Zett is a student who loves reading light novels, web novels, and manga.
What Is Kingdom Building?
Kingdom-building light novels are loved by many readers, especially fantasy enthusiasts. The plot in this type of light novel revolves around the protagonist trying to build their own kingdom—or even their own empire. Of course, these stories usually involve a main character (MC) who is overpowered (OP) or a character who possesses a peerless ability or power.
Top Kingdom-Building Light Novels
Here are 12 recommended light novels that focus on kingdom building.
- I Am the Monarch
- Elf Tensei Kara no Cheat Kenkoku-ki
- Bringing the Farm to Live in Another World
- Forgotten Conqueror
- Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken
- Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
- Hail the King
- Tales of Reincarnated Lord
- Garudeina Oukoku Koukoku Ki
- Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
Note: Some of the novels listed above are web novels. Most are scanlated (scanned and translated) from different Japanese, Korean, and Chinese novels. Also, please be aware that the reviews below might contain minor spoilers.
1. I Am the Monarch
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Psychological, Supernatural
I Am the Monarch is one of the best light novels that features kingdom building. At first, I was disinterested in this story, since the events were quite cliché (like when Roan, the main character, tries to avoid past calamities). But as I kept reading, I eventually realized how enjoyable it is, especially as you see Roan overcome challenges with ease and improve his standing and his fief.
The best part of the novel, in my opinion, is how realistic it is. I think the author made an enormous effort to consider several aspects of kingdom building that might seem irrelevant but actually have a huge impact on the story.
2. Elf Tensei Kara no Cheat Kenkoku-ki
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Mature, Romance
Elf Tensei Kara no Cheat Kenkoku-ki is a slow-paced light novel about an elf trying to build his own kingdom in order to save other races from human cruelty. I know that the plot seems typical, but the story is quite fun to read. However, it's often vague and can be hard to understand, especially regarding the main character’s history and abilities.
Please review the genre list and note that this novel has mature content. There are several adult scenes that leave little to the imagination.
3. Bringing the Farm to Live in Another World
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Mecha, Romance, Sci-fi, Supernatural, Tragedy
Truthfully, Bringing the Farm to Live in Another World is very boring in the first few chapters. The novel has been translated from the original Chinese, so it might take you a while to grow accustomed to the names, customs, and culture. However, the novel does possess some elements of kingdom building.
The main character, Zhao Hai, tries to build his own clan in a dangerous wasteland after getting demoted from his former high status. The novel also emphasizes business management indirectly as the protagonist tries to sell his products and grains. Overall, the novel offers great potential for kingdom building.
4. Forgotten Conqueror
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Mature, Romance
Forgotten Conqueror is one of the most exciting and well-written stories on this list. Although the novel is surprisingly slow-paced, I loved the flow of the story, especially all the action scenes that involve the OP main character. Kingdom building is not totally evident in the story, but the protagonist is pursuing a massive and significant goal—and his dream is to build a kingdom worthy of his name.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Mature, Psychological, Romance, Supernatural
Overlord, which has an anime adaptation, is also considered to be a kingdom-building light novel. However, unlike the other novels where the main character builds his kingdom from scratch, the MC in Overlord already has a kingdom. The protagonist later decides to expand it, making it into a massive empire.
Keep in mind that this story focuses more on the action and fighting scenes than on the kingdom-building and kingdom-management aspects. Regardless, it's one of the greatest kingdom-building light novels to read.
6. Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken’s main plot is not about a human, but rather—as you can see from the title—a slime. Yes, you heard me right: A slime is trying to build his/her own kingdom! I guess that makes this story entirely unique compared to other light novels.
I enjoyed the author's creativity with the fighting scenes, though I was also surprised by some of the vague and totally unexpected events. So, would I recommend this novel? Yes. But keep in mind that kingdom building is not the main focus.
7. Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Known for its comedy and action, Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu is also popular for its emphasis on kingdom building. Fans (like me) are hype for the MC's insanely powerful ability, which he used to create another world named Asora.
Of course, the kingdom building in the novel is not limited to Asora; it also occurs in the original world, where the protagonist aims to create a kingdom for both demons and humans. As you read, you'll find yourself eager to see how the main character builds his kingdom—and you'll never get bored because so many scenes are hilarious.
8. Hail the King
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Mature, Romance, Supernatural
Hail the King combines a fantasy story with video game elements. The story is pretty typical, but it's unique because it draws from a well-known game called Diablo, making it a delight to read for any Diablo fan (like me).
Though the novel focuses more on brutal, cruel action scenes, it still delves into kingdom building when the main character creates structures, laws, modernized customs, and culture (clothing, food, etc.). It’s very entertaining to read!
9. Tales of Reincarnated Lord
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Mature, Romance, Slice of Life
I'll be honest: Tales of Reincarnated Lord starts off as a dull read. I was totally confused about the events and characters in the first few chapters. It might take you several chapters to understand the MC's situation. The novel is also slow-paced, so the actual kingdom building feels really far away when you begin reading!
Still, by the time I was a few chapters in, the protagonist had started a few improvements to his kingdom, like creating new clothes and constructing fortresses. The story has great potential for kingdom building as it goes on.
10. Garudeina Oukoku Koukoku Ki
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Garudeina Oukoku Koukoku Ki is a very fast-paced light novel. The main character, who is totally overpowered, builds his own kingdom with his own ability. The kingdom houses monsters who are threatened by human existence.
Though much of the novel is actually good, I was frustrated by the speed of the story and how the author disregards some important points. Hopefully, the later chapters will improve on those aspects. Still, the novel itself is good, and I suggest you read at least a few chapters.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Mature, Romance
In RE:Monster, the citizens of the kingdom are monsters. My favorite scenes show how the MC evolves into a different species after killing a powerful enemy, as well as how he improves and upgrades his territory.
Much of the kingdom building focuses on how structures are improved, how new species become citizens, and how different items are created. Aside from kingdom building, the novel also explores business management. This novel has many great things to offer readers.
12. Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, School Life, Sci-fi
Legendary Moonlight Sculptor has a good plot: It combines kingdom building with virtual reality, and you can really feel the excitement as the MC tries to build his own kingdom in the cyber world while also improving his life in the real world.
Much of the kingdom building occurs in the cyber world. The protagonist builds high-class structures, advertises his land to increase the population, and takes on various quests to increase his reputation as the king. However, note that most of these events happen in the later chapters.
Enjoy Reading and Discovering New Kingdoms!
These are some of the most popular light novels with elements of kingdom building—and, in my opinion, they're must-reads! I hope you've enjoyed learning about these stories and might even try a few of them. Anyways, see you for my next list of recommendations!
© 2017 Zett Noir Cromwell
Daresan on August 24, 2020:
Lol no release the witch and that trashy i am the monarch at the top man this list is okay but except tales of reincarnated lord none of them are solely focused in kingdom building.