Just one word: Fascinating.
I looked for something fresh as I was waiting for other novels to be updated... and oh my.
After picking it up, I expected the usual tropes regarding reincarnation/spirit transfer stories but damn.
I couldn't put it down for even a minute and after reading this you will feel that other novels MCs are simply lacking both in style, intelligence and character.
So here is my review of it if you are intrested, and it's spoiler free.
The Story - 5/5
I won't spoil anything so don't worry. The stories starts with our protagonist dying from a heart attack, from overworking, and his spirit goes to another world where he takes over a prince's body.
The MC has no superpowers, no cultivating he is just a mortal thats all. But a mortal with memories from our modern world. Some reviews says his memory is overpowered but I don't think so, he utilizes all the basic knowledge that is taught in schools. Yes that may be true he remembers chemical formulas and mathematical equations but hell.
If he was a diligent student -and as he is from modern china and was an engineer, that speaks from himself- so he should remember all of this. Hell even I could remember around 60-70% of the thins he brings up from school and it was fun reading about it again and I think I learned more new things from this then when I was going to school!
So with the knowledge he has, he starts to develop his territory, introduce the population modern technology, industrialization, civic rights and much more, so if you would like to see how a little town with shabby, wooden cottages transforms into a city with brick buildings, this is for you. It's so satisfying to see how the world advances under his inventions.
The other big plot are the witches. Yes, there is magic in the world, and as a feudal, medieval setting, they are being hunted. Badly. If they catch one, the mob may kill her on the spot or turn her over to the church which may be worse fate than death.
Or MC sees magic as a new source of energy and possibilities so he wants to utilize the witches powers to help him achieve his goals and launch his people into a new, enlightened era. But to do this he needs to fight agains the church, his siblings for power and a hidden foe which when shows up our MC discovers the dark history of this new world...
Just... real. There are no 2D characters here. Even the villains are interesting. Be it the church's priests, army and bishops, or Roland's (the MC) siblings. Or just the nobles in the beginning who are look down on him. Everyone has a backstory, every secondary character has a personality.
The witches are all different, they are not just there to flock around the MC and be possibilities for a harem ending. No. They are people, they have distinct personalities and yes, as the story goes they may have to step back sometimes and not appear all the time in the chapters, but they never fade out as in other novels, other support characters.
Every one of them has a role in the story and they are well developed (and develop throughout) and interesting. I don't want to spoil anything, so you should just start reading and meet them!
P. S. : Oh yeah, also there are love in the story that develops slowly and realistically. And it's not a harem (but I would not mind it to be honest :D)
The first half done on volarenovels by Roxerer was top notch, no problems with it at all. After it went to Qidian there were some problems, but they were minor things and they seem to constantly improve, mostly some editing problem as I see and its updated daily.
Overall enjoyment 5/5
Best. It's just... oh gosh. It jumped to the first place in my favorite's list and this became my most anticipated novels. It's not for you if you want fights, super power ups, chapters of cultivation and heaven shattering advances. No. You will get a novel, written in western style that is more grounded in reality then most of the other Chinese novels.
The MC is intelligent, knows what he can and what he can't do, what needs to be done to be successful. You will never be frustrated why the fck does the MC feels like a 5 years old with some kind of mental disorder. The witches are not omnipotent beings they are humans too that the novels also states every time and cleverly too.
There are no 50. 000 years of cultivation retreat to power up to defeat a mega op giga boss just to offend somebody who stands behind that stupid guy/girl who was his/her master and told the MC every 5 second "you dare" or "you are just an ant before me" and the other, booooooring tropes.
I can't praise his novel enough. Give it a shot, if you like intelligent stories and don't mind spending 3 or 5 chapters learning how to build steam engines, to speed up the mining process of ores to build canons and brick houses for the people, because it's just sooooo satisfying seeing the development of the world and the people living in it.
After going back to the other novels I read, catching up with the translation, I felt how much those other novels' MCs are lacking compared to Roland Wimbledon. They are just... much-much-much more... bland. Never using their brains, their logic capabilities, even if they are from 'another world' they just... never utilize anything they brought over or learned before. I started to realize how much more weak they are -in writing terms- compared to this novel and this novel's characters.
I just hope the author don't mess this up and keeps it clean from all the other bullsh. t tropes all the way through. As it stands, this novel will be -at least in my opinion- one of the most well written, well thought out and most interesting novels.
If you read my review until this point I thank you, and also, go and give it a shot, I hope I was able to help you pick up a good novel and you will enjoy it as much as I do.