The definition of the magical realism genre is a setting that is either the real world or something very close to it, with an undercurrent of magic worked into it, as opposed to a world that is entirely based on fantasy – think Harry Potter, with the bustling London streets and mundane news reports, vs. Tolkien’s Middle Earth with its own lore, language, and geography.
Magical realism is a genre rising in popularity, and I can easily understand why. It is very tempting to be drawn into a story about how magic is lurking right behind the grocery store corner. In this post, I am going to highlight a few popular Magical Realism webnovels.
Scholar’s Advanced Technological System
“After suffering from a heat stroke while working under the scorching heat of summer, Lu Zhou, a hardworking but poor university student, somehow becomes the owner of an advanced technological system. With the cheat given by the system, his university life changes overnight.
A Master’s degree? Easy.
Ph.D.? Not a problem.
From a nobody, he quickly becomes a huge celebrity in the world of science. With the missions given by the system, he is on his way to winning a Nobel Prize.
“System, can points be exchanged for money?”
“What use are you then?!”
“This system will make you the ultimate scholar, the kind that lords over all of humanity. What use will money be to you?”
The MC is an undergrad student who unexpectedly finds himself possessing a ‘cheat’ that unlocks knowledge and, essentially, turns him into a prodigy – but not without hard work on his part. Read this novel – over 700 chapters and counting – to follow Lu Zhou’s journey to the top of the scientific research world.
World Domination System
“A college student struggling for cash opted for an experiment which was advertised as safe but paid a lot of money. As soon as he was strapped to a chair and had electrodes placed on his head, he fell asleep but woke up to this robotic voice in his head.
With these words started Daneel’s adventures in an unknown world.
Will he explore and conquer the rapidly changing new world, as the system stated? Or will he die and be forgotten within the eddies of time?”
This novel is somewhat of a blend between magical realism and cultivation. Quite typically for the genre, the MC is an orphan who’s used to the ‘hard knock life’. With the reader’s sympathy instantly engaged, it is quite easy to dive into this captivating story. With over 1,000 chapters and counting, this is a treat for all who love a well-plotted and intricate rags-to-riches tale.
Dragon King’s Son-In-Law
“Hao Ren, an ordinary university student, saved a little girl who fell from the sky. By accident, he swallowed a ‘candy’ that fell off of that girl’s body and somehow became the Dragon King’s son-in-law.
His life was turned upside-down from that point on.
There are dragons in this world? And they are living side-by-side with humans? Ancient Chinese mythology was true?
Hao Ren got to experience a new world that was hidden from ordinary humans. Despite the thrill that came with the new discovery, there were challenges along the way.
He thought his life as the Dragon King’s son-in-law was going to be smooth and easy, but conspiracies and undercurrents were awaiting him.”
This novel presents a world of cultivation and magic, Eastern-fantasy style, hidden within the humdrum modern. Hao Ren is a modest, likable protagonist, and contrary to many other novels of this type, the introduction of the MC to the magical world is done somewhat gradually, building tension and giving the reader a chance to take it all in. Complete at just under 800 chapters, this story is shorter than the typical webnovel, which might actually be a good thing if you are not up to committing yourself to a 2000-chapter read.
Gourmet Food Supplier
“In a remote oriental country, there is a small and odd restaurant that has refused the three-star rating by the Michelin Guide several times.
‘The price is fairly expensive over there, 288RMB for a set meal of Egg Fried Rice and a bowl of soup. Ah, and an extra small plate of pickled vegetables as well. Even so, there is still a long line of people queuing up and waiting for a taste. Reservations are not accepted there, only waiting and queuing personally is allowed.
‘Numerous people fly there on their private planes just to queue up. Furthermore, parking bays and parking spots are not provided there. The service is terrible here. Customers have to clear the tableware themselves and wipe the table as well. For god’s sake, the boss is literally crazy.’
I love stories that center around eating establishments, and if a backdrop of magic is added to the picture? Count me in! If you like novels with elaborate food descriptions, you are definitely going to be drawn into this story. The restaurant owner is delightfully grouchy, rude, and self-absorbed, which makes this read both hilarious and refreshing. Though it is undoubtedly a niche read, I definitely believe this story deserves a higher ranking and, with over 900 chapters and regular updates, perhaps it might climb up yet.
Treasure Hunt Tycoon
“Storage auctions, old goods trade, re-estate sales, and gold-digging. But the truth is, if one wants to make money, then the sureproof way is through searching for the legendary treasures.”
This is a very entertaining ‘poor student gains a secret ability that helps him rise to the top of the world’ story. In Li Du’s case, this ability is actually a magical bug that enables him to see through walls, replay the history of objects, and do other cool stuff that soon helps him make a brilliant career in warehouse auctions. The 1,650 chapters of this rambling novel take the reader practically to every corner of the world, from dazzling tropical islands to Siberia, and wherever he goes, the MC finds treasure.