Review: Heaven Official's Blessing
|Author||Mo Xiang Tong Xiu (墨香铜臭)|
This book contains body horror and emotional/physical torture & manipulation.
- Xie Lian's character arc, from hero, to his fall from grace, to his eventual redemption, was extremely heart-wrenching and satisfying.
- Each mini-arc focuses on a side character and their backstory & motivations, making it very easy to invest in them.
- The 800-year love story of Hua Cheng and Xie Lian, whose lives are inextricably linked to each other. They see & accept each other at their weakest points.
- Not a flaw for me personally, but the storytelling via multiple long flashbacks may not be everyone's cup of tea.
This book is an epic love story spanning over 800 years, featuring the ascensions and banishments of Xie Lian as a god, and the one follower who always believed in him, Hua Cheng.
Xie Lian's arc as a protagonist has to be the highlight of the book for me, from his heart-wrenching fall from grace as well as his redemption. He always has that innate goodness in him, but he's not infallible, and you see him learning, failing, and growing through the trials he's put through. There is a lot of angst and tragedy, like watching a slow-motion trainwreck of good intentions and understandable motivations.
Another thing I loved about the book were its side characters. Without going into too many spoilers, they all have their own stories, tragedies, and motivations. And often times, appearances can be quite deceptive.
This book also has my top favorite c-novel villain of all time. I can't go into too much detail due to spoilers, but he's got an amazing backstory that parallels Xie Lian's own history, while his decisions act as a direct foil to Xie Lian's choices. He's also incredibly intelligent and cruel, knowing how to twist the metaphorical and literal knife just the right way to cause Xie Lian maximum anguish. Absolutely brilliant villain.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys romantic fantasy adventures with a good dose of horror, a pairing very devoted to each other, and a large & varied cast of side characters all with their own mini-arcs/backstories.