Web novels and manhuas are a treasure trove of exciting, intriguing, and captivating stories. Among the various stories devices and tropes these stories employ, one particularly popular theme is the Son-In-Law trope.
Typically, these stories involve a poor protagonist who is underestimated or even disrespected by his wealthy in-laws, only to have the tables turned dramatically as the story unfolds. As the protagonist displays his hidden talents, wealth, or power, the ‘face-slapping’ moments ensue, often leaving readers with a sense of satisfaction.
While these novels can sometimes be criticized for their repetitive plotlines and lack of originality, there are quite a few gems within the genre that offer complex storylines, in-depth character development, and a fresh take on the trope.
This article discusses some of these standout son-in-law novels, offering recommendations for readers who enjoy this genre.
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But first, Let me give you a detailed introduction to Son In Law and Face Slapping tropes.
Understanding the Son-In-Law Trope
Son-In-Law novels form a popular trope in web novels, manhwa, and manhua. The protagonist is usually a poor man living with his rich wife’s family. However, he encounters hostility from almost everyone in the family, including the servants, with his wife being the sole exception. The protagonist is typically bullied until he experiences a significant change in fortune, leading to an eruption of “face-slapping” incidents.
The Art of Face Slapping
Face slapping is a widespread plot device in these stories nowadays, especially in Chinese novels. The term “face” symbolizes respect or reputation. For example, during a social gathering, a character might belittle the main character (MC) for his lack of piano skills, presuming that poverty has deprived him of the opportunity to learn. The crowd usually joins in the laughter until the MC proves them wrong by performing an incredibly complex piano piece, thus “slapping the face” of the antagonist.
Popularity and Criticism
The surge in the popularity of son-in-law novels can be attributed to The Charismatic Charlie Wade, which employs this trope effectively.
However, these novels can sometimes suffer from repetitiveness and lack of originality. Initially, the underdog story might seem gratifying, but as the plot progresses, the face-slapping scenario merely gets replicated with different skills or circumstances, like medical expertise, martial arts, gambling, painting, etc., which can lead to reader fatigue.
Despite the monotony, it’s essential to acknowledge that there are indeed high-quality son-in-law novels available, though few. These standouts offer engaging storylines and well-developed characters.
Top Son-In-Law Novels to Read
Dragon King’s Son-In-Law follows the journey of an ordinary university student, Hao Ren, whose life takes a dramatic turn after saving a mysterious little girl and accidentally swallowing a peculiar candy. Suddenly, he finds himself as the son-in-law to the Dragon King, plunging him into a world filled with dragons, ancient Chinese mythologies, and a society that coexists with humans yet remains hidden from the ordinary world.
As the newly-minted Dragon King’s son-in-law, Hao Ren is introduced to a life of intrigue and danger that he could never have anticipated. He finds himself in the midst of unseen conspiracies and undercurrents, disrupting his initial anticipation of a laid-back life.
The story explores his relationships, including an arranged marriage, his love interests of varying ages, and his interpersonal misunderstandings. Hao Ren’s character evolves throughout the story, showing growth, cleverness, and determination, even as he navigates this new world with an apparent lack of common sense.
As a cultivation novel, Dragon King’s Son-In-Law also delves into Hao Ren’s journey of strengthening his body, his memory, and his overall power. Although the story starts slow, it gradually builds up, detailing his progress from weak to strong, while still managing to maintain a slice-of-life tone.
In short, this story provides an interesting fusion of the modern world with ancient mythologies, creating a unique narrative that many readers find captivating.
Amazing Son-in-law: The charismatic Charlie Wade
The Charismatic Charlie Wade by Lord Leaf is a novel that has earned a mixed bag of reviews from readers. The story follows the life of Charlie Wade, a man who grows up without support, money, or solid relationships, only to discover later that he is the heir to a prominent and influential family in the city. The narrative is a classic rags-to-riches tale, with Charlie overcoming numerous obstacles to rise from the slums to the head of an international trading business.
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The Formidable Son-In-Law: The Charismatic Lucas Gray
The Formidable Son-In-Law: The Charismatic Lucas Gray is a Chinese web novel authored by Mu Jiuzhou. The narrative centers around a protagonist who vanishes without a trace six years prior, only to return as the unmatched God of War. His triumphant return uncovers the existence of a daughter he was unaware of.
Resolved to make up for lost time, he promises to his wife and daughter that he will bring them the greatest honor and glory in this lifetime. The story follows his journey to fulfill this promise, exploring his relationships, his struggle with newfound fatherhood, and his continuous efforts to regain his lost time.
History’s Strongest Son-In-Law Living With The In-Laws
History’s Strongest Husband is a Chinese web novel first published in 2018 by Silent Cake And Pastries. The story revolves around a young man who is initially deemed as lacking aptitude and is cast away by his wealthy family. Undeterred, he finds a more powerful family to align with and eventually becomes the strongest son-in-law and husband in history. Despite living in a world where practicing martial arts is impossible, he trains his wife to become the most powerful person, vowing to have her avenge any insult or threat made towards him.
The novel has mixed reviews from readers, with some praising its premise and character development, while others criticize its cliche elements and unrealistic plot. The novel starts strong but becomes chaotic later on, with the protagonist’s foresight and cunning often verging on absurdity. The romance in this novel feels natural at first.
Nevertheless, Highly Recommended Web Novel
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The Untouchable Son-In-Law: The Master Peregrine
The Untouchable Son-In-Law: The Master Peregrine revolves around the protagonist, Finn Taylor, who for three years has been subjected to various forms of humiliation, including physical beatings and verbal abuse. He is known only as the useless matrilocal son-in-law of the Larson family.
The narrative takes a turn when Finn decides to reclaim his position as the head of Peregrine Hall, signaling a significant change in his life. The story is the journey of self-discovery and redemption for Finn, as he navigates through the challenges posed by his in-laws and the societal expectations placed upon him.
Devil’s Son-in-Law is a Chinese web novel that follows the adventures of Chen Rui, a gamer from Earth who is reincarnated in a human body in the brutal Demon Realm, a world inhabited by devilish creatures known as Mozu. In this otherworldly realm, humans are considered food, and survival is a daily struggle. Chen Rui utilizes a peculiar Super System chip and his brain to survive encounters with terrifying devils, poison dragons, and a range of formidable enemies.
Simultaneously, he finds himself surrounded by the Devil’s beauties, including the black-bellied lolita princess, the icy queen, the violent scythe, and the captivating succubus. Living as a human in the Devil’s world is challenging, but becoming the Devil’s son-in-law is an even more daunting endeavor.
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Son-in-law: The Righteous Heir
Son-in-law: The Righteous Heir is a Kindle eBook written by Lulai Buddha. The story centers around a protagonist who is an illegitimate son and is therefore unwelcome in his family. He is despised by all, including the family servants who bully him at will. He thought he had resigned himself to his fate until his mother fell ill and he had no money for her treatment. Despite begging, no one offered him a helping hand. This led him to leave his family with hatred.
Afterward, he becomes the live-in son-in-law of the Xia Family, where he is also undervalued, despised, and bullied. During the Ancestral Worship Ceremony of the Xia Family, he is targeted, but his wife stands by his side at the crucial moment. When his family later asks him to inherit the family fortune due to his father-in-law’s hospitalization, he is reluctant but agrees. Thus, a rich young man from a wealthy family returns.
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Rich Family’s Abandoned Son-in-law: Urban Billionaire Undercover Romance
Rich Family’s Abandoned Son-in-law: Urban Billionaire Undercover Romance is a Kindle eBook authored by Zhang Chao. The story is about Lin Xiu, who has been married to Du Yueran for three years. Despite being the son-in-law of the influential Tang family, he is treated as a servant. Their marriage was arranged by the family’s patriarch, and after the old man’s death, Lin Xiu’s situation worsens. Everyone, including his wife, looks down on him.
A fight leads to the collapse of their relationship, and Du Yueran decides to divorce him. Unknown to them, Lin Xiu is the son of an even more powerful family, which he left at a young age. His wife’s family pales in comparison to his own. Now, he plans to use his true identity to live his best life.
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Billionaire Son-in-law’s Vengeance: I Fired the CEO
Billionaire Son-in-law’s Vengeance: I Fired the CEO is a Kindle eBook authored by Plume Clouds. The story revolves around a junior college graduate who has just entered society. His mother is diagnosed with uremia, and he becomes a live-in son-in-law, using his wife’s money to treat his mother. Despite his best efforts, he faces contempt and insults from his mother-in-law and indifference from his wife. There are also other men who are interested in his wife.
When a man invites his wife to the Silver Lake Clubhouse, he is stopped at the door, which angers him. He doesn’t want to inherit the legacy of his father, who abandoned his wife and children, but he has no choice at this moment. He becomes a billionaire from a poor loser. From then on, he has the strength and power to protect his wife and to retaliate against those who used to look down on him.
The matrilocal son-in-law
Son-in-law: My Master is the Avatar: The matrilocal son-in-law is a Kindle eBook authored by Mister Lin. The protagonist was originally the heir of a large family, but due to his unwillingness to obey his relatives’ commands, he left the family. He then became a matrilocal son-in-law, but he had no status in his wife’s family. He was bullied, ridiculed, and his father-in-law even tried to use him as a substitute to go to jail. His mother-in-law blamed him fiercely, and his wife couldn’t help him.
In order to protect his marriage and prevent his wife from being embarrassed, he decided to return to his family and use their power to solve the matter. In the process, he became stronger and stronger until he was able to control his own destiny, ensuring that no one would dare to bully or underestimate him again.
The Live-in Son-in-law Is A Diamond
The Live-in Son-in-law Is A Diamond is a Kindle eBook authored by Yi Duo Xiao Xue Hua. The story revolves around Jiang Yan, who, after marrying his wife, lived his life as an obedient husband who took care of the housework. He was constantly insulted and scolded by his wife’s family for being a useless son-in-law. However, he was the only one who knew his true origin, the young master of the Chiang family.
Due to some reason, he had been restricted from accessing the general family assets, causing him to hide his identity all this time. Now, the restriction had been lifted, and he could make up for all the grievances his wife had suffered because of him, and he would give her the best life she deserved!
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Billionaire God of War
Billionaire God of War is an adventure and action novel that tells the story of Jiang Ning, who was thrown out from one of the wealthiest families in the country fifteen years ago. After his mother passed away from an illness, he roamed the streets until he met a kind girl, Lin Yuzhen, who gave him a sweet, telling him that as long as he ate this sweet, his life would get sweeter and sweeter.
After that, Jiang Ning was taken away by a mysterious person and underwent grueling training and fights. Fifteen years later, he had risen to become the ultimate God of War in the East, with incomparable wealth and power. He has returned as a king, but his wife’s family is in a difficult situation. Her father’s legs had been crippled in a car accident, and her mother was weak and gentle. The family eventually found a man to marry into her family by force. He was willing to become a son-in-law that married into his wife’s family, only because of that favor he owed the little girl who gave him that sweet.
The story is filled with themes of love after marriage, revenge, forgiveness, and second chances. It also explores the dynamics of being an adopted son-in-law, the life of the rich, and the transformation of the protagonist from a sweet, submissive man to a dominant figure.
From exploring a world filled with dragons and ancient Chinese mythologies in Dragon King’s Son-In-Law to an ordinary man’s rise to power in The Charismatic Charlie Wade, these novels manage to captivate the readers with their unique storylines and intriguing characters. Therefore, for those who enjoy Son-In-Law and Face Slapping novels, these recommendations are sure to provide plenty of exciting and satisfying reading experiences.
Do Let me know if I missed any son-in-law novels. Enjoy Reading!
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