Review: The Villain Has Something to Say
|Author||Mo Chen Huan (莫晨欢)|
- The main romance is the primary draw and the best part of this novel. So much guilt, so much mutual pining, so much secret devotion.
- Large and varied cast of supporting characters. Mo Qiu especially is a highlight.
- The giant climactic three-faction war dragged on too long and was too repetitive.
This is a reincarnator vs transmigrator novel, featuring the main character Luo Jianqing, who is reincarnated as the villain in a harem novel vs a transmigrator who was the "protagonist" who killed him in the last life. In this new life, he has to figure out what went wrong in his last life and how he was framed/killed in the end by his own master's sword. The main pairing is Xuan Lingzi/Luo Jianqing, and it's a Master/Disciple relationship. There's a lot excellent self-denial, mutual pining (because of the master/disciple taboo), and just amazing sexual tension and angst based on the tragedy of their past life.
Unlike the author's other novel, The Earth is Online, this one has a very heavy focus on the emotional arc of the main character and the progression of the romance. Which is not to say the plot of this book is bad. It's pretty solid and keeps me curious about the unraveling mystery and backstory, and there's always something fun happening. It has a lot of the best tropes of xianxia, which is the adventure, strange spirits, living pills taking human form, making friends along the journeys.
But the main beat of the novel is Luo Jianqing being in love with his master, and hurt that in his last life, his master's sword was the one that dealt him the killing blow. Meanwhile, Xuan Lingzi (who also seems to retain some memory of a past life, though it's unclear at first how/why) seems determined to protect him in this lifetime more than the last, heavy with guilt. I actually cried reading one of the flashbacks, and that's very rare for me. The secrets between them get slowly revealed at a very good pace and it kept me very invested.
The only reason I can't give this a book a perfect score is because once the main war plot kicks in, the novel gets a little repetitive and tedious, and we lose the emotional connection in favor of politics and battles and chase scenes over and over and over. There is an eventual (very sweet) happy ending, but it feels like we're slowly dragged towards it. I also feel that the author tried too hard to give *everyone* a happy ending, and practically retconned Mo Qiu's entire character storyline in the main novel during the Mo Qiu extra.
Other than those quibbles though, I still recommend this book. You'll be hard-pressed to find better pining and angst!