True Martial World


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The Human Emperor and his opponents were embroiled in a 33 day long final battle involved the strongest experts. After destroying the Abyssal World and sealing the Abyssal demon king’s godly weapon‘ a mysterious purple card disappeared into the space-time vortex‘ and tunneled through infinite space-time.

In the vast wilderness‘ where martial arts was still slowly growing in its infancy‘ several peerless masters tried to find their path in the world of martial arts.

A young adult named Yi Yun from modern Earth had unwittingly stumbled into such a world and began that journey with a purple card of unknown origin.

It’s a magnificent yet unknown true martial art world. This is the story of a normal young adult turning into a legendary peerless expert.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Zhen Wu Shijie
Related Series
Martial World (Prequel)
Martial World (25)
Against the Gods (13)
Heavenly Jewel Change (8)
The Desolate Era (8)
Tales of Demons and Gods (6)
Coiling Dragon (5)
Recommendation Lists
  1. immortal list of the immortal "berke"
  2. Novels Ive enjoyed
  3. Novels i've read
  4. Transmigration and 2nd chance novels
  5. 4/5 rating

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193 Reviews sorted by

March 13, 2017
Status: c907
Pretty good

Reviews for this story are not great I can assure that there is truth to those reviews. What people often have a problem with is pacing, repetitive arcs, one dimensional female lead, and superfluous details. I will admit that there are flaws with this story and everyone of those claims are pretty legitimate. But since I like this book I will defend it and tell y'all why I like this book.

Pacing, it's the number one complaint for people caught up with the chapters or people who can't stand the... more>> snail speed. The pacing to me is fine and when the chapters are in bulk the pacing doesn't matter as much. But the author decided to take things slow and make it detailed. Will I say the pacing is perfect? No! Some arcs are unnecessarily long and tiresome.

I am talking to you just won't die BADG

. The pacing is a part of the author's writing style though not a lot happens. Notice his wording or the little stuff about Yi Yun's thoughts.

Next problem is the romance, and for this I kind of understand that she seems one dimensional but I don't agree. Many say that they never say the three magic word "I love you" and just say vague words to each other. But for those people I have a question if they are happy together what do the words matter? Words can be misinterpreted and words don't equate action.

When Yi Yun was about to get sealed by BADG Lin Xintong jumped to save him and although she couldn't save him she decided to go with him. If he is to be trapped she will join him. When Lin Xintong was in danger in the great empress mystic realm Yi Yun ran full speed burned blood essence all to save her.

He respects her and is thankful for all that she had done for him. She is the same and is thankful for Yi Yun's actions. Like they said Meeting you has been my good luck. I like the romance because it gradual they were acquaintances. Then to mentor and mentee, old friends, close friends, lifelong friends, and the line became blurry. It was realistic not all relationships are about saving the girl and the girl screaming I love you. Not every relationship is fiery and passionate. Love is best shown with your actions and love is best shown with your emotions. They long for each other, they look for the martial peak together, they are individual people, but they are complete when together.

Now for the details I have the weakest defense because I believe this a lot. CC uses a lot of unnecessary detail because the readers forget a lot. When they forget they go on forums preaching theories that have nothing to do with the book. What the peanut gallery thinks may not be helpful but other details aren't as useless. Although CC makes a lot of useless details it's ultimately a perception issue. It's only useless if you have reasons to believe so. If you don't want the so called useless details tell us why they aren't useful. But I don't believe that to be enough to take away the value of this book.

Here's for repetitive arcs the smelting trials in MW are the tournaments in TMW. Alright I admit it's repetitive but you are here reading chinese novels right? I don't care to much about the setting as long as the MC isn't insufferable and the powers are fun. Sure it is simple but good battle interesting cultivation and a calm MC make for a fun world. I don't expect to much sometimes face smacking is funny. But there are some shining moments where the author gets away from tournaments which I recommend. We dealt with the same stuff in martial world but as the end approached it became so much better.

This book has it's flaws and if these flaws affect you then don't bother. I won't tell that if you can get past the flaws you'll find gold. This book has it's strength and although some details seem useless some details make this book great to me. The small details in the romance make it believable and promising. The small details in plot make it interesting and mysterious. The way CC prepares us for cultivation levels with titles like sage or human lord over and over preparing us for when he goes bam level. The cultivation system is very good and dynamic it is very interesting I love everything about it. As you can see the details aren't all useless right? The repetitiveness won't go away if you don't like then sorry. If you're okay with that and are okay with some other flaws try it. After noticing the small stuff in the romance or story you'll be awed, confused, feel happy, and not a deep sense of bliss and a light release. <<less
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June 3, 2016
Status: c448
Alright, this one of the chinese novels that I hate and love the most.

Love? Yes, love. Why? Because this story is amazing in it's own right. Yes, it's low-paced, but the sheer quality of the content makes up for it. The story is amazing, with an interesting cultivation method, and the MC is a badass. It also has it's own funny moments.

Sadly, lately, the author got sick, and the story got rather low-paced, to the point where:

Chapter x - MC gets up from his chair
Chapter x +1 - People... more>> react to the MC getting up
Chapter x +2 - MC opens his mouth
Chapter x+3 - MC speaks
Chapter x+4 - MC finishes speaking
Chapter x+5 - People react to the MC speaking
Chapter x+6 - More reaction
Chapter x+7...
Chapter x+8...
Chapter x+ 9...
Chapter x+10...
Chapter x+11...
Chapter x +12 - MC sits back in his chair

So, if you wanna read this novel, when you are about to catch up, stop. Let it increase by a 50-100 chapters; while you wait, you can read I Shall Seal The Heavens (Epic + Genius +Awesome +Dao + Immortals + Conning + Awesome Love-relationship), Martial World (Same author of TMW + Harem + Fast-paced), Against The Gods (Harem + Harem + Heaven Defying Beautis + Harem + Harem +Arrogant Prick + Harem +Trolling + Battle), Martial God Asura (Cruel + Ruthless + Rapist + Harem + Harem +Harem + Foolish + Blood +Gore +Battles), My Beautiful Teacher (Modern World + Harem + Harem + Banging + Devils), I'm Really A Superstar (Amazing + Will make you laugh like a hyena + F*CKING HILARIOUS + Chinese Insults + Reactions.) <<less
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Antares rated it
January 25, 2018
Status: c1286
The first 600-700 chapters were nice, but it's all going downhill from there. Or maybe I've just read too much xianxia and I got fed up with their tropes, but either way, TMW is proving to be difficult to read for me. Here's a list of problems, many of which only manifested themselves after the first major plot arc ended and the MC left his first (or technically speaking second) world.

  • The story is predictable. Everything that happens is foreshadowed, and even if it weren't, it all follows the standard cliches. Don't expect plot twists.
  • Predictability aside, it's bland with about the same outline as you can expect from other xianxias. Plot is about 30% cultivation driven and 70% as*hole driven (more about that later).
  • Characters only really have 1 of 2 different personalities. The passive-submissive ally of the MC, that does pretty much whatever our protagonist requests of them and the <insert as many negative traits as you can come up with> villain, with no redeeming points whatsoever.
  • Because said villains constitute the majority of characters, we end up encountering a new one pretty much every 2 or 3 chapters on average. Since reading about irredeemable a**holes doing irredeemably assholish things is annoying in itself, the typical feeling we get while reading TMW is frustration.
  • The plot is effectively driven by a**holes. MC goes from as*hole to a**hole, defeating them as they unsuccessfully plot against him (while also saying redundant mean things to the protagonist) and by the time he's done with one a**hole, another two pop up. It's annoying.
  • The bazzilion year old immortal cultivators consistently having sh*t for brains is a plot hole in itself.
Now for the positives:

  • The world building and cultivation system is ok and for the first major arc, I'd even say the world building was very good. Unfortunately, this means nothing if story and characters are unbearable.
I wish I could... more>> rid myself of my completionist obsession so that I could drop this and stay at peace with myself. <<less
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Bolsonaro rated it
February 13, 2016
Status: --
Droped cause it was so bad. Author keeps repeating sh*t over and over chapter after chapter. Also author keeps writing the infinites bullshits toughts of antagonist minions and the crowd (who always underrate MC). Slow a LOT, a simple punch scene take 3 chapters.
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Jheyzer rated it
July 14, 2016
Status: c378
For the first 100-150 chapters it was good novel apart for Author keeps repeating things that are unrilated in the future like how his enemy is strong or how strong their skill are. But from (Tai Ah Divine Kingdom Calamity arc) I tried to continue reading but the plot is really getting boring and annoying so dropped it. Plus The reincarnation aspect is not even mentioned after 200+ chap.
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Shikaz rated it
May 15, 2016
Status: c420
This is a good novel, alas it can be a bit slow and I feel like it tries to over-explain certain things, dragging it out for too long, but I still enjoy it a lot.

MC is pulled into this new world from his previous one, by a "magic purple crystal card" which gives him the power to control and see energy of the world, which will bring him huge benefits as the story progress.

He's extremely lucky, but most of this luck is due to having the power to control energy,... more>> making things that are impossible, possible. Which just makes his lucky breaks more believable than most other novels out there.

MC is calm, collected and more reserved type of character than anything else, he's from Earth, and is a grown man thrown into a child's body, so he isn't your average ruthless MC, but more of an Earthling trying to adapt to a savage world, which he does a pretty good job at, even though the MC could be explored more, by having him interact more with people, creating a friendship or the like. MC comes of as a really lonely person because of this.

The power-up structure is really easy to understand in the beginning, you got your realms and levels between them (low, mid.. Etc) but it gets a bit more complicated later on as the realm or level of power is not really specified for certain characters, but I believe we'll get an explanation as the story progress.

If you're thinking about romance, this have the potential for it, but no romance, as of 420 chapters. There's two, or three potential love interests so far and I hope it doesn't turn into a Harem, but it doesn't seem like that's possible, as it doesn't really collide with the personality of the MC.

This is a good novel, it's not the best, but it has the potential to become a great one. It just lacks in meaningful relationships and "feelings" in certain areas for the MC for me to make this a 5/5.

Anyway, this novel is definitely worth reading.


Or, so I would like to say.

I've dropped this around 580+ mark. Reason being that it kept getting more and more drawn-out and explaining things that seems quite meaningless, or bleak. And the powerlevels are simply never clear-cut, it's either powerful, or not powerful, or inbetween, which simply gives you no clue or what to expect, in a bad way. I might pick it up again though. <<less
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stima rated it
August 29, 2016
Status: c588
Everyone are labeled as "genius" in this story, including a one-time-mentioned useless sidekick of third-rate bad character. The author likes to use the word "genius", "prodigy", "son of heaven" to describe all the cultivators. However, all of them are stupid or idiotic, unimportant characters. Almost everyone in the story are stupid or idiotic in my opinion, this includes the MC which the author proclaims as genius a thousand time or so in this story so far. You can read this story, but keep in mind that the word genius, prodigy,... more>> smart in this story actually means stupid, idiotic. The one star I give for this novel is not for the story but for the amazing translation work. Thought how bad the novel is, I still recommend people to read it simply because the translation catch up with the Chinese version. <<less
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strixflash rated it
May 16, 2016
Status: c555
Story so far: There would be a tournament /challenge -> Side characters would tell MC's luck is bad as he is facing some hotshot -> Opponent would look down on MC as MC doesn't have impressive background -> MC would show his awesomeness -> Few chapters on unimportant side characters' reaction-> New location -> Repeat. Every arc author would introduce few arrogant "genius" who would look down on MC and ultimately get their asses kicked by MC. 500 chapters and all the antagonists have same personality. It's like in every... more>> new arc author just changes the name of character. I don't understand why author has to waste dozen of chapters on such shallow characters in every arc. On the positive side: The "reaction" chapters are well done. Author has amazing skills when it comes to giving antagonists real despair. Plus the world building is good as well. <<less
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SoloFlame rated it
September 21, 2016
Status: c626
~Sadly the good times never last~

I used to be in love with this novel, it felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the countless other XianXia novels that were simply carbon copies of each other. Unfortunately as time went on the author seemed to have stopped following the brilliant formula found at the early chapters of the novel (classic cliche but with an added twist) and it seems now that the story has deteriorated. Despite all this, TMW is still one of the better XianXia novels out there.
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DrkOblivion rated it
March 9, 2017
Status: c901
I will to start by saying I like and hate this novel. The story has so much potential but it is excuted improlerly by the author to the point I cant recommend this novel to anyone. Good Points: The Universe
The universe the author created. The world he created is fasinating and captivating that could pull reader in. Either way the author can be over descriptive and reiterate many detail, it is still a fasnitaing world.

First Issue: MC
At the beginning of the novel, the MC had personality, had a... more>> goal, and had a method, all qualities that MC should have. But as the story progress, you lose almost all the quality of a MC. At the beginning of the latest arc, I honestly can not descripe Yi Yun's personality to the point he is basically an observer with very short and brief reaction to almost anything. The MC is now getting boring and the author can go 1 to 2 chapters without even referencing/mention the MC. The author always focus on describing unrelatd topic of world other the MAIN character.

[For goodness sake why is the MC so nomchalant in this fey race arc. There is no sense of ergency since he lost his wife/dao companion in the infinite universe. Why is the MC always just sit there and observe everything like he is watching tv, while he could have tried to scheme against his opponent or do somethjng about it. During this arc its almost everyone misunderstanding his silence for aragence. There is so many ways author could add or create a relatable personality]

Second Issue: Redundent
By far, the most pressing issue of the novel is that the author can be soo redundant. A reader can skip multiple chapters and not lose anything in plot. The worst part was that the translator, whom I have so much respect, had to do summery chapters on clamatic parts of arc. Literally a whole chapter could be the antagonist doing a single damn motion. I believe in myself to be patient but comeon nobody can read a whole chapter to tell me how powerful a damn spear stab can be.

Last Issue: The Face Smacking
We can all agree we love when the world is against the MC but happens to smack the whole world and everyone is in awe. The build to that moment is important but the author can make you wait a LONG time till get to the face smacking. The build up can last upto 10 or more chapter, going over the many subcharacters strength without mentioning the MC at all and then all send it happens.

Although there is other issue with novel, the novel has potential and the only reason im still reading is because im hoping the author understand his poblems and fix them. If you are thinking of picking up this novel, you have been warned because other reviewer who rated the novel higher than3 stars have not fully read far or the novel is just there cup of tea. <<less
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sordahon12 rated it
June 13, 2016
Status: c454
Same as always, heaven defying artifact, lower than average talent, one dimensional villains shouting "trash", crowd surprised/awed/mind blogged/ashen etc. When MC defeats self proclaimed genius, story advances to land full of geniuses, MC beats those geniuses, crowds there do same as before. And as walk by the man made mountain path we advance towards the peak with almost no suspense.
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k1zzamp rated it
October 1, 2018
Status: c1545
This novel was very good until like 700+ chapters, after that it's just fillers and idiotic protaganist decisions. If you want to read it I suggest you read till new world journey and than wait for all chapters to be released.


We were waiting for YY LX reunion for more than 1k chapters and now it turns out that her soul being possesed by that Bai b*tch and LX cultivates some personality altering technic, this useless drama just stupid as main hero in this novel. Solid 0/10

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TerraEarth rated it
June 15, 2018
Status: c1411
This story had some amazing arcs and moments, particularly early on in the series. The Strength of Cocooned Cow is how he starts off his novels strong and utilizes proficiently all the standard tropes you'd find in your typical Xuanhuan. This is a great beginner's novel for anyone who has been recently introducted into the genre due to its digestibility and ease of access.

However, this same strength also tends to be his weakness. He relies too much on these tropes and thus the arcs become very repetitive and monotone. You... more>> can only do so much with a standardized template, without straying out of the box how can a novel be outstanding and reach the pinnacle? This principle applies to both books and cultivation - perhaps Authors in this genre should practice what they preach with their own writings! If these shortcomings don't turn you off then TMW will likely be an excellent read. However, I would posit that after going through a few hundred chapters most readers would have gleaned all that there is from this work of his (or any others for that matter).

I will add that this had one of the greatest face-slapping scenes in Xuanhuan history, if that's any consolation to people on the fence.


Respect the brick.

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A_Passing_Wanderer rated it
October 29, 2016
Status: c122
I've read this until chapter 122, and my first impression of this novel is.... this author is a troll. This novel is so awesomely freaking Troll-tastic. I loooooove it.

Of course, things might change for the worse later on, so I might also have a change of heart. But I can still appreciate the fact that the translation quality is top-notch, the site navigation is a breeze and chapters are short and sweet. Some might argue it's on the slow side, story-wise, but I'm LOL-ing too hard to care about that... more>> for now.

I'll recommend it without reservation.

BTW, even though it's supposedly related to "Martial World" but so far, I don't see it. <<less
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FateXero rated it
October 6, 2018
Status: c1548
So the novel starts off fairly decent and progresses in a very stereotypical fashion. There is nothing of note that makes the story memorable and it suffers all the typical uncreative tropes that come with the genre.

It's written pretty well and the MC is'nt unlikable or stupid. He's just your standard cultivation genius with a cheat. If you are expecting TMW to be similar to Martial World than you are going to be disappointed. This MC isn't nearly as likable as the previous one nor is his cheat, the purple... more>> card, as deep and mysterious as the cube. The previous MC had to work his freaking butt off to get where he was at the end of Martial World. Throughout the novel the cube acts more like an auxiliary cheat which helps him greatly but without doing everything for him. TMW's MC, however, seems to get everything handed to him on a silver platter by his cheat card. From nomological insights, to arrays and pill making, his card literally automatically makes him a genius at everything. Unlike the last MC who had to literally bash himself half to death inside a wind tunnel to gain insights into the wind, this MC can comprehend anything with ease by simply staring at it for a bit. This leaves the reader feeling like he doesn't have to work hard for anything and that he has a get out of jail free card for all situations.

Another frustration is this MC's lack of cultivation system. It's annoying that 95% of his cultivation techniques get constantly changed for something completely different. Some of them were really cool but get completely forgotten about. This leaves the reader feeling like his cultivation base is a messy agglomeration of random techniques.

This isn't to say that the novel is horrible. Its just slightly below average and sometimes frustrating. That is until he leaves his original world where...


Him and his wife get separated and thus starting one of the longest and most painful journeys to rescue the damsel in distress I have ever seen. There are several arcs in between spanning hundreds of chapters and all I see in the comments section of every chapter is, "... but where the f*** is Lin Xintong!?" (His wife)

(Just like before, these in between chapters are just average. Nothing special or creative.)

After hundreds of chapters he sees her again upon which finding that sheis some super famous genius who is being forced to cultivate a technique that makes her forget him/ lose all her feelings for him. Oh and of course there are the obligatory male geniuses saying, " You are just a toad lusting after swan meat..." yada, yada, yada, that comes with these kind of situations.

Oh did I mention that this is the same girl who he had to save from a forced marriage in his old world? In other words the author uses the same exact trope on the same girl TWICE. It will leave you wanting to just lock her up for fear of her getting lost/captured a third time.


So is this novel bad? No, at least not at first. The more you read, however, the more you realize how boring the MC is and how repetitive the story gets. Especially the part about recycling the damsel in distress trope over and over again. It makes the MC's journey far, far more difficult and frustrating than it needs to be. His cheat just makes him more boring as everything comes to him naturally and he suffers almost no troubles beyond the external enemies he faces. Pretty much all side character, including his wife, serve no purpose other than needing to have the MC constantly save them. I swear almost every plot line is in some way tied to him saving/ finding one of the side characters. I challenge anyone who has been reading this for while to name me 3 major characters from his previous world not counting his wife. Chances are that you can't because it's been hundreds of chapters and none of them are memorable.

Despite my dislike for the novel I can see why people like this if they have never read another novel in the genre as the author does a good job with battle scenes and the different powers. For everyone else though I suggest you don't read this novel as it only serves to endlessly frustrate you with it's constant search and rescue quests and cheap power ups with little to no tension.

Go read Martial World instead. Although it also has some problems it's much better than this.

This novel gets a 1/5 <<less
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Recklezz rated it
April 15, 2017
Status: c955
First of all. I rate this novel a solid 4/5.

This novel is well built, it has interesting world building and the adventures of the MC is pretty interesting (mostly because of the worldbuilding). This novel has a good mix between action, interaction, and filler. However, the pace can sometimes become a little weird, an example is boss fights or just major confrontations these fights can last anywhere in between 5-30 chapters. As a reader, it is exhausting when the author tries to keep the pressure going for 20 chapters straight,... more>> this is not a major drawback and isn't really that big of a problem with the story. The main reason for me that this novel doesn't have a higher rating is because of two things.

First of all the interaction between characters and the "Romance, harem" tags. This novel is by no means a romance novel, to be honest, the romantic interaction between characters is so minimal that you get the feeling that the MC and the love interest (subject to change) are togeather because of convenience and not love. There is next to zero flirting or hotbloodedness, which is expected when the love interest is developed, I would actually go as far as to say that the author couldn't handle the development of the love interest. The main love interest had a pretty good introduction, but now she is literally air, she supports the MC, but she is just behind him. All of this ties into the 2nd tag, there is zero hints of any potential love interests, of course, we know who they are (mostly), but except for some interaction and quirkiness, there is nothing. One could argue that it is clear who the potential harem candidates are, but the only clues we have is that the only characters that are somewhat being explored are girls. Don't expect this novel to have an amazingly developed cultivation system, although the cultivation system has a lot of 'dao' and nuances. The MC only really powers up to further the plot. His chosen powers are also all over the place, most novels already give the MC an affinity early on, however in this novel, we get that at the start, but then it is sidetracked so much that it is mind boggling. However, this novel overall is still amazing it is filled with adventure and power. This is best to binge because of the pacing issues, but man the author really knows how to turn on the pressure. It definitely is an exciting novel and I hope that you will check it out! <<less
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October 2, 2016
Status: c641
Decent plot. Especially in the beginning. Great action scenes. Disappointing romance, but not cringe-worthy. Recently the pace has slowed down as the MC has become too OP. The tension has gone way down. Highly recommended, but be wary of lots of filler and repetitive explanations.
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mametosaurus rated it
July 22, 2016
Status: c525
I just don't know anymore ho many times the author repeat redundant information again and again. The story is slow and uninteresting. The first 100 chapters were enjoyable at least, until you begin to notice it become repetitive very quickly plot wise. I dropped this novel at around 350ish. Tried to get back at chap 525, and hugely disappointed. How come just one move from the antagonist taking a whole chapter is beyond my comprehension.

Really bad, not recommended. Don't waste your time, because I've been there, and I regret it.
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Nedrey rated it
July 5, 2016
Status: c496
Great start, but I feel that the story's already strayed from what made it great to begin with. Too much info being spewed about things that I don't give a **** about that's not even relevant to the story. I recall a couple chapters dedicated to describing different desolate bone refining techniques, which you really don't need to know. The arcs are pointlessly dragged out now. It honestly feels like the author's just winging it at this point. The story's just not what it could have been.
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Zackarotto rated it
June 26, 2016
Status: c1710
Reading TMW was quite a long and fun ride for me, lasting from 2016-2019. Though TMW has its weaker moments, it's not a series I ever considered dropping. But looking back on it now that it's over, there are a lot of loose ends. And it would be different, reading this now. For me, my problem was not getting enough: the chapters seemed so short, I felt like a thirsty man getting water one drop at a time. But for someone just getting into it, they would just see 1700... more>> chapters, and I'm unsure if they would even think the whole thing was worth tackling, next to the hundreds of other series to choose from. I still think it's pretty good, but it's a flawed work.

It's somewhat by-the-book for xianxia, but it scratches the common desires. Most of the series is focused on gathering and using cheat-like cultivation techniques, outmaneuvering elitist school rivals, and making its protagonist look cool. It's ludicrous with smug elitist antagonists who were born to get knocked down several pegs. Yi Yun is usually a very competent person, and fights don't drag on too long.

When you talk about combat-themed novels, it's good to distinguish novels like this -- where battles are frequent but short, and mainly used to advance the plot -- having the protagonist establish himself in a new city by quickly killing some local tyrant -- from novels where combat appears for its own sake and you have five chapters in a row describing the way some throwaway enemy character wields his sword. Even if TMW is childish wish-fulfillment and showing-off, I would much rather read it than the latter kind of novel, which bores me considerably more.

It's entertaining, but fairly simple and childish. There's not a lot of world-building, and much of what there is tends to be forgotten. The world of TMW is a series of static, non-developing environments for Yi Yun to keep growing out of. It's also formulaic, but I happen to like the formula. For example, it happens more than once that Yi Yun is warped away to an immensely distant location where a young lady passed by to save his life. But what's wrong with that? It's great to see him take it easy for a while and slowly make a name for himself in these new environments, and the particulars in these arcs don't play out in exactly the same ways.

Main characters in webnovels are always given some sort of "edge" as part of the series' premise to help them stand out and to get from weak to strong -- the so-called golden finger or grandpa ring -- and among these, I think Yi Yun's purple crystal is a very good standard, both in terms of how it's used as a story element, and how it remains relevant and indirectly powerful without just being a mindless instant-win tool.

But it's messy. This is my biggest problem with TMW: The Nine Neotenate, Evil Energy, Draco First True Gold clone, and various other treasures which first appear to hold some deeper meaning end up forgotten, as Yi Yun grows faster than these threads in the story can appear to keep up with. I prefer to know exactly what a protagonist is carrying and how he might soon use it when he gets into a sticky situation. It's boring when the hero has a big undefined and forgettable pile of spirit stones, rare herbs, and treasures. Even 50 or 100 chapters away from the ending, Yi Yun was still picking up treasures that the author made no plans for -- as if he didn't know his series was going to end. Wasn't Yi Yun supposed to light up the seven runes on the Mirage Snow sword? Wasn't the Pure Yang broken sword set up for some greater purpose? Not really, I guess. "Against the Gods" has its detractors, but it was always great at planning things out and avoiding these kinds of pointless plots that just fizzle out anticlimactically, and that attention to detail is a big part of why I like it more.

Although a thousand characters get forgotten or left behind over so many chapters and locale changes, those who stick around to the end are very likeable. Like Old Snake. Even the author seems to understand that Luo Huo'er (the best character) stands out from the boring, demure women he filled most of the novel with. And there are far worse primary love interests out there in other cultivator novels compared to Lin Xintong, who may be a little straightforward and underdeveloped, but has at least had her own life to lead at times, and personal goals that weren't directly about Yi Yun.

TMW isn't above having terrible double-standards for women sometimes, mind you: Evil women are always slutty, and any woman who seems slutty is pure evil. (What's wrong, Cocooned Cow? You bitter about something?) Don't even get me started on the "Paradise Chapter" sect, where men cultivate by "giving in to their urges" and the women cultivate by being chaste. But at the same time, I've seen far worse. You could say that it's not great, but it's not outrageously bad, which is where the bar usually rests for the genre. At least Yi Yun doesn't lust after any girls who look thirteen years old, or treat women like collectibles. (Though I'd prefer a harem route to the weird puritanical portrayal of promiscuity.)

The author is obviously a bit immature. He'll write scenes that are obviously supposed to make Yi Yun look cool, but just seem kind of pathetic, like when he shows off and face-slaps his juniors of a lower cultivation level. Even if they were sort of being rude, heroes are supposed to punch up, not down. He also occasionally calls attention to himself for no reason, instead of having it happen as a consequence to stepping in to defend the innocent, or however those old wuxia standards go. He even kills a couple people for disproportionately small offenses. Still, Yi Yun has a much better moral compass than the protagonists of other Chinese novels that were big in that 2015-2016 period, like ATG or ISSTH, if I'm being fair.

Some of my criticisms are probably nitpicks. In the end, none of them bothered me so much that I didn't want to keep reading, because at the end of the day, it's a lot of fun. I'd say that if the genre interests you, give TMW a fair shot. <<less
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