What better way to start of my xianxia reviews than with the novel that started it all and is still one of my all-time favorites, Stellar Transformations. Stellar Transformations was written by I Eat Tomatoes and started life on the Chinese web novel site Qidian before it started being translated into English on the spcnet.tv boards by He-Man. By most accounts it was the first xianxia novel to ever be translated and released in English, previously the only the translations of Chinese novels released into English was classic martial arts novels aka wuxia. Xianxia is the combination of fantasy/science fiction melding with wuxia and it creates a fascinating world or worlds that are completely different than the Tolkien-inspired fantasy worlds of the English novel community.
Stellar Transformations tells the story of Qin Yu, the 3rd son of East Vanquishing Prince Qin De who is the ruler of 3 of the provinces in the Chu Kingdom. Qin Yu was a young child that was sent away from his family and raised in a beautiful but isolated chateau called Mista Villa due to not having any talent for internal martial arts or governorship. Qin Yu, being a very clever child quickly realizes that he was sent away by his father due to being too weak to help his family. So, in order to gain the respect of his father, he resolutely chooses to follow the more difficult and painful path of practicing external techniques. As the years go by, he grows up into a very impressive young man and embarks on the path to immortality through martial arts.
The training sequences and the growth of Qin Yu that is at the beginning of this series are the best I have ever read, it singlehandedly propels this series to the top of my must read list and if I was asked which xianxia novels to start with then Stellar Transformations would be the very first series recommended. It is a must read and is highly recommended.