Memories of the Fall
This is a story about two sisters, Jun Arai and Jun Sana, and their friends who make their living as members of the Hunter Bureau, an organisation dedicated to dealing with the terrifying flora and fauna of the forbidden zones across their home realm of Eastern Azure Great World. When they get dragged into a grand scheme to unpick the secrets of one of the foremost Forbidden Zones in their world, the Yin Eclipse Mountain Range, they must all try to survive the dark undercurrents and eldritch remnants entombed within. All the while trying to escape the inexorable claws of a terrible conflict both ancient and modern that is trying to re-emerge into an unsuspecting universe that had kind of hoped it was done with that kind of thing a few eras hence.
Update schedule: 1 chapter/day weekdays, release ~8 pm UK time / 1 pm PST with weekend breaks. For the week of the 23rd to 29th Nov there will be less chapters due to work reasons.
Genre wise, this is a bit hard to pin down. it's technically a Xianxia (because cultivators!), but it also veers towards Xuanhuan and has more traditional High Fantasy elements and a bit of Gods and Monsters and All Myths Are (on some levels) Valid. It also has a fairly large, ensemble cast, so if multiple point's of view are not your thing I am sorry. It won't ever really be considered 'grimdark' by any real measure of that definition but it does go to some complicated and fairly places dark occasionally, which i will note in author pre-chapter notes when expedient!.
About the Author
I mainly write fiction for my own hobby, it makes a nice change from academic scribbling! I started writing this quite a number of years ago. It has grown somewhat organically out of a bunch of different interests in all kinds of Mythology, World Building, Drawing Maps, Archaeology, Anthropology, History and Epic Fantasy fiction into what it is today.
So i hope you enjoy the story and thanks for reading!
The cover is made by the author, using photos taken by the author.
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TLDR: great story, think mystery + xianxia + dungeon dive + Cthuhlu
This Xianxia stands out by asking the question: what is life like in a world where the powers at the top can literally control the strings of fate and actively, ruthlessly abuse it for their own personal gain? All too often Xianxia are simple power fantasies full of OP reincarnators, face-slapping powerhouses, and world-defying beauties. Now don't get me wrong this story has them, actually a fair amount to be honest. It's just that none of the main characters are one; no the MCs are intelligent, gutsy, and skilled but at the end of the day just normal people trying to survive a disaster as all the uber-powers wreck shit and old monsters out maneuver each other to twist fate to their own desired outcome. Seeing how the 5 friends and teammates surpass unfair nobles, encounter unfathomable Eldritch beings, and cope with the trama collected along the way, is engrossing. The author reveals an expansive, rich mystery through the smaller struggles of the MCs and makes us hope that the heavens aren't blind and that karma always comes due.
Half point off b/c story has typos, some problem sentences, and odd word choice here and there. Really needs a dedicated editor/reviewer to polish the minor rough edges.
I'm not a person who often reviews novels and in fact I'm someone who prefers to frequent this site without an account. However, I felt the need to log in and provide a review here.
Overall 5/5: I have read this novel until Chapter 50 (current release at date of review) and I have to say that so far I love it.
Style 5/5: The style of story we have here is something I've wanted to see for a long time. I'm a big fan of the cultivation genre but I'll be the first to admit that the genre often has a lot of pitfalls and cliché.
This novel possesses those clichés we see in normal cultivation novels but in a way that's akin to a deconstruction of the clichés. The clichés are known in the world of the story and are frequently brought up or mocked and in a way I find to be quite well done.
The world of the novel is arguably the main character as there is so so much depth to it, far more than I've come to expect from all but the best of 'cultivation' novels in the wuxia or xianxia genres.
The cultivation system used in the novel is also extremely deep and interesting. Calling it a 'system' might be a misnomer as there are many competing paths one can take to gain power and all of them are quite interesting to hear about. Luckily as we see the world primarily from the viewpoint of two extremely competent but ultimately relatively inexperienced girls and their friends, we get to learn a lot about the various paths alongside them.
Story 5/5: As with the world itself, the story is extremely deep and there are a large number of competing plots and intrigues going on at any one time. It is done extremely well and so far I've not felt it difficult to follow despite its depth.
I won't mention too much about the story but I will mention some broad strokes. The overall mystery of everything going on and the competing plots surrounding it is incredibly well thought out and very well executed. It feels like everything happening is very real and the way to reader can piece together some of the mysteries and plots (more than any singular character can anyways) but still leave a lot of them in the shadows to be found out later is very well executed as well.
As for the "main" story following our two main protagonists, I really enjoy it. Watching their journey as the try to advance through the extremely messed up situation they're in and try to puzzle their way out is rather enjoyable.
Grammar 4/5: Not much say here. The authors vocabulary is very extensive (or at least their use of a thesaurus is) and it's a nice change of pace from the very simplified language you get in most web fiction. There's nothing wrong with simplified language and it arguably lets you reach a wider audience. I just like the chance of pace and the vocabulary is very fitting as the novel often gets very philosophical with regards to the fictional world's nature.
I do have a few complaints. The author seems to mistake some words for some similar sounding words. An example would be using 'defiantly' instead of 'definitely' on a number of occasions. Additionally, I usually spot a few typos or omitted words per chapter but given that each chapter is something like 40 pages long, there's not that many mistakes in the grand scheme of things and you can almost always understand what was intended to be said.
Character 5/5: I like the Jun sisters a lot. They're the perfect foil to the very cliché young master types we see mocked in your novel. They're extremely competent and cautious when necessary and it's nice to see them put all of their knowledge to use in the ways they do.
I really like all of the secondary POV's as well and I like the nuggets of information we get from each of them that help us piece together bits and pieces of the larger plot.
I hate one of the villain characters, a lot. Luckily they're not featured directly often so their presence doesn't feel overwhelming. I think this is probably a very good place for a villain to be, hated but not there enough to transition into being annoying.
Conclusion: Overall, this novel is extremely solid on all fronts. It's currently one of my favourite novels on the site and I've reviewed in the hopes that more people will pick it up. It's deep and it's shaping up to be super long so I'm sure the commitment will stop some from reading it but I highly recommend those that like the idea of cultivation power systems in interesting worlds matched with very interesting and competent characters without the arrogance or clichés often seen in the protagonists of such novels.
Note: This site doesn't allow me to anything more accurate than half stars so I rounded up or down to the nearest half star on the various sections.
To the author: I wish you good luck with the novel and I hope you get to finish it. If the quality continues as it has, it may be one of my favourite 'cultivation world' novels.
Well written, convincing characters and a world that feels alive.
As of now, I would recommend the story.
The few things that I'm a bit iffy about is that the story feels very ambitious many characters and plot points introduced quite quickly at the start since most of the authors on RR are hobbyists it's hard to judge if the author can deliver on what looks like a complex story.
Also, the color-coding feels superfluous.
There some minor spelling errors like missing letters slipped by, I suggest Grammarly for fixing those errors.
First, I want to say as the author you're doing a great job. This story has some serious potential. The one thing that turns me off is how many storyline and characters you're writing into the story. I sometimes lose track of who is who in the story. Some pov seem to show up just to give a piece of information then there gone. Don't be like GRRM and get hung up on telling every piece of the story from every perspective.
anyways keep up the good work.
Unreal that this is just sitting hidden away on RoyalRoad. It's one of the two best xianxia novels on the site (alongside Forge of Destiny) by an enormous margin. Where Forge of Destiny is more 'magic school', this is more 'existential power creep horror' - a great pairing if there ever was one. The plotting is superb, the characters are well formed, the story makes sense, and the grammar is pretty uniformly good.
Read it now! Get in on the first floor so you can say you read it before it was cool.