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 - 354 user ratings
Associated Names
One entry per line
Citadel of Black Iron
Related Series
Forty Millenniums of Cultivation (2)
Galactic Dark Net (1)
Ancient Strengthening Technique (1)
Chaotic Lightning Cultivation (1)
A Will Eternal (1)
Against the Gods (1)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
02/19/18 Qidian International c404c404
02/17/18 Qidian International c403c403
02/14/18 Qidian International c402c402
02/10/18 Qidian International c401c401
02/09/18 Qidian International c400c400
02/07/18 Qidian International c399c399
02/03/18 Qidian International c398c398
02/01/18 Qidian International c397c397
01/31/18 Qidian International c396c396
01/30/18 Qidian International c395c395
01/27/18 Qidian International c394c394
01/25/18 Qidian International c393c393
01/25/18 Qidian International c392c392
01/24/18 Qidian International c391c391
01/23/18 Qidian International c390c390
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36 Reviews sorted by

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 it... more>> 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 rated it
May 25, 2017
Status: Completed

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.)


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 rated it
January 12, 2017
Status: c276
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 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... more>> 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.

Edit: 30-9-2017 - I'm still reading. I wrote this review back when volume 2 was just about to be translated. I'm still enjoying the read. The MC continues to be a bit of a pervert, but it's really not highlighted that much. At least what's there doesn't really bother me. Not even the extended 'fun' he's had with numerous girls at one point. The author doesn't go into details much.

Every now and again he gets into serious trouble and manages to scamper himself out of it as well. So often there's plenty of action to keep yourself entertained and you're not bored to death by long endless cultivation details as there's often something simmering in the background and you just know something is going to happen. Granted, the author isn't very subtle about it either. Pretty straightforward really. But it's part of the fun.

The game elements so far haven't been very intrusive and it's plainly there to give the MC a cultivation/strength edge and something to work towards. Okay, I might be downplaying this a bit. It's a huge part of the MC's strength.

One of the main things of the MC's power trip is the little tree inside his 'Black Iron Castle' space, which gives him fruits to eat in return for the actions he has taken, consequently giving him substantial power-ups.

The MC has powered up substantially so far, so I do hope the Author can continue to make things thrilling. We'll see. I've definitely not grown tired of reading this so far. <<less
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grenfunkel rated it
May 3, 2017
Status: v14c42
Edit: I have read ahead the raws and it's f-ing awesome. The moment the real enemies... more>>

demons and third eye group/traitor humans

appear is the true moment where this novel gets awesome. As of chapter 300+, it is just building up. Some reviewer below said that he is selfish for not sharing his enzyme

He made his big bro the supplier and maker of super enzyme and gave a fruit that has the knowledge of alchemist abayan (the alchemist in the ironhot). So his bro became an alchemist.

. I say, read ahead and you will ask yourself who in the other CN novels is as generous as Zhang Tie. And some may say that he is perverted. I think that is normal given his age. He matures in the later chapter when he is older and became a husband and father. At least he is normal unlike other MC that seems robotic and thinks only of stealing treasure or killing someone aho offended them (so narrow minded). Also

he married about 6 women and loves them very much and he matures very much later on


pandora is actualy pretty strong and has background

. Some said that this novel is too patriotic, but at least it ain't racist. What is wrong with chinese praising themselves? Would it seem normal to insult and hate your own country? I'd rather think that only terrorists would be that ironic.

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). <<less
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wolfeinstein24 rated it
October 31, 2017
Status: c169
I actually liked the story. A well planned MC. Not those flat 2 dimensional MC. It was good but the. The patriotism started and the story started getting racist.

... more>>

all the people in the novel talking about how the chinese is very superior when it comes to cultuvation then other nation. Ok I can accept that.

Then his country gets invaded and he is okay about it. Doesn't care that many leaders of his country were killed. He accepts the new rule because the new rulers are of chines lineage. Then he justifies his decision in a few chapters saying that his previous countries rulers where cowards anyway and their whole family deserved to die. But portrays himself as a good perosn who is always fillial to his parents and his country.

he gets a fist skill and he seems to be even more skilled than normal even taking into account that he has all those cheats. Then he finds out that it was because of him being chinese. Then he becomes a cult leader.

It is like the whole book was an advertisement of somekind to convert others to be chinese

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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 s*x.

Besides it's not all about his s*xual 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 food... more>> 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. <<less
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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 significance of... more>> 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 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. <<less
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solareyes rated it
December 5, 2017
Status: c315
Like the other reviews stated, it starts poorly. Seems like the author was trying to make it "edgy", but it just came across immature and awkward. It definitely improved later on, though there was still a weird obsession with s*x.

It's kind of a pity, because the unique cultivation and inner world were actually interesting. The plot was fine, but nothing special. Plenty of familiar tropes: arrogant bullies, a "ruthless" protagonist, etc.

I dropped it after the protagonist chased a girl, forced a kiss, and tried to rape her.
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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 shiny... more>> 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. <<less
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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. <<less
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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

... more>>

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


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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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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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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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. <<less
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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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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 is still... more>> 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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Bai Xiaolong
Bai Xiaolong rated it
September 9, 2017
Status: c8
When I first read the synopsis, I thought it was going to be a decent novel but the first 5 chapters are basically about the MC's lust and vulgarity.

Though I know that the MC is going through puberty and such, this is a little to much for me.

Don't get me wrong, I've read a lot of novels which have vulgar material in it, but this made me stop and think that it was way too lustful.

This is only my opinion so you can try the book out if you want.
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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 thoughts... more>> 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. <<less
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novelbrah rated it
April 20, 2017
Status: c55

Honestly, I have a problem with having high expectations and always being disappointed. I saw where this novel COULD go, instead of seeing where it MIGHT go. Overall a letdown, and I was ready to rate it a 5 early on, then it slowly went further down as I continued reading.


... more>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 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. <<less
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