When it comes to novel-to-drama adaptations, I usually prefer to watch the live-version first to avoid participating in the whole “omg how dare they cast this actor/actress!” drama that usually surrounds such adaptations. Also, the novel is usually better, so I can enjoy the drama in peace and then have added satisfaction reading the novel after instead of whining about how the drama supposedly “butchered” the novel.
Hua Qian Gu the drama is still airing but I couldn’t resist getting hold of the two-volume novels and finishing them within 2 days! ? It’s an amaaaazing read, and is perfectly complementary with the drama.
First thing, what I loved about both is that there are a number of differences in terms of plot / relationships between characters but instead of one butchering the other, I find both stories fascinating and not a bit contradictory. It’s like being able to enjoy twice the amount from the source material and the drama managed to be faithful to the novel and yet have added elements of surprise. ❤️
I can’t talk more about the novel without being all spoilery, so you have been warned!
What I loved about the novel is that it dared to go all out and it exceeded my expectations when it comes to how gut-wrenching and heartbreaking it is. I find myself anticipating a resolution at every point:
– okay she’s going to get all the 10 神器 but won’t release the 妖神.
– okay she will still retain her pureness and not become affected.
– there’s surely gonna be a way of getting that power out of her right?!
– oh shit.
– omg. WHY. WHYYYYYY.
hahaha that’s basically me while reading the novel. It’s great that the novel managed not to go all batshit crazy and makjang even though it went all out. What resulted was a very poignant and heartbreaking tale that kept me thinking way after I’ve put down the books.
It’s no live-happily-ever after resolution, but I loved the ending, which manages to leave a tiny glimpse of hope while being heartbreaking at the same time. Qian Gu who is a mere shadow of herself but yet the love that 白子画 feels for her is still the same. But I think it’s quite ironic that he chooses to call himself 师父 yet AGAIN – doesn’t he ever learn?? I mean like there are so many other identities he could take and yet he chooses to go down that potentially similar path again. SIGH.
东方 wins hand down (yet) again as my favourite character – both in the novel and drama. In the novel, we get to see an added element of backstory which wasn’t in the drama and his love for Qian Gu is just.. so self-sacrificial. It’s not even just for this life, but for the rest of his future lives. :/ sigh.
杀阡陌 comes a very close second!! I LOVED how he has a loveline with Qian Gu in the novel!!! I was so looking forward to that in the drama but sadly nothing (till now).
The most memorable line in the entire novel.
This comes a close second.
I am reminded of how in the 后记, the author talked about the different guys in Qian Gu’s life and how their characters are very very different and yet they also represent the different types of love around us. My personal favourite is really 杀阡陌, slightly 霸道 but yet so steadfast. But of course this is the extreme type since it’s a 仙侠 novel oops.
The novel itself is brilliant, but what I loved about it is the 番外s that the author writes for every new edition. 番外s are usually backstories, perhaps about the story of a side character, or some additional fanservice chapter about the leads. What’s amazing is that instead of these, the author manages to take a scene that nobody paid much attention to and give it an additional layer of meaning with a backstory. I don’t know how to explain this, but the chapters weaved in so seamlessly with the main story and drives in that heartwrenching feeling even deeper with the realisation of what actually went on. Because of this, I can’t wait for the story to get even more editions lolol.
I admit that I cannot write good reviews. It’s so hard to express my thoughts properly in prose – I don’t know how film / novel critics do that! In any case, I just want to jot down some stuff and if you have read the novel / watched the drama, please feel free to leave a comment and share with me your thoughts too! ^^