I Shall Seal the Heavens is the story of a young, scholar Meng Hao, who gets forcibly recruited into a sect of immortal cultivators. In the cultivation world, the strong prey on the weak, and the law of the jungle is the only law. Meng Hao must strive to survive by adapting.
This series consists of both, comedy and drama, I Shall Seal the Heavens remains one of the most beloved xianxia stories ever translated.
This is a story that originates between the Eighth and Ninth Mountains, the world in which the strong prey upon the weak.
“My Name is Meng Hao! The Ninth Generation Demon Sealer, I shall seal the Heavens!”
Meng Hao, a ambitious yet unsuccessful scholar, is kidnapped by a magical woman and is thrown into a world of "cultivators", mortals who grow their spiritual power in order to gain immortality. It is a dangerous world and Meng Hao decides that the only way to stay alive is to become as powerful as he possibly can, as quickly as he can.
(I think you know where I'm going with this if you've read any cultivation novels prior to this, if not then go on down.)
Patriarch Reliance was the foray into the written world of the fascinating genre known as "wuxia". I Shall Seal the Heavens was one of the highest rated wuxia series available that has been translated into English.
What is wuxia? The definition from Google is: "a genre of Chinese fiction or cinema featuring itinerant warriors of ancient China, often depicted as capable of superhuman feats of martial arts."
You can also check out this blog on cultivation novels*:* https://sivasaran.com/blog/2022-04-22-cultivation-novels/
The cultivators use a dizzying array of magical items with different abilities from a rain of swords to flying fans that turn into rays of light, let your imagination run wild.
Despite the huge array of items and abilities, this book does become repetitious after two dozen chapters or so as Meng Hao goes from one life threatening situation to another. But isn't that always the case in almost every novel ?
A curious aspect of the story was its deviation from my own expectations of what someone of higher spiritual power should act like. When I think of someone 'spiritual', I picture people like Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama, and Buddha.
The cultivators in Patriarch Reliance are nothing like that. They are, for the most part, violent, careless of life, and power-hungry. And they have to be, as the jungle spares no one.
Highly recommend this book!