Light novels of Korean origin tend to be influenced by Korean culture and modern-day culture. Popular Korean light novels feature genres like system, romance, drama, school life, and others. Now, you shall look into the Top 25 Korean Light Novels that must be read at least once. This list will have a mix of systems, school life, and other genres. Let’s dive in right away!
God’s Song is a story about a boy and the “cards” he dealt with to build a music empire. What are these “cards”? These cards are the gene you inherit from your parents. If you get a “good card” you end up having a huge advantage and if you get a “bad card” you end up having disadvantages. God’s Song can give you an idea about the Korean musical and entertainment industry and showbiz. This Korean light novel is decent. God’s Song has a slice of life elements in it.
I Raised Cinderella Preciously
What if Cinderella was raised lovingly by her stepmother? This question is the premise of the story. The story involves a stepmother of age 37, struggling to raise her three young daughters. I Raised Cinderella Preciously has a decent story and the characters are likable. This light novel is refreshing and comes under the feel-good category. This is a Shoujo light novel with romance and fantasy elements.
Master Hunter K
Every man, woman, and child on the planet was teleported off to fight an endless series of battles. If every objective is not cleared, all of humanity will be annihilated. But, K, the protagonist was sent back in time. Why? No one knows. Master Hunter K was an interesting read for me. The overall mystery and psychological elements were decent. The main story and the MC are strong.
Swordmaster’s Youngest Son
Jin Runcandel is the son of the greatest swordmaster mankind had ever known. However, he gets kicked out of their clan and meets a tragic fate. But, God gives him a second chance to do good. Swordmaster’s Youngest Son had good potential. I felt that the story took a generic turn. The premise is god-tier but as the story progresses, the main reason I had when I read this novel kinda lost. It doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s still one of the decently written Korean light novels. There are martial arts elements in it too
God of Music
Kang Yoon is a man who fails every singer he puts his hands on. Unfortunately, he meets the fate of death by loan givers and ultimately losing his beloved sister and his everyday life. He gets reincarnated and in this new life, he will walk the path to the best planner (a singer’s manager). God of Music is a time-travel type of light novel. There is a slice of life and fantasy elements in it. God of Music portrays the Korean entertainment industry. This light novel is interesting with the MC being a failure and having the foresight to correct his mistakes. However, the poor execution of the story, lack of in-depth backstory of characters, and immature romance elements make this a mediocre novel with a wasted opportunity. Still, the plot is great with the MC wanting to make a better life for his sister and himself.
The reader is a story about a guy who plays a VRMMORPG just to read books. He plays it a lot and does quests, collections and so much more just to read books. He gains huge stats by doing this. The reader features a protagonist who is a bookworm. He loves to read books. He loved them so much that he could do anything just for a decent book. The pacing of the story is kinda slow but if you could ignore that, it would be a hell of a good read.
I am a Monarch
Roan fled from his village 20 years ago to become a Great General. Unfortunately, all he got was just a handful of money in his pockets and a lowly position of squad commander of the First Legion’s. Fate had other plans and somehow he traveled back in time. Reflecting on his past decisions, he now decides to become a monarch. I am a Monarch with Martial Arts elements. This light novel gets very emotional at times and you would be empathetic towards the MC after all he went through. The MC’s “never give up” attitude is amazing.
A professional gamer is sent to Valhalla after his death. Valhalla is a heaven for the world’s greatest warriors. These warriors are pitted against a struggle for survival. Within each of them lies the roots of their saga. Valhalla Saga revolves around Nordic mythology. So, anyone who loves Nordic mythology and warrior elements will love this Korean and gaming system light novel. This light novel has a beautiful female lead. There are mages and wizards all over the place.
Humanity is transported to the abyss by bored God to compete against other beings. However, humanity failed to defeat them. In a last desperate attempt to save humanity and win the battle, the strongest survivors chose a comrade to travel back in time. Reincarnator is an interesting novel with a Sci-fi element in it. However, there’s a fine line between liking it and hating it. There are some nuisances, but ultimately, the story and the plot held out well.
The Villain Wants to Live
The Villain Wants to Live is a story about a video game developer who got reincarnated into a different world after being struck by lightning. Upon reincarnation, he became Deculein, a villain who dies every single time. The plot of The Villain Wants to Live is interesting. The story isn’t unique, but the execution of it is great. The harem pants are something that I disliked, but you would like them.
Max Level Newbie
Max Level Newbie sets out into a world where the greatest of all dimensions have arrived. Three out of five were the strongest in their world and one of them was considered the strongest in history. In this world full of mighty beings, Vulcan’s new adventure begins. Max Level Newbie isn’t your usual “cheat system” light novel. The plot and the overall story are damn interesting. In the MC’s previous world, he was at the highest possible level and considered godly. But, in this new world, the MC is at the bottom of the chart. The way he grows is just amazing.
Everyone Else is a Returnee
Yu Ilhan is left out during his adolescence at school, middle school, and high school days. He finally became a university student but as usual, he was left out. He hones his skill to the highest level possible in case a great cataclysm hits humanity and when humanity finally Maya the cataclysm, he begins his journey in an alternate world. Everyone else is a Returnee is indeed a great novel and there are harem elements. I think that harem is not a bad thing but too much harem ruins the plot. In this leveling system light novel, the harem is a bit more than what you would call the average. If you don’t mind them at all, it’s going to be an amazing novel for you.
The protagonist is born into a rich family. He always struggled with his father’s ideologies and his family doesn’t care much about him. However, through luck or fate, he transmigrates into a fantasy world to become a demon lord. Unfortunately, he is a weak demon lord, not stronger than an average goblin. Dungeon Defense gets dark at times and the plot is legendary. There are ecchi and romance elements in it. This novel comes under the category of psychological horror. Dungeon Defense is a novel every Korean light novel enthusiast must-read.
The Guidebook for Villainesses
Laviore Bailey banished an innocent princess and stirred up the rage of war. She was chosen as a sacrifice by her lover for a demon and soon learned that her father was behind the plan. She killed herself by swallowing poison. The Guidebook for a Villainesses is a Shoujo light novel and it’s something I didn’t quite expect. The MC is simply amazing. The characters? Magnificent. This light novel was very refreshing and unique without the common cliche Korean light novels have. Highly recommended.
SSS-Class Suicide Hunter
The protagonist wants an S-ranked skill. He wants it so badly that he could even die to get it. However, fate took this literally. He got an S-rank skill but it only works when he dies. So, what’s the point of it? SSS-Class Suicide Hunter is a seriously underrated Korean cheat light novel. The MC, the world-building, everything is par with the top cheat light novels. Even though romance elements were quite unexpected, it makes sense later.
Supremacy Games is the greatest entertainment platform in the universe and was created to entertain commoners all around the universe. The platform has hundreds of deadly games. Sports games include rugby, running, and others, battle royale format for battle games, and so on. Felix Maxwell, an average joe, not so popular, just like the majority of players his role was to make popular players shine even brighter. However, this fate changes completely after joining a clan mission. Supremacy Games is a cool light novel. It’s simply brilliant. The beautiful female lead, Sci-fi elements, interesting story, and wholesome comedy makes this an amazing Korean Sci-fi light novel. If you loved movies like “Tron: Legacy” or even “Star Wars”, you would love this one.
God of Cooking
Jo Minjoon’s dream is to become a chef. He started his career late in life and currently, is chopping onions at a restaurant. He regrets all of his life decisions and wants to start it all once again and falls asleep. During these troubled times in Jo Minjoon’s life, a mysterious being grants him new powers. First of all, I never thought that a cooking story would entice me, and, here I am, talking about an amazing cooking Korean light novel. God of Cooking is pretty underrated out there and for a cooking light novel, it’s one of the best. It has a slice of life, romance, drama, and fantasy elements in it. God of Cooking is recommended.
The Second Coming of Gluttony
The protagonist of this story was a gambler in real life. He turned his back on his own family and betrayed his lover. His life was pathetic according to him. To change this pathetic life, he chose the world of fantasy. Even then it was the same story. He seemed to salvation but got nothing. The Second Coming of Gluttony is a Korean Isekai light novel. Even though the summary might seem serious, there are comedy scenes too. Other genres include action, adventure, drama, martial arts, psychological, romance, Seinen, and supernatural.
The Tutorial is Too Hard
Lee Ho Jaye, the protagonist, gets a message inviting him to a tutorial. However, he finds out that the tutorial is too hard and tries to escape it. But, the situation became more complicated and he happened to choose the hardest possible difficulty. In The tutorial is too hard, the author went for the interesting psychological aspect of the MC. Few light novels talk about the psychology of loneliness and this Korean light novel talks just about that. The MC kind of gets “irritable” in the later chapters, but I feel like it’s understandable.
Solo Leveling/Only I Level Up
A world where dungeons are connected to world’s through different dimensions. Along with this, monsters from different worlds converge together and there is chaos all over the world. Amidst these terrifying abominations, people have awoken abilities known as “Hunters”. Sung Jin-woo, an E-ranked hunter, lives his ‘hunter’ life just to support his family. Later on, he encounters a duel dungeon and he ends up becoming the chosen one. Solo Leveling /Only I Level Up is a popular light novel and you might have heard it somewhere or the other. The story is great with in-depth characters. This light novel has one of the best leveling systems and it would be an amazing light novel for you to read.
The Novel’s Extra
Kim Hajin finds himself in a familiar world and an unfamiliar body while waking up. This world is something he created himself. However, he has become the “Novel’s Extra”, a filler character with no importance. As he spends time in this world, he soon comes to know that the world isn’t identical to his creation. The Novel’s Extra is pretty unique with such an amazing concept to the main story. The main highlight would be the characters. Romance elements are also good. The thing that I admire is that the characters aren’t flawless. Each character and the novel itself has flaws. But, it is something that I appreciate. Highly recommended. It also has school-life elements.
Jung Sunwoo had just taken his first job as a manager at W&U, a celebrity management company. His dream of becoming the manager of a popular actor or actress is going to come true. He fell into a lucid dream about his future on his way to work. As the day went by, he realized that it might not simply be a lucid dream. Top Management has one of the most realistic and admirable MC with decent world-building. Great plot, great characters, and an interesting Korean light novel. A huge thumbs up from my side. This light novel features drama, comedy, seinen, a slice of life, and supernatural elements. Highly recommended
Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint
Kim-Dokja, a novel addict, spent years reading novels. He was doing a job that wasn’t very likable. His life was a living mess until he read a book called “Three ways to survive in a ruined world”. According to the book, the whole world was destined to change, and it did. Only Kim-Dokja knows what happens in the end. Every person in the world gets a system and has to survive through level-ups. The main highlight of this would be the main character and the world-building. You would be amazed at the smartness of the main character. Since most main characters are depicted as dumb in several light novels, this is a good change of pace. The light novel has a leveling system
Shin Youngwoo (the protagonist) had a very unfortunate life. He got stuck in a VR game! Even after this, he leads the same lifestyle as before. This long and boring life changes entirely when he finds “Pagma’s Rare Book” during a quest in the Northern End Cave. It can be a really good read if you can understand and get through the premise. Overgeared has a leveling system and is considered a system novel. Overgeared has an insane amount of evolution in the personality and powers of the main character. I’m sure you would be surprised by the MC.
Trash of the Count’s Family
Kim Rok Soo is awakened. He finds himself in a different world in addition to possessing the body of a villain inside the novel [The Birth of a Hero]: Cale Henituse. However, in the novel, the villain gets beaten up pretty badly. So he decides to avoid that. Trash of the Count’s Family is an amazing cheat system light novel. The reason why it was placed in number one is because of its storytelling, great plot, and realistic MC. The MC has flaws and that’s what makes it amazing. The flaws are understandable. There isn’t much romance in it and personally, it’s better that way. The absolute best part would be that there are no cheap romances or cheap friendships. Relationships of any kind in this novel are wholesome. A great Korean light novel with a cheat system.
Which is your favorite Korean light novel?
Have I missed out on your favorite Korean light novel? If so, mention them in the comment section below.
Also check out: Top 25 Music Manga