An Ode to Swordsmen

by Senator

The country is thrown into chaos after the Emperor's Jade Sword, a symbol of his divine right to rule, is stolen by a powerful swordsman. An imperial army ravages the land in search of it, left only a few clues of its whereabouts. Martial arts sects look on in horror as their innocent brothers are cut down.

Lakhuto, a gifted swordsman from the Mount Kunlun Sect, is forced into the conflict when his sect is attacked. Having little knowledge of the secular world, he must learn how to blend in as he makes his away across China undetected. His plans to warn other sects of the approaching danger are thrown into chaos when he runs into a wounded criminal and an enigmatic martial artist, who reveals to him a conspiracy spanning half a century. 

Surrounded by an army, with danger hidden in every shadow, he must discover who stole the Jade Sword and framed several sects, before the entire country is set ablaze.

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Jess D. Astra

Interesting story told in a more eastern way

Reviewed at: 9. Purple Rosy Clouds, Part 2


The first three chapters struggle to find its footing and ground the story. By chapter 4, the narrative is flowing well and enjoyable to read.


The story is told in 3rd for the first few chapters, and it bounces between limited and omniscient, head hops, drops tense a bit. Most of the story is told in a more traditional eastern way, but some of the dialogue pops out as specifically western like, "We're good," and other statements.

There are very nice moments of poetic descriptions that are easy on the reading eyes =)


Not many errors here, other than the tense dropping and a few misused words. Other than needing some more dialogue tags, it was an easy read.


I have several points of feedback below for the author I'll hide in spoilers, but there are some story elements that seem out of place.

The author is good at keeping the action up, and the pace of the story going, but could stop for a moment to describe what we're looking at every once in a while. I'm guessing what the houses look like because they haven't been described to me. Similarly, I'm not sure what the characters look like.


There were a few points where character actions/behaviors seemed out of the norm, and they're included in the notes for the author below. Otherwise, the characters seemed unique and well thought out.

Notes for the Author:

Some notes for the author:

Chapter 1
"Meditating in the rain at the edge of winter - An indeterminate number of hours had passed."
- Unless he has some magic to keep him warm, I don't believe that the cold didn't bother him. Rain on the edge of winter is not warm.

- Bouncing between 3rd limited and 3rd omniscient. Consider picking a perspective, or choose to go full omniscient, to help keep the reader in the story.

“Hundreds of them are marching up the mountain path now. They ransacked the village. We saw it burning!”
- The MC decides that conversation is the best approach after innocent villagers were killed. It doesn't feel like a realistic reaction without knowing the character better.

"Even though some of them were skilled martial artists and had been longstanding members of the sect, they were given no chance to react. They were thrown aside with ruthlessness and savagery as the soldiers advanced."
- This is hard to believe. Martial masters were caught off guard by an advancing army they could see and knew had burned the village below? Especially after the MC seems to effortlessly slaughter dozens of men without thinking.

- Some chunky paragraphs hard to get through visually. Consider breaking them down.

Chapter 2
Tagging of people and things could improve. In the chase/knife throwing scene you say "he" a lot when you could use "Thief" or "Soldier" to help us understand who is doing what.

"“Oh and throw me your sword. Quickly!” Lakhuto threw his sword up towards the tree and a hand shot out and grabbed it"
- It seems out of character for Lakhuto to throw the sword his grandmaster bestowed upon him in his dying moments to a complete stranger who appears of devious intent.

- Lakhuto has had his stomach cut, his robes would be covered in blood from combat. The soldiers do not question why he looks so disheveled?

Chapter 3
- Needing some more dialogue tagging at the beginning. Uncertain who is talking at some points.

"The late August air carried with it a hint of a bitterly cold winter"
- You've stated numerous times it was the end of fall, which is November-December.

Chapter 8 
- Switching to first person was jarring. I didn't know who was speaking (though I assumed it was Purple Cloud due to the title)

- Use of "You" breaks 4th wall and pulls the reader out of the narrative.

Chapter 9
"I shifted my gaze toward him, my eyes almost inhuman in look"
- He can't see his own eyes.



I'll preface this review by saying that my first experience with Wuxia was Thunderbolt Fantasy, and thus my view of the genre is somewhat tinted by it.


Simple, clean, descriptive. The stylistic trappings of the story serve it rather than hinder it, as it should be. It starts as third person, then transitions to first person in chapter 8, both of which are rather immersive. The prose and formatting both become noticably cleaner as the story progresses, which I must give the author props for.


I haven't noticed any typos or wording issues.


Someone with martial arts skills has stolen from the Emperor, now the Emperor's forces are going apeshit on martial arts schools trying to find the thief. The main character is a former member of one of these schools, swept up in this regrettable course of events.


Many characters in the cast fit into wuxia archetypes, but they are well-executed variants of said archetypes. I don't think I can say much more about the MC - Lakhuto - than the synopsis already does. He’s both believable and likable as a person, and clearly has certain flaws that he needs to work on if he is to succeed in his journey.


An unapologetic love letter to the wuxia genre, reading this gives a similar feel as watching Thunderbolt Fantasy. Would recommend.



The story is set in medival China and follows the adventure of a martial artist named Lakhuto, after his temple is assaulted by Imperial forces leaving him as the sole survivor (or so we are to belive) to carry on his temple teachings. From there he meets several friends, including Wei Zhen and Yi Kang, as they make their way to the great Mountain Hua—a temple sect like Lakhuto's—and beyond.

I've never actually touched a wuxia or even xiania so this is more or less my entry into the genre, so some of the terms used in the genre is stuff I'm still wrapping my head around, but it doesn't detract from the story too much at least in my case. The first chapter was a bit hard to digest since it was a lot of chunky paragraphs, but the author improved a lot since the initial chapters, and I think it is has been a pleasure read since then and watching other authors grow along with their work is always a plus.

Dialogue can be a bit hard to follow since there is the ocassion lack of indication on who's talking and remembering Chinese names can be a bit of a pain(I think a character page would def help, but that's just me) but regardless of the speaker it doesn't bug me too much, and the interactions make up for it. 

The descriptive prose isn't too over the top and feels just right, fight scenes are well written, and I love the names of the kung-fu fight moves the authors comes up with. As a wuxia first-timer I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. :)


So far, this story has a great start.  For a cultivation novel, it's surprisingly well written.  No grammatical mistakes that I could see, and the style was appropriate, using most of the terms that are normal for a cultivation novel (references to jade and such).  The story follows an MC who has been training with a martial arts sect for most of his life, the sect however is destroyed and he has to wander on his own, travelling to other martial arts sects.  It's a set-up that can obviously lead to lots of interesting adventures.

I haven't read many cultivation stories.  But I think it hits the major beats you would expect from a cultivation fic while differentiating itself in its own way.  Although this genre isn't my cup of tea, I still enjoyed how things developed.  Most likely, for someone who is more a fan of the genre, they will find this an exceptionally enjoyable read considering how well edited it is.

There's not much to say about the characters yet, but the main character is likable, and the side characters that have shown up have had their quirks.  I'm sure, in time, they will all the main characters will be developed competently.

All in all, I highly recommend this for anyone who is a fan of cultivation fiction, and even people who aren't.

Samsara With Words

I suppose this would be characterized as a wuxia, which makes me wonder why this is here and not on Wuxia as a genre has pretty much died since xianxia became popular, even in China. Of course, that only goes for webnovels. Even the wuxias that are popular on Qidian had strong elements of army building or cultivation that were half-xianxia as a result. So we'll see if the author can add enough surprises to keep this fresh.

Anyway, the story itself is well-written. Action that flows at a smooth pace. Grammar-wise, there are no problems. 

The author has a good grasp of writing characters and environments, which is very important for this type of tale as the world setting in this genre tends to be dry. At least that's the case when you're surrounded by fantasy and magical realism stories. If a dragon isn't impregnating a princess within the first 5 chapters, to most webnovel readers, the novel world looks like it's set in a 2 by 2 room.

There are only 7 chapters but I think it's a good start. There are some genre tropes so I hope it doesn't become too formulaic. All yet to be seen. Overall, the story is engaging so far and I hope to read more soon!


 Style 5/5: There are descriptions that give a vivid sense of place and mood. Everything is clearly communicated, and there are some beautiful descriptions.

Story 4.5/5: The plot itself is compelling, with a good pacing. But I’m taking off half a star because it could be more original. I’ve read a lot of similar novels (MC loses home, will grow stronger and more world wise in order to eventually gain revenge), and as I read more, I will be looking for a plot twist to shake things up from what has already been established.

Grammar 5/5: Well written and well edited. I didn’t notice any mistakes as I was reading.  

Character 5/5: You have a main character with a clear drive from the very first chapter. I felt emotionally invested after chapter 1, and I already wanted to keep on reading. He has obvious flaws that come up as well, which are balanced out by a friend who is in many ways his opposite.    


The first five chapters of this book draws you in to its well crafted and beautiful world. The author must have spent of lot working on everything in their world that all fits into a neatly working system.

The characters are well written and defined, they are all defined well enough and interesting enough to stand out well on their own. The grammar is good and i could find no mistakes at all.