In the Celestial Empire, a land ruled by Immortals and stalked by Spirits and Beasts, a young girl from the slums of an unimportant city is found to have the Talent. In the great Sect of Argent Peak, she will take her first unsteady steps upon the way.
Can she learn to not only survive, but thrive on her journey?
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If Harry Potter and Mulan had a love child in a death world, but there is no Voldermort, nor Huns attacking (yet). Every xianxia cultivator trope exists here, some are subverted, some are played straight. The beauty of this story is in the world building, and character development.
The "main" character is a talented commoner, surounded by others of equal or greater talent. While this is slice of life, with (mostly) low stakes highschool drama; the political situation in the Empire is fraying, and outside events are stiring.
Note: Luck (or lack there of) is mostly dice rolls. And most major actions taken by Ling Qi, were driven by readers of the origional version.
Just editing my review.
So far this has been one of the better fiction I have read here.
Author goes in detail of the day to day but its not really boring. It has enough excitement to keep you hooked.
The story is sufficiently deep and has very good potential. Author keeps posting lores or additional info to [rpvide context of the world / time period and the give us a good understanding on the though process.
Overall, I still feel that it is a bit on the slow side. But lets see how things progress.
I've looked at many Xianxie genre books, and almost every single one of them is either wish-fufillment trash or that the MC is Edgelord Mcgee, having the genre be heavily misused. However, when this genre is done right the diamonds shine brighter than most others.
Forge of Destiny is definitely one of those diamonds.
Through the skilled use of the reactions from the MC Ling Qi, a fish-out-of-water homeless thief thats trying to crawl to the top of the rising mountain of competition of her sect, the Author is able to make the story feel as realistic as a Xianxie can be; the character's are more than just smug and arrogent Noble waiting to be beaten up by the MC or the the Beatiful lady thats just waiting to be swooned and added to the evergrowing harem.
Although not that many chapters into the story, I have high hopes for this book and believe it will get into one of the top 10 of RR.
This is one of the rare fictions here on R&R that rises above its trashy power fantasy peers with strong world building and well realized characters. For those who are burned out on one dimensional murder hobo MCs carving a path through villain shaped cardboard cut outs, this might be a story worth trying.
This story, unlike so many of its peers from this genre, feels alive.
Forge of Destiny is a meandering, repetitive, directionless power fantasy and it's great.
It's great because it's a guilty pleasure, but without the baggage of malicious or callous protagonists. Our hero, Ling Qi isn't just progressing her superpowers, she's progressing in her emotional intelligence.
Truth: every story is secretly about something else. Forge of Destiny is not about gaining power over other people, it's about growing up and having power over yourself. Taking initiative, and taking responsibility. Self actualization. That's what power fantasies should really be about.
There's none of the 'go it alone, stronger than everyone, mortals are trash' stuff going on. There's community, and engagement, and folks think about the consequences of their actions.
The great weakness of the story is the repetitiveness. She's fought the same foe three or four times now. Her training sessions with masters and elders are doled out in repeat sessions. We seem to get a chapter out of every weekday visit Ling Qi makes to her friends.
But you know what? That's kind of nice. Because even if there's not a lot of forward progress per page, there's always still progress. It's fun.
The writer does a great job in allowing those who have never read Xianxia style books to ease into the genre very well. I had only recently taken an interest in reading Xianxia and this seemed like a good starting place.
The writer has given us a large well developed cast. Each character is unique with their own interests, goals, failings and strengths. The MC is strong but not overpowered, creative but not a super genius, and capable of losing. The supporting cast is very diverse and though each one can easily fit into a classic character trope, they are capable of acting independent of those stereotypes.
As the story progresses however I feel that the writer struggles to provide narrative tension to the plot. While many of the conflicts the MC gets drawn into are dramatic and engaging, and the episodic trials she and her allies face are occasionally suspenseful, the overarching story lacks the sense of adventure and mystery. It’s like reading Harry Potter but without Voldemort, an intersting world, fully developed cast, powerful MC, but no overarching mystery to solved at the end of the year, no war to be won at the end of the series, no villain to fight that our MC has a personal connection to. Just a day by day adventure of a girl living as an Xianxia hero.
The thing that makes Forge of Destiny better than not only all other Xianxia, but also other web novels with a focus on "following a character in a fantasy world as they become stronger, meet people, etc", is that the author obviously has a very strong sense of the characters and setting and is unwilling to let things devolve into a power fantasy (something that is true for almost every other web serial in this genre).
Regarding the protagonist herself, the author strikes a good balance where she is exceptionally talented, but not to a degree unheard of in the setting. She is merely "strong enough to be a relevant major character in the future." She has no real "cheat abilities" beyond the sort of luck other cultivators are also capable of.
That being said, the best thing about Forge of Destiny is its cast. It is quite possibly the only story of its nature where other characters clearly have their own goals and do not revolve around the protagonist. You get a clear sense that each character has their own circumstances, and because Ling Qi's choices are the choices of the reader base, some of these characters are never really explored. But it still feels like they *exist*, even if their path may diverge from Ling Qi's in the end.
Most of the negative reviews comment on the story being slow. While this is true, I think what those people are really complaining about is that this story is not a power fantasy like other Xianxia.
Synopsis (as of chapter 32, "Heating 2"):
This story is about a commoner girl who was chosen out of the blue by some Argent Sect people to join the new round of fresh blood into the sect. She is through and through a commoner making her feel out of place when,
1) Almost everybody else joining the Argent Sect comes from some sort of noble clan.
2) She knows completely nothing about cultivation when everyone else already has a head start.
3) She's aware of the discrimination between nobles and commoner and she has to somehow make friends and survive through these ordeals, in order to never have to struggle like a mortal again.
In Forge of Destiny, we follow her through a well-paced cultivation as she slowly learns of what it means to be an immortal. This includes cultivation, arts, noble clans, and all that non-mortal stuff she had never cared about.
Despite the name Forge of Destiny as well as all the titles having something to do with forging, there has yet to be anything to do with blacksmithing or forging items. It seems the theme currently is the traditional xianxia cultivation of forging oneself from mortal into an immortal warrior.
They say 'Show, don't tell.' If you want an example of that, read this novel. Every chapter we learn together with her as the mysteries of the world are slow unravelled alongside her progress with cultivation.
No problem whatsoever. Were you a grammar nazi, i don't think you'll be triggered at all. Jimmies are thus, not rustled.
This story is for you if you like the following:
a) No info dumps, with a focus on chapter-by-chapter worldbuilding
b) A living breathing world, where each character is multi-faceted from the MC to the elders to random people mentioned in bonus chapters.
c) A diligent hard-working girl (the MC), who doesn't get involved into petty fights and instead works on oneself the most.
d) A MC who is not OP. She was just an ignorant mortal so she's completely out of her element yet, it seems her growth rate is faster than her peers.
e) A clear cut cultivation system.
I mentioned every character is multi-faceted. I have yet to mention how each notable character has their own personalities, considerations, and distance in relation to the MC.
Also, the focus of the characters are on the MC and a few of her friends/ acquiantances. So it's really easy to follow who's who throughout the story. At least until the chapter i've read. You get a clear picture of each character as the MC slowly comes to understand them. The MC is the most fleshed out by the way. Anymore discussion on the MC is spoiler.
The premise excites me. It's like you get a western writer who understands the xianxia culture really well and let them write it out without particularly adhering to any tropes of the xianxia genre. It's also really refreshing to have a female xianxia cultivator as the main character, especially one's that not a 'fair maiden peony above the rest' or a 'bewitching doctor who's a poison assassin' trope.
This is certainly worth your while. Give it a go.
This story is a rare treasure: a xianxia story that has complex, engaging characters. I'm constantly being pleasantly surprised by the depth of thought the author has put into the main character's personality, and even minor characters have lives of their own and three-dimensional characterisation. (Also, Zhengui is the cutest! And Sixiang often makes me laugh.)
The plot is also very good. The fic is based off a forum quest, so the challenges and danger are real, victory is always earned and the main character makes sensible plans. The complex characters drive the plot and make you care about the outcomes. Even the worst enemies are sympathetic when we see their points of view.
The spelling and grammar are very good. They aren't perfect, but the rate of errors is very low and it wouldn't be reasonable to expect better when the story is written so fast.
The prose style is also good. The author isn't a poet, but he occasionally gets some nice lines, and the rest of it is of workmanlike quality.
All in all, this is an excellent story and well worth reading. It's my second favourite xianxia novel, right after Ave Xia Rem Y, and the contest is close.
What else is there to say? The main character is interesting, flawed, likable, and driven to grow. The supporting cast feels real, and alive. The setting is well-imagined and grand, although with the story still in its early stages we've only seen a corner of the world. The writing quality is excellent. It doesn't try for flowery, over-the-top prose, but it's miles better than most self-published work. The dialogue feels natural, a note where so many of this story's contemporaries fall flat.
Do yourself a favor, read this story. Pick it up, and I guarantee you won't put it down. The only downside it has is that there isn't more of it yet.