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Publisher's Summary

Long Wu Ying never expected to join a Sect or become a real cultivator. His days were spent studying, planting rice on the family farm and spending time with his friends. Fate, however, has different plans for Wu Ying and when the army arrives at his village, he and many other members of the village are conscripted. Given the opportunity to join the Verdant Green Waters Sect, Wu Ying must decide between his pedestrian, common life and the exciting, blood soaked life of a cultivator.

Join Wu Ying as he takes his first step on his Thousand Li journey to become an immortal cultivator.

©2019 Tao Wong (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about A Thousand Li: The First Step: A Cultivation Novel

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not quite Will Wight, but good enough.

PSA: Chi in this case is pronounced chur as that is how it sounds in Chinese. I've seen many reviews complaining about this as if the narrator is saying it incorrectly. However, the author is Chinese and has obviously instructed that the words be pronounced as such. So don't be confused when you randomly hear Churrr all the time. hopefully this will get people to stop with the false accusations that the narrator is incompetent, because he is one of the best.

183 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Worldbuilding amazing, character not so much

Let's start with what I liked. The worldbuilding. The lore. The culture. The history. This book was rich with all of those things. The way the chi worked and how you 'leveled up' was interesting and I would love to go even deeper into just that element. The fact that each move of battle had its own names, 'Dragon Unsheathes Its Claws'--fascinating and again, I could read a whole book just on these different combat poses and moves. I loved how cultivation could take you in so many different directions, from elemental to healing. It was fascinating. There was no lack of depth in the worldbuilding and culture.

Now to the problems I had. Our main character Long Wu Ying is a simple peasant at the start, but that soon changes. He almost has no personality and it changes little throughout the book. At the end, you could say he's more courageous. But otherwise, I found it rather flat and a little unbelievable. He seems to rise up the ranks with ease with everything piled against him. In the some battles, he literally has broken bones, pounded to the ground, yet he can think with clarity. I think the author could've done more by giving Wu Ying a few more flaws, give him a harder time.

I also didn't love how women were portrayed here. Yes, there were a few female cultivators, but almost all the focus of women was regarding their body shape, their beauty, them as a distraction. That didn't set well with me.

I want to read the next book because of the world, magic system, and lore, but I'm not too sure I will.

53 people found this helpful

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short but packed

solid take on the cultivation genre. wish there was more but the story was fulfilling.

18 people found this helpful

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This is a Fantastic martial arts book!

If your like me and like Marrial arts or old Martial art movies then your going to love this book.
The world is interesting and something I hope we learn even more next time.
The characters are enjoyable though I'll admit listening to it now and then some names got hard to remember.
The martial arts are fantastic I do regret how some bits felt fast forwarded. However closing my eyes and hearing the names of the different styles and attacks i could make up my own picture of what was happening.

I highly recommend if even any of what i have said caught your interest.
In the mean time I'll hope we get a second book soon.

30 people found this helpful

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nice cultivation book

If you like books with a cultivation theme like the Cradle series then you will most likely like this one. good story and good narration.

23 people found this helpful

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probably the best cultivation novel I've read

this is a 'pure' cultivation novel. protagonist isnt overpowered, acts human, and is engaging. honestly worth picking this one up!

19 people found this helpful

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Love this book and hope the next book drops soon

I am so into the cultivating genre right now and there are good ones and bad ones and okay ones. This is a good one probably third behind The Ten Relms Series and Cradle Series. I was excited to see that the writer of the System Apocalypses series decided to try his hand at this newish genre. Also we get the fantastic narrator from the Cradle series to narrate it. Seriously if you like the genre pick this one up. Not as good as Unsouled or Two Week Curse when it comes to starting the series. You kinda just get thrown right into it with no world building. By chapter three the world building gets good and you catch on to what is going on. I don't think this is a big enough of a deal to drop a star so there you go.

28 people found this helpful

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It's nothing but leveling up.

So I waited until listening to the first 2 books in this series before writing this, hoping that the second book would help improve things. And while it does get better, I really just don't find this series enjoyable.

While I'm relatively new to the Cultivation genre of stories, the elements of it share a lot with the LitRPG genre in my opinion. And that is the Leveling Up aspect of the story. And frankly, this book is nothing but Leveling Up. There really isn't any plot, other than everyone crapping all over the protagonist for the sin of simply existing. But other than that, it's just him training....and training...and training...and hitting a new level/threshold....and training some more, etc etc. It's just dull. The book starts out as a straight Mulan reference, of the villagers being drafted to fight in the war, and you get a very brief glimpse at the life of the commoners, and how it is for them. Then the protagonist is wisked off to Magical Martial Arts School, and there is zero connection to the establishing events. What about his friends from the village? What about his family? What about the war? All of those plot threads are just dropped, for what boils down to a karate/sports film from the 80s. Complete with stereotypical bully squad like they came right out of Cobra Kai.

The Leveling Up aspect of Cultivation books, and LitRPG books, is a huge flaw in my opinion. The writers spend hours of story time, simply describing stats and telling us "and then the hero got stronger." Without really developing anything dramatic, or interesting.

The second book gets a bit better, but only marginally in this regard. It's still almost entirely just Leveling Up details, nothing more. The interpersonal dialogue is improved, as the banter between the main characters is actually quite funny, but it wasn't enough to hold me.

The narrator was great. Nothing but props on his performance, I just think the material isn't all that well written.

8 people found this helpful

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Very good

A very well written book, insightful and broad in scope. Reminiscent of lit rpg with an eastern flare.

7 people found this helpful

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very good read

I was sucked in very quickly it's a very fast paced read and I was found the only issue being able to keep up with the names and which character was which. other than that I am looking forward to the next book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Liam
  • 06-25-19

I really enjoyed this

I devoured the whole book in one go the only issue I had was the names as a native English speaker the names being multiple words long in combination very foreign names made it very difficult to keep track of who was who something to keep in mind for future books written and read or even translated to English

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nav
  • 06-23-20

enjoyable

I loved this novel. The story flows easily. The MC isn't overpowered. He is humble and his main quality is his perseverance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • chefrock
  • 07-04-19

A great first book can't wait for more

reminds me of the cradle series, excellent narration and very easy to listen to. if your a fan of a mc working hard to get to the top look no further.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tristan
  • 06-26-19

Really easy and enjoyable listen.

The book was well paced. It was refreshing for the MC not have everything given to them. You really felt the MC deserved the fortunes that came his way!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-21

Good

good book t and here is a part in chapter 17 that made me laugh out loud.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Liam B.
  • 05-11-21

Surprising and Superb

Loved it. Best book I've encountered in the last couple of years. A must read for fantasy and high fantasy enthusiasts.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • 11-03-20

A great intro to the genre

I fully recommend this book. The main character’s journey is littered with injustice, making it equal parts frustrating and satisfying as he works through the problems set before him.

I’m also fond of the setting; Ancient China has a different feeling to Feudal Japan and the English Chivalric era. The Chinese magic system has a lot to do with this, as it’s hierarchical nature allows it to be baked into the social structure.

Xuanxia, while great stories, tend to be difficult to access due jarring cultural differences and awkward translations.

This book was either written in English or has been masterfully translated. The cultural differences are less pronounced too.

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  • james mcadam
  • 11-23-19

loved it

great cultivation story .great characters and very well written. excellent narration and carnt wait for the next one

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  • Morris
  • 11-09-19

Great start to a cultivation novel

Very similar to a manga novel. Tao did a great job as the book is filled with fighting and cultivation. Author creates vivid images and makes you want to listen to more.
If you like fighting, cultivation and competition this is for you. Will be listening to the next book

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  • Dean
  • 07-27-21

Mostly good

I’m enjoying the book and will be buying the next. I just don’t like how the MC is a bit of a wet noodle whipping boy, he always turns the other cheek. I understand why but it’s a bit difficult to be sympathetic for a weak person without a backbone, which it’s bizarre because in anything else he is determined and strong willed

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  • JaQue
  • 11-01-20

good

very good was defintely worth the read would recommend a decent try had you thinking diffeent ideas all the time

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  • Alexander Devitt
  • 08-31-20

Awesome

This novel encompasses everything I expect from the title. It allows me to indulge some of my favourite tropes. As always, a masterful narration by Travis Baldree.