I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Progressive fantasy is a subgenre that is growing in popularity in recent years and non more popular in my opinion than The Cradle Series by Will Wight. Author Tao Wong takes a different approach to the story, by slowly building the world, people, and Cultivation techniques on a more gradual scale and it will reward the patient reader by the end.
Long Wu Ying spent his days on a farm with his family in a small village dreaming of becoming a cultivator. Although farfetched and elusive, he study’s and spends his time with those he loves the most until the army arrives. Long Wu Ying and his friends have the opportunity to join the Verdant Green Waters Sect but at the cost of leaving behind his family. He will take the first step to becoming an immortal cultivator and it will test his strength, mind, and inner self to the absolute limits.
Cultivation is kind of a magic system where a person infuses his or her body with healing magic and chi. You are able to channel this through your body but it is able to be enhanced with study and practice. Long Wu Ying is not the most gifted student in terms of skills but he overcomes these obstacles with pure grit, determination, and hours upon hours of training. The story is well written and Tao Wong puts a lot of emphasis on the martial arts and fans of Kung Fu, The Cradle, and Naruto will enjoy the combat scenes quite a bit. It should be noted that at least this book is not a fast paced all action but a slow buildup and it requires a good amount of patience to see the story fulfilled.
All in all, I had a fun time with A Thousand Li: The First Step and there is enough here to make me want to continue with the series. If you are looking for an Asian Inspired martial arts series then this is a good place to start. Happy reading!