Adam.O, Online English teacher at Acadsoc.
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I am a big fan of science fiction, for instance, Time Machine written by H G Wells and Harry Porter from J K Rolin. I highly appreciate their creativity and skills in English literature. Reading such books is an enjoyable thing for me to do. And as an online English teacher, my Chinese students will recommend some books to me from time to time. Usually, I can’t find any English version of the books/novels they recommend. One day, my friend told me there is a website called Wuxiaworld, where contains many Chinese and Korean novels with English translation. To be honest, I can’t stop once start reading any novel inside. It is hard to describe such feeling, but like when you are playing RPG(Role-Playing Game). Not until a player achieving certain goals set for the day he/she would not stop playing, i.e. to reach level XX or to defeat the boss of a chapter. And I believe, you guys will surely love these novels as I do and I decide to recommend the best one from my opinion.
Other books recommended: Prejuice and Pride.
Battle Through the Heavens – a book detailing the legend of Xiao Yan. The book, an unconventional science-fiction novel, sheds light on the quality of writers of Wuxia. Wuxia means ‘martial heroes’, and is a genre of Chinese fiction that focuses on the adventures, battles and triumphs of martial artists in the land of Ancient China.
Like most science-fiction novels in the west, like Harry Potter, Star Trek and Star Wars, the wuxia stories concentrate on a time where an individual’s heart holds the most power, no matter how physically strong, how economically affluent, and how ‘special’ one may be. The wuxia stories can be likened to the anime cartoons we see today across the world but in literature form.
Brief Overview of the Story
The book, Battle Through the Heavens, details a story of Xiao Yan – captured in a land with no magic.
A land where the strong make the rules and weak have to obey. A land filled with alluring treasures and beauty, yet also filled with unforeseen danger. The story picks up three years ago where, Xiao Yan, who had shown talents none had seen in decades, suddenly lost everything. His powers, his reputation, and his promise to his mother. What sorcery has caused him to lose all of his powers? And why has his fiancée suddenly shown up?
The book details the battles that our hero has to endure, these come in the form of temptation, in the physical, emotional, and in the mental. The battles that he endures are episodic, something that can be likened to the present-day cartoons of Dragon Ball and Naruto. The book has an immense collection of chapters – 1647 of them. Each detailing the fears, joys and emotions of the journey taken by our hero.
The main Character of the book is Xiao Yan. He is a genius that is considered by the people in his clan and town to appear once in a thousand years. At age of 10 years, he became a Dou Zhe, the youngest known in the history of Jia Ma empire. However, after receiving a ring from his mother shortly before she disappeared he mysteriously lost his Dou Qi and was reduced to 3rd stage Dou Qi. This led to him being abandoned by almost all of the people who once praised him for his genius. The loss of his abilities caused him to be re-labelled as trash – in a society were status is everything. It determines what you wear, what you eat and how you are eventually treated. He now finds himself in an unfamiliar circumstance, being left by his bride-to-be, abandoned by his chaperones and feeling a sense of self-loathing and a lack of self-worth. These feelings are the types of feelings that help the reader to connect strongly with his character and offer him the support we wished to have had in so many instances in our lives.
Most Notable Chapters and Quotes
It is quite a difficult task to extract only a few notable quotes and chapters in the series because of the density of the book, chapter-wise. However, there are some chapters which teach lessons that have a direct impact on our daily lives and how we view ourselves. In no particular order:
- Chapter 1: Genius No More
“Xiao Yan, Dou Zhi Li, 3rd stage! Rank: Low!” Beside the Magical Testing Monument, a middle-aged man looked at the results on the monument and announced them with an indifferent voice. “3rd stage? Hmmhmm, as expected. This ‘genius’ has once again taken a step back.”
“Ai, this piece of trash really disgraced his entire clan.”
This occurrence details the indifference of life when one loses their status in society. One minute you may be on top of the world, or so it would seem, the next minute, you find yourself at rock-bottom, having to work ten times as hard to be only half of what you were. We can all relate.
- Chapter 30: The One Who Humiliates, gets Humiliated in the End
There is an African proverb which states that life has a tendency to take those in warm places and place them in the cold, and then take those in the cold, and place them in warm places. The circle of life dictates that everything comes around full-circle. It further promotes the value of being generous to those who can do nothing for you. This chapter clearly illustrates that proverb and it is a universal proverb at that.
- Chapter 43: The Powerful Xiao Yan
In the youngest generation of the Xiao Clan, aside of Xun Er, very few could rival Xiao Ning. However, at this moment, he was utterly defeated by Xiao Yan. This unforeseen result had happened so suddenly, catching everyone unprepared.
“Hehe, not only is young master Xiao Yan’s Dou Qi quite powerful his Dou Techniques are also very well practised. Xiao Clan Leader must have spent a lot of time on him?”
This chapter details how special Xiao Yan is and his techniques being of formidable force. It serves to allow us the time to remember who we are, despite adversity, and remember that each of us was cultivated to be strong and not bend through adversity.
- Chapter 1619: Reunion of Old Friends
The entire place was silent. Many pairs of eyes containing various emotions were stunned as they looked at the black figure standing on the head of the statue. A breeze blew and the black robe fluttered. Black hair scattered above the figure’s head. It was a simple and ordinary back but this back seemed to be as mighty and heavy as a mountain in the eyes of those present…
The eyes of Su Qian and the others were extremely stunned as they paused on the black clothed figure. A moment later, their originally hopeless hearts once again become excited. Were they going to be saved today?
“It is really him…”
Separated by distance and time, not to mention adversity, we may feel like there are certain people who we have lost forever. But fate has a funny way of making you go through the toughest battles alone, in order to create the hero in you. We need not hold on to the past, but look to the future, to be reunited with those who we love and cherish – because it is what’s in the heart the heart that matters most – and those who love, will always love you.
Battle Through the Heavens is an incredible book for an online English teacher, let alone avid reader. The book highlights the constant battles we undergo as people on a constant basis and we can all draw from the lessons found in the book. These kinds of books are slowly gaining popularity in English speaking countries for one reason alone, they work the imagination. One challenge would be the challenge of not having access to adequate translated versions, but through technology, that will be solved sooner than we may think. This book is recommended to be on your book-shelf or e-shelf for that matter.