Although Ah-Jiu receives extraordinary abilities overnight, she must perfect her new powers and learn how to defend herself. A webcomic adaptation of The ugly duckling becomes the goddess by Qian Lv, Birth of a goddess by Guangcai Comic is a remarkable story populated by memorable characters.
Stories about smart heroes, especially women, who outwit their adversaries and defend the poor and lower classes would thrill me when I was younger. East of the Sun, West of the Moon and Snow Queen are some of my favorite fairy tales. So read Birth of a goddess reminds me of those tales. Ah-Jiu begins as a ten-year-old girl with consumption. His late mother was one of Master’s (Chengfeng Luo) concubines of the Luo Domain. The most privileged children bully Ah-Jiu, and one day their mother decides to leave Ah-Jiu for dead. Abandoned in the middle of the forest, she suddenly encounters a strange being who gives her the powers of a goddess.
Birth of a goddess is a historical fantasy with a sci-fi edge. The Goddess Matrix (whom Ah-Jiu calls Little Spirit) crashes into Ah-Jiu’s world from an alternate futuristic universe. Personally, I get Doctor Who vibration; the premise reads like a potential episode for this series. However, the first season pays more attention to the world of Ah-Jiu, with snippets of the Little Spirit universe seen through clues and backstory. The mix of genres here is well executed and not distracting. There are humorous moments that reference the time barrier between Ah-Jiu and Little Spirit, especially when she uses a PC for the first time. Additionally, she must earn charisma and faith points until she becomes a full-fledged goddess.
The setting is set in an alternate China where Beastmasters command and communicate with animals and tension between cities triggers battles. A prophecy about Beasts from the North invading the land is nearing fulfillment. By the time Ah-Jiu reaches the age of sixteen, she has become an expert in medicine and a Beastmaster. But even with her acquired skills, she still has to maintain her status and reputation in the domain’s higher social circles.
She also finds herself falling in love with General Yi, who starts out as a recurring character before joining her regularly. The relationship between them acclimatizes naturally throughout the story. Their interactions are sweet and endearing, and the story allows them to grow with and without each other. In addition to action and humor, Birth of a goddess also achieves in the romance department.
Birth of a goddess provides a hero worth cheering for and a story that will leave you wanting more.
Birth of a goddess is produced by Guangcai Comic. The first six episodes are available for free reading on Tapas. The release date for season 2 is not yet determined.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics Archive!
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) with Mason Jar Press.
Location: DC Metro Area
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