Black Iron’s Glory


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Welcome to Freia. A continent perpetually torn by war. Hundreds of years ago it was ruled by Magi, people capable of magic who viewed themselves as superior to those who could not. For thousands of years they ruled over common people… but times change.

Magic is a finite resource, and with its steady depletion, the magi grew weak. Eventually they were overthrown in a great war that saw them made all but extinct. Magic fell with them, becoming taboo in every way, the object of villainy in the novels of romance and heroism.

War is a human condition, however, and it has continued to wage unerringly between the successor kingdoms and empires as the common man fights to become master of the world left behind by the magi.

Magic has gone, but power remains, now wielded in the form of firearms and manpower. Muskets echo on the fields and cannons thunder on the ocean, even more so now that the greatest kingdoms on the continent have pushed out to colonise the far-away land known as Nubissia.

Born into this world of chaos is a young man, reincarnated from a salaryman in 21st century China. Lacking the prejudice against magic, and possessing a hobbyist’s knowledge of firearms and tactics, our young protagonist forges his path in a world where magic and musket war.

(Synopsis from Veratales)

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Tales of the Reincarnated Lord (7)
The Amber Sword (2)
Throne of Magical Arcana (2)
Release that Witch (2)
Warlock of the Magus World (1)
Pivot of the Sky (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Books that I found throughout my travels
  3. Best Star Novels
  4. Intelligent MC with good plot (CHINESE)
  5. 4/5 rating

Latest Release

Date Group Release
05/29/20 Veratales c559
05/28/20 Veratales c558
05/27/20 Veratales c557
05/26/20 Veratales c556
05/25/20 Veratales c555
05/24/20 Veratales c554
05/23/20 Veratales c553
05/22/20 Veratales c552
05/21/20 Veratales c551
05/20/20 Veratales c550
05/19/20 Veratales c549
05/18/20 Veratales c548
05/17/20 Veratales c547
05/16/20 Veratales c546
05/15/20 Veratales c545
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New longshot3990 rated it
May 27, 2020
Status: c557
This story is for you if you like realism in terms of technological development.

This story is not for you if you saw the cover of the novel and thought there was going to be actual magic.

Magic is almost nonexistent in this story and what's even worse is that the MC supposedly had a talent with magic and later the author changes that to be below average. You can totally forget about magic after the beginning chapters.

I was so delirious that I thought the author would send the MC back in... more>> time after reincarnation since the author rarely talks about magic. I thought there would be a part two of this story that the MC totally focuses on magic.

Nope, the MC is now almost an old man and still a novice with magic.

All in all

If you want military/ kingdom building simulator this is for you.

If you want an adventure/magic/worldbuilding, this is not for you.
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New Overclock rated it
May 15, 2020
Status: c544
It's a great novel depicting great wars and politics. Author tries and succeed at capturing the faults of old battle styles, weaponry, and internal politics on the small and large picture as the MC rises up in the world, and his rise while rapid is grounded in reality and great foresight. The novel is very realistic yet exciting and glad I spent the time to read this masterpiece. Still there are faults like all novels have. The magic part of the story is very underused after MC leaves to join... more>> the army. Almost nonexistent, only appearing when MC meets other mages. It's a shame as the author showed that MC had a special talent for magic and rose rapidly without resources, but author later makes it that yeah MC has talent but below others. And MC uses excuses to say MC has no time to meditate despite his special body made him more rested than normal sleep and could need little to none at all. Even with the army and little self time to train MC should still be leagues ahead of his family. The while magic thing could almost be written out later on and non effect the story for rare exceptions.

Still, overall it's a 5/5 for the world building, military conflicts, politics with higher ups and nobel/royalty, and a MC who's over all a good guy... excluding his faithfulness and parenting ability. <<less
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Tzze rated it
April 5, 2019
Status: c139
I am writing this review because of chapter 139.

Overall, the story has an interesting premise, and the character development and introduction of side characters and world building is well done.

However... nothing really happens. 138 chapters in, and we are still confined to the events of one small town, and the main character is a complete miss-match of professed ideals and actions that I thought it was deliberately done to make the character of questionable morality... until I read the author's moral self-righteous insert in chapter 139. Text below.

... more>>

"He was reminded of all the novels he'd read back on earth. He usually found himself disbelieving the ability of the antagonists to actually be so ghastly. He doubted people were capable of such bestiality. He'd discussed it with his old boss, in fact. The discussion had been somewhat more abstract, however, concerning the different fundamental values between the Chinese and most foreigners.

His boss felt their own values were obviously superior, so much so, in fact, that merely suggesting they could be compared to foreigners was an insult. Claude had questioned how he could believe that if the stories about their behaviour so frequently showed they behaved much better than the average Chinese.

His boss had quite literally spat that he should not believe so-called experts. Sure, the Chinese were far from perfect, he knew no one who claimed they were, but they had a moral baseline, a fundamental set of axioms and principles that were to be adhered to at all costs. The foreigners did not. The Chinese had two thousand years of civilisation which taught them the proper decorum of public life, such as to respect their elders. He'd never seen a single foreign teaching that taught the same.

They were barely any better than savages. They did their neighbours in for the smallest profit and dragged people to court of things as insignificant as sneezes. They harped on about 'democracy' and 'freedom' but all they had, and wanted, was the freedom to do everyone else in for their own benefit. If he doubted anything his boss said, he could just look at crime statistics. The absolute numbers were several times worse for them despite their population being much smaller than Chinas. It was clear as day who was superior.

Claude could not argue with the man on the spot. And his experiences in this life, while having failed to discredit the foreigners' values, did validate his own. He'd respected his parents and elders, cared for his siblings, and stood with and in defence of the family in its time of need. His wretch of a brother, however, had done nothing but try to enrich himself at his family's quite literal expense."


Okay, on one hand Claude is arguing against this line of reasoning, but lets take a look at the moral personhood of Claude. The first day he received mind magic, he began indiscriminately using it on random creatures, killing someone's pet cat. Its implied he felt some level of guilt here, but he did not really care. A few chapters later, he is killing and maiming humans with his newfound power with barely any guilt. In pursuit of his brother, he later kills dozens more - with basically the same amount of guilt someone would feel for smashing a fly. Supposedly, this is a transmigrated fully adult man from a peaceful society. If Claude's mental or physical age was younger, OK, young people need time to develop, but his physical age is 18 and is mental age is much older. He is responsible for his actions. Does he not see the problem with his open acceptance of killing, bordering on outright murder, as both times above he initiated the situations that resulted in the need for violence when he had clear alternatives, but was secure in his belief that if it came to violence he could use his magical powers to kill his way to victory.

Then, a few chapters later, we are morally harangued about the inherit morality of Chinese filial piety, their treatment of their fellow man, and their lack of criminality compared to Foreigners, the product of two thousand years of civilization. I guess murder, theft, fraud, and so on are not crimes? Like many other protagonists in novels, Claude truly believes only in one singular morality; that might makes right. But unlike those other protagonists, who accept that they engage in murder and slaughter and normally accept a 'live by the sword, die by the sword' mentality, Claude thinks he is morally superior and engaging in respectable behavior. At least in the author's previous work, Lorist made no bones about his moral aptitude - he knew he could get what he wanted via strength, and that in a time of war and bloodshed strength was of utmost important, and that is ultimately what Lorist cared about, not questions or morality or superiority.

The main character is the worst kind of hypocrite, the one who doesn't realize he is one and never will.

2 stars for the good world building and interesting backstory, no additional stars awarded after the Author had the gall to moralize to me in an adolescent power fantasy story with a protagonist obtaining magical powers and immediately using them to do harm to others. <<less
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Rextraos rated it
July 25, 2019
Status: c235
What can I say? I'd like to call myself an avid supporter of this novel even with the inconsistencies, slow pacing and info dumps, however, as of this chapter I'm dropping it. Why? Because the MC is morally bankrupt. This wouldn't be an issue if it was designed this way from the beginning or slowly turned into that, however, the novel makes it explicitly clear that he is morally better than everyone else, that everyone is ignorant and unable to change with everything he does being the correct choice.

... more>>

He's always talking about his isekai pride, how he's morally better than everyone else, and yet he can cheat on his girlfriend without blinking an eye, no afterthoughts, no follow up two chapters later only infodumps.

It's likely he'll get into a relationship with the lady he cheated her with no doubt, he never really liked Kelfie anyways... other than kissing her, feeling her up and officially making her his girlfriend.

Poor girl is waiting at home, how would he feel if he came back after the war and heard she lost her virginity to some guy he never met that charmed her just for a few days of meeting?

I have no problem with his personality always switching between psychopath genius to masochistic idiot, him killing pets for shits and giggles or massacring dozens of people whenever he goes out for his spontaneous..."walks".

This though, is where I cross the line, I shouldn't have expected much from this MC seeing as he died at the age of 35 in his previous life due to viagra... f*cking idiot.


The translator is really good though, hope he moves onto other novels, as clearly this one isn't worth his talent.

Oh, and I commented on almost every chapter up to 150 but only occasionally after that. If someone reads past me and it's actually bearable please tell me to give it another chance by replying to any of my posts there.


I gave it another try and a dozen chapters later he already found another girl and is trying to get into her pants, having already stolen a kiss. Needless to say, I am not impressed. The girl's mother was right when she said every man is a mean liar and only gives things expecting something in return, this guy is scum and quite frankly I am glad he is fictional.


Due to the above, I will not by any means ever give this another chance, like if someone you cared about stabbed you in the back and you forgave them only for them to stab again, this time much more thoroughly. <<less
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ZhaWarudo rated it
January 21, 2019
Status: c65
A guide whether you should read this or not, and if yes I'll explain what to expect for those of you who are impatient.

    • Did you read Tales of The Reincarnated Lord for more than 50 chapters? Did you like it? Continue, you'll like this one too.
    • You didn't read it or gave up before ~50 chaps? Here's what you should keep in mind then. Slow start, info dumps about kingdoms and their history, does it mean you have to memorize it? No, don't be a whiner, you can also skim trough it if you want, if it's important it will be repeated.
    • Does slow start mean it's boring? Hell no. It's boring only if you expect MC to become strong in a day and godlike in a year but then is such a thing even a novel? Vomits...
    • Will there be kingdom building. I bet there will be, there is foreshadowing of MC complaining about muskets (first rifles from 16th century) and pathetic military tactics.
    • How long will it take? Currently there are 65 chapters that are about twice the length of usual webnovel chaps. MC is still in his home town, still in school, had some adventures but is only now starting to learn magic. So I think another 30 chapters before he becomes a low ranking officer in the army, starts the real rise to power.
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grkmori rated it
December 5, 2018
Status: c250
The Black Iron's Glory [BIG] tells a story of a transmigrator on a body of a 16 year old middle schooler on a continent were magic ('almost') disappeared. The MC, Claude, seems attracted to the magic in this continent named Freia, that is much like late middle ages in his previous world (Earth), there are already classic firearms (like arquebus/muskets). Magic has become forbidden after wars against magicians were held in the past, and those who could cast magic were labeled as outlaws. Being the second son of a... more>> civilian family, as many wars are still held between the kingdoms on the continent of Freia, when Claude turns 18 he will have to join the army (as meat shield). Maybe something will happen that will change his future...

Some words of advice:
First, you may find it a little slow, boring, too much details and not enough climax on the beginning, until you reach chapter 130ish, but still a good read. Around chapter 130 things starts turning around and the author starts with the never end events like you would expect on a novel.

Second, this story is not about swords and bows (like Tales of Reincarnated Lord [TORL]), but about magic and firearms. The tech age is a little more advanced, there are already firearms, but still archaic (those that you need to put the gunpowder and the round bullet separately). As a reincarnated, the MC seems to be developing new firearms that the bullet and gunpowder are in a cartridge.

Third, this is not about 'kingdom building' (doesnt seem so IMO).

Fourth, this is the same author of TORL, he writes stories on a believable manner, different from classical chinese novels. E.g: on classic chinese novels there are 10 chapters of a prolonged fight against a... minion from a sub-boss, where they summon a creature of 100kkk meters long (Earth radius is ~6, 4kk meters), and he trows a spell that kills 12 billion people and destroy 2 planets... Or on classic chinese novels has something like: a world has 10 humans levels, on the first you are a normal human; 2nd level you can blow your house; 3rd level blow a city; 4th level blow a region/county; 5th level blow a continent; 6th level blow a planet; 7th level blow a star; 8th level blow a galaxy; 9th level blow a universe; 10th level the MC is so overpowered that the author label him of something over Gods... Yeah... thats classic chinese novels... but not for 'Smoke Is a Path', the author of TORL and BIG, he writes much more down to reality stories, and you may think: "Oh it will become boring fast!?" and I would answer "On the contrary!". The story becomes much more relatable and reliable, the world building more exciting, the fights more believable, the level ups and skills more challenging. Smoke Is a Path writing overcome these difficulties and is good enough to give you a nice reading. I was searching every now and then for this author next novel after he dropped TORL, and here we are.

Fifth, if you are searching for a well written story, logical and rational character designs, with a good description of the world, this is the author for you. But if you are searching for fast paced, a lot and prolonged fights, characters with inhuman MC growth (typical chinese novel), this is not for you. The lots of descriptions and details that put you into the characters and the world will make those who like a more action/fast paced novel to dislike BIG.

My opinions:
BIG story seems well written, a likable story, good world building, good characters as TORL... but I have to say, I was expecting something different from this author, something closer to TORL.

First, like ppl said on other reviews, the start (until around chapter 130) is too slow, many details and the description of (it seems) a lot of unimportant events that wont affect much of the story. Event though they are good chapters and a good read. Once through those 130 starting chapters you stumble upon a nice turn of events and that turn this novel (it seems like) into a 5 star novel (I changed it from 4 stars).

Second, it seems it wont be about 'kingdom building' (IMO it seems so, or not until very late in the novel) as TORL. (Update c500. Yes, it has 'kingdom building', but it is much later on the story).

Third, TORL there is a lot of people/friends of the MC that develop together. But on this novel, because magic is 'forbidden', it wont be that easy to develop together with other people. So I am betting that on BIG it will be a more solo storyline. Losing one of the good points of TORL.

Forth, the MC seems a bit screwed about killing...

Later in the novel he walks to back alleys to find gang members to... steal pocket money... because magic is 'forbidden', he has to kill everyone who saw him using magic, so he kills and kills. Although who he kills are all bandits... he just doesnt care enough for a normal guy with sanity... (Update c500, the author doesnt show this behavior anymore later on the novel)


#Btw, who still dont know, TORL was discontinued because the author had some health problems that sent him to the hospital for a long time, also there was a fight between him and the editors because the mature content of the novel, so he decided to discontinue TORL over clearing all the mature content... <<less
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tyes77 rated it
November 6, 2018
Status: c8
In a similar vein of reincarnated Lord, the story suffers from massive info dumps. You will learn all about the political situation and world before you learn much about the MC. 90% info dumps and hardly any sort of story as the pacing is eminence of going through a prologue for the first 7 chapters. If you didn't like reincarnated Lord then skip this. Maybe pick it up once they pass all the info dumps but I hardly think this "story" qualifies more than 2 stars.
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Mount Tai Unleashed
Mount Tai Unleashed rated it
December 22, 2019
Status: --
AVOID the novel

EXPOSITION for days. All tell and no showing. Can put you to sleep if you're not careful.

HYPOCRITE Main character[Thinks he's better than everyone else when he's really no different and most often worse/ cheating on his girlfriend and then cheating again with someone else]

... more>> NATIONALIST Author who calls foreigners[Anyone who isn't chinese] savages with no morals at all, and he thinks chinese are the master race.. Get off your high horse author scum.

NTR/CUCK: Author has a weird fetish for cheating scenarios, both in this novel and his previous novel [Tales of a reincarnated lord] His love interest cheats or leaves with another man.

This is probably not only a fetish but a reason to justify the blatant cheating the protagonists in his novels do. IE-[They cheated so why shouldn't I?] s*upid logic.

I seriously suspect that the author got cucked in real life and the after effects show in his novels.

If you hate any of the above mentioned, avoid this novel like the plague and go read something else. <<less
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Onown150 rated it
May 8, 2019
Status: c302
Well lets just say it was a decent read until he joined the army. the story had just finished on an amazing saga ending only to processed to throw us readers into this rubbish of a saga.

... more>>

which let to the MC doing mistake after mistake. When there was so much potential for other ways. if it wasn't for plot armor he would have died 3 times in the training camp for gods sake. Only until about half way into the first part of his army adventure does the MC find his brain, on logical choices about what should be done.

the romance

there is romance in the novel with currently 2 lovers in the novel

As for the current chapter of c307


we find back at home the MC has basically lost all his foundation that was build up. which means back to square one yay...... On top of that our MC will have to go back to the army in 6 months. For some more getting f*cked around


so overall as of current we has had a slow but decent start of a story. however with current events, the drag of the last 100 chapters and the authors previous hidus on his novel I can only say this is a hard pass for now. <<less
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alpoo rated it
March 16, 2019
Status: c118
This story is written similarly to a normal published western fantasy book. Most of the negative reviews come from people wanting 5 minute chapter stories where they can binge without giving the plot any thought.

This novel also features an intelligent protagonist which is enjoyable to read about, he makes mistakes and learns from them, he fails sometimes and usually grows from that failure.

The story moves slowly compared to the usual webnovel, but that is as I mentioned previously due to it being written similar to a western fantasy book.

Overall this... more>> novel is very good so far and is perhaps the most enjoyable one I have read to date - I believe this is in part due to the author and translators ability to accurately convey the story with zero filler, there is nothing in this novel that pads the word count and the flow of reading greatly benefits. <<less
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Narmi rated it
November 26, 2018
Status: c246
(This is a preliminary review since there's only 14 chapters out at the moment)

Updated review below

The story is not your typical cultivation/RPG/cheat abilities that usually appear with transmigration. Despite the cover, instead of a world filled with swords & magic, "spiritual power, " or cultivation levels, the story takes place in a world that is in the middle of a Renaissance era. Technological development and social changes are more important than 1000 year old treasures. It feels very realistic and immersive.

The MC is well-written and acts in a... more>> believable manner. Besides his knowledge of his previous life, he doesn't have a cheat ability and has to live like an ordinary person. His friends feel like real people and treat him as a person instead of just being there to tell the reader how awesome he is.

It is a bit slow since the world is still new and there's a lot of background information that needs to be presented. Hopefully that stage doesn't last too long (though I can't see it continuing for much longer) and the story can really pick up.

**updated review**

This is a good story, though it has its flaws. Surprisingly, magic isn't all that important, given the title and synopsis. It plays a role, sure, but what's more important is the future knowledge the MC brings.

The most common complaint is the slow pacing. Compared to TRL, this is kinda unavoidable: the MC starts off as basically a peasant and has to work his way up. There's always someone above him he has to tiptoe around and avoid pissing off or he'll end up in jail. It's annoying, but makes sense given the setting.

Since BIG is always compared to TRL, here's a couple points that I think sum up the differences between the two:

  • Scale - TRL was much grander in scale, starting with the caravan north and then Lorist's subsequent battles, first to secure his lands, then to end the Krissen civil war, then beat the Union. There is a continental war, but we don't really get to see armies moving around from a top, like with Lorist. Instead, we get Claude's POV, which means that whatever battle he's in we see, and hear about other battles much later.
  • Technology adaptation - Lorist wasn't shy about inventing new technologies/tactics. Granted, he was in an age where the idea of the scientific method and catapults and cannons and gunpowder still hadn't been figured out. Claude is trying to invent new technology, but he doesn't have the background, and can't spend tons of cash on R&D like Lorist, so the going's been slow.
  • Family - Claude is also more concerned with what's happening to his family and town, Lorist didn't really bother with that because he was always moving around, and had half a dozen mistresses. Filial piety is a major theme in BIG.

  • World building - The world is pretty good. There are different political factions, a number of countries, different people that are presented. There's a pretty decent effort to show how different places in Freia (the continent the MC is on).
  • Characters - Characters are pretty interesting, there's a smaller group instead of a kingdom's worth. Though not as colourful as TRL, they still feel unique in their own way.
  • Pacing - The pacing is also much slower, which is the most common complaint from readers. It could be TRL was just more exciting since the projects Lorist was involved in were always huge.

If I had to sum up the different between the two, I'd say it's like comparing someone slowly building a snowman vs someone tossing a snowball down a mountain and starting an avalanche. <<less
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JackSaun rated it
June 17, 2019
Status: c269
What is the basic story about?

It is about a playboy who had a hard life getting reincarnated into a (western-ish) world that is semi-medieval/fantasy where magic is banned by leading governments/organisations ... more>>

even though they use the magic themselves


Quality of writing/translation?

The quality of writing is excellent, I haven't seen any grammar issues, and the updates are daily of roughly 2k chapters (wordcount)

Personal thoughts:

First and foremost, you must understand that this book has very slow pacing. I am currently at chapter 269 and the actual fighting only started around chapter 200. However, that does not make it boring as the MC is slowly adapting and improving in this world, and his power level is rising at a high and very reasonable rate (maybe he will be OP later, but right now he is mainly alive due to his planning). There are quite a few info-dumps about the backgrounds of the world and while they aren't the most exciting they do really help you understand the actions of others later on (oh this nation is small and has no ports so it's economy is weak, that is why they are known for being poor and they tend to be bullied -> and vice versa). If you don't want to read them, you don't really have to as any important information is re-emphasised later on and it gets very interesting as you understand what is happening in the world and what it means for the MC (example: your nation found a new trading route but it has a few issues, now your countries enemies are gathering up to try and take it so you will have to join the army and fight them).

There are a few big things that might turn off some readers so I will try to lay them out:

1 is that MC is pretty go with the flow, and while he is very driven and stubborn for the most part, when something is out of his control he will accept it and try to find another solution.

2 is that at one point some girl randomly decides she is his girlfriend even though he repeatedly tells her that the relationship will not work (his previous self before reincarnation crushed on her but he doesn't) and he goes off to war. While off to war and repeatedly telling her that this relationship won't work out and she should move on, he gets with a different girl (this might seem tr*shy but it makes sense as in his last life he was a playboy and now when he is in a literal war zone where he might die any day his youth will lead him astray).

3 is that author can bring up some nationalism every once in a while for the real world, but this is easy to ignore as it is not important to the story in the slightest and it's very common for there to be bias in a story.

This book is amazing and of very high quality overall. It's writing style is comparable to some of the mega-books such as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and I am surprised that this isn't big in the western hemisphere. It can be very overwhelming for readers who don't really like intensive reading (it requires basic intelligence to understand the actions of the characters as well as their effects) so I suggest reading this only if your attention span is able to last through the multiple chapter introduction. The potential of this book is immense, and it is definitely one of my favorites. <<less
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joyfan rated it
January 31, 2019
Status: c250
(Update: Dropping the rating to 2 stars.

Around Chapter 230ish the story started to spiral downward with the lack of progression and sluggish character development. I grew disappointed with Klein out of character behaviour.. Also the badly written harem/romance. As usual the author is really bad at writing about female characters. It did not help that 20 over chapters passed with nothing interesting happening.. Not even expanding on the newer characters or a proper world building imho.. Unless you counted the repetitive info dump about magic as one.. I wished... more>> he had at least made those in for as interesting as the ones I have read in mother of learning.. But no, it was a rather superficial information. Sadly I will be dropping out of this journey. Good luck!)

My go to reading to start my day! It is rather slow pace with peppered thrilling kids adventure and mysterious world building here and there but the pace suits me just fine as it's done well. Though I really would not recommend it to people who love nonstop action or quick formulaic isekai (do A get B pay-off) as you would not get any of that here.. He will uses some of his modern time knowledge but really rarely as he knows how dangerous those could affect the world he is in.

The characters are really fleshed out, there is none of evil villains with one sided characterstic.. They all have good and bad in each of them. Oh and the camaraderies between the boys are enjoyable to follow along, often transporting me back to my childhood.

Thus far, It's hundred times more enjoyable than TORL imho.. But females readers be warned as if it goes like TORL there might be uncomfortable reading in how the women are characterised and treated. But so far along in BIG, other than one small arc which was quickly resolved there hasn't been any other of sort. <<less
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Rath rated it
August 19, 2019
Status: c276
This novel is better written then the authors last, but he is still into the telling not showing style that almost made me drop this at one point. At least the info-dumbing supports the story this time. So far the telling is really the only fault I can find so far after 274 chapters.

Now for what I like about the novel. First off, the world-building is amazing. It does slow down the plot and maybe drag it out some but I prefer well-built worlds over constant action and forced plot.... more>> If it was supported with better character interactions this would be one of my favorite novels.

The author does some amazing research this time, I'm loving how the army has the feel of the real military (from my experience, it is more functional then the Iraqi army has ever been). You got your bad and good officers but no one is blindly incompetent. Sure, people are stuck with their beliefs, but their beliefs actually work in the style that they were trained in and learned through experience. Like real life, y'know? People might not like this part of the story if you are not looking at it as a perfect opportunity for him to establish himself, make connections and grow as a leader.

The magic so far is very interesting and not over-powered until at way later levels. I like it and I can't wait till the protag has a chance to further explore it.

Overall, this is an amazing novel if you can get through all the telling, which I struggled with at first. Just don't read it if you don't have the patience or just skim the info-dumping when it becomes too tedious. <<less
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February 15, 2019
Status: c450
3.5/5; past chapter ~350 downgraded to 2.5/5

(while 4.5/5 is the highest I have ever give - once. And to ZTJ/Way of Choices)

Edit2: The novel at this point is in a downwardspiral of s*upidness. Nothing relevant happens [and what is sold as 'relevant' is the third repetition of a previous arc]. And worst off all the MC is in the center of all and fulling the s*upidity [and the crowning finale is that the MC of the authors other novel wasn't this idiotic]. The MC is straight up incapable... more>> of critical thinking. The only thing he can is 'replicating' things he knew in detail - applying knowledge to sth. similar is impossible (his own statement btw).

  • He straight up went and upgraded a frontloading musket to a WW2 carabine - the percussion cap necessary for cartridge was basically randomly given to him.
  • He btw. wanted to improve guns because frontloader + lying down to not get shot that easy isn't really compatible. But he shelved the idea for a decade because he really wanted that carabine and not any simpler breechloader that could have the job done as well.
  • He couldn't design effective handgrenades due to lacking explosive power. So he build bigger ones and decided slings is the perfect delivery system (obviously called 'mortar' now).
  • Enemy decided catapults are greater than slings - MC agrees because better range.
  • You might be thinking "But what about cannons? Where are the cannons?": Everybody just left them back home because 'mortars firing max 150m > cannons firing 1000m - obviously
  • Basically ignore the numbers. The author doesn't have the slightest clue about measurements. The *new gun^TM* is btw 150cm large; 180cm with bayonett. And yes they are running around and storming trenches with that monstrosity.
  • "Cannons were ineffective" (They have problems with people rolling catapults in front of their trenches and then slinging gunpowder casks into them but lets act like they are actually useless. So what about improving them?) "Trying to improve the artillery was not possible. He could only build the gun because of [gun guru]. Applying knowledge to something so totally different would not work out!" (Let's again ignore that frontloading cannons and frontloading muskets have a lot more in common than a frontloading musket and a WW2 carabine)
  • So no real mortars for you. Or improvement in artillery. Like thinking that a Howitzer isn't that different from a cannon! Explosive shells/cannon balls also aren't anything MC even thinks about
  • So we end with a complete focus on infantry.
  • The preferred tactic is btw shooting at the enemy so they don't shoot back and the other troops run forward and speed-dig trenches in record time to then set up the mortars in them to blast the enemy!
  • And yes, they are still storming trenches for god knows what reason. They die in them in droves obviously
  • I forget! They use cannons! (The enemy at least). They put them at the exist of the trenches to shoot grapeshots!
  • That begs the question if storming trenches isn't really working out, they have oversized rifles and the enemy is using grapeshots to decimate MCs soldiers: What about trenchguns (pump action shotguns) ? Nope, MC is thinking about building rockets to replace artillery.
  • And not to forget: By now the MC has a longer military career (20+ years) after transmigrating than he had his IT career before. He still likes to field "But I was only an IT grunt" as reason he is incapable of critical thinking and unable to 'reverse engineer' ideas from Earth he knew worked out great.
tl;dr: Fixing the issue of "the transmigrator is too far ahead of the enemies" was fixed by the author by making the MC especially s*upid. Instead of improving the enemies. And this is currently in a fast downward spiral of two sides competing in s*upidity but being praised as clever by everybody.

Edit 1: Everything written below (reviewed at Ch90) still holds now that I am updating this at Ch333. But I am lowering the rating to 3.5. Reason for that now, 250 chapters later the MC himself still doesn't really have a clue wtf he wants to do. There were a multitude of alleys the MC could have gone down until now and found success but while successful he is still pretty much procrastinating and even 333 chapters into the story there is no real "this is how its gonna go from now on".

Example of how that currently is the case: He is a young, really successful military officer (and pretty much noble promoted from his peasant status). And - remember he is a transmigratior -

still pathetically fails to actually to leverage this: He 'locally' implements sth. and some actually not idiotic (surprising for a Chinese novel...) character finds out and goes 'how great', Claude: 'yes, and it was my idea and I show you how great an idea it is^TM', other dude: 'after this display I am convinced we should do this (on

larger scale) !', Claude: 'Sure thing, but don't expect me to involve myself because I am a shortsighted twat that can achieve some shortterm gain, not fall into the pitfalls along the way but then can't be bothered to make more out of it!'. I guess he is still in front of the normal promotion curve but nowhere near anything that at this point could end up as kingdom building/large scale military reform/industrial revolution no matter what position.

General stuff:

Black Iron's Glory is the second novel of SmokeIsAPath after ToRL/Tales of a reincarnated Lord got axed. People might say otherwise but you can be 99% sure that TorL had to stop due to censorship issues - and almost surely due to the 'politics' parts of the novel ('Let's just let those guys that love their freedom to much do their thing. Surpressing them isn't going to work out anyway. And costs money'; "un-nationalistic" stuff like that) and if you want to believe because of the occasional sex/smut parts (rather explicit but for the most parts not too questionable; considering there are enough Xianxia novels with people running around raping whoever they want.)

To condense this first issue: This is the authors isekai :P The author is more careful with the 'political' stuff but for sure is salty throwing jabs left and right and the CCP - but that doesn't hinder the story and you can assume the author isn't going to write something that gets censored a second time.

About the authors writing and story structure:

Writing has vastly improved over TorL - it is still unquestionably the authors style but i.e. the infodumps in TorL that were completly disconnected from the story don't exist (like that) anymore but are instead interwoven with the story, their placement makes sense and helps the story.

The author still likes to write a more complex world. And that requires world building. Many people reading CN webnovels are way too focused on the [Action Event A] into [Action Event B] etc - what I like to call 'instant gratification fastfood stories' with lots of cliffs. BIGs structure is way slower, there are multiple event lines that start out. The MC isn't going randomly deus ex machina once per arc (that doesn't mean he isn't lucky). The story telling is more complex and the events taking place make sense. If you have read ZTJ and never felt 'frustrated' in a bad way by the build up in the story that is a good sign. Everyone else should grab a book once in a while to get down from the 'fastfood' story dependency.

Just like TorL this is pretty much a western fantasy. You will see that it is from a CN author simply by some concepts and cultural influences. But in the end it is a relatively down to earth 'fantasy with magic and guns' story. This is not xianxia. And it is also no 'kingdombuilding' like TorL (partly to avoid any conflict with censorable political decisions. 'Thinking is fine. Acting is not'.

tl;dr: If you want to try a 'guns and magic' webnovel with a slower pace but more complex story that more resembles a book than the typical webnovel format you might want to try this one. <<less
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lefinensis rated it
February 22, 2020
Status: c462
There is nearly zero plot. Absolutely worse than Tales of Reincarnated Lord. The character here has no goal. There is no significant development. What you'll be reading is no better than the back of a cereal box where it only serves to package itself and present itself as a "product" and not an actual novel.

All you have is one filler chapter after another. If you think that chapters 1-xxx are relevant, they aren't. Almost all of the people that the protagonist interacts with are disposable characters. They are used for... more>> a single arc, thrown away and they don't even affect the protagonist in the slightest. This is worse than a garbage slice-of-life story where virtually nothing relevant ever happens that signifies character change. It's absolute garbage. A wishy-washy floating poop in the sea, and all it does is make you wonder about where all that sh*t is heading. <<less
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Zeikfried rated it
July 31, 2019
Status: c240
A transmigrator story with a much more down to Earth and realistic protagonist, who is very self-aware of his lack of "cheat system, " magical mentor inside his brain, or other random super-ability/talent. Nevertheless he trundles through the conflicts just fine without taking too much of a toll. As a consequence, the author like most webnovel writers neglects the emotional blowback that should be afflicting the MC as the story progresses. I thought the extreme slow pace in the first arc would have amounted to something larger, but after the... more>> climax of arc 1 it feels like the author just got tired and severed character relationships to move on with the plot. Our reincarnated transmigrator Claude is essentially the same person as his original fifteen (35) year old self regardless of how many years pass in the novel, how many people he murders, or how his relationships change.

The narrative itself is well fleshed out, but what is the point when you know the characters will never develop? At best you can call it a "fun" story.
My Thoughts As I Was Reading

Ch 130-150 (First Impression)

The story spends much more time on world-building and character development to the point that if the author opted, he could have swung away from the traditional webnovel tropes and just wrote a normal short story. And I think that is what irks people when we reach chapters 130-140:

[Sidenote: I don't think it is a spoiler to point out the random abrupt chapter-long Chinese nationalist ranting. That alone probably offended a lot of people- though the author has some metaphorical self-reflection on the lack of freedom in China in chapter 241.]

The sudden swing away from the idyllic behavior of the protagonist in his teenaged years, and outright chastising of readers demanding the protagonist go into "Gary Stu" mod probably pissed some people off. The early chapters info-dump the first underpinnings of problems beyond the domestic, and so a lot readers WANT to see a tr*shy brain-dead protagonist Mary-Sue his way through the narrative and "face-smack" all the villains. But the author essentially tells those readers to go f*ck themselves through the protagonist's self-pitying monologues, which explain all the author's work setting up a realistic protagonist. And I can definitely see said readers angrily smashing that one star button in response.


(Third Impression) Claude isn't morally bankrupt. There are far worst protagonists out there. But the flippancy with which the author treats killing takes away the depth and realism from his story. Claude's older brother and father had degrees of emotional connection to the MC, catching my attention most deeply out of all the dynamics. However that is in stark contrast to the emotional detachment Claude has when he starts killing people. He is supposedly enraged and wants to revel in vengeance for him family. You know the scene where he murders the mayor's butler and strangles the mayor with his bare hands while maintaining a stony indifference? Well that's what the author should expect from his readers, indifference.

Who gives a sh*t what the MC does? He certainly doesn't, so whatever.



Ch 200 If I have one complaint (I have multiple now), it is how the author handles character point of view. His original plot device for exposition was Claude's "super hearing, " but as the story goes on, he leans more and more on simply shifting to the other characters' perspectives. He takes away all the suspense and mystery from the later arcs. You can say he is setting up dramatic irony, but it really takes away from all the effort the author has put into setting up clues for Claude to solve.

The author's previous flippancy towards traumatic events is also given the same treatment with quick POV jumps and random reveals. That is when you can tell he has written himself into a tough spot and doesn't know what to do- when he'll just go into omniscient narrator mode and tell you everything that happening and what everyone is feeling.

But hey, at least effort was put into the story and tech/modern innovation talk is fun.

3.8/5 <<less
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Boredbunch rated it
June 3, 2019
Status: c198
Brilliant story, I dont normally leave reviews but I love it. The first arc near end got annoying due to him not just finishing of his enemies quickly but second arc helped get rid of annoyance. I do like how he isnt arragont and s*upid like most MC. And how there isnt alot of plot armour (so far)
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Hantosh rated it
March 6, 2020
Status: c592
Plot: a Chinese nationalist reincarnates into a Victorian, musket tech level world and revolutionizes warfare by not being an idiot.

- Currently there's 3 main arcs: childhood, soldier and general.
... more>>

The childhood arc is written differently from the rest of the novel and should not set your expectations for the rest of it. There's many little details about the world setting, history, etc which you may or may not find interesting. The MC explores magic here, and there's a xuanhuan/cultivation feel to the magic system.
The soldier arc is when the MC is drafted into the army. Writing becomes less detailed, filler starts being introduced in the form of standard Chinese webnovel antagonists (ie: vicious, arrogant, shameless idiots). MC starts to implement some modern reforms and finds some success whilst being hampered by aforementioned cliche idiots. Mage stuff is thrown into the back-burner as the story goes full army. Basically, MC makes muskets more accurate, which makes the age-old tactic of lining up in rows to whittle down the enemy in battles of attrition meaningless. Tactics actually have meaning, but the comically incompetent noble establishment resists change whilst their enemies adapt instantly.
After being promoted to a general, MC gets sent with his peers to retake the kingdom's colonies. First two arcs I'm not sold on, but I'm addicted to this one. They basically pull off a mini-America. Lots of army battles. MC is unleashed as he now has the power to pull off what he couldn't in the last arc, but is regularly dragged down by incompetent allies. And oh, the family drama. The end boss of the Shicks Kingdom campaign ends up being his mother.
There's a lot more filler now, author often recaps what happened in the last few chapters and the names of nations and army units are constantly spammed (transliterated names in Chinese really ups the word count). Nobles and natives are devolved into monolithic groups of well, a**holes. Mage stuff is essentially completely sidelined, it's basically used as a replacement for science in tech development.


- Story's not predictable unlike many xianxia novels.
The first arc has progression in the form of earning money and magic prowess. The third has nation building and tech development.
MC isn't infallible. His family life is screwed up. Often in xianxia stories the MC neglects his family due to s*upid plot reasons, but this is the only one where I've thought it makes sense, him being away at war for years at a time. And oh, he pays for it. He also cheats on his wife with two women, so I guess the harem tag applies.

- MC's a Chinese nationalist. It'll annoy you when it comes up, but thankfully it's not often (probably around 10 occasions?). I can't tell if it's an author hang-up or if he really wanted to write a nationalist character. It certainly fits the theme/era of the story, especially the MC's harsh colonialist actions during the third arc. He literally chose "Han" for his noble house name, which would be like giving yourself "Caucasian" for a middle name. There was also the time he modelled his troops' new army uniforms after the Nazis', because why not.

- Story's currently on hiatus (the raws), I assume due to the coronavirus. <<less
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ACTS1966 rated it
September 22, 2019
Status: c309

The description is misleading, so don't be expecting any focus on magic.

The start is a slow slice of life of the MC and his friends but once he leaves Whitestag it picks up.

... more>>

The military part is quite in depth and really sticks with the type of combat in the colonial era (standing in lines shooting at each other)


The MC doesn't focus on becoming an incel magi and instead becomes a Chad military captain.

The war and battles are nice as well.

Oh yeah magi are weak, they suck against muskets.

Yeah so it's a good read if your into colonial type stuff with nobles and such. <<less
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stabbo rated it
April 15, 2019
Status: c145
If you like substance in your stories you've come to the right place. Don't get me wrong, I sometimes like the stories about people reincarnating with various systems or whatever but those are more like snacks while webnovels like this one are a full meal.

Too bad there's so little released right now. Author is great, read his other stuff while you're at it.
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General Tanya
General Tanya rated it
November 19, 2018
Status: c12
I am still piss at the author about the discontinue of the previous novel. It has pretty much everything like Tales of the reincarnated Lord, only this time there is more fire arms. If you like his previous novel, you might like this one. Is similar. Nobles, swords, war and all that medieval stuff. Only this time author tend to focus more on MC family which is more boring to me. I am kinda bored reading the author same take on things like his previous novel. Why does it always... more>> has to be person being teleported from a different world and the body he was possessing was a jerk and he suddenly decided to life a good life there? It has zero point in doing that. Because why just him and just like his previous novel him getting transported was just something that happen and will never be explain again. The setting just turn me off when I read it. Then the next couple of chapter was pretty much history lesson and focusing on his family.

Unlike TotRL, this MC in this novel is more unlikable because he still has that childish personality. In TotRL the MC started off as a adult and his ways of doing stuff is more mature.I guess most can give it a try, it's not that bad. <<less
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