Review: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation

Date 2019-07-03
Language Chinese
Media Novel
Original Title 魔道祖师
Author Moxiang Tongxiu (墨香铜臭)
Original Status Complete
Translation Status Complete
Romance? M/M

Spoilers for how the main couple gets together



  • A strong and compelling supporting cast beyond the main characters.
  • Fun, gory body horror and murder mystery solving
  • A charming, morally grey protagonist with a tragic fall from grace arc


  • A lot of Lan Wangji's emotions & character arc has to be inferred due to his cold exterior and Wei Wuxian's oblivious POV.
  • The (lubeless) sex scenes are very YMMV.

This novel was a very entertaining read. It has a great cast of characters, heroes and villains and the shades of grey in between. And I'm always here for xianxia books and necromancy. I love how gory and brutal the battles and the monsters can be - a mystery horror case of putting together a dismembered corpse has to be one of the best openers I've read in a while. I can pretty much read a full novel of just Wei Wuxian, Wen Ning and Lan Wangji investigating creepy monster mysteries. Add to that the different layers of deception, betrayal, and politics between the characters, and it’s just an incredibly compelling read. Oftentimes, I get just as invested in the secondary characters as I do in the main characters. The book is a BL novel, with its central romance driving several important plot points, but honestly, I'd have loved this book just as much even if it were gen.

Speaking of the central pairing: It is Lan Wangji/Wei Wuxian. Lan Wangji is a righteous cultivator brought up in an extremely strict sect, the embodiment of a cold beauty. Wei Wuxian starts out as an immature, fun-loving cultivator who flouts the rules, before his life falls apart with the attack of the Qishan Wen Clan, leading him to invent demonic cultivation/necromancy after suffering a major tragedy. If you enjoy the Oblivious Chaotic Character/Cold Pining Character dynamic, you'll like this pairing!

Beyond the main pairing, there are also a lot of great supporting characters, like Wen Ning - Wei Wuxian's terrifying loyal ghost general who's actually the sweetest zombie ever, or Jiang Cheng, Wei Wuxian's martial brother who he has a complicated relationship with. There are a lot of varied antagonists & villains, some of whom are sympathetic and some of whom are just terrifyingly evil.

Overall, I recommend this book to people who love horror mysteries and themes of pride, honor, and duty/family.