Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Coiling Dragon (Panlong /盘龙)



I’ve been missing from this blog for almost two months. The reason was: Coiling Dragon. I was obsessed and couldn’t stop reading this story until the very last page and even then I still can’t bring myself to believe that it really ends for good.

Coiling Dragon has 21 books and ± 800 chapters. No. I kid you not. It tells a massive epic journey of the male lead Linley Baruch towards the peak of power that will make your heart beat with excitement.

There are many similar stories out there but I hate most of them because somehow they always manage to incorporate a harem into it. In a genre where women are never an important part of the story putting them into a more degrading insignificant position is simply too much for me to stomach. A harem story is a big no no.

Coiling Dragon is the first story by I Eat Tomatoes (我吃西) that I read. And I LOVE it. I love how it begins, progresses and ends. Well, not really how it ends because besides thinking that the ending is too abrupt, part of me doesn’t want to partway with Linley’s journey to greatness.

Judging from Coiling Dragon, I think I’ll love other works by I Eat Tomatoes as long as there is no harem in it.

I admire how I Eat Tomatoes could write such a gigantic story and still manage to make it so tight and coherent. I love how through his writing he gives us a chance to really know Linley and grow with him. I love how he shows us Linley’s struggles and challenges in details. I love how he makes us wholeheartedly cheer for Linley all the way to the very top.

Another thing that I love about Coiling Dragon is the friendship between Linley and his buddies. But I particularly love how beautifully written the relationship between Linley and Bebe is. Their love is even bigger and deeper than the love between Linley and Delia or even that stupid Alice girl.

And although Doehring Cowart can’t be with Linley till the end, I think that that part of the story (their ending) is the most beautiful and memorable scene in Coiling Dragon. 

I love how regretful Linley is when he finally realizes how much Grandpa Doehring loves him but he didn’t even pay much attention to this Grandpa of his.

I love how despite his ambition Linley never lost sight of what’s really important. He knows with absolute certainty that family is the most important thing in the whole world. He knows that people is what really matters.

If I need to say about the downside of Coiling Dragon then I have to say it’s the ending. I’m not going to mention romance because in this genre it’s obvious that romance is not part of the story and that’s why I hate harem’s arch even more.

If the writer can’t give their female lead a depth and character why don’t they just go without it. No woman is much better than lots of women who are nothing but a plaything. If a man can go to such greatness surely a woman could soar to such height too and not confined to bedroom matters or designated to being just a pretty ornament.

Thanks God Coiling Dragon doesn’t fall into that infuriating pattern despite its lacklustre female lead. I’m not complaining. What I find rather hard to accept is how abrupt the story ends. I want to see the reactions of everyone when they meet Linley again.

Yes, Linley does return to his family but that’s it. The returned Linley is not the same Linley. He is beyond powerful. The word powerful couldn’t even describe him now. He is the God Almighty. How will that fact affect his relationship with others?

Truth to tell, I don’t want this story to end. It’s as simple as that.

ps.
http://www.wuxiaworld.com provides the complete English translation of Coiling Dragon if you want to read this wonderful epic journey of Linley Baruch. I personally think that Coiling Dragon is the best of its genre.
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