I’ve seen the hype surrounding Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s light novel, Heaven Official’s Blessing, and felt like an outsider having not jumped into the fandom as soon as Seven Seas Entertainment published its English translation. I had a feeling I would love this story, and I’m happy to share I proved myself right. Graced with illustrations and a to-die-for prince, Heaven Official’s Blessing is short and sweet and ready to take you on an adventure through the Mortal Realm.
The beloved prince Xie Lian has ascended to godhood and fallen in disgrace. Twice. Upon his third ascension to the Heavenly Realm, his peers are less than pleased and view his presence as a nuisance. Xie Lian is unbothered by the god’s efforts to shun him, and he graciously serves the Heavenly Emperor to collect merits and raise his status. Possessing very little power, Xie Lian ventures to the mortal realm to aid humans against terrors from the ghost realm. On his journey, he is met with an interesting cast of characters, horrifying monsters, and an intriguing man who is more than he appears.
Xie Lian’s adventures through the mortal realm are a lot of fun and possess an ingenuity that I found delightful. Mo Xiang Tong Xiu accomplishes a lot on these missions and is able to introduce us to the world, uncover parts of Xie Lian’s past, and set new mysteries into motion with incredible skill. There are many moments lightened by humor that disarmed me and elicited a great laugh each time. I commend Mo Xiang Tong Xiu for also featuring terrifying scenes associated with the ghouls and ghosts. The horror elements stand out in striking detail against Xie Lian’s casual approach to the task at hand. The story is such a great time, and I would be happy to follow Xie Lian to the ends of the earth.
The story is made even stronger by the eclectic cast of characters. Our handsome star Xie Lian exudes a genuine and calming presence. You can’t help but root for this fallen god as he collects scraps and goes above and beyond to help people. The supporting cast is just as dynamic and they all play off Xie Lian’s unwavering patience. A charismatic youth named San Lang makes an appearance and attempts to steal the show. He is aloof and full of knowledge, and while he is suspicious you can’t help but be drawn to his presence. I also enjoyed Fu Yao and Nan Feng, two junior officials sent to assist Xie Lian on his journey. They never hold back their reactions from Xie Lian and act like ridiculous himbos that make everything better.
There is so much to love in Heaven Official’s Blessing, but my favorite part of the story is Xie Lian. I loved collecting the pieces of his past as the story progressed. From the glimpses of his past, we can see that Xie Lian’s 800-year existence has humbled him. He exhibits immense compassion and sincerity for all who come across his path including the prideful immortals, the various humans, and the ghosts creating havoc. He is a gentle soul, and I was amazed by his grace as he lets every slight or mean-spirited comment slide off him. He comes across as capable and strong even though he is disadvantaged in many ways. I typically like my morally grey characters and villains, but I fell in love with this gracious character. Sometimes being too sweet is not a bad thing.
Heaven Official’s Blessing is the epitome of surprise and delight. Mo Xiang Tong Xiu knows how to enrapture her readers, and I loved that I got to experience a range of emotions while on Xie Lian’s journey. Be warned, the story ends abruptly so you will want to pick up the second volume immediately.
Rating: Heaven Official’s Blessing – 9.5/10