Poisoned Chalice

by cherubicdevil

Uploading schedule changed to Wednesdays and Sundays! 15-year old Ziyan needs to get the hell into heaven. A yaoguai devoured her fellow villagers and cursed their souls. She can reincarnate them only if she's a goddess. But the snooty gods, with their coveted powers, don't allow just anyone to join them.
To save her people Ziyan enters the Baishi Competition, where she and a sky-full of cutthroat mortals must contend for the few slots of godhood.
But victory won't come easy. First, she needs to convince (seduce) the warrior god Huayu into training her. Then she needs to rack up the kills by hunting yaoguai to prove her worth. Winning would grant Ziyan the reincarnating abilities of a goddess. If she fails, her villagers will fry in hell's oil vats forever. 
Ziyan is determined to succeed, until she learns yaoguai are just pawns doing the gods' dirty work. Faced with the true killers of her people (and armed with badass fighting skills), Ziyan asks herself, does she want to save only her villagers or can she overthrow this pantheon of assholes and rescue all those living under the yokes of gods? 
The thing is, when it's your destiny, it's your destiny. 
POISONED CHALICE is a YA xianxia fantasy based on Chinese mythology and Taoist deities. It contains elements of romance, adventure, and political intrigue.

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Word Count (VII)
Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter One - Un-reincarnatable ago
Chapter Two - The No-Name God ago
Chapter Three - Fetchers of the Dead ago
Chapter Four - King Yan of Yodu ago
Chapter Five - To The Skies ago
Chapter Six - Stairway to Heaven ago
Chapter Seven - The God of Earth ago
Chapter Eight - The First Lesson ago
Chapter Nine - The Goddess of Propriety ago
Chapter Ten - The Master Forseer ago
Chapter Eleven - New Friends and Old ago
Chapter Twelve - The Purple Omen ago
Chapter Thirteen - A Clash of Gods ago
Chapter Fourteen - A Clash of Goddesses ago
Chapter Fifteen - A Tour of Paradise ago
Chapter Sixteen - His Highness, Huayu ago
Chapter Seventeen - Her Highness, Chila ago
Chapter Eighteen - Boluan ago
Chapter Nineteen - Champion of the Bai Shi Ceremony ago
Chapter Twenty - A Battle of Wits ago
Chapter Twenty One - The Well of Wu ago
Chapter Twenty Two - Fatewriter ago
Chapter Twenty Three - Empress Vesper's Mission ago
Chapter Twenty Four - A Watery Landing ago
Chapter Twenty Five - The Snake ago
Chapter Twenty Six - A Ride Among the Clouds ago
Chapter Twenty Seven - A Stalker's Dream ago
Chapter Twenty Eight - A Fundraiser for Weapons ago
Chapter Twenty Nine - A Trip to the Moon ago
Chapter Thirty - The First Lesson ago
Chapter Thirty One - The First Dream ago
Chapter Thirty Two - Morning Court ago

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I was fascinated very soon.
The world building feels very rich and full of fantasy. The MC is brave and the story has a subtle humor.

Cannot wait to see the adventures that our heroine will have to manage. 
Only seven chapters out at the moment of this review but already very promising. 


This story is surprisingly full of emotions so far only in the beginning of the story. The world building is great. The characters are quite interesting and likeable. The writing and prose is flowery and very well done. And the way the author uses the classical mythology im the story is quite different than what ive seen before, in a very good way. Really great novel so far.


As of this review, only the first 4 chapters are out, but they've been really enjoyable so far. You can tell the author took her time with the worldbuilding. The MC Ziyan is fun and spunky. She's just modern enough to be relatable, but still fits in her surroundings. I'm very glad to read a xianxia on this site with such a fun female lead. 


Story and World-building: 5 stars

The best part of this novel. The main character ascends to the gods' realm, Shenjie, after she dies with the goal of resurrecting her villagers. The gods' realm is full of interesting characters, from the pretentious but airheaded Goddess of Propreity, to the strict and grumpy Forseer. These are just very minor side-characters, but they are still so full of life.

The world feels rich and is obviously well-though out. There's numerous references to popular eastern mythology that are like Easter eggs for you to find.

There is an intricate history, and the hints of some type of political shenanigans going on, that our main character may possibly already be steeped in? Very intriguing.

Characters: 5 stars

Our main character Ziyan is very headstrong and independent. She doesn't take shit from anybody, which makes for a refreshing read. She's pretty inexperienced and a little immature for her company of goddesses, but the author obviously plans for character growth in the future, which I'm excited to read about. Like I said above, the side characters are all super unique and have personalities. They're so fun to read.

Grammar: Almost perfect. A few typos, but you have to look really hard for them, and the author corrects them quickly if you point it out in the comments.

Give this a chance! It's really good. At least read to when she gets to the Underworld, which is chapter 4.


This is an interesting world with an interesting story, but I don't enjoy it. I would have to say the reason is a combination of fast pacing and ridiculousness.

The fast pace is self explanatory and while usually a good thing, things never seem to get fully developed before moving on. This is compounded by the fact that things happen which only kind of make sense. 

It feels like a dream. Where events make sense in the moment but are flawed when look back on them, but that doesn't matter because you've already moved on to the next thing. 

I like the world, the plot, and the characters, but the execution leaves something to be desired.


I dont understand...HOW SOMETHING CAN BE SO GOOD

Reviewed at: Chapter One - Unmarriable

I dont think any number of words or eloquently put together sentences can describe how much of a masterpiece this xianxian work truly is. Besides the intricasies of the plot itself, the political intrigue , the sheer amount of foreshadowing and clues the author puts together is breathtaking. Honestly someone needs to make a wiki page and do some of those theory spills about this story cuz holy shit im hoooked. my only gripe is that the last half of the summary gave away the largest potential plot twist of the story.

Stone Mason

I wanted to like this story based on the premise, but the execution falls flat. The pacing is frenetic, the grammar is subpar, the supporting cast's characters are one-dimensional and the main character's is inconsistent. One moment she barely reacts to the fact that someone helping her is going to be punished with basically slave labour because of that help and the next she helps a direct competitor in the competiton to become a god to her own detriment in what I assume is intended to be portrayed as complete altruism. It's hard to tell because, despite being written in first person, very little of the main character's thoughts or motivations are explained.