Ballad of the Desert by Tong Hua (Review)

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This is probably the first Chinese novel that I read and one of my favorite. It stumbled upon by chance while looking at Kdrama caps on koala playground. So I’m not good at doing reviews but I like to share my thoughts on my favorite novels. (kaka) I really recommend you read this if you haven’t yet.

P.S: I just love Lu Shi Shi

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILER

Genres: Romance, Han Dynasty period, adventures.

What I love about it:

  1. the setting( time period), It’s really foreign and interesting to me. The setting is in Han Dynasty. There are quite a lot of politic struggles throughout the novel, but I think it isn’t too complicated or crazy.
  2. Main characters, there are three main characters. Two guys and one girl. The girl is the main(est) one? I believe this is one of the most heart breaking love triangle. Both of them are right for the girl unlike those where you pray that she will end up with the second lead character. This is why the ending is open because some roots for the first and some for the other. The first half is more about the second male lead and the second part is about the first male lead character.
  3. Personalities: They all have their flaws and strengths. No one is invincible and good. No one is horrible to the point where you want to kill.
  4. Female lead character- She’s cool, witty, smart, and fun, but she makes mistakes as well and sometimes lose. She can fight, can use strategies, fight for her love, scheme, and knows what she wants. Personally, I hate reading about stupid female main characters. It’s okay to be average, I don’t expect super female characters either since it’s boring that way. I want one that can do things and is independent. Not afraid to stand up for herself. And she’s a wolf girl who acts like a wolf and has wolf instincts. It’s quite funny and cute at times.
  5. Ending- I just love the ending, although I love others don’t like it as much as me but I like it because, well, the one I rooted for gets the girl in the end.
  6. The background story – Everyone has their background stories. I love that there is some deep in their personalities and responsibilities. They’re all good reasons for what they do and how they are.

What I hate:

  1. MC – She’s too nice and forgiving, at times. So a childhood of her because of a guy ordered people to kill her but she ends up feeling so bad and still care about her. Another one who parents was killed who she supports later try to set up her up, try to kill, do so many things to her because that girl afraid that she will expose her secret, but she still thinks of her as a friend and once again care and forget about it the right way. This is one seriously flaw that I hate that the author did.
  2. Stupid reason for her to change from one guy to another – The author shouldn’t make that the reason that she has to be with the male lead character. It is like she has no other choice because …(don’t want to ruin it).

I think you would like it if you like tough female lead with two awesome male characters. And if you like something a little light and funny side. There are politic schemes and a hint of tragic with a little fantasy. It’s not too long and not too complicated.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION | CHINESE RAWS | VIETNAMESE EDITION

REAL LIFE ADAPTATION | PURCHASE BALLAD OF DESERT

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13 thoughts on “Ballad of the Desert by Tong Hua (Review)

  1. This is the only novel I didn’t have the guts to read. The reason?? Well, unfortunately I started watching the drama first and had the bad luck of having my first ever 2nd lead syndrome appear… sigh.. At first I tried to tell myself it was just some dust tht entered my eyes, but well I really couldn’t watch it anymore and left it half way..

    • It’s sad but I think it’s better after that. I do feel for the second lead but I think he got enough chances, a girl cannot keep waiting for him like that.. She made her point several times but he refused to believe her. The other guy did so much for her and always beside her.

      • Yes, I totally agree with you. Had I first read the novel I would have felt the exact same because I have never been into 2nd male lead syndrome thingy… But I fell for the actor, I don’t know but every time I see Hu Ge onscreen, I pity him so much. I am still confused weather its his acting or his presence… I started liking him after BOTD. My whole rant here sounded a bit confused even to me after I read what I wrote :’D

      • Ohh lol I know what you meant, I felt more sorry for the actor than the character as well. He Gu is really good actor so it’s understandable. Dw I got it =3

  2. I read this one and really enjoyed it. The book version explained a bit more of the background detail than the novel – especially about the heroine’s history out in the desert.

    • Glad to hear that you liked it. IKR, I especially liked the background of the heroine, it’s the thing that got me interested in book. It made all the difference. It’s just so cool.

  3. Yep! Read this too! One of my first longest chinese translation projects that I followed. It was long and it felt longer because I couldn’t move on to the next chapter fast enough.. It’s quite heavy, the emotions and all, that I find it hard to click “next chapter” everytime cause I’m still recovering from the shock. Hahahah.

    Though I was shipping for the 1st lead all throughout, it’s still quite disheartening what happened to the 2nd male lead. To the point, you just want to shout to the author, “PLEASE have another awesome female character appear POOF! in the book for the 2nd male lead!! Don’t make him suffer anymore! Okay, if needed.. I VOLUNTEER!” LOL.

    Apparently in the author’s 3rd(?) book, you’ll get some hints on what happened to the leads after the ending. But 2nd male lead is still… *sighs*

    • I was one of the lucky because I found the translation after it was completely translated. (Yay) And definitely the same as you. I can’t read it fast enough.. lol at first I was reluctant because well OE but well I’m one of the few as well to ship to the first lead as well because I thought she done enough and wait long enough. She deserve someone else and 1st lead deserves her love after what he did / does do her. But the ending for the 2nd is so freaking sad. And yeah, apparantly onto the daughter story, he actually mentioned in the novel because well one of the guy involves with the daughter is god son of him… but guess what? still sad, he never got anyone and still alone..

      • Ahhhh!!! I feel you~
        I actually only read that other novel for the glimpse of what happened to them. After knowing about the 2nd male lead, I totally drop that novel like hot potato. LOL.

        It seems like his god/adopted son is also fated for a bitter love life, based on the 1st part of that book. Can’t stand it~ I’ll stay away from that book for now, especially cause it’s not yet completed…

      • Oh yes, so I read half of the book and read the ending. The novel is very crazy and sad. I thought it’s completely translated since I saw it years ago lol and the drama is out but I don’t want to watch it knowing the ending and pretty much the storyline.

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