Castle of Black Iron

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After the Catastrophe, every rule in the world was rewritten.

In the Age of Black Iron, steel, iron, steam engines and fighting force became the crux in which human beings depended on to survive.

A commoner boy by the name Zhang Tie was selected by the gods of fortune and was gifted a small tree which could constantly produce various marvelous fruits. At the same time, Zhang Tie was thrown into the flames of war, a three-hundred-year war between the humans and monsters on the vacant continent. Using crystals to tap into the potentials of the human body, one must cultivate to become stronger.

The thrilling legends of mysterious clans, secrets of Oriental fantasies, numerous treasures and legacies in the underground world — All in the Castle of Black Iron!

Castle of Black Iron average rating 3.6/5 - 274 user ratings
Associated Names
One entry per line
Citadel of Black Iron
黑铁之堡
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Forty Millenniums of Cultivation (2)
Galactic Dark Net (1)
Ancient Strengthening Technique (1)
Chaotic Lightning Cultivation (1)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
08/23/17 Qidian International c239c239
08/23/17 Qidian International c238c238
08/22/17 Qidian International c237c237
08/22/17 Qidian International c236c236
08/21/17 Qidian International c235c235
08/21/17 Qidian International c234c234
08/21/17 Qidian International c233c233
08/20/17 Qidian International c232c232
08/20/17 Qidian International c231c231
08/20/17 Qidian International c230c230
08/18/17 Qidian International c229c229
08/18/17 Qidian International c228c228
08/17/17 Qidian International c227c227
08/17/17 Qidian International c226c226
08/16/17 Qidian International c225c225
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22 Reviews sorted by


Narmi
New Narmi rated it
August 22, 2017
Status: c187
It's an interesting story, but suffers from quite a few flaws. The MC being sex-starved 24/7 with a hard-on that just pops up every few hours. I knew it was "ecchi" going in, but there's only so many times you can hear the term "horny student" and talk about plump breasts before it starts to get old. Also, the authors writes the MC to be the cleverest person in the room, and for some reason everyone easily believes him. The story tends to drag on, and there's quite a bit... more>> of repetition.

The technology level is a bit inconsistent. They talk about being in the steam age, have steam-powered military SUVs despite (how I don't know), photography, magnesium alloys, but also say how all old technology had been lost. At the beginning they seem to have forgotten all about modern technology, later they are talking about polymers and proteins.

There was also some blatant homophobia (some kids threw vegetables at a group of guys because they thought they were gay), which was a bit unsettling. Later when the Chinese faction is introduced the author goes into racial superiority/segregation territory.

 I do like the story, mostly when the MC is on his own.

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ththth12
New ththth12 rated it
August 12, 2017
Status: c220
This is a great story. Main character feels like real person, he really acts and thinks like teenager boy, unlike supposed teenagers in other CN webnovels. He grows up and develops gradually and in a good way. His cheat is very interesting, and it takes effort to make it work. He has morals, and yet willing to kill his enemies when he has to.

The world has unique feel to it. It's kind of steampunk world combined with cultivation. MC is quite different from usual CN protags. He has interesting... more>> thoughts when he grows up. He questions other characters and their world views, and makes his own conclusions.

Reason for low reviews is likely because there is no instant gratification in this story. MC is not going to OP in 3 chapters. The story takes time to develop the world and characters, which is good point for some, but it's not for everyone.

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pentadrian
pentadrian rated it
February 6, 2017
Status: --
This novel is one of those that has a mediocre start, but manages to get into a good pace only to be ruined by the author peddling an agenda. At the face of it, this is a post apocalyptic steampunk novel, but it's not all science. There's some mysterious acupuncture point that can be unlocked to cultivate. And here's the biggest deal breaker - extreme patriotism.

While unlike certain other novels out there there's isn't much, if any, racism, the novel keeps praising China to the extent that you'd think... more>> it was sponsored by the PRC. According to the novel, the Chinese are at the forefront of technology, military strength, culture, world dominance, yelling "I your father" and pretty much everything else. It's fine for a while, be when you see this agenda being pushed over hundreds of chapters it will get on your nerves even if you're all for the PRC. Also the MC has no idea of a family unit and literally goes around spraying his seed all over the place, to any woman willing (and there are a few hundreds) <<less
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lawrsun
lawrsun rated it
May 25, 2017
Status: Completed
Spoiler

TLDR: Human spirit and sacrifice clash against the greed and self serving nature of humanity. Great and progressive story building, character building, with few to no unanswered questions at the conclusion. Most Chinese novels i've read up till now have ridiculous endings that read like a poor copy of a dragonballz episode (coiling dragon was good, but lets be real the ending sucked.)

Wow...

This story completely blew my mind. Moral men and Pedantic preachers stand opposite a thin line, more so in a story pieced together chapter chapter by chapter in such a web novel format. And so, the character building in this story becomes all the more surprising.

Spoiler from here on out.

A child at the beginning of the novel, the MC is naive, his pursuits and choices simple crude; a true country bumpkin. Perverted, small minded, but with his own bottom line. Many novels start like this and thats all fine and dandy, but what destroys the depth of those novels is one huge 'story event flag' which from then forth decides the characters choices, all personality traits and plot directions derive from this singular event and the main characters actions thus lack depth because of the singular nature in his environmental influences. CBI avoids this, which makes for a slow start, but like the tree in the castle of black iron, our MC grows LIKE A BELIEVABLE REAL PERSON. Every stage in his life has different influences, and in every stage we can see his choices and his level of vision change in response to these influences.

Cultivation in this novel is super unique, and the MC's 'cheat item' doesnt block or cover over his character. Most novels with a cheat like item make you feel that if someone else had the same item as the MC, they would be the exact same person. MC isnt a unique person. But in the case of castle of black iron, the space and his best tree buddy grow and change along with his choices, the castle acts as a support, a best friend, a resting place, and not an all conquering god weapon that makes resistance against the MC futile.

Instead conflict in this novel ends up varied, believable, dangerous, and all the more enticing for the reader. The MC has gains and losses, wins and defeats, and his growth occurs in this journey because of the challenges and conflicts present in this unique era he is in instead of the presence of a deus ex machina type item.

The one and only minor short board is the depth of female interactions. Note I say interactions instead of characters, because these females are each unique and have their own thoughts and do conflict decision wise with the MC even after together. Further, this shortboard is made up to some extent by his interactions with his family (brother mother father). Further, the lack of depth in exploration in the relationships with his female partners can be explained and feels reasonable to an extent because of the huge weight of the increasing burden on his shoulders, he wouldlove to spend more time with his family but the never ending war blocks him from being the father and husband he wants to be. Its reasonable, and therefore doesn't detract from the story so much as make a reasonable and natural cover for the inherent flaws in any novel with a harem.

Read it, please, because id hate for such a masterpiece novel to be buried by the glare of its mediocre early translations and its slow start.

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Vlaeghe
Vlaeghe rated it
January 12, 2017
Status: v2c16
The story is a post apocalyptic futuristic cultivation novel with a steampunk flavour.

Briefly summarized: The modern world as we know it 'changed' by something called 'The Star of God' and the world was set back to the early industrialized era. Meaning there's steam power, but no electricity. Tectonic plates also shifted and the world is no longer the same, countries and geography changed. The change was a Calamity, as many beasts and mutants rose up to power and devastated 'mankind's world domination'.

And the story of our protagonist is... more>> set at 889 AC (After Calamity).

The author does a nice job of building up the world, getting you into the story. Although it's a little vulgar at times, it's not offputting and it does set the tone to what kind of world Zhang Tie lives in. (Let's just say it's a 'hard' life)

The game element of the story doesn't appear until chapter 14. The cultivation system in this novel appears to be based on lighting up points in your body, a not unfamiliar system if you've read more xuanhuan novels. This is in line with traditional chinese medicine (meridians/acupuncture). The game element also has a rather familiar ring to it, as it's concept has been used often in other stories. Briefly put, the protagonist obtained a 'space' of his own wherein he can create his own world, for now filling it with plants, and he has to fulfill some conditions before he can make better use of it.

Volume 1 basically introduces the world and the cheat the protagonist gained.

So far I'm enjoying the story. It's really still in it's infant shoes (translation wise obviously). Other than thinking it's a fairly ok story so far, there's really not much else to tell. I do think you should give it a try, particularly if you like xuanhuan stories and don't mind the game element of it.

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grenfunkel
grenfunkel rated it
May 3, 2017
Status: c68
Hao! Hao! Hao!

The translation is excellent. The plot is still in its early stages but so far I am enjoying it. The main character is your typical adolescent boy always having erect "tent", but sometimes show great decisiveness. He is also an optimist and always aim for a better future for himself and his family. I recommend reading before judging this novel due to low rating (due to old translation).

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strixflash
strixflash
April 1, 2017
Status: c41
Let me clear one thing for those who are mislead by the negative reviews: It's a good novel with good word building and a likable protagonist.

The main character is a young boy who is going through the puberty. So of course he thinks what boys of his age dreams about: women and sex.

Besides it's not all about his sexual desires. It's about achieving MC's dream of having a good life for both him and his family in the cruel world where they are at the bottom of... more>> food chain.

The protagonist is likable and he uses his brains most of the times. The world building is one of the best I have seen in Chinese novels.

Do give it a try.

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Outlet
Outlet rated it
March 19, 2017
Status: c23
If you want to know why the novel A Journy to the West is so famous in China, I really suggests you to read this novel first. I find the book Castle of Black Iron is retranslated by Qidian International and the new authorized translation is good.

The story is featured with oriental xuanhuan folklores. A story full of imaginations. After reading it, I even want to enter meditation myself to practice my own cultivation so as to be a powerful man. This book really reminds me of the... more>> significance of the Mental Arithmetic Using an Abacus that may enhance my spiritual energy.

I also consider that each fruit from the Manjusaka Karma Wanguo Tree is a wonderful experience that would make each aspect of me enhanced. Really challenging~~ <<less
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Molenir
Molenir rated it
May 3, 2017
Status: c67
I've read up to the latest translated chapter, and all I have to say, is that this is an amazing story. One of the other reviewers referred to it as being a slow-burn. I like that description, as its very true. Its not like a lot of the other stories where you are introduced to the MC, and a chapter or 2 in, the MC is already OP. Instead its a very slow build up, with his accidental acquisition of a cheat. Figuring what it is, and how to use... more>> it. And his incremental increase in power. Everything is very well done, told mostly from the MC pov.

The biggest negative of this story, is that because it is very slow building up, you're really better off not reading it for awhile, and accumulating chapters, then reading 1 chapter at a time. Additionally, because of how the story is told, there is not a huge amount of action, especially at the start. Which makes it all the more impactful when there is some action. All in all, I definitely recommend this story. But let it percolate for awhile longer. Pick it up at chapter 100, come back to it 50 chapters later.

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R.a.m.p.a.g.e
R.a.m.p.a.g.e rated it
May 25, 2017
Status: --
If you can ignore some the vulgarities from starting chapters, then it is a superb novel. As of now, it has nice plot line a good system for power development and as you read along the chapters you won't get bored. Though you may find pace of the story a little slow.

As of now about our protagonist, MC seems to be a little naive sometimes but, his temperament changes as he faces some challenges. Most importantly he is not weak willed, he is not a ruthless persona or a... more>> shiny knight who justifies everything, he is the type of protagonist who is a little intelligent as to how he deals to some of his adversary shown in the recent chapters (HE IS ONLY IN HIS TEENS). As it happens with all the protagonist in Chinese novel there is a fortuitous encounter and it is not some overpowered sh*t, he has to tussle and fight to gain the fruits to enhance himself (you can take it literally).

Overall, there is a good (world, supporting character) building. Nice plot that keeps you going and most importantly don't mind those reviews. Give this novel a try, for me it is definitely one of the best novel that Qidian is currently translating.

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towelz
towelz
February 28, 2017
Status: v3c4
Easy going story where MC is not op and more of a ambitious person wanting to better himself and help his family. Not sure how far ahead the other review is, but at the current volume I don't see the overwhelming patriotism as mentioned. Nor is there any spreading of the MC's seeds, unless they're talking about his farming... Any way so far its a good read.
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Bakaleaf
Bakaleaf
May 3, 2017
Status: c7
After reading a few chapters this novel is not for me to read

First is the level of vulgarity I admit that most novel can get as vulgar as they could be but surprisingly my first impression was what a vulgar novel

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Spoiler

15 yrs old student Masturbate in the classroom? MC explaining about underwear in the first chapter? A random teacher who suddenly propose in the gate in front of many student? And the worst part the setting is in an all boy school

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I admit that the whole mature thing doesn't suit my reading habit and this novel I can feel a depressing atmosphere which is I want to avoid since I already have enough depressing situation in real life as reading is one of my fun habits.

My review is technically one sided and should not be taken seriously as this is one of those moment that I thought I found a good novel just to realize that it is not for me to read <<less
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Ignus
Ignus rated it
April 20, 2017
Status: c79
Ignore the low score rating as it comes from previous translation.

This story is really good. Good pacing, vivid fantasy world, great characters...

I pride myself on scoring a story based upon the skill of the author, and not if genre/tags don't agree with me. This story as of chapter 79 is really well written.

The only thing that could turn a few people off is the crude humor. after the first 20 chapters, there is less of it. Even though I am not a fan of the humor, this... more>> is still one of my favorite stories right now.

Also, even though crude humor is treated as a running gag, at least it stands out, and does give the feeling of how virgin immature boys may behave. <<less
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Angryfan
Angryfan rated it
August 9, 2017
Status: c210
The most disappointing thing about this web novel is the wasted potential. The author has great ideas but doesn't take the time to flesh them out, he just moves on with the story. The most annoying example of this is the enhanced yeast. The MC can control the yeast to do anything he wants yet instead of giving the yeast to his family to help his family's business grow. He just keeps it to himself and almost never uses it. The yeast can even be used as a healing potion... more>> but is never used as such for some reason.

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novelbrah
novelbrah rated it
April 20, 2017
Status: c55
Worthy of more than 3. 6 but I understand why some voted lower. I like where I THINK this is heading, but the ecchI is annoying.

The author also likes explaining things too much and will waste a lot of words to describe MC doing something useless. If you don't usually read other books besides web novels, maybe your ADD will pick up. At times mine did too.

While I love when web novel authors take the time to develop characters and the world, this author kind of fails. Even... more>> though we get so much "character development", MC's group still feels flat. They don't really have personalities besides "little brother stroking" and women. We get told how poor MC and his family are but it doesn't do much. We are supposed to feel for him, but I just can't find myself able to. These characters aren't relatable. MC is over the top at times. We still don't really know the scope of the world because the author has not explained it well.

In all, it's like a slice of life up to now. Nothing really happens. Boring school life, boring work life combined with farming. The author could have fit the same story of 55 chapters into 30-40 easily. However, we all know that authors get more money by inflating their word count.

Anyway, I'd rate this a 4 not because of the current content but for potential. There's a huge world to explore and MC hasn't even started fighting yet. This is like a prologue or prelude. I'll make a final judgement after it gets juicy.

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jlkc
jlkc rated it
April 20, 2017
Status: c55
Really unlikeable MC who thinks with his d*ck and is naive, boring, predictable, stupid and kind. He has two positive traits at most.

The story is super slow paced and so far has been decent. The rest of the characters are pretty one dimensional, as you'd expect from a xuanhuan.

Can't give this more than 3 stars when I dislike the MC and there are no interesting side characters. The story is okay but isn't strong enough to carry the characters.

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TheHawkk
TheHawkk rated it
August 6, 2017
Status: c1
The first chapter is a giant info dump. Couldn't even be bothered to read it. I don't understand authors that do this, they throw a bunch of information at you about a world you're not invested in yet. No-one will remember it.

Don't bother reading it, if the author doesn't even have enough common sense to not make his first chapter an info dump, then his writing skill is certainly subpar.

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summers
summers rated it
July 3, 2017
Status: v2c5
It was just boring. Steampunk world MC with game dimension in his head, not OP and that's a good thing. It felt like a slice of life, but for that to work it has to have other interesting characters. We get the airplane brother hood who don't really doing anything; the hot teacher who has yet to say anything and is just leered at and fantasied about by other students. The ranking system seems in this world is different in that its all physical, they rate marching speed and effective... more>> combat and maximum spear rating etc.

At the point I dropped it I have yet to see the usefulness of his inner dimension.

Thx to translaters though.

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rdawv
rdawv rated it
April 17, 2017
Status: c51
A very slow burn of a story. Personally I feel the vibe is similar to Undefeated God of War: a good-hearted MC, somewhat naive (about the world), ambitious (has personal goals) but still level-headed (knows the effort needed to get there).

Much of the current chapters (50+) are spent on world building: a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world where much of its previous history and technology have been forgotten.

The humble MC gets a spatial ability similar to "Bringing The Farm To Live In Another World": he is able to grow crops... more>> according to the limitations set by a virtual AI-type interface. As of the current translation, we have no idea just how powerful or influential this ability is, as the MC is constantly besieged by real world problems: adolescent curiosity about sex, bullies at school, earning money to help out his family.

Much of the story's 'humor' revolves around the sexual ignorance of his peers. You know, the old fashioned way before the internet: tell exaggerated stories and spreading hearsay and second-hand, inaccurate knowledge. Some of the phrases don't translate well, 'hit-plane' for example is a Chinese slang for masturbation and thus much of the giggles is lost when turned into English.

For those who are annoyed at the slow buildup such as in Tales of the Reincarnated Lord, you should give this one a pass as well because the author is just as meticulous and plodding. In the later chapters (40+) there are hints of a growing crisis but as mentioned, the MC is distracted by immediate and personal problems around him.

Requires patience and chapter stacking.

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omarct
omarct rated it
August 9, 2017
Status: c214
This novel is very slow, especially the beginning which I kinda speed read because of all the info dump. Another problem is the vulgarity and pervertedness which takes some time to get used to. Other than that the translations are lacking, they are generally decent but every now and then the translator gets brain farts, especially when dealing with the cultivation (which can be a bit confusing).

So then why give it 4 stars? Well once the series gets going at around chapter 20, it becomes a very enjoyable progression... more>> adventure and coming of age story. The story has some game element like progression which I always enjoy and the main character becomes more and more interesting over time.

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Eternal Hunter
Eternal Hunter rated it
July 26, 2017
Status: c185
Up until the survival arc, the novel felt very "slice of life" like.

The MC is not a kickass supertsmart guy that's reincarnated. Don't expect him to blow your mind from the get go.

It's a slow start, however, I can say that the MC grows up, especially from the survival arc and onward. He might still be a bit silly at times, and naive at certain moments, there is clear cut character progression. He's able to assess his mistakes and won't do them a second time.

At c185 where... more>> I'm at the moment, it feels like now (to use MMORPG terms) he's finally leaving the beginner village.

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shuiko
shuiko rated it
July 21, 2017
Status: c40
Loyal follower of Drunken tiger gogogo!

The story is actually well plotted out, and is really funny (it adheres to a specific side of humor though).

There are a cast of characters that are well built and bring a lot to the story, and of course the usual 1-demnsional ones, but no one care about those tbh.

In all fairness, the story is written more like a LN book, then a web series, so it takes time for certain arcs to get going especially between character growth.

Like usual rated based... more>> on actual raw work.

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