I love reading specifically stories that involve a romance between two male characters. Commonly known as Boys’ Love or BL, it’s quite popular now as the world is more open to this genre. However, at first, I was very reluctant to try Danmei because I heard that they have the most complicated plots. Danmei is a Chinese word that translates to “Indulgence in Beauty” it’s their term for BL. It’s less explicit and more focused on the story, conflict, and characters instead of romance compared to other BL’s.
It has been six months since I’ve read Heaven Official’s Blessing novel by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Now, I have multiple failed attempts to read other novels and I can confidently say that I haven’t moved on from them. It is a fantasy in ancient China theme and is influenced by mythology, Taoism, Buddhism, and Chinese martial arts. Heaven Official’s Blessing is a story between a god and a demon and how love defied the very laws of heaven.
From Prince to Scrap Collector
Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of the Xian Le kingdom; The darling of the world and adored by everyone in their kingdom. Unsurprisingly, he ascended to the Heavens at a very young age of 17. Now, 800 years later, Xie Lian ascends to the Heavens for the third time. Barely a god and more as the laughing stock of all three realms. On his first task after his second banishment, he meets a mysterious demon who terrifies the Heavens…yet unbeknownst to Xie Lian, this demon king has been paying attention to him for a very, very long time.
A god and prince from a fallen kingdom, now living as a scrap collector while rebuilding a rundown shrine. Xie Lian is a very kind and joyful person yet is very unlucky and always attracts disaster. Despite his laidback demeanor Xie Lian is a strong martial god and everyone forgets that because of his tarnished image. Essentially, he has just chosen to be gentle and kind, not involve himself unnecessarily in gossip, and has no ego. Well, he got nothing even his powers, not even friends. That’s what made this novel heart-wrenching, he suffer so much, and endure everything yet, in the end, was left with nothing.
Eternal Faith of the Sole Devotee
Hua Cheng is a mystery no one knows much about him, aside from the rumors and actions that made him popular. Hua Cheng in a sense is a demon however the novel refers to him as a supreme ghost. His history with Xie Lian dates back to 800 years ago when he was still a human child, a cursed child destined to bring disaster where he go. He was saved by Xie Lian, the first person to show kindness to him since then follow the prince around. Hua Cheng as a child shows great admiration for the Prince who later became a god.
He never stop worshipping Xie Lian even after their kingdom fell and died. Even when everyone blames the prince for all the bad things that happened when everyone spits on his image. As a ghost, he watch the now a fallen god, he watches as Xie Lian lost everything, even himself. Hua Cheng is the only believer left of Xie Lian- the reason why his soul never moved on to the afterlife.
The Last Book I have Read
Tian Guan Ci Fu or Heaven Official’s Blessing is the first danmei that I’ve read. It’s not even the most popular work of the author because it’s her latest book. I discovered it first on Netflix, the animated series of it, and immediately fall in love with it. I read the novel after thinking it will be a wonderful experience and yes, it is. However, I didn’t anticipate the unjustifiable suffering and tragedies as well as the trauma that I got. It ruined my momentum because I had to stop and recover from it. I usually take 1 to 2 weeks to finish a novel then for a month I would read its fanfictions and now, 6 months later I haven’t picked up a new book.
Overall the story is very well written, the book consists of four volumes and two of them are flashbacks. Showing the struggles of Xie Lian and Hua Cheng and the reason why they turn out as their present self. As for the romance, it is a nice slow-burn romance that hits all the notes of yearning, confusion, sweet reunion even comedy. They show that true love can wait and withstand every challenge. Their love is so pure, the genders did not matter one bit, they just happened to be the same sex.
The characters are complex, no one is just black or white and good or evil. The author showed how the good can be just as cruel, and the bad is sometimes just a victim. All the hardships and tragedy really pulled their punches right straight into my feelings. Sometimes I think the happy ending did not redeem all of the sufferings that they went through, still, I’m more than satisfied. It’s a very good book I wish I could read it again for the first time
“If your dream is to save the common people, then my dream is only you. I pray to never rest in peace” – Hua Cheng
Rosemarie is a writer and an artist, She developed a passion for arts at a young age, inspired by the Japanese animation that she frequently watches which also sparked her love for writing. Her arts and writings became her special way of expressing her feelings as she's not really good with words. Most of her time were spend on either honing her digital drawing skills, watching anime, or gaming.