The Rankings of Lang Ya (Nirvana in Fire) 琅琊榜 by 海宴 Hai Yan (BE)

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Synopsis 1

Mei Changsu, the leader of Jiang Zuo Alliance, the number one [pugilists’] union in the world, assumed the alias of Su Zhe and arrived in the capital city of Jinling. In doing so, he brought about upheaval and disturbance, one after another, as well as confusion after confusion.

A young nobleman with two identities. The crown prince and other princes who were fighting to be the one heir to the throne. The number one pugilist in the country, who also held the control of the imperial guard in his hand. The beautiful junzhu[1] who commanded the armoured cavalry… Contending with and functioning amidst these powerful, influential individuals with high status, why was it that the low-key Su Zhe somehow became the center of all the happenings?

Could the foam left after the fierce billows that had swept in last time actually be what sets off the storm and waves of this incident?

His identity. Was it that of the young general who, in his thin armour on a snowy night, had driven out the enemy army thousands of miles? Or was it that of the sickly, brooding strategist and advisor whose lifespan was destined to be short?

He returned to his old, familiar place and met old friends again. He “created clouds and rain” with his abilities and calculated out every move. But what was the motive that he was trying to achieve?

This is a story that contains a dark conspiracy but also the love in brotherhood.


Synopsis 2:

The Lang Ya Hall was located on the peak of Mount Lang Ya. It was the most mysterious place in the world and was revered by all of jianghu[2]. To give back to the people of jianghu, every year, Lang Ya Hall would release rankings within various major categories. These rankings came to be known as, “The Rankings of Lang Ya”.

In the Lang Ya Rankings’ “Top 10 Gongzi[3] in the World”, one person continued to hold the top spot year after year. His name was known across jianghu, and there was no one who had not heard of him. He was the leader of “Jiang Zuo Alliance,” the number one [pugilists’] union in the world. He was the man of unrivaled talent who caused the entire North to bow to him in respect. He… was Mei Changsu.

Mei Changsu should have been operating in jianghu, but yet, his name was still known in the Emperor’s carriage. There was a saying within jianghu: Jiangzuo’s Mei Lang[4] was a man with the talents equal to that of the qilin[5]. To have him on one’s side meant that one could rule the world.” In the capital city, within the imperial court, the Crown Prince and the Prince Yu were in vicious conflict with one another in the contention to become the heir to the throne. Hence, Mei Changsu became the subject of their battles as both fought to bring him to their own side. But what was shocking was, Mei Changsu, the man who held a pinnacle position within jianghu, was actually a sickly, fragile young man. He bore the burden of needing to avenge an injustice from a more than dozen years ago. Even his true identity and background concealed a great secret. Using his illness and the need to rest as a guise to go to the capital city, he chose to support Prince Jing, the one prince who was the least favored in the fight to be the imperial heir. From henceforth, he took his step onto the road of revenge, righting wrongs, and contending for the throne.

Mei Changsu was fated to be pulled into this complicated web, but yet he always maintained a clear mind, like a spectator. Both within and outside of the imperial palace, he was able to see through everyone’s heart and thoughts. Although he was a man whose heart was above the pursuits of politics and he held in contempt political maneuvering and play, for a secret that he could not tell anyone, he had no choice but to place himself deep into this place of deceit and plotting. This was not the first time he had set foot in the capital city. He shouldered the weight of a countless number of souls who had died unjustly and shed tears of blood. From that point on, he embarked on the path of revenge and set off a cruel and unseen battle in which he grew more and more entrenched with every step he took.

Old friends of yesterday. Old memories of days past. Great enmities interweaving together. He was finally able to push away the heavy fog and see the sunlight again. But just as dawn was about to arise, a new crisis presented itself. Faced with the old, familiar battleground, a sense of heroic passion from the past surged in his heart. Two years of controlling and plotting had changed the ruler of the country, but the one thing that remained constant was that pure, sincere heart that would never die.



[1] 郡主. Sometimes seen translated as “princess.” More accurately, it is a noblewoman with imperial blood but not in the direct line of the imperial family

[2] 江湖. “The land of the river and lakes”. A term often used to describe the world that follows its own rules. It is not subject to government laws and those who function within jianghu generally try to separate themselves from having any connection to the ruling government.

[3] 公子. Sometimes simply translated as “young master.” Often, the man is wealthy, but this may not be the case. However, to be called a “gongzi,” the young man must exude an aura that is usually refined, confident, relaxed, etc.

[4] 郎. Young man

[5] 麒麟. A creature in Chinese mythology, sometimes called the Chinese unicorn. The qilin is said to be one of the sons of the dragon and is known to be extremely intelligent, wise, and courageous.

[Ebook 1st Edition]  [Ebook 2nd Edition] [Eng Translation] [Lang Nha Bảng] [랑야방][Radiodrama][Drama with Eng Subs][Manhua in Eng]


23 Responses

  1. sutekii
    sutekii October 6, 2014 at 10:01 am |

    Thank you for the amazing detailed character chart and commentary hoju. I understand the plot a bit better now.

    I was quite confusing with the plot since I started reading jjunjun’s translation of the novel. This has cleared many things.

  2. seera
    seera October 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm |

    Thank you for reviewing Nirvana in Fire.
    I read a detailed summary of the novel in Korean.
    I was deeply moved and shed tears.
    The bromance between Lin Shu and Xiao Jingyan is impressive and heartbreaking!

    I wanted to read the entire novel in Chinese language,
    but my Chinese is not good.
    In addition, I found this novel complicated and difficult to read.
    So I’m very glad to see the link of the novel in English
    and appreciate your informing things about the novel.
    Also I’m looking forward to the airing date of Nirvana in Fire drama!!!

  3. Peanuts
    Peanuts October 7, 2014 at 9:25 am |

    It takes a true fan to know Petboy intimately 😛 Aiya, if that list was not compiled by me then you can’t trust its completeness 😛 You mean he came out for the last 30 seconds in the 2nd half of part 1? I think the radio drama has been abandoned so you don’t need to listen to uncle anymore lol. Petboy also cheated me in another radio drama 🙁 You must listen to his He Yi Chen 🙂

  4. yufen
    yufen August 11, 2015 at 2:51 am |

    please help me where i can find the english edition for this book
    i have read jjunjuns translation but u know … have to wait long for the next chapter … T__T

  5. Yui
    Yui September 30, 2015 at 4:54 am |

    @hoju right now im watching the series.. not a fan of BL so there’s no relationship between Su Zhe and Nihuang??? i ship them after watching the 1st and 2nd episode 😀

    BE? emm.. i keep watching it no matter what. i watched so many ancient dramas with BE, so adding one drama to the list wont hurt, lols.. thank you.

  6. hoju
    hoju October 1, 2015 at 3:24 am |


    Really, there’s nothing truly BL about the novel. It’s a great novel about brotherhood and friendship.

    In the novel, Su Zhe/Mei Changsu/Lin Shu and Nihuang have a history. They were childhood sweethearts and betrothed to be married. It seemed like a very innocent sort of romance. However, while Nihuang never truly believed the treason charges and Lin Shu always held a very special place in her heart, her Lin Shu Gege, after all those years, she had moved on. In the novel, she had already fallen in love with another man when Mei Changsu first made his appearance in the capital city.

    In the drama, they are definitely playing up the romance between them, and Nihuang looks like she has not moved on yet. Her heart still loves Lin Shu. I’m not sure whether they’re going to bring in another romance for her or not for the drama, or just make it a sad ending for her heart. (I’m a little behind on the episodes because of translating, so forgive me if more has happened in the romance department than what I’ve said.)

    As for the novel BE, yes, it is a bad ending, but it is the best ending for Mei Changsu. Very poignant. Not sad for the sake of being sad.

  7. Yui
    Yui October 1, 2015 at 5:18 am |

    okay.. thank you hoju.

    now im so much behind on the episodes cuz im waiting for the engsub. but i like and enjoy it.
    sometimes, i think BE as a better ending, haha.. i remember watching an old kdrama called Memories of Bali, some of my friends said it was a bad ending but for me, better that way.. 😛

    since Hu Ge (once again) is having an illness, i already predict about the ending.. but, after ep 4, my focus wasnt only on the love relationship, but about his tactics.. and how the relationship between everyone in the palace. every single step he will take to get what he want and bring the Prince Jing to get crown. im curious 😀

    thanks hoju..^^

  8. ekbariy
    ekbariy October 2, 2015 at 3:21 am |

    where i can read eng novel about lang ya bang?
    well,the story between novel and drama always diferent(usually 50 %).
    yesterday i read in a blog,but that’s just about the begining,,,,can you tell me where i can read more?

  9. Cocoa
    Cocoa October 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm |

    Did you guys see the special ending? He’s alive!!!!!!!!!

  10. pingyi
    pingyi October 19, 2015 at 2:45 am |

    Quick Question: So whole exactly is Yu Wang’s mother, Ling Long Gongzuo or Xiang Pin, or are they the same person? I was super confused by Episode 45 lol.

  11. Yun
    Yun October 20, 2015 at 4:47 pm |

    If anyone is interested, someone is translating from ch 2 of the 2nd edition 😀 That’s about where Junjuntianxia left the translation 🙂

    Here is the blog:

  12. bookseater
    bookseater October 25, 2015 at 11:42 pm |

    Drama has ended ten days ago and I can’t help myself but miss it. The production did a great job. the characters were well portrayed. the background music was good. scenery beautiful. CGI was well used. the brotherhood well portrayed.

    the end was sad. The saddest character is Prince Jing who got to meet his long lost friend for only few months and then as a king he felt so lonely.

    Now I wish they will released theTOTALLY uncut version of the drama. I watched all the version on internet but sometimes scenes in one version didn’t appear in the other version.
    I’m so crazy that I am surely going to watch it again after my exams and read the second edition of the book

    definately the drama of the year for me and it was always my best book for a long time

  13. cloudandsea
    cloudandsea November 2, 2015 at 8:01 pm |

    Finished watching the drama and it was amazeballs! I always avoid dramas that have very few romance scenes but I managed to finish gulping the drama in 3 days with bad sleeping timing. Had to skip much of the drama at the later half because I want to finish it asap. Will definitely rewatch the show and the novel!

  14. Mei
    Mei November 20, 2015 at 4:27 am |

    Hoju, do you have another link for the 1st edition of the book? The link above isn’t working for me – it keeps timing out. Thanks!

  15. KMR
    KMR November 21, 2015 at 12:41 am |

    I can’t recover from the drama. T_T Such a beautiful story but sad fate…Lin Shu Gege…:(

  16. Cat
    Cat November 28, 2015 at 9:14 am |

    Thank you so much. This storyline is one of the best I’ve seen on TV in a while. Ive heard good things about this book but didn’t really think of reading it. However, based off of your comments above, I will read it. I will start with version 1. Let me see where that takes me. Thanks again. You did a fantastic job with the translations above. Very eloquent.

  17. YS
    YS December 13, 2015 at 11:11 pm |

    Hi, can anyone please tell me about how Jing Wang realised Mei Changsu was Lin Shu in the novel? As I understand it, the novel and the drama is vastly different and I am quite disappointed by the ‘big’ revelation – seems more like a non-event from Jing Wang’s reaction afterwards!

  18. annedarmawan
    annedarmawan January 27, 2016 at 10:01 am |

    Hi… is there any difference between the novel version and drama version about the ending? Hope that somebody would dedicate a post about this…

  19. chancy426
    chancy426 January 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm |

    @ annedarmawan,

    I remember hearing before that in the book, Nihuang got married to someone. The drama made their love more sad, but beautiful.

  20. Cocoa
    Cocoa March 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm |

    Hi. Does anyone know in which chapter Marquis Yan recognizes that Mei Changsu is Lin Shu? I’m very curious.

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