I could not even bother knowing whether it had a happy ending or not. It would not matter anyway- For me, there was no happy ending. Everything was just terrible.
The male lead was terrible, one of the worst I have ever encountered. There was not one tiny part of me that rooted for him. The whole time my mind was ranting for her not to choose him, to choose anyone else, just not him! Even the emperor would have been better because with him, I felt as though at least he loved her more than the MC claimed he did. Even when it comes to chemistry, she was more compatible with the Emperor. Every other potential love interest also treated her better than her own husband, they had cherished her for more than he.
And then, the General died, the only decent male if not person in this story. Supposedly, he lost because, in the end, he chose honour before her bla bla bla. I don't care for that. He was the only person who actually tried to protect her, end of the story and with his death, it was the end of the novel for me, too.
End verdict: The female character is poor (in fate), the male protagonist is poor (as a character), the other male interests are poor (terrible endings for each).
The part I am looking forward the most is the part where he realises that he has nothing to remember her by anymore, because he had destroyed the only portrait he made of her.
Not only when he destroys her painting, right in front of her, but when she talks about having another lifetime and a second chance with him, her words are not because she wanted to be cruel or have revenge, but because she wanted him to let go
I absolutely loved the MC's remark about her mother in law and the Empress. If it were not for the society, making them rely on one man, they could have been great. It's true. The Empress and her mother in law, a concubine, were remarkable, capable and intelligent, but they were wasted on the weak Emperor.
Then we also have strong-willed Jing An princess, a divorcee more or less and an important political figure, especially since she is divorced from her husband.
But it is He Yuan's story, which is most captivating in the last few chapters. I do not want to spoiler too much about him, only warning to watch out for this characters and that, even if I am not sure whether I (should) like him, the epilogue broke my heart.
"The biggest difference between men and women was that men were always best at forgetting the good of women and women was best at remembering the good of men."
"Peaceful days will make people forget the beauty of the past."
"If you forgot yourself, how could somebody else remember you?"
It took him a while, though only a two chapters time, to realise that he is in love with her and so he treats her well even before they are even married.
She is constantly complaining about being ugly because of her dark skin, which is not only offensive but terribly superficial
There was one scene, where the otome heroine actually suggests reducing the finances of the military in order to save money, in a very naive, child-like tone. Now for a person, who has majors in political science or any person with a common sense, this is ridiculous and for the first time, I just realized how scary such naivety could be. That scene in that aspect was great, in a way that it was very scary.
The readers follows as she builds up her conglomerate. It is very detailed. Personally, I did not have a problem with that. I actually found it to be pretty cool as she sets out an independent life for her, creating what seems to be a monopoly position and a solid and high position in the economy of the whole kingdom. After all that she endured, my sense of justice as a reader felt very satisfied.
Generally, concerning the pace, I am very ambiguous. Such a great venture cannot be covered in a few chapters, so I felt that the fact they jumped in time to be a pity. There was one part of me, who wished to see more and what else she has accomplished. On the other hand, I am also annoyed by the pace, especially the romance.
He does not care about the state, the country nor the people, but rather the few individual people around him, in other words just his female companions. This is very irrational, not to mention in some people's view plain insane, especially considering the power he harnesses or is about to possess, when he reaches his goal of completing his 12 goddesses harem.