Long Wu Ying never expected to join a Sect or become a real cultivator. His days were spent studying, planting rice on the family farm and spending time with his friends. Fate, however, has different plans for Wu Ying and when the army arrives at his village, he and many other members of the village are conscripted. Given the opportunity to join the Verdant Green Waters Sect, Wu Ying must decide between his pedestrian, common life and the exciting, blood soaked life of a cultivator.
Join Wu Ying as he takes his first step on his Thousand Li journey to become an immortal cultivator.
Book 9: The Third Cut
As corruption seeps from the southern kingdom of Nanyue, Wu Ying sets out on a dangerous journey to uncover its source. Spirit stones have become corrupted, with twisted daos embedded within. If left unchecked, this corruption threatens to spread across the world.
With the guidance of the wind of heaven, Wu Ying travels across the exotic kingdom where he must confront powerful daos and perilous threats. Along the way, he is aided by companions new and old as he battles to stop the corruption before it is too late.
This Review covers the series and the latest book to be released.
Book 1: The First Step
Book 2: The First Stop
Book 3: The First War
Book 4: The Second Expedition
Book 5: The Second Sect
Book 6: The Second Storm
Book 7: The Third Kingdom
Book 8: The Third Realm
Book 9: The Third Cut
What genre is this?
A Thousand Li is a cultivation series that draws upon traditional Chinese wuxia and xanxia novels.
For the uninitiated, Wuxia is a genre of Chinese fiction that focuses on the adventures of martial artists in ancient China. It often involves themes of chivalry, brotherhood, and romance. Xianxia is a subgenre of Wuxia that focuses on the cultivation of martial arts and spiritual powers. Cultivation is a magic system where one gains superhuman powers (health, power, longevity) by training in life essence (Chi) and meditating on the Dao (the true meaning of a specific facet of life (e.g. the sword).
If you have watched Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or any of the old Jet Li martial arts movies, where the fighters demonstrate superhuman powers by walking on trees etc…you’ll kind of get an idea of setting for this genre.
What is this book about?
The series follows Long Wu Ying, a normal village farmer who unintentionally gains attention of powerful Cultivators and gets an opportunity to join a Sect (a martial arts based group/school hybrid) which turns his life into a new direction… of action, adventure and immortality. The book is set in fantasy version of ancient China and we get to see the events, the choices and the consequences of Wu Ying that define his life and eventually the wider world.
Many readers and reviews have compared this to Cradle series which is a Western equivalent to the genre, while this sticks to the Asian original.
How I felt about this?
That I’m writing a blog review for Book 9 should attest the fact that I loved this series and have been a faithful follower from Book 1. This is just a easy and super fun read, both for beginners looking to get into the genre and for experienced fans.
The prose is simple yet immersive and engaging making this easy to follow and read. The concepts are introduced and explained well for readers who may not be familiar with them which was a huge plus for me.
There’s a lot of training montages, School/University type progression and some really cool fights peppering a wonderous journey of adventure, mayhem and mystery. The insights not just around the MC, about around the wider geopolitics (esp for fans of Three Kingdom era stuff) is superbly done.
Each book in series serves as a standalone adventure which also furthers the macro plot. The actions and decisions of Wu Ying and his memorable side characters are really well written, realistic and believable that it made me easy to cheer for the MC and the good guys. Though it’s not all vanilla as the darker elements in the era adds to the grittiness making me really live the books!
What Book 9 about?
In “The Third Cut” we see Wu Ying being tasked with the job of travelling west to identify the source of corruption which has affected the entire region. Being amongst unfamiliar people and the overall passive geopolitical hostility between the regions, he’s between a rock and hard place trying to navigate the tensions as he works to solving the mystery behind the corruption. The book moves at a brisk pace from get go and the second half is a non-stop, adrenalin pumping ride of action sequences. Some familiar characters return and as the adventure is done, I’m so looking forward to Wu Ying’s journey to come a full cycle in the next book.
Overall, this is something I’d gladly recommend any any reader of fun, action & adventure books.