Sha Po Lang


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“The first person to dig ziliujin fuel out of the ground could never have predicted that what they dug out was the beginning of a dog-eat-dog age.

Our entire life was but an ugly confidence game of greed; this is something everyone knows, but that they could not bring to light.

From where did this con begin? Maybe from atop the first clean white canvas sails of a foreign ship that sailed across the ocean, or from beneath the great wing of a Giant Kite as it rose unsteadily into the skies — or from a time even before that: as the spreading ziliujin, like an ink stain upon the earth, turned the great plains of the wild north into a sea of flames.

Or maybe it was when We… when I met Gu Yun in a world all covered in ice and snow.”

Associated Names
One entry per line
Shā Pò Láng
Stars of Chaos (Print Copy)
Sát Phá Lang
烽火流金 [Live Action Drama]
Related Series
Golden Stage (13)
Imperfections (8)
Qiang Jin Jiu (8)
To Rule in a Turbulent World (7)
Liu Yao: The Revitalization of Fuyao Sect (7)
Those Years In Quest Of Honour Mine (5)
Recommendation Lists
  1. My treasures
  3. God Tier Danmei
  4. God Tier BLs
  5. Master-disciple(servant), shixiong-shidi, tutor-wa...

Latest Release

Date Group Release
06/30/22 Northwest Flower extra 16
12/26/21 SPLtrans c37
12/19/21 SPLtrans c36
12/12/21 SPLtrans c35
12/05/21 SPLtrans c34
11/28/21 SPLtrans c33
11/21/21 SPLtrans c32
11/14/21 SPLtrans c31
11/07/21 SPLtrans c30
10/31/21 SPLtrans c29
10/24/21 SPLtrans c28
10/17/21 SPLtrans c27
10/10/21 SPLtrans c26
10/03/21 SPLtrans c25
09/26/21 SPLtrans c24
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107 Reviews sorted by

earlgreyt rated it
March 14, 2020
Status: Completed
A webnovel that actually competes with published novels is very rare. This is probably one of the best webnovels here on NU, and I'm pretty harsh about my ratings, ok?

If you are tired of cardboard cut-outs, here's what to look forward to:

  • An ML who is actually a human being who is NOT stoic, NOT overbearing, and NOT idolized by the author. Are you curious about an ML who cannot be described with three adjectives? Read on!
  • Plot (an endangered species, I'm telling you) that is NOT there to glorify the main characters.
  • Villains who are NOT there to glorify the main characters.
  • Side characters who are NOT there to glorify the main characters.
  • Conflict that is actually conflicting, that forces main characters to actually try hard, and they don't always succeed (once more, NOT there to glorify the main characters).
  • Worldbuilding that is detailed (without going overboard) with fantasy STEAMPUNK (!) elements and based on an actual historical era (instead of some vague "ancient china" irrational mumbo-jumbo you get with most "ancient" settings)
  • DID I MENTION.... a lot of things NOT just there to glorify the main characters?!
I also have to say, the politics (and the emperor) are probably one of my favorite things in this novel. In every other novel, the emperor is either overly competent and somehow (magically or coincidentally) helps the MC... more>> or an absolute idiot who is the MC's opponent. NOT THIS ONE.

  • For those of you who read Golden Stage before reading this one, keep in mind this novel was published in 2015 and Golden Stage published three years later in 2018 with almost IDENTICAL plot. There's no need to point fingers; just don't let your bias color how original Priest's is.

You literally witness how step-by-step, the emperor's caution and policies push the country to the brink. And separately, each step seem understandable, even reasonable, from his point of view, but alltogether, they become the straw that breaks the camel's back. Beautiful.

It's not about the Emperor's incompetence, but rather a failure in the juggling act of balancing power with foresight. How many CEOs of big companies have crashed due to the same issues: quarterly returns vs. long term development vs. pleasing the board of directors? A lot more than you might think.

No handwavy magic, no vague "implications" (from authors who themselves have no idea what they're "implicating" about). An incredibly impressive and believable way for the way the author set up each of the major events in the novel.


Another thing is seriously, the characters are actually normal and react in normal ways. For example...


When the MC confesses to the ML and gets rejected, he simply accepts the rejection and they go back to a 'platonic' relationship. Like holy crap! No forcing, drugging or threatening, what a f*cking shock! They also realize that there are more important things at stake like the stability of the country, not just their epic romance! A-m-a-z-i-n-g!


Webnovels typically suffer from three major issues: extreme filler (because higher wordcount directly associates with higher payouts), lack of forward planning (because writers have to update every day to keep readers), and extremely cliche/shortsighted instant gratification (because readers are paying for novels by the chapter).

This book literally has none of the above. Seriously, give it go.


The translation [Northwest Flower] is pretty good, except for two (big) issues: grammar and fairly arbitrary pinyin inserts. But it's also clear the translators worked really hard to give Priest's book the attention it deserves, just falling short of a few things.


The grammar is a pretty big issue for native English readers. The past perfect and present perfect tenses and plural/singular verb conjugations are almost always wrong. About 90% of the story is grammatically incorrect, which makes reading it extremely difficult. Typically, I would have long dropped stories with this level of grammatical issues.

Specific terms are arbitrarily translated. I'm not sure why the "Black Iron Camp" and "Wind Slasher" got translated, but Spectrum Arrows, telescopes, monocles, mechanics, Beacon tickets, etc. are left their original pinyin. There's seriously a LOT of pinyin to memorize, and I read the book all at once so it would be way more difficult for people who were slower readers (because the vocab is not consistently footnoted).

I also recommend translating the pinyin for the steampunk oil (anything works like "viogold oil") because so many policies and people (like gold fighters) play on the word "gold" in that made-up term. Measuring impurities in it is one thing and setting it on fire to create explosions is a huge part of many battles/plots. It is SO difficult for English readers to even imagine what category of substance "ziliujing" is (a liquid? a mineral? a powder?) when the entire object is left untranslated.

Yes, I understand Chinese, yes I can read pinyin, yes I still think it's a problem.

Extra: Priest herself wrote in the preface of Sha Po Lang comparing "ziliujing" to petroleum. The literal translation of "petroleum" into Chinese is "rock oil." I've seen alternate translations of "ziliujing" like "violetstream gold, " but such a literal translation does a disservice to the author's original intent and core meaning of the object. For example, "gold" being the final word in the phrase means that you are signaling English readers that it's a type of solid metal.

So in lieu of that, ending with "oil" or using a made up noun like "aureleum" (aureus is latin for gold/golden) carry more of Priests's original intentions. Bonus: gold fighters can be aurumites / aurelites.


I've been dying to recommend this book literally to everybody that I know, but unfortunately, most of my friends are not frequent WN/LN readers. Even if they've read MDZS, this one is difficult to pick up due to the absurd amount of pinyin, to my great sadness.

P.S. If you are looking for stereotypical, clingy, sticky, romance-focused, "i love you so I don't have a life spoiling u is my life" or "a big part of the plot is about finding true love and keeping them happy", don't read this book. There are literally hundreds of others on NU that will perfectly suit your needs. <<less
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meridianna rated it
October 26, 2018
Status: c82
welp, still struggling through the mass amount of distorted English. will add more comments after finished all. and I plan to do it fast :))
but I can really tell this is very great.

the shou is shameless, looks weak and unreliable but still able to kill, best at it even. (kinda remind you of certain patriach). the gong is......... A GOOD, VERY GOOD CHILD. kind, selfless but detached. his only wish is to protect his yifu (foster father, the shou). what a kind soul, sobs. he really needs hug. and pats on head, ofc. eh, there'll be time skip, so it's not shotacon, you all can be assured.

the plot is very intriguing. but rather heavy on politic, so I think some people can't really stand it.


the gong and shou have some chronic diseases respectively. Gu Yun (shou) is half deaf-half blind becoz he was poisoned when he was a child. that's the truth. with some medicine he can see and hear rather well, but not without nasty side effects, like... shortened lifespan and severe headache. and this medicine was losing effectiveness by time to time. he still looks nonchalant about this. damn. Chang Geng (gong) was poisoned by his supposedly-mother in early chapters. well she was not his real mother, she was his aunt actually, she tried to kill him several times till he always gets nightmares every night. by this bad bad aunt, Chang Geng was cursed to be a madman, killing everyone in fit of madness, have unstable mind. Chang Geng is a smart child, he tried to suppress it and find a way to cure this. so, he looks calm and stable, but when his yifu is involved, the calmness was crushed. as far I read, this poison is only affecting the mind. but eh, I may be wrong.


looks a bit in*est tbh, so I guess some people don't like it. however, I really dig on older shou younger gong these days, so I am very very okay with this.

edit: okay... I wonder why this one hasn't got any adaptation other than audio drama. the setting and conflicts are actually great. the characters too. I wanna see those black armors in motion! also the archery on top of a flying ship!! is it becoz it looks in*est? welp. fyi Gu Yun in audio drama has same VA as Yiling Laozu donghua version. boii.. he even sang the SPL's ED ost. can't help to loop the song for many times.


now now i've read about CG's curse and how he got it. GDI XIU NIANG. W-WHAT KIND OF GRIEVANCE YOU HAD TILL YOU DID THAT TO A CHILD WHO MAY BE YOUR OWN OR YOUR SISTER'S ?!! the detail is too grotesque. can't write it here orz


tbh, this novel really pierces to my heart. Gu Yun to Chang Geng is a deterrent, limiter to his own curse. and Chang Geng to Gu Yun is a change of hard-like-stone heart. reading how Gu Yun finally learns to treasure his life because of Chang Geng is really heart-wrenching..

really, I think it's one of most famous from priest. donghua pls...
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clxndestinely rated it
September 4, 2020
Status: c57
I came here for three reasons: I loved Silent Reading (also by Priest) ; this novel has great reviews/ratings; and it's pretty popular, so I get recommendations a lot. I don't think it's that bad, but, honestly, it is pretty disappointing.

  • MC | 4.2/5.0
Starting off as a youth mature for his age (13/14, it was unclear due to an error within either the novel or the translation) yet still immature in ways, Priest shows us his personality. He's rather reserved, but he cares deeply for the people around him, though he... more>> has this bad habit of looking down on childishness, due to his very shameless yifu. Actually, I was really happy with the starting point, because we could see what MC actually went through instead of just knowing. Admittedly, though, the start was slow (picks up around chapter 28, according to my tastes, so it doesn't necessarily apply to you guys) because of this and the time-skips, which I'll get to later on. However, his personality develops a lot throughout the 5/6 years (with time-skips), and he becomes a gentle and calm young master who lives with minimal money. Knowing a little of everything due to his diligent travelling/studying, whilst also having the sharp mind of a prince. The only issue is his Bone of Impurity (the number of dirty jokes that this brought with it), which brings him pain when his mind is unclear. This, however, puts me off quite a bit. As a person, he's basically perfect, except from his two weaknesses (the Bone of Impurity and the Boner of Impurity), which might attract the readers, but I utterly despise it. If I'm being honest, he's the typical danmei gong (the non-yandere type, I mean with a giant !1!1!1!), except an MC. There's this one moment that I despise, where he confesses to ML and basically says, "If you want me to leave, I'll disappear from the face of the Earth, " which might as well be emotional manipulation. Except... maybe he doesn't realise that? I'll hang onto that hope.

  • ML | 4.6/5.0
I'd like to say right here and right now: ML is nothing like Wei WuXian. The only similarities are their shamelessness and ridiculous amount of suffering. So ML's a powerful general, the Marquis of Order, and the only thing stopping his flight is the Emperor's paranoia. Oddly similar to Golden Stage, but I'm pretty sure that this came first, so I'm gonna roll with it. Despite his layers of armour and face, he's quite fragile underneath, both physically and mentally. An example is his adoptive son, ML, who he's always wanted to look after well due to his own father's terrible parenting. There's also the fact that he's a half-blind-half-deaf, yet

constantly takes short-term medicine that damages him in the long-term.

Even his personality is flawed. Despite him being of high-status and loving his country, he's an arrogant a-hole and often says the wrong thing at the wrong time. I love him for that, but, halfway through the story, the readers spread hate towards him. Probably because the ship isn't sailing yet, and they want someone to blame.

  • Romance | 4.0/5.0
I think the MC and ML's dynamics are decent. They look out for but don't solely exist for each other, but with mutual respect in between. I do find it a bit weird how it was between an adoptive father and his son, but I've read worse, so I could handle this. However, this was called a "slow burn." It is not slow-burn. Slow-burn is them falling in love throughout the story. This, on the other hand,

is MC realising he likes ML way too early and constantly gay-panicking, whilst ML is clueless until it's too late. Then, ML proceeds to ignore it until he falls for MC anyway, despite wanting to be a good father.

Pretty unrealistic, in my opinion.

  • The Emperor | 3.5/5.0
People are saying it's refreshing to have an Emperor that's not so close to the MC and ML that he'll randomly give them favours. However, it'd also be refreshing to have an Emperor who's not so utterly paranoid that his country falls apart in his hands. Again, a trope used in Golden Stage. Not yet overused, but definitely not new. Can we not just have a cautious Emperor that has screen-time once in a while and is guarded but good at managing his own subjects?... No? Okay.

  • Side characters | 3.0/5.0
Wait, which one? I wouldn't know, since Priest has two bad habits in terms of side-characters: they will appear out of thin air; and they will disappear into thin air... until they benefit the plot. At most, their name will pop up, and you'll spend ten minutes agonising over, "Whom is this???" Believe me, it's happened. That's all to be mentioned.

  • Villains | 3.8/5.0
Literally cannot remember any of them. So forgettable that they might as well not exist. They just come and go to show how MC and ML persevere through troubles. Whoever said it's not there to make them look good? They lied. Basically the same as Priest's side-character flaw, but with the bad guys. Admittedly, though, they're better than side characters. We understand their mottos in a heart-wrenching segment of paragraphs, the signature of Priest.

  • World-building | 3.5/5.0
I deeply respect how Priest adds new elements to Ancient China. It's a shame that I utterly cannot visualise how the Ziliujin (Violetstream Gold) works. Is it a transported as a solid, liquid, or gas? Do they heat things up like oil, or do they power circuits like electricity? We have no idea. Well, no; we do. It seems to do everything useful, without any flaws, turning China into some OP country perfect for attracting wolves (colonizers). I appreciate the fact that it basically holds up the entire story, but it's too much and is utterly unrealistic, especially with the other robot-like things that it powers. The Kites, the Birds, and the Eagles... none of them are logical to me.

  • Arcs/Plot | 4.0/5.0
Politic novels are hard to understand when you don't know bat about China (despite having very Chinese parents) or the world. Priest is one of those strive-hard authors that spend ages on making an intricate plot with a mastermind behind it all. Unfortunately, she couldn't handle this one — it's overly convoluted for someone like me, who was adopted from idiots. com. I spend more time wracking my brains (to understand what happens) than enjoying the novel, which just puts me off. Similarly to Guardian (also by Priest), this is a mess of things that neither of us understand. On the other hand, I do like what I understand, so the sub-rating speaks better than my words.

  • "Voice" | 5.0/5.0
I love Priest's "voice." Seriousness (if we just [ignore] info-dumps) with a hint of dry humour and the teaspoon of honey-sweet romance that comes with heart-skip moments (terms and conditions apply). Sorry, I'm making no sense. Either way, this is one of the reasons why I've pulled through so far, and I'm glad, since I've seen some great things.

  • Translation | 4.0/5.0
Despite the heavy use of pinyin and shifting of tenses, I do understand what goes on, and I only get thrown off once in a while. Perhaps some of my confusion was because the words were lost in translation, but I don't think I'd like to hold onto that thought. I do appreciate all the hard-work used to do this, especially with the criticism in these reviews.

  • Readers | 3.0/5.0
W*ttPad gives us line-by-line comments, so, believe me, this is important. I have rather mixed feelings about this. There are the brainless fujoshis who ship a 13/14-year-old with his adoptive father. There are the people who criticise ML for perfectly reasonable things. There are also the Priest-fandom who suck up to everything because, well, its Priest (there was a paragraph of hers that basically excused bandits, and the readers agreed. Like, yes, they're "human too, " but they should still be punished for their crimes, whether they're greedy or desperate for money).

On the other hand, we have the nice ones. They try to explain what's going on, give great theories, make hilarious remarks (the one that wanted to bonk the dirty-minded people gave me life), and help us see from another point of view. I love you guys, I swear.

  • Overall | 3.0/5.0
No, I won't rate lower because I think it's overrated. This is my personal evaluation of this novel, which I found rather disappointing due to Priest's fame. There are so many great things that pushed me deeper into the abyss of Sha Po Lang, but the issues with it stop me each time I'm on a roll. Honestly, I'm tired of forcing my way through this, so I'm going to stop here. Thank you for those who lit up my days with your comments. I love you guys — I love this fandom — but I can't stomach the rest of this. Just realised that this sounds terribly like a sewer-side note, and I want t0 mention that it's not. I just have questionable tastes. Thanks! ^^ <<less
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dd737 rated it
July 1, 2021
Status: Completed
I read this last year on Northwest flower translation. I just checked it again now and looks like the translations are being taken down? : ( Someone just told me that the translation isn't taken down (fortunately) but moved to the translator's own website, you could check it out on their website (it's northwestflower/./net) (*ノ・ω・) ノ

Fortunately, I've read this amazing novel already. Thank you for the translator laoshi, you've worked hard :)

This is my favourite novel from Priest so far. There are so many things I like from... more>> this novel that I don't know which one to mention haha

The MC journey is really close to my heart, especially when he went around the world in search of his identity. It was like he is fulfilling the things that I couldn't do.

The MC is cold-blooded, yes. But the most surprising thing that I expected to happened but still a little bit disappointed is when

the MC "kills" his emperor brother. Tbh, I could empathize with the emperor brother a little bit and also like his character. But, the thing is he wants to kill the ML because he is anxious. If only he settled down and don't believe his father emperor's words : (Really, I sincerely hope that he will reincarnate to a good family, have a good life, be a good person and help people around him. Like how Priest writes it, he is a good ruler but he rules in the wrong time.


The romance aspects... I couldn't say much? Well, the MC's ambition are rooted from his love towards the ML, but tbh I read this for the intrigue and not the romance. I ship them, though.

I really hope that the live action will do this novel justice!! >.< The line-up is quite good but I don't have any faith toward tencent like I would toward youku yet, so...

Do I recommend this novel? Yes Yes Yes, but no if you want a sweet and no-brainer story :) <<less
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ShiraAichan rated it
August 1, 2019
Status: v4c95
Probably the best danmei BL I ever read, haven't found anything that could top this

Plot driven, slowburn romance, exciting in every way
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baibaicai rated it
August 13, 2018
Status: c21

Why is the rating so bad... anyway this is quite a hard read for non native speaker bc the vocabulary is difficult QAQ

The MC is the seme (gong) so i'll refer to them as gong and shou instead.

THUNDER ALERT!!! up to the chapter I'm reading the gong is still 14 years old so please be aware. he's going to get older tho *wink wink*

The story:

... more>>

it's a forsaken child ascending to throne kind of story. the shou will be the one to help the gong become king. the world setting is a steam punk china with ziliujin (violetstream gold) powering machines, armors, and weapons. think of it like vibranium. china is constantly in battles with neighboring tribes for land.


The gong:


a bratty child, currently. but he's ardent in his martial art training and cares a lot about his yifu (shou). one time he thought his yifu has fallen into the water and jumped to save him even though he always acted nonchalant towards his yifu. a righteous person, would save his friend even when it endangers his life.


The shou:


GOSH I LOVE HIM. shameless ukes always burns my fire. he's beautiful and he's not ashamed to admit it. very lazy tho, would delegate all house chores to shen yi. even though he's sick he's not weak. although the desc said he's deaf-blind he still can see and hear from close distance. a general of an army division, he has won countless border wars. he thinks of the gong as his actual son. would the gong be son-zoned???

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whitespade rated it
January 10, 2019
Status: v1c36
A BL novel that mostly focused on plot than 'plot'. Heck if this is not specifically labelled as BL and get rid of some of the protagonist's spring thoughts this will be an excellent 'road to kingdom' novel.

But the thoughts are still there and its delicious hehe. The characters are fleshed out and their actions are understandable, the inter-country fights are interesting though maybe too complicated/heavy for some people, the mechas are novel but not fully explained.

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TimeToEscape94 rated it
November 5, 2019
Status: Completed
Rating: 4.3

This my first non-MXTX novel & I'm really enjoying it.

The story involves a lot of politics & wars. I had to use google sometimes to understand the plot (where they were for example). But it's quite simple to understand if you are well focused in your reading (really, don't read it when you're tired LMAO). Plus, the story and the sceneries are really well detailed, so you can easily visualize/imagine everything.

As the plot is quite consistent, the romance and the cute moments between the two characters are a... more>> little drowned in the actions related to the war, which can be a little frustrating. For example: we finally have a moment where the two characters are alone, the fluff is here, then suddenly BAM someone comes to warn them that something has just happened and the mood is ruined xD. However, that doesn't stop us from having a few cute/hot moments. BTW, yes they have s*x, but there's not a lot of details about it; no smuuut (maybe in the end? T_T / EDIT 04.03.2020: THE ANSWER IS



I love the interactions between the main characters (not only the MC/ML), which are also often very funny. Gu Yun (ML) is a shameless king OMG haha. Despite being half-deaf, half-blind, he's no week at all. He's also smart and very dedicated -sometimes too much- to his work ;

being the leader of the Black Iron Camp

The MC is also very intelligent, strong and calm (when he's not h**ny about Gu Yun haha). Despite the different and long separations they have, their story is beautiful and I really like their relationship dynamics. I can't wait to see how it ends!

Since I really like very developed plotlines, I'll probably read more novels of this author!

EDIT 04.03.2020 : I finished the main story. I won't change my previous comments, since I keep the same opinion on this novel. The ending is satisfying for all the "the war/political plot". On the other hand, I expected more intimacy and sweet moments between the two characters.... Maybe in the extras? I will give it a try, but if it goes back into political stuffs, then I'll stop there. <<less
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Lovelies rated it
March 24, 2020
Status: Completed
What the heck? The novel (and author) is so underrated. This is one of my favorite BL novels, up there with well-known books like MDZS and HOB.

There are a very few amount of BL novels out there that have actual quality to it. So when you find a gem like this, read it.
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orhrzya rated it
January 3, 2020
Status: c119
my first priest novel :> nothing more romantic than a conquest to reform the nation for the sake of your beloved general's dreams so that he doesn't have to go to war anymore
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periperi rated it
February 28, 2021
Status: Completed
5 stars

I left this half completed like 2 years ago, it's a heavy plot. But it's so good. I even bought the audio drama and was slowly consuming it (but again, HEAVY PLOT + bad chinese skills = can't understand half of it but the VA voices were so good), luckily, it's fully translated now. Thank you translators!

So, this has one of the best war + strong characters + romance all mixed in one. And a really solid HEA, esp for someone who's a prince. What with the tricky inheritance... more>> issue in the BL setting. But the best, mind blowing thing, even in english, is the politics and war and steampunk rolled into one. Even after reading this twice (half finished the first time), I'm not entirely sure I understood the politics entirely but I do know they out-maneuvered their enemies and got out on top. There's also a good blend of angst (WAR) and humour (Shen yi cracks me up). This is genuinely a masterpiece in the genre.

The main characters are solid individuals apart and together. The romance with the age gap and the almost odd relationship (foster father-son) was well done. The cast of characters are also strong. And I just really like them all.

Now that I've finished reading, I shall now finally finish enjoying the audio drama. And am also looking forward to the drama adaption.

Felt really bitter sweet

at the extras especially the one in the future where they've retired. Almost felt like I wanted them to be immortals and together forever.

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Melange rated it
March 31, 2020
Status: Completed
Wow. This is one of the best novels I've read in the genre and it is on par with if not better than MDZS. The plot is intriguing and intricate while the characters are all well-rounded and hilarious. There's a little angst, but it's not too overbearing.

Additionally, the translator does a very good job of explaining a lot of the figures of speech as well as the hidden meanings behind some of the phrases.

None of the characters are flawless and the author sometimes goes through great lengths to roast them.... more>> Especially poor Gu Yun.


Constantly being misunderstood as some lecher when in reality it was Chang Geng who seduced him, haha. On the other hand, we have Chang Geng with his, "Zi Xi, I'm hurt. Kiss me."


My favorite character is Old Maid Shen Yi, the true best friend, telling Gu Yun like it is. I haven't read all of the extras, but I'm hoping...


Shen Yi and Chen Qing Xu get married.


If you're reading this for the smut, then don't because there really isn't any. This novel is plot driven and focuses extensively on character development as well as the development of the nation of Great Liang. <<less
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Karinkatakika rated it
March 3, 2020
Status: Completed
Priest sneakily managed to climb her way onto the list of my favourite authors ever. She is so well-read and researches every topic meticulously, just so she can deliver yet another incredible work.

World building? Check.
Prose? Check.
Wholesome characters with adequate development? Check.
A cast of lovable and unforgettable side character? Check.
A badass female no-nonsense doctor? Check - If you are reading this I'm free on Thursday night and would like to hang out please respond to this and hang out with me on Thursday night when I am free

Please do not be intimidated by people claiming it's "in*est" or a "problematic" relationship - it actually isn't? If one had to really call it something, I would say "risqué" fits it perfectly - but that fits most of Priest's couples and there are far more novels with even worse topics.

Gu Yun is the adoptive father of Chang Geng, but this only happens because of special circumstances. Chang Geng develops feelings for his foster father during his teenage years and what was at first infatuation, gradually turns into actual love as he ages and the story progresses.
Gu Yun doesn't pick up on it until much much later and is at first put off by those feelings. There was never a moment where I had the feeling he groomed Chang Geng or lead him on in any way.

I think it is a really wholesome relationship. They rely (*cough* mostly *cough*, Gu Yun you dog, please stop hiding your injuries from your lover, he will find out and you will suffer) on each other and want to build a better world for the other person.

The novel is full of political drama and military strategies, lots and lots of scheming and a wide cast of lovable (and hate-able) side characters:
Shen Yi is what every friend should aspire to be like, his bickering and nagging with Gu Yun is out of this world.
Doctor Chen Qing Xu is absolutely hilariously introduced and keeps delivering, I have rarely seen such a strong female character and would love to read more about her and her adventures.
Cao Niangzi is a transgender woman and no one can convince me otherwise.

Give this novel (can it be even called that?? It's a saga, it's an epic) a chance and you will be in for an enjoyable ride.
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CriTheMarshall rated it
July 30, 2020
Status: extra 12
Can I just say that I LOVE this novel.

From the world and the intricate plot, to the small little fluffy moments that are way too scarce throughout the novel, but so delicious.

This is by no means a novel you can just pick up randomly and read when you have nothing to do, as it requires you to actually pay a certain amount of attention to what's going on. But even so, while it is pretty complicated, it is explained very well so you probably won't have any problems understanding the... more>> events of the story as they unfold.

As for the characters, both the main couple and the side characters are very well developed, making you feel more invested in the story where you actually care about the well being even of the simple soldiers. Each character has something to offer to the story in a meaningful way and you never feel like you want to just get back to the main couple.

Speaking of the main couple, hoo boi. Both Chang Geng and Gu Yun are quite the personalities. They are both characters with their own motives, thoughts and goals, as such they compliment each other perfectly. To quote:

"The two of them each adjust a little of themself to fit with the other, a quiet understanding emerged bewteen the two people, with no need to express them by words."

So this is not a story of how love can change someone but about how two people can come together and support each other while still respecting each other for who they are. <<less
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Alisha chan
Alisha chan rated it
October 16, 2020
Status: Completed
Before reading this novel, I had never realized I was so dumb. I don't normally read novels with complex politics and millitary but I still gave it a try. Damn It took me more than 5 minutes to read one paragraph just to understand the plot. I am still glad that I read it. This novel must be read if you are danmei fan.
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January 25, 2020
Status: Completed
It's a very plot-driven novel, the main focus during the story is the fall and rising of the nation, the ideas of progress, all the scheming and planning behind it. Priest was very meticulous with the details so eventually, the pieces would fall into place. It was an interesting plotline with consistent development. I really liked the world-building, the mix of steampunk and more realistic elements, entangled with all the sociopolitical and economic aspects, it all enriched the story a lot.

The MC and ML are smart and strong, each with... more>> a very distinct personality and important role, I especially like how witty the ML is. Romance is not the main focus of the novel but their love is still relevant in the story, though at some points it can get buried under the political elements.

The reason I gave it four stars is because all the complex external circumstances occasionally overshadow the characters' development and their inner transformations; there are also moments when there isn't much focus on the development of relationships among characters. Sometimes we get a throughout explanation of an event but there's not much about the characters' feelings or emotions.

Overall, I think the story is interesting and refreshing, I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a complex and rich plot with a nice romance. <<less
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Xiao Xinxin
Xiao Xinxin rated it
July 29, 2020
Status: extra 12
Just finished extras 11-12. My tears are going to perforate the atmosphere. Going into this novel, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. It's a bit of a slow start at the beginning to settle you down into the world and it's politics, so I highly recommend making/searching up a character sheet and a map of China, as well as jotting down major plot points, wars, character histories, and schemes as it can get really confusing if you treat it as a light read. Priest is an extremely... more>> talented author, and you can see from the loads of books she's compiled that writing is something she's extremely passionate about. Her writing style can be humorous, petty, tense and full of hints so the reader can make their own predictions. She does this in an amazing way, and even the main character's true plan in the 3rd/4th book isn't revealed until the end. What I absolutely love about this novel is it's diversity. Everything is discussed, there's old age, weakness, old wounds, mental illness, disabilities, steampunk, inventions, the spoils of war, laws, refugees, advancement of tech, so much goes on in the world it's insane. Every side character is explored and conflicts are difficult to overcome, they all need meticulous planning, and a sturdy heart. Not only that, but cleaning up the aftermath is discussed as well, details are prominent and aren't brushed aside. It's incredibly immersive and I love it.

If you're here for the romance, don't set your bars too high, as Priest has a very tender style of writing love, and there aren't any too-intimate scenes in the novel, most are just between the MC and ML caring for one another, thinking of each other, and baring their hearts out when times are tough. I highly recommend reading this novel, as the political intrigue, wars, steampunk environment and court scheming are extremely detailed and spoken in a hooked tone. Trust me, you'll get addicted to seeing enemies get their asses served on a silver platter.

There are also some heart wrenching and trigger filled scenes in this novel, and the relationship between the MC and ML definitely isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. That being said, please don't spread hate, if the first few chapters disgust you, don't keep reading, and if your heart is too soft, don't torture yourself with the long chapters as the MC and ML tend to bottle things up and make your heart stuffy. There are also mentions of child abuse, alcoholism, brutalities of war and trauma, so if these topics don't sit well for you, I recommend you move onto another series. In the end, I will never forget this novel, I have mass respect and for the translator, and I hope Priest continues writing all the books she wants <<less
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August 11, 2019
Status: Completed
It is indeed a slow-burning romance that others have mentioned with mature sentiments from MC and ML. The story is well developed. It wouldn't be exaggerated to use all the most beautiful words to describe the novel.

And by the way, the plot is not anything extraordinary so don't expect a big plot twist from those who need it.


When the author wanted to tell a situation, she literally tells everything that happened,... more>> everything except for the human feelings of people in there, the relations.

That's why even when the novel is long and meaningful, it doesn't leave anything much in me. The novel could have been an all shiny diamond, but instead it is a poor pearl that only reflects beautifully the love between the main characters. <<less
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Da_An77 rated it
February 20, 2021
Status: Completed
Sha Po Lang may has unconventional couple start, however Priest manages to built the relationship between MC and ML so well you can help but root for their happiness. Their love grow within the chaos which surrounded their country. This turbulent time may becomes the obstacle for our leads, but it was also the main driven for them to push their limit to save their country. And to finally have a peaceful life together.
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NorthwestFlower rated it
February 6, 2021
Status: Completed
I rarely take time to write reviews- I’m little lazy... but on the whole year of reading more than 100s of novels, the one that stood out to me recently is SPL. Ngl, recently the novel I hv been reading didn’t really compromised me enough to feel it and I always kept SPL in my reading list for long time without touching it.. now I regret for not reading it sooner. This is such a precious gem in the oceans of novels.


GuYun- 5/5

Literally the best character I hv ever seen.... more>> Right amount of humour sense, boldness, incredibly intelligent with presence of mind, logical skills, unintentionally 100%romantic and protective, hidden. He straight peaked as my ideal all Thanks to his amazing flute skills.

Chang Geng: 5/5

I mean... he just makes me feel like I want to protect this baby. His patience is respectful. His character development from being a naive child ~who was a victim of terrible ab-use yet kept himself on hold just because he got a tiny affection from someone who’s even disabled~ to a person who decided to go on to full extreme just to protect the person he respected, admired and loved- is beautiful shown in the novel.

Chang Geng’s patience: 100/5

unlike all the novels I hv read where ML goes to any extreme to make the MC fall in love with them, CG never expressed or exposed his true feelings just because he didn’t want the other person to feel uncomfortable around him. If not an accident- I doubt he will even say anything. The right amount of respect (Damn), admiration and love is a chef’s kiss. The way he waited patiently and protected Gu Yun from behind and let GuYun decide whats right and wrong without interfering, respecting his profession, friends, and personal life is beyond my imagination ❤️

Shen Yi- 5/5

I mean who wouldn’t want such a friend who’s really nagging 25/7 (borrowing one hour from the next day), yet will be ready to go to hell with you without even saying or asking so. The amount of understanding between Gu~Shen is what we all want and expect from our own friends. All GuYun needs to do is breathe for ShenYi to understand his mind. Carefree, overprotective of his friend, hopelessly romantic and a daring cinnamon roll.

Miss Chen- 5/5

Seems like someone scheming and would k!ll you at any time but actually a marshmallow. Looks cold and mean yet soft and friendly. The only thing she lacks is socializing skills. Perfect doctor who would do anything for the right.

Ge Chen: 4/5

Not because of his character but because he was less shown in the story line despite being an incredibly intelligent and prodigy. I expected him to show often but he mostly disappeared. “Being genius is not limited to only main leads” is what GeChen is. He’s was a literal marshmallow and a cinnamon roll combined.

Cao Chun Hua-4/5

Should hv appeared more for being such an interesting and adoring character yet brilliant and extraordinary talented in mastering anything within few seconds. Priest why did you hide so much ? Afraid of him stealing the show? : (the gender fluid character “without” being problematic or idiotic who stereotypically shown as someone weak or I donno- is something we all love priest? Should hv let the child shine.

Story: absolutely 5/5

the plot is heavy with not much display of romance. But you will it in the way the characters understand each other. You don’t need explicit plot to display love and romance. Understanding the other, helping each other in their own way without interfering in other’s profession or being used as a scapegoat to weaken the other lead, they stood with each other strengthening each other without words. And for me that’s brilliant. The story of how 2 people where one protects their country till his last breathe and the other just wants to make country peaceful for his love to hv a life he always wanted.. I mean the plot is impressive and turns and twists are like magnet.


CG going through Bone of Impurity and the way he suffered and a*used was really heartbreaking yet the way he pulled through it was really- what to say- let me just roll that marshmallow into a soft cushion and protect for the rest of my life (sorry GuYun)

Overall: for me this story with interestingly heavy plot and right amount of romance is literally a chef’s kiss- it’s a 6/5 <<less
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