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Kardelune
Kardelune rated it
Princess Medical Doctor
August 17, 2018
Status: c239 part2
A review in partial defence of the Male Lead

(it got long feel free to skip to the last two paragraphs if you want to know if you should read it)

This is as realistic a time travelling reincarnation in a world of magical-like martial arts, comes. At least it's the most realistic I've seen so far. Some of the spoilers will be pretty heavy and detailed, so be aware when you open them, they are meant to illustrate what I say just before them in more detail, so there... more>> should be no need to read them (hopefully if I did it right).

When I say "realistic" I'm not talking about the plots, which are classics of the genre (but not actually as ridiculously impossible to believe as these things sometimes get)
Spoiler

sister wants to steal her sisters husband (twice) (edit: make that 3), doctor of remarkable skill (not omnipotent though) meets crippled prince, attempted poisoning/wounding/crippling/murdering of characters, framings etc.

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I am talking about the actions and reactions of the characters, in particular the male lead (because he's been getting a lot of flak by other reviewers lately, and I would hate for people to not read this story, which I quite enjoy, because of that). So this is a review in partial defence of the male lead.

The male lead is Prince Xiao Tianyao, the current Emperor's younger brother (I haven't seen his age, but because of this I imagine he's a little older than our average ML, hovering closer to 30 than 20, I could be wrong. For reference the FL is 18 when they marry). He's been in a secret war with the Emperor forever, not because he wants to be the Emperor himself, but because he was favoured by their father, and now by the people (as a great protector general, with a wondrous and powerful army). However his status took a fall after the last war, when he returned with essentially crippled legs (due to his elder brothers schemes), and the emperor took his military power away as a result. That's when, not content with the previous humiliation the Emperor bestows a wife upon him: Lin Chujiu. A woman originally betrothed and rejected by the Crown Prince (aka Xiao Tianyao's nephew), known to be crude and rash and careless in words and action. So he's furious, and hates her before they even meet (well duh). (This is all in the first chapter and it's such a staple of the genre I don't think it requires a spoiler warning.)

But then he does meet her. And it turns out she's not like the rumours or the reports of the people he had investigate her. She's smart, doesn't know everything, but can still read the situation, keeps her head in tense and dangerous situations, has medical knowledge and tools that come out of nowhere, and saves people none of which are truly on her side.
Spoiler

They get attacked by assassins on their wedding night just as Xiao Tianyao is threatening to kill her (for being a humiliating pawn in the Emperor's scheme), and instead of hiding and screaming for help or fainting, as one would expect a regular spoiled and sheltered girl to be, she walks around cool as a cucumber giving first aide to allies and enemies alike (allies who aren't actually her allies, since they are his men and he intended to kill her) and eventually uses a powder in self-defence that puts everyone to sleep (except Xiao Tianyao who has built a kind of immunity against poisons and sedatives).

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As readers we get more of her point of view and very little detail on his, so we know why she's doing these things which look like they go against common sense, but he doesn't and it makes for one hell of a suspicious first impression. Mainly because of the contradiction between who his investigation says she is, and the way she is in front of him, which makes him wonder what is real and what is not. She loved the Crown Prince, so maybe she was asked by him to spy on Xiao Tianyao. She's the daughter of Prime Minister Lin, who climbed up from the lowest ranks, can't do that if you're not a good schemer able to fool the world. Is the Prime minister really oblivious to her skills or did she learn her tricks from him? She has a good relationship (ostensibly anyway) with the empress thanks to her birth-mother... All of these people are grade A schemers, and none of them are on Xiao Tianyao's side, and they are all linked to the Emperor (the number 1 thorn in his side). Add to that a whole lot of other small things that crop up and make her more mysterious, despite how good he is at discovering secrets, and despite seeing when she's lying he can't figure out the truth.
Spoiler

She's aware she's being watched by his highly skilled secret guards despite not having any fighting ability herself, she apparently can predict when her room will be searched (he has her medical box stolen several times to try and see her strange tools up close, but the only thing in there is a note addressed to him every time, and the tools are nowhere to be found), and he knows there's a lie somewhere about her explanation on how she got her medical knowledge and tools but as he can't find a trace of the truth he can't disprove her either (her master was a kind but secretive man who never told her his name but saw how she was truly treated in the Lin household and decided to help her by sneaking into her courtyard at night to teach her his skills... really?). Again as readers we get to know how and why she does all this, but Xiao Tianyao literally doesn't have a clue.

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Suspicious, suspicious, suspicious. Nothing but suspicions everywhere. And Xiao Tianyao is a grade A scheemer himself. He's not a good guy, and his schemes are as evil as that of his enemies.
Spoiler

amongst other things, he leaks information to the enemy country so that they will start a war to force the Emperor to return his military power

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In the environment he grew up and still lives in, he's never been able to afford to trust anyone even the least bit suspicious, and with that many ties to his greatest enemy? He'd have to be dumb. Which he's not, he's smart, but also very aware that he's not infallible. Unlike some other male leads of the genre who are never in real trouble. Even when they seem to be, it turns out they were aware and controlling the situation the whole time. This is not the case with Xiao Tianyao (it's close, really close, he tries and wants to be that guy, but small miscalculations appear often with devastating consequences, especially for Lin Chujiu).

And although Lin Chujiu helps him and his people on several occasions, and she goes out of her way to support him, none of her suspicious traits are ever cleared or explained. So when she finally does act in a way that seems to go against his interests,
Spoiler

She interrupts the treatment of his legs by the divine doctor he's been looking for and has had thoroughly vetted since before he knew her, making his recovery even less likely

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But honestly his reactions seem a lot more genuine and realistic than if he trusted her and told her everything despite knowing that she's hiding a lot of things. His treatment of her and the way he kind of takes her for granted, controls her life and freedom, is also quite realistic for the time, if completely unacceptable from a 21st century perspective. Women, especially noble women, in ancient China (and most of the world really) were entirely dependent on the men in their lives (otherwise why would they ever fight and scheme so hard against each other to gain and keep favour?), so again realism, in a genre usually lacking in it (I love it anyway, but it's nice to find something a little different).

Same goes with the female lead's reactions and character, she's a remarkable surgeon, but she's no expert in every field of medicine, and the second it's not about surgery she's highly dependent on the device that followed her in death to make diagnoses, which makes her way less OP than the FL's I usually read about. I love that she's smart and savvy and tries to make the best of her situation, but is also lost and vulnerable in this unfamiliar time and space. I love that she doesn't let go of her modern day values even though it might make her life easier. And once he goes overboard, she values herself, and refuses to give in to his attempts at controlling her (it's just unfortunate that she lacks the support to do this successfully edit: and then ch 323 happened that was beautiful). And what I love most, is that she doesn't love him (I mean there's a short time at the beginning where she admires him that could have grown into more, and in fact a (very small) part of her still likes him, but he blew it and she makes a conscious choice to put those feelings away), and even if he does start to do things for her, she'll thank him, but she doesn't forget all the hurt that came before and she has no intention of forgetting and letting herself feel more deeply for him ever again. If she'd been the kind of MC to hopelessly fall back into his arms at the slightest sign of gaining his favour I would have stopped reading, but she didn't (I think it's been more than 50 chapters so far, with no sign of her changing her mind in the slightest). This is why I like this story and why I would recommend reading it, because it's good despite the fact that it's very hard to like the male lead.

As things stand (not even 1/4th of the story through) I don't think Lin Chujiu should be with Xiao Tianyao, which is why this review is only a partial defence of the ML, I understand where he's coming from, I even applaud the author for making his actions realistic to the point that he's hateful to any reader supporting the FL, but as a modern person she could never be happy with him as he is, and should never accept such treatment. I am happy that she has no intention of being with him at this time, and is looking for a way to live peacefully away from him. In fact I'm thrilled that she has shown no signs of falling back into his arms. I'm annoyed, like everyone else, that he doesn't care what she wants and is sticking to her anyway, though his actions can be cute in a Neanderthal sort of way (always fun in theory never to actually be with), and the way his people try to help him is funny. And why wouldn't they be on his side, their lives depend on his good will, so obviously they will help his goals and not hers even if they do love her. Not to mention most of them are servants, and aren't aware of the horrible ways he's used her or treated her, they only really witness his positive actions toward her, like taking care of her and being worried when she's been hurt (all his fault, but they don't know that) and the way he keeps her somewhat confined to their home, which again is perfectly normal for the times (though he does it out of suspicion, not tradition, something they don't know). Those who are in the know are his closest subordinates and are just as suspicious about her as he is. Again a realistic reaction from the characters.

I really want to see if the author can maintain those realistic reactions throughout, can they actually redeem him in the eyes of Lin Chujiu and the readers? Maybe this will be one of those bitter sweet endings Chinese stories are good at, where neither of them quite gets the perfect ending. More of a "peaceful ever after" than "happy ever after".

So if you are tempted to read this, but the reviews are making you hesitate, go ahead and read. And by all means rage about the ML and love the FL, nothing wrong with that. After all, isn't it great when a story can make you feel strongly both positive and negative emotions? <<less
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Kardelune
Kardelune rated it
Divine Doctor: Daughter of the First Wife
September 12, 2018
Status: c414
3.5 *

I absolutely loved the first 300 chapters of this story.

The MC was badass, a genius doctor/marine, and she dealt with her problems with method. OP but if I didn't like that I wouldn't read this sort of story.

The ML was sneaky and overbearing, but not towards the MC, and while he was described as extremely unreasonable when unhappy, it felt as if that was more a façade to make his enemies believe that he had no subtlety, which was definitely not true. And I liked that for a change... more>> he was allies with his father the emperor and not enemies.

As for her enemies they were just the right amount of nasty. Though their powers of denial were particularly well developed. Especially the dad, who started as a decent wall for the MC to overcome, but now is turning out to be a complete fool, because he keeps turning back to old schemes that are NOT working when he could get everything he truly wants by aligning himself with the MC. And their powers of rebirth even more so. I am totally ready to believe that Chen Yu (the older sister) doesn't just have the "aspect of the phoenix" but is an actual phoenix considering how many times she has made a comeback after being punished in ways that should have written her out of the story (it happened at least half a dozen times). It looks as if Fen Dai (the youngest sister) is a baby phoenix who will rival Chen Yu in revival power soon.

But still I was overlooking these things because they had an almost comical value, and I wanted to see how the MC would finally put an end to everything and find her HEA.

The problem is that in the past 100 chapters (so chapter 300 or so on) the MC has shed all her smartness and sneakiness and has become downright outrageous. I can tolerate her whipping out a way to mass produce steel from her past life (steel did exist in ancient times, though only in small quantities, after all. Though I still don't understand how she transforms the modern technique which includes the use of electricity by using the windpower of giant bellows). And I can understand her snapping after her mother is harmed in a way even she the genius doctor cannot easily cure, and going on a whipping spree. But it doesn't look as if she's going to come back from that snap. She seems to have abandoned all reason for the easy and faster satisfaction of dealing with her enemies not with cunning but with violence. And if there's no need for violence then she just insults them in the most basic and crudest way imaginable, while extorting massive amounts of money from them, and they just agree to pay with hardly any argument... They don't even feel like enemies anymore, just a bunch of people throwing pebbles in her way and for some reason she's decided she would take the time to kick every last one of them aside.

From other comments it seems this is a trend that will continue, which I find extremely disappointing, because I truly, truly adored this story.

I'm taking a break. I'll probably return to it eventually, ever hopeful that I am, but for now I don't want to be more disappointed. <<less
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Kardelune
Kardelune rated it
Empress with no Virtue
July 24, 2018
Status: c39
Maybe I'm forcing it a bit with the five stars, but well as of the last few chapters I've had a huge grin on my face that simply won't go away in between bouts of rolling on the floor laughter. It's not always easy to rate a story, there's so much that can influence it. So let's put it this way, to me this is light-hearted read (though not a comedy show either) and taken as such it is worth five stars.

I say light-hearted, but that doesn't mean it is... more>> all fluffy, it's not, there are clearly some darker bits, and moments where if I were the kind of person to get hung-up on morality, I would have stopped reading.

The main characters while beautiful (as they usually are) are far from perfection, and very relatable. They are smart but can still do stupid things, or endearing things, or downright strange things. They also don't have that gift for cruelty that is often presented as a decisive tool for justice and self-preservation that often appears in main characters that have power or are in power (at least so far that hasn't appeared). Not that I have anything against that, I enjoy the downfall of the MC's enemies too much for that, but it's nice to read something where cruelty isn't a necessary trait of the MC.

The story itself is well paced, the feelings of the main couple don't feel forced or arbitrary, and seeing the antics the emperor goes through once he decides he wants this empress after all is quite enjoyable. Seeing the antics the empress goes through just because of who she is regardless of whether it concerns the emperor or not, is also quite enjoyable. Not to mention the misunderstandings from the people around them who can't figure out the dynamics between the two.

As for the palace intrigues they aren't over the top in terms of either machinations or cruelty. Though there's a bit both of course (we are talking about an imperial harem after all) but the writing doesn't bring it all the way to gory, which after some of the novels I've read lately is refreshing.

In conclusion, it's a nice clean read, that I would recommend to anyone who's feeling a little down and needs a pick me up and an occasional laugh, or loves chinese novels but needs something a little different and off-beat for a change of pace to rekindle that love. You know what I mean, sometimes you just need something light and refreshing (and relatively short) so you can jump back into the dark and gritty (and looooooong (but still awesome)) other stories you're reading. Empress with no virtue will do that for you.

edit: I've now finished reading and maintain my opinion ^^ <<less
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Kardelune
The setting has a lot of potential, and the twins are extremely lovely.

In fact the twins are the only reason I'm still reading this, I want them to get a happy ending.

Also the ML's fiancée is an interesting antagonist so far and I'd like to see how her demise unfolds.

... more>> The other characters however are illogical and unlikeable.

Yun Shishi, the FL, volunteers to be a surrogate mother for a stranger in exchange for enough money to save her loving adoptive father's company. I'll ignore the fact that there are clinical ways to become a surrogate, which are even legal in some countries, and that the way she became pregnant made my opinion of the ML drop lower than low. Personally I thought what she did took guts. Keeping the second baby also took guts. Being a single mom at 19 with a dissaproving family takes guts... so where did all those guts go?

No, she wasn't a strong person, nor was she very brave, but she struck me as someone who can find strength when she needs it, and who will stick to her beliefs and make decisive choices when push comes to shove.

We meet her 5 years later and she's a meek sheep. She's a "pure character" sure, but she's completely lost all character it's ridiculous.

Then there's the ML... Super cold control freak in every aspect of his life, though he is sweet with his son. He's had a fiancée for years, but apparently he's never so much as kissed her. But somehow every time he meets the FL he loses his mind with lust and forces himself onto her, and she was clearly intoxicated (drugged) the second time, but apparently he somehow missed that when he "saved" her from the gangster who had her in his clutches... She was pretty much passed out for goodness sake, and he comes to the conclusion that she's selling herself willingly. He's supposed to be smart for goodness sake.

The kids are clearly turning into the super genius kids who will meddle in everything, probably in secret, which can be fun. But could also turn really bad.

I will say there is a strange appeal to the bits that don't annoy the hell out of me, that keep making me come back even though I've stopped reading this twice before. So I'll keep reading for now. <<less
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Kardelune
Kardelune
The General’s Little Peasant Wife
September 16, 2018
Status: c110
3*

I'm enjoying this story so far. The plot advancement (as well as the romance, and the reveal of peoples backgrounds and such) is quite slow, but it's not boring despite the slow overall pace. There's a mix of schemes and slice of life. The adversaries aren't much, and are mostly petty villagers at the moment. I like reading about the Main Character building her life more anyway, as I said it's not boring. I'm looking forward to learning more about her.

Also the Male Lead is not a cold seemingly unfeeling... more>> man with expressionless beauty. Admittedly, the story hasn't interacted with him much up to here, but he seems quite friendly for a ML. Though he doesn't mix much with the villagers, it seems more out of a desire for solitude and peace than because of innate aloofness. It's a nice change from a lot of other MLs out there.

edit: I'm now on chapter 180, and I take back what I said about the romance being slow, it takes a while to get started, but once they start to know each other and interact with each other it goes fairly fast (though in a fairly natural way, I think). And I confirm that the ML is quite approachable. There's no cold shoulder, or waiting in silence for the FL's reaction, it's such a nice change!

I'd give it 4* except that sadly the English translation is rather poor, the translator doesn't seem to be fluent in English. So long as I understand what's going on I'm happy to overlook that. I've been using an online translator to read ahead, after all, and if you've ever done that, you know that it might be enough to get the gist of the story but there will occasionally be whole paragraphs that make no sense whatsoever. With the official translation at least everything is understandable. Though I can overlook it for myself, it's impossible not to notice, and in a review I feel obliged to say that if you're the kind of person who's mind will cringe every time the word "borrow" is used instead "lend" several times in a chapter (as in "hey MC you're rich! You borrowed money to your friend so easily, so why won't you borrow me money now?") you might want to brace yourself ahead of time (this is the most blatant mistake, the others aren't as noticeable). <<less
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Kardelune
Kardelune rated it
Beautiful Wife And Genius Son
August 17, 2018
Status: c10
The current links aren't working so I went looking in other places, but had to stop after the first few chapters.

I liked the quirky characters, their personalities are fun and honestly I thought there was a lot of potential.

But then they started interacting with each other and everything went wrong.

The strong and determined female researcher who knows what she wants (ie a kid but no husband) and makes plans to get it, turns into a scared and guilty mouse in front of the male lead and then to mush the... more>> second she's in his bed the very night after he kidnaps her from her home and back to his lair (where did the brain and the spine go?).

The smart kid bored with school, who can take care of himself and loves his mom even though she's forgetful when she's doing research, is so thrilled at finding a father that he disregards the kidnapping and forceful way in which his parents are reunited.

And the handsome rogue of a main lead who plays the role of a heroic gangster becomes a brute with no finesse when he discovers he has a family and just uses brute force to take them back to his home (honestly I would have liked a blackmail sort of plot way better than this bludgeoning of a kidnapping, and couples that get together because one is blackmailing the other tend to leave me glaring at the screen).

Add to that issues in the way the story is built and told (don't know if the original writing is at fault, or the translation too bad, though I'm usually good at overlooking that sort of thing) and I had to stop after just a few chapters.

Too bad because I really did like their personalities, and the original premise of the story, but it's just too badly executed for my taste. <<less
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Kardelune
Kardelune rated it
Two Saints Wander off into a Different World
March 3, 2019
Status: c13
2.5*

To be honest I think it's a little boring.

It's a sweet story following two sweet MC's as they discover a completely different world.

... more>> The other characters aren't uninteresting, but nothing pops out to me.

I thought the first bird person we met was interesting, but then it turned out all bird people are pretty much the same.

The two MC's are different from each other, but both quite likeable.

Everyone is nice and understanding, and maybe that's the problem. I could be reading a tourist guide for the world they got dragged into and I'd feel about the same: "Oh this is interesting, I'd like to visit."

But I've yet to read a story in here. I'm not really looking for high drama either, I like slice of life. But even slice of life has tension of some sort. Good or bad.

It's still pretty early I suppose, we're still somewhat in the exposition, but at the moment I'm not feeling it. <<less
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Kardelune
Kardelune rated it
My Dad Is the Galaxy’s Prince Charming
February 12, 2019
Status: c94
This is hilarious. I'm laughing at nearly every chapter, which is why it's five stars from me.

Truthfully it should be more like three stars based on story and character depth, which aren't actually that original (though the mash-up of sci-fi/wuxia/vampires is interesting).

But the author did a remarkable job in representing a person from our time suddenly thrust into a universe thousands of light years (in both time and space) away from her original starting point (our time right now). Basically she's the only one with common sense, from the readers... more>> point of view, or the only one with no common sense from other characters points of view. It's not an easy feat.

Ultimately it's a good time, and enjoyable read.

It's hilarious and that's that! <<less
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