TNT: How to Start Reading Chinese Web Novels

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.


This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m going to do a guide. It’s all about How to Start Reading Chinese Web Novels!

Chinese Web Novels?: Well in case this is your first post you are reading of mine, Chinese Web Novels have some of the longest, and in my well educated opinion some of the best, stories out there. I’ve been covering them for the past year and half on my Thursday columns, but I’m going to do a quick primer here.

Where should I start?: Well if you aren’t familiar at all with Chinese Mythology, you probably ought to start with Coiling Dragon by I Eat Tomatos (yes that’s really the author’s pen name). It’s a mix of Western Fantasy and Eastern, and it’s already been fully translated. It’s 21 volumes long, and has over 868 chapters in total. The chapters themselves aren’t super long, but they’ll still take an average reader a good 10 minutes each to read if they concentrate on it. Ren Woxin, or RWX,  translated the full series to English and it’s free to read on his website Come back to this post when you’re done reading, take your time the story is excellent.

Okay I’ve finished Coiling Dragon, now what?: Great well if you enjoyed that story, and to be honest that’s not even the best story I’ve read from IET, you’ll probably want to start reading other series. In fact if you want to get started on more “Traditional” Xianxia, a chinese word meaning Immortal Hero, you can go read another work of IET’s Desolate Era. You can find the series on Wuxiaworld. If you want to read other types of Chinese fiction, look below!


Horror/Urban Fantasy Fans might want to check out: Terror Infinity, a series that is pretty intense. It’s also on Wuxiaworld.

Wuxiaworld again?: Okay fine, I’m going to get this out of the way now. Pretty much anything you can read on Wuxiaworld is going to be good, but some outstanding choices are Desolate Era, I Shall Seal the Heavens (an amazing story), Against the Gods, Tales of Demons and Gods, and Martial God Asura. That’s not all the series on Wuxiaworld, but those are some really good ones. They’re also translated up to at least the 350th chapter, although some are even higher like ISSTH or MGA which are reaching the 750+ chapter range.  So those should last an average reader a good long time, although for someone who can read at even half my speed will be done in a few months with every series on the site.

Okay what about other things?:  Well anyone who enjoys a good romance ought to read pretty much anything from Tang Jia San Xiao, author of Doulou Dalu. In fact just go read Doulou Dalu first. It’s the flagship series of his works, and it has two sequels (one of which is the current series he’s working on). Doulou Dalu isn’t fully translated, but trust me when I say that the romance in it is some of the best I’ve read ever, although I personally found other works of his, like Shen Yin Wang Zuo to be even better.

What about more contemporary series, or urban fantasy without the horror?: Swallowed Star, another IET work, is a great example of some Modern “Cultivation” stories.

Okay great I’ve started reading, but this stuff has some confusing words! What does Dao mean?: Go read some of my past Translation Necessary Thursday  columns that deal with Chinese Terminology, you can just search for that actually to find it. As for the Dao, that’s another term you’ll want to search my past columns for, I have a full post on that subject by itself.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necesary Thursday! See you all next week!

One thought on “TNT: How to Start Reading Chinese Web Novels”

  1. Excellent choices of novels, they’re all pretty easy to get into Terror Infinity might be somewhat weird at times to grasp due to the pretty mediocre translation but it’s getting sort of better and the names are easy to understand, I would suggest reading in this order as it’s pretty easy

    Coiling Dragon>Terror Infinity>Martial God Asura>Against the Gods>I Shall Seal the Heavens

    Most of them are pretty much on the same scale though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *