Weekly Words: Am Reading Mo Xiang Tong Xiu's Mo Dao Zu Shi


Open book that says "Weekly Words"

Well, happy September! Summer is basically over, and I've only been on the beach in San Pedro, Belize. Woe is me. I started August with a sinus infection and ended it with COVID, so I'm hoping for a slightly better September.

While sick, I spent this week rewatching Steven Universe. I love that show. But also, I started a new book, which I'm super excited about, because it's the basis for one of my other favorite shows, The Untamed on Netflix: Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.

Book Cover: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation 1. Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Two teenage Chinese boys in traditional feudal clothing in front of the full moon.

Resurrection and Revenge.

Wei Wuxian was once one of the most powerful men of his generation, a talented and clever young cultivator who harnessed martial arts and spirituality into powerful abilities. But when the horrors of war led him to seek more power through demonic cultivation, the world's respect for his abilities turned to fear, and his death was celebrated throughout the land.

Years later, he awakens in the body of an aggrieved young man who sacrifices his soul so that Wei Wuxian can exact revenge on his behalf. Though granted a second life, Wei Wuxian is not free from his first, nor the mysteries that appear before him now. Yet this time, he'll face it all with the righteous and esteemed Lan Wangji at his side, another powerful cultivator whose unwavering dedication and shared memories of their past will help shine a light on the dark truths that surround them.

I watched the show twice and started the manhua (Chinese version of anime) on Youtube, so I know this highlighted scene on the cover like the back of my hand, the first time the wild horse Wei Wuxian (right) went head-to-head with the very strict Lan Wangji (left). I'm 82 pages in at the moment, and so far, the Netflix show stays very true to the book, Chinese censorship laws notwithstanding. There's much more detail about the characters, of course, so we get an even more well-rounded image of them. There are even things I'm noticing in the story as a whole that I missed in the show.

The tv version of the story is a frame story, but in the book, it's written more like flashbacks. Either way, we start in the present and go back into the past to learn why exactly Wei Wuxian was summoned back to life: which was to discover a truth that his summoner uncovered and was ostracized for. We embark on a mystery filled with a little humor, what I expect (from the show) to be a lot of trauma and sadness, and fantastical romance that lives on Tumblr so prominently it's how I discovered the show in the first place. If you stumble upon any iteration of this story, I hope you love it as much as I do!

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