12 In Chinese Novels

The Chinese novel that started it all

I started the year with a Japanese anime craze, moved on to be really studious (for only a couple of weeks) for Korean and now I’m dumping both aside for a new obsession: Chinese novels!

Or more specifically, ancient Chinese romance (Internet) novels. 😀

You know.. the ones with really fancy and (fantasy) artwork of pretty male (and of course female) leads looking all romantic.

credits: hui3r.wordpress.com

credits: hui3r.wordpress.com

The kind that I used to scoff at 

For many years, I would only read Taiwanese novels (either JBD or the Novel@net series of romance novels) partly because I love reading stories set in Taiwan and also partly because I have a preference for vertical print (also why I love Japanese novels) and traditional Chinese characters.

Which explains why I almost never read in simplified Chinese.

Until I read 大漠謠 (da mo yao) by 桐華 (tong hua). I won’t repeat my love for the book again, you can read about it here lolol. I love epic love stories.In any case, tong hua’s novels really started my whole craze for c-period romance novels and now, it has expanded to include those mythical epic romance novels!

Tang Qi Gong Zi (唐七公子) is the best!! <3 <3 TQGZ really knows how to write characters. At first I was pretty resistant to the whole setting about fairies, demons and what not who live for 14,000 years ;; but now I’m totally converted. I realise that I am always very very attracted to those sharp-tongued, witty, domineering and yet very charismatic male characters. To put it in my friend’s friend’s words, I like those オレ様キャラ (ore-sama character).




hahahaha dying of laughter when I googled the definition 😛

It listed Chiaki sempai (from Nodame Cantabile) and Zhi Shu (from ISWAK) as the prime examples of Ore-sama characters! And I guess you can add Dao Ming Si (from Boys over Flowers) to the list! hahahaha. MY TOP 3 FAVORITES!


That being said, I don’t know how I would react if I meet an ore-sama in real life. But I guess I might be smitten 😛

I digressed. In any case, I just wanted to say that Dong Hua (东华) from Tang Qi Gong Zi’s 三生三世枕上书 (three worlds, three lives pillow book) is the best! He’s now added into my top 5 favourite ore-sama list lolol.

His 话不饶人 character is so awesome!

Fangirling aside, reading all these have made me look at the Chinese language in a new light and I’m beginning to (re)appreciate how beautiful the language is.

There’s this particular verse(?) in Bu Bu Jing Xin (by Tong Hua) that I really love.


桐华 《步步惊心》

I love how much wisdom there is in a few words. I don’t think I can translate this without butchering it, so I’ll just leave it for those who understands (:

Found the longer version of it and it’s just <3 .

由爱故生忧,由爱故生怖,若离于爱者,无忧亦无怖。既不回头,何必不忘。既然无缘,何须誓言。今日种种,似水无痕。明夕何夕,君已陌路。由爱生嗔,由爱生恨,由爱生痴,由爱生念。从别后嗔恨痴念 皆化为寸寸相思。 相思相望不相亲,薄情转是多情累,曲曲柔肠碎。从喜生忧患,从喜生怖畏,离喜无忧患,何处有怖畏? 从爱生忧患,从爱生怖畏,离爱无忧患,何处有怖畏? 是故莫爱着,爱别离为苦,若无爱与憎,彼即无羁缚。无我相,无人相,无众生相,无寿者相,而法相宛然,即为离于爱者。命由己造,相由心生。世间万物皆是化相,心不变万物皆不变,心不动万物皆不动。爱别离,怨憎会,撒手西归,全无是类,不过是满眼空花,一片虚幻。


For those who love C-novels, here’s an awesome English blog dedicated to “Fangirling Chinese novels”.

Nobody around me appreciates these novels ): If you wanna get started, here’s a few of my favourites! (I went to the library the other day and borrowed so many omg)

C-period romance novels (all ♥♥♥♥♥)

  • 大漠谣 by 桐华 (Da Mo Yao by Tong Hua) - the drama is awesome!
  • 云中歌 by 桐华 (Yun Zhong Ge by Tong Hua) -tip! Read Da Mo Yao first! Followed by this!
  • 步步惊心 by 桐华 (Bu Bu Jing Xin by Tong Hua) – the drama is mad awesome!!

C-period mythical romance novels (all ♥♥♥♥♥)

  • 三生三世枕上书 by 唐七公子 (San Sheng San Shi Zheng Shan Shu by Tang Qi Gong Zi)
  • 三生三世十里桃花 by 唐七公子 (San Sheng San Shi Shi Li Tao Hua by Tang Qi Gong Zi) – this one comes before The Pillow Book but I like Pillow Book more!!

C-period dramas

  • Bu Bu Jing Xin (♥♥♥♥♥) – love love love!!
  • Sound of the Desert (♥♥♥♥♥)
  • Tian Wai Fei Xian (♥♥♥♥)
  • Legend of The Condor Heroes 2008 (♥♥♥♥)
  • Lan Ling Wang (♥♥♥) – watched till ep 20 then I gave up ;; But it was perfect until then. -.-
  • Perfect Couple (♥) – too modern and comical and exaggerated for me ;;

If you happen to have any Chinese novel / drama recommendations, please let me know!!! ^^

p.s. I think I need to switch back to K and J mood to prepare for TOPIK and JLPT ;;; (provided I remember to submit the application form lolol)

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  • Reply
    13 August, 2015 at 12:51 AM

    Hi! i just bought 6 chinese novels from taobao, including the ones that you recommended! 🙂
    It’s really rare to find a fellow Singaporean that loves reading chinese novels too, and what more in 繁體. i’m currently super hooked on 花千骨 and the soundtracks. “今生難續前世緣 但羨鴛鴦不羨仙”
    maybe you can check it out and see whether you like the show! 🙂

    • Reply
      14 August, 2015 at 9:38 PM

      Hi Carol!!! omgg I’m also watching (and super hooked) 花千骨!!! hehe we should totally be friends!! 😀 😀
      Yeah I’m loving the OST! Have you watched Sound of Desert? The OST is also my all time favourite. Any other novels you recommend? Would love to know more!

      • Reply
        18 August, 2015 at 11:15 PM

        Hi to my chinese novels obsession club friend! 😛 I just received all the novels today!!! SUPER EXCITED. I will show you pictures if i ever have the chance!! And yup i’ve just started watching the show! 😀 Maybe if you ever organise a “CNOC” outing, 我第一个报名! 好吗? 🙂

        • Reply
          22 August, 2015 at 10:35 AM

          wahaha later 只有我们两个. I loveee receiving books in the mail! 😀 😀 I just finished another nice novel <3 <#

  • Reply
    15 August, 2015 at 4:54 AM

    Sound interesting! Ore-sama omg. I rewatched ISWAK and just finished it yesterday! Totally in love with Zhi Shu all over again but I don’t think I would fall for that kind of person in real life because I’m more of a bossy kind ahaha. I’m studying Chinese these days and I’m looking forward to the day that I would be able to read and understand the novels you just recommended.!! I still have a long way to go huhu I can only write and understand 45 characters as of now /cries a river/

    • Reply
      16 August, 2015 at 7:24 PM

      ISWAK is my fav!! 😀 I would totally fall for him though 😛 hehe take your time and you will get there!! Would love to discuss all those novels with you!! <3 Let me know anytime if you need help! (:

  • Reply
    31 August, 2016 at 6:05 AM

    Yay, finally found somebody else to discuss this obsession of mine…

    I started reading Chinese online novels in 2009, which was difficult back then because although I was fluent in listening/speaking, my knowledge of the written language (excluding occasional characters I recognized from Chinese dramas) was limited to two semesters worth of college classes. But all it took was one novel, “Summer of Bubbles” by Ming Xiao Xi (泡沫之夏 -明小溪), to propel me into the gargantuan world of Chinese romantic novels.

    My sister had started reading the manga adaptation and was impatient for more translations, so she did some research and discovered that it was all based on the original novel. Being that she knew more Chinese characters than me at the time, she bravely threw herself into the novel and became obsessed. Naturally, she started gushing about it to me, so I became determined to read it. After starting a vocab list and painstakingly reading through the initial chapters, I developed a flow and was soon heavily absorbed into the lives of the three leads: Xia mo, Ou Chen, and Luo Xi. The prose was beautiful and the love story so angsty/romantic (the kind that squeezes your heart) that I embarked on a one year journey of only seeking out Chinese romance novels.

  • Reply
    31 August, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    So now, fast forward 7 years later, I’m still reading Chinese novels on/off and have a list of my absolute favorites (read them and don’t look back), but before that, here’s a side note:

    *Side note: I’m picky about romance novels, so here’s a general list of novel traits that must be present for me to touch it (this way, you’ll be able to tell if the books are to your liking) :

    -The writing has to be good or else I can’t get into the world
    -I prefer long books, esp. well-written, exciting ones, so most of my favorite stories are all long
    -The heroine better have some substance and not be a brainless plain airhead, pining/crying/desperate for the hero’s love 24/7 (prefer levelheaded girls who aren’t completely blinded by love and can successfully toss the jerk aside)
    -Prefer cold, distant, and smart heroines, though cutesy and spirited heroines are fine too. But they all must have pride/dignity, esp. when it comes to the hero.

  • Reply
    31 August, 2016 at 6:09 AM

    -The hero must be hot, wealthy, and powerful (can’t help myself -it’s romance after all)
    -The hero must remain faithful in body/mind (no cheating under any circumstances) upon solidifying his relationship with the heroine (best if he never touches anyone else after falling in love) and this has to happen before the first half of the book or story (some books are split into volumes)
    -I’m a HUGE sucker for obsessive heroes who can’t let the heroine go after falling for her, so all my books have various degrees of that kind of hero

    • Reply
      7 March, 2017 at 8:24 PM

      pleaaase can you provide me a list of your fave novels? we have similar taste hahaha e.g. hero hot and powerfull to fall in love first, smart heroines, etc. THANKIEEE

  • Reply
    23 March, 2017 at 2:16 AM

    Where did you read the pillow novel? I don’t seems to find it online. Would appreciate if you could share the link with me.

    • Reply
      23 March, 2017 at 8:29 AM

      You can download the app 百度阅读 and purchase the ebook from there. I used the Apple App Store and purchases are done via the Apple account. Hope this helps

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