I love the type of novel in which the protagonist has to build a kingdom from scratch. It’s a whole new plane of the ‘from rags to riches’ trope as we get to follow a tiny speck grow into a mighty empire. In this post, I am going to highlight a few popular kingdom-building webnovels.
Release That Witch
“Chen Yan travels through time, only to end up becoming an honorable prince in the Middle Ages of Europe. Yet this world was not quite as simple as he thought. Witches with magical powers abound, and fearsome wars between churches and kingdoms rage throughout the land.
Roland, a prince regarded as hopeless by his own father and assigned to the worst fief, spends his time developing a poor and backward town into a strong and modern city while fighting against his siblings for the throne and absolute control over the kingdom. Join Roland as he befriends and allies with witches and, through fighting and even farming, pushes back invaders from the realm of evil.”
The premise is extremely promising and contains all the elements of a good story. Reincarnation, transmigration, and a brave journey to eventual triumph against the odds.
The story begins with the protagonist dying from a heart attack, following which his spirit travels to another world, where it takes over Prince Roland’s body. In his first life, the MC was quite an ordinary character, but even ordinary modern knowledge turns out to be a great help in a medieval-like world. He brings in positively revolutionary concepts to the rustic corner of the world that he is assigned to rule, including modern technology, industrialization, and civil rights, thanks to which the territory he controls soon begins to thrive beyond all others.
However, this is not just an enhanced industrialization story. It also has elements of magic, which is where things get a lot more exciting. In a typical medieval fashion, witches are hunted here, but Roland, bringing his otherworldly perspective, sees potential in magic – a power that could possibly be harnessed for the greater good.
With a captivating plot and engaging characters, it is easy to see why this epic read (nearly 1,500 chapters!) had garnered nearly 130 million views on Webnovel. If you are a fan of the genre, this is definitely a story you don’t want to miss.
The Lord’s Empire
“‘Ding! Soulbinding has been successfully completed; you will now head to the Heaven Awaken World.’ After hearing this, Zhao Fu’s vision darkened as he fell to the ground.
With bleak prospects in the real world, Zhao Fu’s life is turned around when countless crystals fall from the sky one night. Using which, people can enter an alternate, game-like world. After obtaining an ancient Chinese empire’s legacy, Zhao Fu uses his intellect and resourcefulness to develop his own empire from a tiny village. However, with enemies both in the real world and in the Heaven Awaken World, he must make brilliant decisions and use creative schemes to survive.”
Contrary to Release This Witch, this is a story with more classic elements of typical epic cultivation novels.
Zhao Fu is a character of some moral ambivalence, kind and loyal to his allies but utterly ruthless to those who dare to defy him. He is also somewhat promiscuous, so if you are looking for an MC that sticks to a faithful monogamous relationship, this novel might not be for you.
Nevertheless, it is an entertaining, regularly updating read, and with over 1,600 chapters, it promises to deliver countless hours of solid amusement.
“A lowly child beggar, a noble prince, a monster viewed as the enemy of the entire world. If you possess all three identities at the same time, which one would you choose to help you earn a better ending?
Thales did not have the answer.
He only knew that he came to a different and magnificent world and had to face a nightmare of a future. The glorious Empire has already been destroyed for a thousand years, the dying royal family suffered many hardships, the divided world was in chaos.
The only thing Thales had left was an unwavering determination to preserve his own identity, bravery which would allow him to survive in a perilous situation, and a decision to never submitting to principles he did not believe in.
‘A King does not gain respect by virtue of his bloodline. The bloodline’s glory rests on the deeds of the King.’
Darkness will baptize light. Fire will create true steel. The forbidden prince’s story starts here.”
This promising novel has some raving reviews on Webnovel, and I believe that the main thing that prevents it from rising to the top of the charts is insufficient frequency of updating. It has over 572 published chapters so far, with only two new chapters released each week. With superb quality of writing, well-developed, thoroughly fleshed-out characters, and a plot that moves along at the perfect pace, this is a thoroughly good read for fans of the genre.
The World Online
“Betrayed by his sworn Brother, Ouyang Shuo miraculously finds himself five years in the past. Only this time he would embark on a whole different path, using his years of knowledge to build an empire.
This novel contains the technical aspects of kingdom building, like setting up different departments and divisions, as well as the war aspect that everyone knows and loves.
Read on as the MC climbs his way to the top against all odds!”
Earth Online is a virtual MMORPG that takes place in the future year of 2190. Typically for the genre, its players battle for supremacy in the game of adventure, territory development, and war.
Ouyang Shuo suffers the ultimate betrayal at the hands of his sworn brother. After he reincarnates in the game, he swears to exact vengeance.
However, in an unexpected turn of events, Ouyang Shuo finds himself back five years before the betrayal – right before the launch of Earth Online. This time, armed with the knowledge from his past life, Ouyang Shuo decides to venture upon a new path.
This throwback into the past gives Ouyang Shuo a massively useful insight into the future. Follow his journey as he seeks to lord over the world!
This popular story, complete at over 1,300 chapters, blends the genres of historical novel and virtual reality gaming, with a heavy emphasis on kingdom building and warfare.