Dragons, vast landscapes, endless growth, new enemies, arrogant young masters, and more than anything, a fantasy world with delightful martial arts. Can fiction get any grandeur? Wuxia novels are precisely made of these elements where imagination has no limits, and there is tons of great content out there from expert writers and translators.
Unfortunately, plenty of novels have remarkable potential, but they drown it in a drain with unnecessary plot expansion and fillers. However, in this list, there is no room for the novels that waste your time, but the recommendations will at least make your reading experience go up a notch. With that in mind, here are the best Wuxia novels you need to read.
Martial God Asura is nothing different from the regular cultivation wuxia novels that indulge in tropes and cliches of young masters, plot armor, and jade-like beauties. However, the novel uses these cliches to its advantage, providing a phenomenal experience to the reader.
The story follows the cultivation path of Chu Feng, a regular outer disciple of the Azure Dragon school, who, after awakening, one of the mysterious nine lightning beasts ascends in levels as he faces godly threats as well as explores this beautiful world with the highest form of self-esteem.
12. Against the Gods
Like many Xuanhuan novels, Against the God has similar power struggles, level system, redemption, and growth of the main character. While it doesn’t stay the same quality throughout all the chapters and much to be desired from the epic start, you’ll love it overall.
The story follows Yun Che, who is reincarnated into a weak and crippled body after his tragic death at the Mythical Abode Mountain, discovers a powerful artifact known as “Sky Poison Pearl,” which changes his life forever. With newfound power, he embarks on a journey to become strong as he encounters various challenges and intense martial battles along the way.
11. Nano Machine
Nano Machine would perfectly summarize a wuxia world where schemes from martial families and various sword techniques are frequently encountered. Furthermore, it has a unique touch of sci-fi element that is rare to find in these novels as opposed to the fantasy theme.
The story revolves around Cheon Yeo Woon, who was forced to take an oath not to practice any martial arts until the age of 15 by the King’s concubine families, but when he reached the desired age, he was almost assassinated by his enemies.
However, a mysterious person saved him and planted nanomachines into his body, which later served him in becoming stronger and avenging his enemies who killed his mother.
In most wuxia/xianxia novels, you have a main character who either grows through pain or by landing upon cheat systems that make them overpowered, and the tropes repeat over and over again until you get sick of it. A Record of a Mortal’s Journey to Immortality may be the proper novel for you if you’re unsatisfied with standard cultivation novels.
Taking a different perspective on the story, A Record of Mortal’s Journey to Immortality follows a poor boy named Han Li, who aims to become an immortal in a world where the weak don’t stand a chance against the strong. As he begins with a small rock-climbing test at a minor sect, we follow his journey as he cultivates intelligently and faces all kinds of hurdles to achieve immortality.
Renegade Immortal is one of the better Chinese cultivation novels out there, not only because Er Gen, the author, develops its story immaculately, with a significant part of the novel focusing on different phases of the main character. If you love fantasy worlds where cultivation is explored in depth, Renegade Immortal is highly recommended.
Wang Lin’s family, despite being shunned by their relatives, has been living a peaceful life with his parents having high hopes for his future. When he chances upon becoming an immortal, he begins treading the path even though his talent is mediocre, leading to a series of hardships that test his limits and humanity.
Martial World is one of those long-running wuxia fantasy novels that gets better over time, and the main character is the one who treats the harem right. Furthermore, the story proceeds relatively fast as the MC faces all sorts of troubles on his way.
In the realm where normal mortals can literally become gods if they work enough and stumble upon lucky encounters, Lin Ming is an ordinary boy who works very hard to become powerful and make their family proud, but unfortunately, his hard work gets him nowhere. However, one day, he finds a mysterious cube that was lost eons ago that all the cultivators in the world desired. How will his life change from here on?
The Desolate Era is one of the deepest world-building cultivation novels ever. Although there is some exaggeration in describing the world, it is pretty impressive, and you have a humble MC who is also overpowered through his tireless hard work.
Ji Ning never had an easy life, struck by an illness when he was very young and had to die when he was a teenage boy. However, a lucky twist of fate makes him reborn in a fantasy world where beauty and danger lurk around every corner. With newfound hope and determination, he swears that he will never let himself be weak again.
Stellar Transformation, although a generic cultivation novel at first glance, is profound since the plot gets deep as it progresses. If you’ve enjoyed reading Coiling Dragon, this novel was written by the same author, and it is almost as good.
Set in a fantasy world, the story revolves around a young man who is not recognized by his father for not being able to practice internal arts. Thus, he has to take a more painful and harsher path: practicing external arts.
However, when a mysterious crystal tone, known as the Meteoric Tear, fuses with him, he begins to outshine his fellow cultivators, earning his father’s respect for the first time.
World of Cultivation tells you what happens when the author does proper brainstorming in a world of disappointing storytelling. With its mostly unique and unforgettable premise and the actual character development, you’ll have a fantastic wuxia atmosphere to lose yourself in.
Zuo Mo is a zombie-faced cultivator with no memories of his fast. When a Sect Elder picks him up, he begins his long journey of cultivation in a world tragedy that brims in every corner.
As he tries to find out who changed his features and erased his memories, he embarks on a perilous journey that brings the ghosts of the past in front of him.
I Shall Seal the Heavens, simply known as ISSTH, is an indescribable novel that goes beyond what Er Gen usually does with his stories. It doesn’t repeat much and starts very interestingly, making it a compelling read.
When a mysterious woman kidnaps Meng Hao with a few others and is forcibly recruited by a Sect of Immortal Cultivators, he decides to become strong in order to survive in this harsh world where anyone can be killed for no reason or just for the sake of a valuable cultivation resource. However, there is much more to the world than he initially assumed.
If you cannot seem to get an interest in reading Wuxia fantasy novels, Coiling Dragon would act as a great entry point because the story is quite linear and has a clear intent. While it does face a few similar problems as other cultivation novels, it does everything better and is a must-read, in our opinion.
The story follows a young talent named Linley, born in the small town of Wushan. He is determined to become a strong warrior to make his father proud and rebuild his family lost legacy.
However, as mysteries unravel regarding his mother’s disappearance along with his ancestry, his whole world comes apart. Linley must endure countless trials and tribulations to achieve the impossible and earn what is rightfully his.
Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation is called by many names because it was adapted into a manhua, an anime, and even a live-action drama series, all of which have turned out to be masterpieces. However, the novel still has so much depth and provides you with a very unique experience
When Wei Wuxian followed a demonic path to avenge those who had massacred his entire clan, he was killed by other clans, who believed they were saving the cultivation world. However, he’s reborn as a lunatic named Mo Xuanyu, determined to avenge those who wronged him and killed his entire family.
Reverend Insanity is a novel that not everyone can endure but if you are genuinely looking for a wuxia novel with a unique cultivation system and a badass and ruthless main character, there is nothing better than this. The story is intricately crafted, with the main character having an actual development, and the story just keeps getting better with each chapter you read.
Fang Yuan, who chased immortality for 500 years, had to use his painstakingly refined Spring Autumn Cicada to travel back in time when he was a child. With his profound wits and wisdom, Fang Yuan will do whatever it takes to achieve immortality on his second chance, even if it means killing those who get in his way.