with.
All in all, MDZS is a wild ride, rolling from past to present, from war to peace, from drama to happiness. I came to love it for its' depth and creativity. I've read it few times (only now decided to post review heh) and I think not the last time. And I will always be impatient for all her new works. <<less
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Rhia89
Rhia89 rated it
August 16, 2019
Status: Completed
I've read this book thrice over, watched the anime and the drama, read countless fanfiction over and over and I'm still thirsty for more. Lan zhan and wei ying hold my heart as the absolute best couple ever. Ugh... why is this so short. There should be a second part where they are just night hunting and hanging out with their kids and being domestic. A big big big thanks to exiled rebels for picking this up. You guys are lovely. 🥰😘

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MingMing19
MingMing19 rated it
February 25, 2019
Status: Completed
This story is just so damn good. I can't even express it in words. The love between the two main characters is absolutely beautiful, and their relationship is definitely the one of the most healthiest ones I have encountered. Of course, there is much more to this novel than the wonderful romance. The whole plot itself is an amazing read, it's the perfect amount of action, comedy, tragedy, fantasy, and romance. Most characters are likeable except for a few, and Wei Wuxian is the best protagonist I have come across.... more>> Everyone should read this even if they aren't fond of BL, because honestly it's so good that missing out wouldn't be worth it. <<less
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vinzha
vinzha rated it
February 11, 2019
Status: Completed
I made this account specifically for this book, so here we are.

First heard of it as a manga, but when there is an original novel out there, I'm definitely paying a visit. To be honest, I'm not very experienced in xianxia novels. I've only ever read one before Mo Dao Zu Shi, though I do watch a lot of xianxia dramas. But I do think I like this one just as much as the first, if not more. A lot of complaints and praises for this story, as with many... more>> things, are subjective tastes with viable reasons.

I genuinely do like the flashbacks, and even when they are at times confusing, I still enjoy them enough that it doesn't matter to me. Once I figure it out, it wouldn't ever bother me again, since I already know. The flashbacks are actually extremely important to me personally since it allows the mystery and suspense of the past to drive some parts of the plot, allowing more doors to be open, releasing information to be used at the right time, ect. I love not knowing what exactly happened in the beginning, wondering about all the relationships and motives of the characters, and letting the flashbacks show me at opportune times before getting out of the way as the present story line is progressed due to its unleashing.

Spoiler

Even more so, a good deal of the point of this story was following We WuXian's rebirth and figuring out the present using his spotty memories. The guy has the memory on par with a goldfish. The flashbacks are just such an important literary device that I love dearly in this book, especially when repeatedly implied past events are finally revealed. A good example would be the events of the Night before going into the present, directly referencing that mess of a past event by mentioning how some people presently in the Demon-Slayer Cave were either there during that massacre or were descendents of those in that massacre.

Another would also be Xichen revealing that Lan WangJi apparently confessed his feelings (? kinda, it was just very obvious even if he didn't say it directly) before in the past, but because Wei Ying didn't remember, it explained part of the past misunderstandings between the two.

[collapse]

It's part of a style choice in my opinion, and I like it. I did have a rough time with the three names though, but since I'm patient, I learned it along the way, and if I needed help, I just used the character guide. It was slightly more off-putting than the flashbacks for me. It may not be enjoyable to some, so watch out for that if you may not like the story due to the influx of numerous names.

Anyways, beyond that, I thoroughly loved the story and the characters for the most part. I love mystery cases, and any attempt at a mystery done alright is a boost for me. I also think misunderstood done well relationships is my jam, and the main pairing is, unlike many other stories, my main focus in the story (not that the minor characters detract in any way in this. Its just most of the time I dont give a crap about the main chatacters, so its refreshing to like both the protagonists and the side characters, unlike how I usually only really care about the side ones). I do adore both Wei Ying and Lan Zhan, meaning I also occasionally make fun of them and their antics but definitely in a good-natured way. Slow burn is also my jam, and the little moments along the way builds to a sigh of 'finally' when they actually get together.

Spoiler

At very inopportune time what with them being at the complete mercy of end antagonist, but I digress.

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It has come to my attention that Lan Zhan can be a bit flat. And I generally agree. There are definitely parts of him that could be compelling, but was never really explored or shown all that much. His character development happened in his youth, the extent of it being shown as him being less of a stick in the mud when he met Wei Ying (it took a while, but point is that it was done mostly in scattered flashbacks and gray areas like the thirteen years where Wei Ying was dead, so really not actually shown) and I can only assume much of it was done behind the scenes, or rather simply unknown to Wei Ying. This does make Lan Zhan feel a little less real (because he's so goddamn perfect I guess), though being honest I still really adore him with a fondness I can only assume from adoption of him as my son.

Spoiler

Like, look. I can feel that Lan Zhan has so much potential in complexity, not just in his obligatory tragic backstory, but his present actions as well. His sides are just not shown well through the novel itself and partially due to perspective, and from Wei Ying's point of view:

  • Yeah, Lan Zhan is basically perfect by the time they grow up. Wei Ying praises him endlessly, even in their youth, and more so in the present day because Lan Zhan by then apparently already finished his character development.
  • Even more so, Wei Ying himself understood Lan Zhan's character so late that for most of the novel, there was a lack of real comprehension of his character other than being "a bit boring" or "fuddy duddy". A little less so in the future but still. that was Wei Yuing's basic understanding of Lan Zhan (other than being beautiful and talented and smart and perfect in every single way other than not smiling much).
  • Lan Zhan is so deep in love with Wei Ying (and Wei Ying not getting that until like 90% of the way into the book) that honestly, the majority (bascially all?) of his actions were done all in favor of Wei Ying. And because this book is in the latter's perspective, there is a big lack of well, negative effects. Like, sure one time he sided with Wei Ying and people got suspicious and accused him and stuff, but that wasn't a mistake, nor anything to grow from. It was the right choice. I genuinely can't think of any of Lan Zhan's actions present day (not drunk) that can be considered a mistake or something to grow from. Which uh... is okay. Because he's still a good character and honestly, I think it's reasonable because of how the story turned out: Wei Ying proving he was right to everyone (about some things lol).

I actually think that their relationship development itself is fine. It's not anything complex and dynamic like with Wei Ying and Jiang Cheng, but I think that that's... also fine. Them having a relatively chill relationship after the initial ups and downs in their youth is completely good for me. I genuinely don't really have as much of a problem with that as others do. To be honest, it's slow burn more on the confirmation of mutual feelings than "push and pull" which was pre-novel stuff. Some people are stuck in the pre-relationship part of a relationship rather than the actual relationship... if that makes sense. I think it's important to note that a character doesn't need to complete their arc simultaneously with getting romantically involved. The "not wanting a character being defined by who they end up with" would ultimately become useless if they just, y'know, actually get into a relationship before they complete a character arc... anywho, semantics. I just think that them having a stable, mutually loving, simple relationship after finally getting their heads out of their asses is a good thing.

I just mostly wish that we got to actually witness Lan Zhan's struggles and mistakes and growth, especially in his youth and within those thirteen years. Like his chosen drunk adventure leading to nearly hurting himself and others (possibly even sober), regrets, the realization of missing his chances and getting used to grief. I want to SEE THAT. But the story really isn't his and Wei Ying's story, it's mostly just Wei Ying's, Which may negate everything I'm saying but, anyways. And by the way, Wei Ying is a dumpster fire of emotional instability and extreme PTSD from all sides. So uh, Lan Zhan being perfect in comparison (in his point of view) is valid because Lan Zhan is at least more stable mentally and by pure nature than he is.

Now, disregarding all of that... I also think that even though Lan Zhan is portrayed less compellingly than others, he's a good character. More importantly, I freaking love him even with him being not as "relateable". To be honest, my biggest gripe is simply I want to see more of him outside of Wei Ying. Not necessarily meaning "without Wei Ying there" but more "him doing something in the presence of Wei Ying that doesn't relate to him at all, but is still Lan Zhan through and through, and is not something perfect like his writing posture or something". I think that he did indeed go through some changes and self-reflections, but we weren't able to see it that well. And the reason for that is actually pretty simple (and I also already said this multiple times already but this is the main point) : he's completed his character arc before the novel. By the novel, he has already become a (reasonably) stable adult. His personality has already evened out by then. Which makes him flat by novel story standards, but a normally functioning human adult by real life standards (not his high level cultivation stuff, but personality wise). He didn't NEED to go through any major character development because he's already completed it off screen, and what happens next for him most importantly is Wei Ying. Which is fine. He's still a good character, and he fulfills his purpose within the story about Wei Ying.

If you watched the dongman... the first season has the majority of Lan Wangji's character development, all in the younger days. And I really loved it. As I thought, his character really does have so much potential, even though it was used mostly unseen or in flashbacks in the novel. The dongman does a good job of showing the depth and conflict in his character, so I greatly recommend it.

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Now, being honest here, I don't think I love ALL the characters as much as many of the fans do. Granted, many I do find merit in, and those who are meant to be sympathized with are on some level. They are mostly fleshed out and they genuinely hold a place in my heart. And beyond that, I find all of the relationships, especially the familial ones, to be very interesting and well done. I also think the balance of romance/plot/character development/character interaction is especially good (personal taste of minimal romance with a focus on mystery and action). I would consider a relatively short version of an epic, and because I don't like needlessly long stories, I don' t think it necessarily had to be any longer. It did it's job, and that's what makes me like it. No value to derail constantly in classic epic style, no one-off episodes that don't do much for the actual story it was trying to tell. Everything wrapped up fairly nicely, with most things relating to each other cohesively. The characters remembered and grew and changed. That's what's most important.

4.7/5 for me. <<less
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PaperDoll
PaperDoll rated it
August 6, 2018
Status: Completed
Male 1: free spirited, sunshine/summer personality.

Male 2: quiet shy, winter personality

Zombie hunting with some case solving aspects. Great read.
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comradeguorong
comradeguorong rated it
August 4, 2018
Status: c54
I love the main character so, so much. He's such a spirited, happy-go-lucky, and shameless person, and there's pain under that but boy do I love his shenanigans. He alone already makes this novel worth reading, and like him it has such humor but there's also sadness.

I also love the ML and the hints of how deep his feelings for the MC flows, while the MC is meanwhile intensely dense. They have very cute scenes and many cases of each protecting the other.

The drawbacks - Not going to lie though,... more>> there's often long stretches of flashbacks and I nearly rage quit during one of them because it was too tragic.

Spoiler

The fog city flashbacks...I had a tough time believing Xue Yang could deceive Xiao Xingchen for so long, because Xingchen had other senses even if blind but I guess there had to be maximum death and tragedy

[collapse]

I definitely want to see this through to the end, because I want to see justice happen... <<less
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Shybreeze
Shybreeze rated it
October 27, 2019
Status: Completed
I tell you, instead of reading reviews, just start to read already. And join me in worshiping this novel that is close to PERFECTION.

What can I say? This is my fav novel of all time and I haven't seen any that can came close to this. Just how many times I cried while reading this novel? EVERY CHARACTER, I said EVERY CHARACTER in this novel is alive I tell you. My heart HURTS for everyone. Wei Ying and Lan Zhan is a cinnamon and must be protected at all cost.... more>> Oh, how I want to tell you the glory that is this novel but I'm afraid I will just write my own long praise for this. No wonder it has manga and drama adaptation. Each adding to the fans of this story. Each has it's own flavor. But definitely, each is precious.. <<less
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KilaLuvenar
KilaLuvenar rated it
August 14, 2019
Status: c125
I...

this novel. Gods damn this novel, it's SO GOOD.

I originally started out with the Donghua and let me tell you: first episode was a jumble of "who the f*ck is this again?" and "at least they're wearing different clothes" to "the hell is going on, why are we doing this, is he possessed or possessing, what. The. Actual. f*ck"
And then the next episodes swept me away and I understood more and more about this world. I started caring about the characters and the plot A LOT more, I got... more>> so invested and I cried my heart out.

I found out about the novel.

Needless to say I now know almost everyone's courtesy and common name, have cried more than a thousand times and am neck deep into this fandom made out of crackheads and masochists (because truly, the only fanart I ever see is one of the two, we either love to torture ourselves with sad scenes or dead characters, or we just. Become Wei Wuxian. There is literally no in between)

This novel is amazing. The characters are BEAUTIFUL, the plot just keeps on getting more interesting and the way it's written is very refreshing. I just, I have way too many feelings about this and I cannot, for the live of me, say anything objective because I AM NOT OBJECTIVE OKAY?

I am in love.

That will be all <<less
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antiquesdoll
antiquesdoll
June 11, 2019
Status: c120
I've never read a better webnovel. This is not just gratuitous yaoi, but also heroic xianxia, adventure and action, various relationships, drama and tragedy, mystery, good character development, and just so entertaining. I'm so glad there is an animation and live drama being made. Mo Xiang Tongxiu really has done a great job. Although I like all the other novels, I still think this one is the best.
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Apheleia
Apheleia rated it
June 7, 2019
Status: c120
I hardly write reviews. But I have to, for this story.

An absolutely beautiful subtle romance underneath the action plot. Their relationship isn't forced like most BL (whereby it's borderline glorified rape), and each always waits for the other's approval before doing anything, and willing to back off if the other rejects them. That is VERY important and the difference between r*pe and consensual sex. That is true love. That was what I admired in their relationship, the mutual respect and trust that most BL lacks in all types of media.

The... more>> characters aren't flat. Each has a reason and you can understand why they do the things they do, although that doesn't mean they should be forgiven, you can understand where they come from. Of course, there are a few flat characters the author throws in here and there to prevent the reader from getting tired.

The MC has a past that can really make you feel despair. It's not something super unrealistic and extreme like revenge dramas (torture etc). It is something that given the circumstances, may happen to you. Like I said, you can understand where the characters come from, and that includes the 'villians'. They aren't even really very 'villian-like', which corresponds to people irl. And you can really feel the despair by the MC. He's unable to hate anyone cuz of their reasons, and you as the reader is also unable to really hate any character. You basically feel like how the MC does, although you might not behave the same way (If it were me I wouldn't have trusted Jiang Cheng since their teenage years, lol).

The love interest is patient and content with having MC back to life. He just wants to stand by him and not leave him again, so he can intervene if anything goes wrong. Before, the MC was utterly alone and never knew that someone (love interest) cared for him, so in his second lifetime, the love interest makes sure to let the MC know he always has the MC's back. Unconditional trust. Willing to give up anything just to stay by him. The MC sees that and is touched, and gradually falls. You can really feel the regret the love interest had and how he learns from losing the MC, and now did all he wanted to do last time without holding back (NOT sexual).

Very moving, poignant writing. The author is indeed gifted with words and extremely hardworking with rounded characters. Beautiful. <<less
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Thwon
Thwon rated it
January 3, 2019
Status: Completed
Seriously, this novel allowed me many things. First : I discovered danmei (耽美) novels, and I'll always be grateful for this. It showed me a new world, literally. Second : it allowed me to learn Chinese and thanks to it, I improved a lot. And last : it made me dream. Really, it was really a marvel to read!

First, the characters. They're all so good and developed! You think you know perfectly this character? BAM, in you balls, it was in fact this and this and this. Second, the plot.... more>> I live this plot. So much twists that'll make your head spin (in a good way). And lastly, THE COUPLE DAMNIT. Really, LWJ and WWX and so cute. Their history is something, made me cry and laugh at the same time.

This novel is a master, a work of art. Sadly, the novel hasn't been published in paper but it is available in Chinese (I have the books at home, so happy (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°))

Anyway, if you haven't read it, you definitely have to. Really good. <<less
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Ritu
Ritu rated it
December 22, 2018
Status: c84
This novel lived up to all the expectations I had for it. Its a slash novel yes, but extremely slow burn. Its plot is god level. Honestly I'm reading this novel now more for its plot and less for its romance lmao. The characters are so well developed. The author depicts their pain and life so well. You can connetterti with each one of them. Reading this you understand human nature. I didn't expect to get hooked into as I did. 1000/10 recommended. Gorgeous Novel.
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YuYao
YuYao rated it
April 12, 2018
Status: --
I have the same problem with anyone who confuse about the names and sect names. There are so many names even the MC has 4 names (or more?) Buuuttt I really like the story. And the translator do a great job, they even make a section for names and sect guide.

MC has interesting personalities and abilities (I kinda wish the author explain the details of his ability, such as why the corpse hear his command, why his flute and command can control corpse). As for ML..... the typical strong and... more>> cold ML. So yeah MC's charm definetly stronger (for me).

Another reason I like it because it contains slightly horror. I love to imagine the horror and thrill feeling. <<less
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sunshineincarnate
sunshineincarnate rated it
February 2, 2020
Status: Completed
One word: masterpiece.

In this review I'll be listing down some of the things that I loved about the novel. It's quite long, but bear with me. Spoilers are hidden away under the spoiler tag.

First of all, I read this novel back in December 2018, when it was still being translated. It’s been awhile, but the novel left a huge impression on me and remains one of my favourite novels to this date. Although I'm Chinese myself, this was my first Chinese xianxia novel and I didn't know what to expect, but it exceeded all of my expectations. The plot, characters, their development, relationships, mystery, comedy, fluff, angst— it’s altogether captivating, heartbreaking and endearing. If you’re a sucker for a strong MC, devoted ML, fleshed-out side characters, a good amount of fluff, angst and comedy in a historical fantasy setting, this is the novel for you.

1. Plot. Mystery really kept this novel going. After the MC is incarnated into a new body, the MC and ML essentially embarks on a journey to solve a mystery, meeting new and old family and friends along the way, and unknowingly connect the loose strings of the past and reveal truths were purposely kept hidden or buried. I’ve seen people complaining about the large amount of flashbacks and how... more>> it “disrupts” the story— but the flashbacks are important in letting readers understand the MC’s past, his relationship with the ML and other characters, and what led to the MC’s downfall. Rather than disrupting the flow of the story, it adds to the intricacy of the plot and builds character depth in not just the MC and ML but also in many of the side characters. The flashbacks aren’t boring either; it's filled with fluff and comedy (as it describes the MC and ML's younger days), with angst later on. There's never a dull moment in this novel— it's pretty fast-paced yet compelling, and the plot is full of twists and turns that will leave you slack-jawed.

One plot-twist in particular was what really cemented this story as one of my favourites, because it will break your heart, and I never saw it coming:

Spoiler

Chapter 89. Wei Wuxian's sacrifice towards Jiang Cheng— I won't elaborate anymore because it's a major spoiler and it's better for you to find out yourself to for the sake of the shock value, but I happened to read this chapter in the middle of the night and literally cried myself to sleep.

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2. Characters. Where do I begin? This isn’t your typical black-and-white story where the villains are inherently evil and the protagonist is a saint— hell, even the summary described the MC as a wretch hated by millions. If you’ve read the author’s other works, you’ll know that her characters are, more often than not, morally ambiguous, which is what makes them so compelling and humane. There are ‘villains’ but they’re not just there to do evil, rather, they resort to evil due to the circumstances and upbringing. The author does a good job in crafting relatable characters, evoking empathy and building an emotional connection between the novel and the readers when it comes to the characters and their actions.

The MC, Wei Wuxian, is by far my favourite MC to-date, because he’s written so amazingly. Wei Wuxian is described as many things in the novel— shameless (by the ML), charming in his youth (by onlookers), sweet (by his Shijie), annoying (by his Shidi), strong and mischievous (by his juniors), a trickster (by his teacher), evil (by the rest of the world), but most of all— he is selfless. Although the novel is written in the POV of the MC, you'll find that you don't truly know him until he lets you. (I learned this the hard way when I got to chapter 89, so buckle up!). That's what I adore about MCs like him, because he's not a flat, boring MC with all of his attributes laid out right in front of your eyes in the beginning; rather, as you dive into the novel, what you think you may know about the MC is hidden beneath complex layers and between the lines of the novel, until his reasons are revealed. Wei Wuxian employs an almost silly, happy-go-lucky attitude in his day-to-day life, which leads to many people not taking him seriously, but behind that facade he's a genius, too kind for his own good, and always trying to hold the weight of the world on his shoulders just so that the people around him won't suffer. He has plenty of faults too, but that’s what makes him so relatable and likeable.

The ML, Lan Wangji, is, for lack of a better phrase, ultimately true to himself. I've seen people question Lan Wangji's character, complaining that he's too cold, lack personality, or “only there to be the ML”, but here's why they're wrong. Coming from a sect that's known for its rigid rules and righteousness, the ML is known as a virtuous and upright person, cold and distant, because those rules are all he's known his entire life. Cue the MC, who's actions and character is the personification of everything that the ML has been taught is the black to his white, and the ML realises that following the rules and being righteous isn't always the best way to go about things— that is, sometimes, doing the best thing means breaking the rules, and it's not necessarily wrong nor borne out of selfish desires, rather, it's just being true to yourself and acknowledging your humanness, regardless of whether it's right or wrong. That being righteous doesn’t solve problems, and burying and suppressing oneself doesn’t stop one’s heart from beating.

In my opinion the ML does a good job in acknowledging himself and his heart and growing into who he is in his adult years, especially coming from such a rigid sect. He's not just cold— he's a romantic, calm, strong, surprisingly petty, cute when he's drunk (he's got very iconic drunk moments!), vulnerable at times, devoted, and drops the occasional dry humor. The ML is also one of, if not the most, crucial character to the MC's development and growth.

Spoiler

When other people were praising the MC due to their fear of offending him, the ML was the only one who boldly criticised the MC. When others left the MC to defend for himself and even led a siege against him, the ML was the only one who stayed and defended him. He’s the only one who stuck with the MC through thick and thin, and the only one who tried his best to understand why the MC did what he did— even if the MC wasn't aware of his love, or if it was morally wrong to side with the MC. Because love knows no bounds, and Lan Wangji is but a man in love.

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MC and ML's individual characters are like fire and water; they're the definition of opposites attract but they balance each other out nicely. MC is outspoken, boisterous and lively, whereas ML is aloof, uptight and cold. MC loves drinking alcohol and ML gets piss-drunk after one sip. MC needs someone who is willing to shoulder his faults with him and catch him if he falls (literally and figuratively), whereas ML needs someone who can bring him out of his cold shell and teach him how to smile.

Spoiler

The author mentioned that it's love at first sight for ML. MC is endlessly oblivious, but since the novel is in the MC's POV you can see that he's often talks about how handsome the ML is, lol.

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The spoiler below describes the extent of MC and ML's relationship growth from their first meeting to the ending of the novel:

Spoiler

During MC and ML's first meeting, MC's first words to ML was, "Can you pretend you never saw me?" because the ML caught him sneaking alcohol into ML's sect, which banned alcohol. In the final main chapter of the novel, MC's last words to ML was, "Lan Zhan! Look at me! Look at me now!" and the last narration of the novel is "From then on, he [ML] could never move his eyes away again."

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3. You'll grow to love the side characters too.

4. The lessons learned. This novel has taught me many things: communication is key, your background doesn't define who you are, even the worst villains have their reasons, the power of the words "ge ge", among other things.

All in all, this is a must-read. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. <<less
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YoriMei
YoriMei rated it
January 6, 2020
Status: Completed
Yes yes, it’s good, honestly if you haven’t heard about this already I’d be shocked because of it’s popularity. There’s nothing that hasn’t been said, but three things:

1. It’s flash back heavy, which some don’t care for

2. It’s very good, but be wary of hype. Sometimes furor can make it sound like the second coming of Jesus. Stick around for the first few chapters and maybe the first flashback, move on from there.

3. It can get grating to see this mentioned on other danmei pages, hell I like the story... more>> and I still roll my eyes when I see it mentioned on a series with no connection. That said, it’s a story that deserves a try at the very least. <<less
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Farid_san
Farid_san rated it
October 15, 2019
Status: Completed
I really dont need to write another review, cause there's already too many people wrote about it, LOL. But I will still write it cause it'd be such a waste if you dont give a good review to a truly good novel. and yeaah, basically I agree with the masses opinion. This is one of the best light novel or web novel i've ever read. And even more amazing is that this is a BL genre, where usually the BL novel category dont really care much about quality, and here... more>> it is, a top quality material for reading. Whether youre a rotten girl/guy (fujoshi/fudanshi) or not, this is a marvelous novel. Worth for being one of the top tier novel in this site. And I really understand why this novel popped up so much in many reccomandation reading list here and there.

P.S btw Lan Zhan really is the best seme/gong, the gentles, the coolest of them all, in every BL novels i've ever read and found!! Seriously, he's a prince among prince, and knight among knight in shining armor, the savior among savior to all uke/shou out there (though he's only devoted to one and only Wei Ying). Every scene where he come to save the day, it's always feel so natural, not forced at all to make a heroic scene. Sigh... Mo Xiang Tu really is doing her best here. I'm so glad he's not in the same troupe as the rapist and black bellied seme/gong LOL, instead he's in the tragic yet romantic seme troupe LOL LOL <<less
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optionalpanda
optionalpanda rated it
September 1, 2019
Status: Completed
Many people refer to Mo Dao Zu Shi as the gateway drug of Chinese danmei novels, but for me it is not just the gateway; it is also the ultimate reason to stay and discover more. Not only did it show me the light, but it is also one of the most wonderful stories I have ever had the pleasure to read, with a truly memorable and beloved cast of characters, a captivating, action-filled plot and a glorious and heartwarming romance at its center.

I could wax poetic about this novel... more>> for days, but I should start with Wei Wuxian, our charming, irrepressible hero. I don't think I will ever find another MC I love more; he is bright, intelligent, ridiculously brave, never without mischief and always smiling and laughing. His personality endears him to so many, including the male lead, Lan Wangji, but what I loved best about him was his approach to life. Throughout the events of the novel, we gradually discover just how much Wei Wuxian has suffered, to the point where the fact that he is able to keep smiling is a miracle in itself. And yet, he does - not because he's foolish or overly forgiving, but because to him, there is no reward in holding onto hatred; the trials he goes through will one day become experiences to laugh over. He is only human and therefore not perfect, but he never makes excuses for his mistakes and instead accepts them head-on. Wei Wuxian is a character that deserves respect and the real heart and soul of the story.

Lan Wangji is no less wonderful, although much like his personality, it takes considerable reading between the lines to realize just how deep his feelings run and how much he has grown as a result of his experiences. On the surface, he is the polar opposite of Wei Wuxian; he appears ice-cold, overly restrained and devoid of flexibility. But at the heart, they are very similar in the way they take care of those around them and their straightforward approaches to life. Those tired of cold, distant male leads will be glad to find out that Lan Wangji actually defines warmth and enduring love; his depth of devotion to his special person is actually heart-wrenching.

All this combines to create one of the most beautiful romances I ever have come across; it is slow-burn and fleshed out gradually as it becomes apparent just how far back their story stretches, but the journey there is extremely tender, touching and well worth it. Best of all, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are equals in strength, abilities and intellect and their relationship is built firmly on a foundation of friendship, trust, mutual respect and depth of feeling. One's devotion is rewarded by the other's outpourings of honest love and affection. It's hard to even imagine WangXian separately, because they are so much a part of each other.

The novel is more than just the romance, however, as inextricable as that aspect is from the story. The plot is action-packed and thrilling, set in a world full of cultivators, martial arts and reanimated corpses. Those who love mysteries will love this, as the suspense of what happened will keep you on the edge of their seat - what starts off as a seemingly-simple murder mystery with a dead body (or at least part of one) turns into an intricate web of intrigue that ties together both the past and the present. There is a whole cast of well-developed characters aside from Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji that contribute to making this such a wild ride, as well; it'll be hard not to love characters like Wen Ning, Lan Sizhui, Jiang Yanli and Jin Ling, and even the more controversial figures are written so well that you can't help but find their stories fascinating.

In summary, Mo Dao Zu Shi is an amazing story; don't expect to be able to put it down once you pick it up. This is a truly special story of second chances - for Wei Wuxian to live, and for Lan Wangji to love. It is frequently exciting, often touching and sometimes even heart-wrenching, but at the end of the day you will be absolutely satisfied at this emotional roller coaster ride of an adventure. And if you find it difficult to say goodbye to Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji at the end of it all (as I do), you can always take comfort in the knowledge that there are four wonderful adaptations waiting for you - audio drama, manhua, donghua and live action! Besides, who knows? With any luck, the author may one day write new extras and spin-offs, so that the story never truly ends. <<less
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