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The Path Unending (A Cultivation Quest) - WIP

Discussion in 'Other Fandoms Review Board' started by MrSam, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. MrSam

    MrSam Third Year

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    80
    WilTitle: The Path Unending
    Author: Vesvius
    Rating: T
    Genre: Action
    Status: WIP
    Library Category: Other Fandoms/ Original Fiction
    Summary:

    Link: https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/the-path-unending-a-cultivation-quest.62599/

    ...

    I´m bringing one of the few quests in sufficientvelocity that I enjoy. The story is set in a Xianxia World heavely influenced by the World of Will Wight "Cradle". The setting is very interesting and the characters a delight.
     
  2. Erandil

    Erandil Minister of Magic

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,329
    Location:
    Germany
    It is a solid quest and even xianxia story that so far has avoided most of pitfalls inherent in either genre and I really enjoyed the fact that the MC is focused on a craft though it remains to be seen if that survives the near inevitable tendency of questers to focus on combat power. Indeed I would probably enjoy this a lot more if it wasn't a quest as I feel like most of the weaker parts of the story come from the players picking options that are a less than a perfect fit with the previous established characterization of the MC.

    But the reason I am unable to give this more than three stars is a body-horror segment and its effects located at the end of the first half of the current story that I personally just find very hard to like or enjoy (which is ironic since I am generally a big fan of negative effects from choices and mistakes) and which has really diminished my ability to ignore other issues to the degree that I have largely stopped following the story.
     
  3. Drachna

    Drachna Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
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    245
    Location:
    Ireland
    High Score:
    0
    This is in the wrong part of the review board I'm afraid. You should ask a moderator to move it to the 'Other Fandoms Review Board' section.
     
  4. PpJt

    PpJt Second Year

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ecosse
    I've just read to current on this quest, so I'll put my thoughts here. For context I'm bit of a rookie to the xianxia/cultivation genre.

    It's fairly well written, with what I'd say is functional prose and interesting characters. The events in the story are done well, and the questers have (so far) not made any choices that were so OoC or stupid that it made me want to drop it. The MC's focus on crafting, and the personality he's ended up with are big parts of why this is as enjoyable as it is.

    It's not much of a spoiler to say that the body-horror segment does get somewhat resolved later on, though I have to admit that it's not a part of the story I enjoy.

    Overall I'd say it's a good read, if not as good as the only other similar quest I've read (Forge of Destiny).

    3.5 rounding up to 4 for me.
     
  5. VanRopen

    VanRopen Headmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Solid quest. The Cradle influences are clear but the story has been much more grounded at the lower level thus far. The worldbuilding is more serviceable than amazing, while the story's strength is definitely the character work.

    I think most of the weaknesses are definitely from the quest format, which is pretty normal given how that impacts pacing. Nonetheless there are great scenes and a couple arcs with very nice emotional payoff. I think 3.5 rounded up to 4 is right. Ves says he is working on a Royal Road edit that addresses some pacing stuff and foreshadows better, and I think that would be a strong 4 with potential to be higher - still, that's far future stuff and I would easily recommend reading the quest now.


    People definitely had complaints about the body horror event, but I always felt they were way overdone. It was neither gore porn, nor some hurt/comfort nonsense. Protagonist fucked up and found out, story established that the consequences were real without angsting too hard, and then Zhi went ahead and worked until it he fixed it.
     
  6. gamarad

    gamarad Fourth Year

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    129
    It looks like this was posted to Royal Road and then deleted. What's up with that?
     
  7. VanRopen

    VanRopen Headmaster

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    Los Angeles
    Author decided the RR version should involve a more thorough edit, and wants to build a backlog before posting.
     
  8. Quick Ben

    Quick Ben In ur docs, stealin ur werds.

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the reccomendation. I am really enjoying it so far.

    This is the first time I am reading anything in this genre(I'm assuming its based on chinese mythology?)

    I think I would enjoy it more without the quest elements, but its not a deal breaker.
     
  9. Erandil

    Erandil Minister of Magic

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Germany
    Yeah, xianxia (which is the name of the genre) is practically the fantasy version of wuxia, leaning far more into magic than traditional wuxia ever does. Some its elements are based in traditional Chinese mythology but even the original chinese works tend to be shit when it comes to actually accurately portraying the themes and concepts of for example taoism and mostly seem to use it for buzzwords...

    And if you intent do dive deeper into the genre be warned that a lot of it, especially the original chinese stuff, comes with some pretty serious problems in regards to misogyny, rape, one dimensional characters with side characters that generally disappear after one or two arcs and main characters that generally lack character and certainly self introspection, repeating plotlines and a whole other host of stuff that can seriously detract from reading them like bad translations.

    In all honesty while the original translated works can be interesting (and you have quite the selection of finished works to choose from) I prefer the western authors as they tend to feature far less problematic content.

    Recommendations:

    Chinese translations: Coiling Dragon (pretty standard fare that in my opinion serves as a good introduction into the genre), ISSTH, Desolate Era and AWE (if you like the type of humour featured in it)

    Original works: Ave Xia Rem Y (webnovel - pretty typical xianxia fare without many of the negative cliches common in the genre and a solid update rate), Virtuous Sons (webnovel - xianxia set in ancient greece, featuring the best character duo I have ever seen) and of course the Cradle series which in my opinion is the best if not necessarily most inventive work available in the genre with the added advantage of it getting published as a book series and not a sporadic updating webnovel.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  10. M.L.

    M.L. Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Beyond the Pale
    Ebert used to say that you have to judge things for what they are, not what you would prefer them to be or what you like. Path Unending is a quest, and it's really impossible to separate the content of the story out of it being a quest. Where problems seem to arise, it largely stems from the very format of the medium. However, at the same time, Path Unending manages to be a fairly engrossing story even considering the limitations of Quests. While it has parts which feel disjointed, its pace is slow etc. Vesvius' talent as an author allows it to be enjoyable nonetheless. For a quest to be readable, and enjoyable, as a traditional story would be about my line for a 4/5.