The female lead is described as relatively plain but is smart and well versed in medicine, music and other arts. However her defining feature is her ability to silently endure anything thrown at her in situations with no alternatives, and have the reader feel sorry for her.
While the male lead is not only cold and insufferable but also emotionally slow (still trying to figure out whether he liked her or not when she ‘died’... by then does it matter?) and has shown no redeeming qualities.
There were times where it was more logical to abandon her i.e. a wife compared to a general or military seal, but there were other times where he could’ve rescued her/reduced her suffering with very little effort but didn’t bother - a large part of her suffering is due to his actions (i.e. agreeing to take on the woman who attempts to kill her as a concubine) and belief that since he can justify his actions to himself there’s no need to explain it to anyone else... And if he actually cared a little he’d realize how badly she was mistreated in his home.
The characters aren’t particularly likeable and the plot is mostly getting the readers to rage at the injustices the female lead faces, while begging for the very brief and shallow moments of ‘affection’ that the male lead occasionally shows (i.e. noticing her existence, not actively abusing her, hesitating before abandoning her yet again). One of the saving graces of the story (or rather the only one) is that it was summarized and we don’t need to go through an extended version to face a similar disappointment. Unless this was a parody of bad romance novels and we completely missed the tone.
Would’ve been better if she could get a fresh start with her new life and learn to live freely and value herself. Instead she’s caught up in the past and everything just picks off from when she died, except she’s prettier now.
Throughout the series, he’s been able to defeat so many groups of people several levels higher than him it’s way past unbelievable. I always see it as a level 30 Weavile defeating a level 50 Garchomp – yes there’s x4 weakness, Weavile is naturally fast, has perfect IVs, EVs etc but a level 50 Garchomp, and in this case hundreds of them, when the difference between each level is like “comparing heaven and earth”. Other WX/XX novels usually go with a few stars and when pushed, 1 level. But they also get to level up faster.
When he meets his birth family, he spends several chapters ranting to the other noble families over the injustices his Yun clan has suffered – most of which he wasn’t there for but seemed to know about, and adopting an unbearably righteous tone. While he takes revenge for any little grievance he has – you gave me a dirty look, your clan must die.
His luck with women as well... it’s like any woman near him, no matter how proud, strong, independent they are, just automatically open their legs. During his time at Frozen Cloud Asgard, they were literally lined up naked, for him to play doctor with. While he has a 2 wives, a baby mama, a semi-incestuous commitment and counting all grateful for his love. Clearly his 'junior' is actually his 'senior', while these women can't even respect themselves.
Xiao Yan as Yun Che, Medusa (in loli form) as Jasmine (fulfilling the Yao Lao role), Xun Er as Xia Qing Yue, Yun Yun as Chu Yue Chan, Han Yu as Cang Yue, etc.
The MC is a gentle, introvert girl from a scholarly family who marries far above her station. Overwhelmed by her new circumstances, and unable to connect with the stranger that is now her husband, she falls into the traps of those around her and dies miserably in her first life. Given another chance, the MC remains a gentle and introvert girl, but smarter and more aware of the sinister thoughts of others, allowing her to adapt to her new position and form a better relationship with her husband.
While the ML seemed disappointing at the start since he failed the MC so badly, he's actually a decent guy who has the potential to become an ideal husband. Reluctant to marry a stranger, especially when he already has a childhood sweetheart, it's only natural he'd disdain the MC as her reputation kept plummeting in their first life. And since his own circumstances are comfortable, the struggles the MC faces never occurred to him. Although he originally fell for his cousin's plots, so did the MC, since both their characters were too honest to suspect her. However, in their second life, the MC expresses herself more, allowing him to understand her struggles and appreciate her for who she really is.
The cousin is the primary antagonist in the story. While the ML's mother married well, her sister suffered under a violent alcoholic. Unable to watch the same thing happen to her niece, she takes her in. Ashamed of her own background, the cousin is determined to marry the ML, to some extent more out of obsession and financial security than genuine affection, manipulating her aunt's guilt over her mother's death, and the misery of other characters to her own benefit. While she does love the ML, she doesn't trust him enough since securing her survival and material comfort is more important, causing her twisted personality.
This appears to be like every other female revenge story, but is actually fairly decent since the female lead isn't OP, but she manages to stand on her own and acts fast and ruthlessly to protect those she cares about using her intellect and political influences, rather than just mercilessly beating them up with overwhelming strength.
The pacing is quite fast, and the tone isn't overly arrogant, bitter or dramatic, making it a very smooth read that easily wraps up each arc. The male lead is protective but not too overbearing since he isn't really present for a lot of the story. While the MC is more restrained since she has people she actually cares about and can settle grudges quickly. (Though it doesn't quite make sense, why someone who lived in isolation can understand human nature so well.)
Overall it's a nice story, the translations are good, and I'll keep it on my reading list, but I'm not quite sure if I'd follow it for +2000 chapters. 4/5
1. The MC's actions aren't that illogical - few people want to have their marriage arranged for them or to be part of a harem - but her approach and thought process is flighty and abrupt so you do question what kind of person she is based on how she does things and the thought pattern that led to it i.e. doesn't want to share her man so she decides to sleep with a random sleazy guy...
2. There is legit is no plot - or at least no consistent one. Basically they get together and have s*x and probably get up to other stuff while they wait for their wedding. Not sure what else might happen, but it's probably one of the many negligible arcs since a larger plot doesn't seem to be forming.
3. Same problem as Common Sense of a Duke's Daughter in that the tone makes the character seem flat (obnoxious for CSDD, dumb for this) and the use of multiple POVs to describe the same scene is redundant - we're not that dumb, we can infer what the other characters think, it's fine. It's probably more frustrating when you wait for 1 chapter at a time, only for them to rehash what you read last week.
4 Not buying the romance. The male lead falls in love coz hot body + good sex... and makes a lifelong commitment. Well good for him, but not sure if love is the word, or if sealing the deal was a smart thing to do. Well at least it puts him on par with the MC so they're intellectually compatible.... Also his first appearance was creepy and gave a sleazy feeling.
By all means, the hatred the MC felt in her first life was entirely justified given the circumstances. While half the reason she turned out the way she did was because her father never really bothered to reach out to her or show her affection. The reason why love bypassed her was because she never knew what it was in the first place. It was easy for her to continue hating, which is why the second chance was so important - for her own happiness more than anyone else's.
The MC An Yi is the daughter of a general, disguised as a man for most of her life since her father had no sons. Her country was overthrown, and she flees with Xiao Huang, the previous dynasty's incompetent child emperor, living a life of poverty.
They’re arrested when XH steals a drumstick out of hunger, and her other childhood friend and the man she used to love (until he betrayed them to keep his position as a general for the current Emperor) Yan Ping, takes them to a cell. YP has hated AY since he thought she was a gay man, and denied his own feelings for her, but instantly changes when he realizes she’s female.
On the way to the executioner’s block, XH escapes, revealing that he’s actually smarter than he lets on and stayed by her side and had them arrested to force her to reveal inheritance – her grandfather’s army seal – which she doesn’t have anyway.
YP then delivers AY to the current Emperor, Feng Zhao Wen, whom she’s met on the battlefield and possibly had past relations with. FZW takes her into his palace, seems to treat her well and (insert synopsis here). She ends up climbing into his bed and treated as a concubine by his servants.
The ML treats women like tissues, using them until he gets tired, then disposing them to some corner of the palace if they're lucky. The MC endures the ML's abuse since he's furious he needs to rely on a woman to secure his kingdom, while his various jilted exes target her left and right, including his half sister.
When their relationship starts to improve, she's kicked out of the palace after being framed for forcing his concubine's miscarriage, giving her an escape route. While various suitors offer to run away with her. Instead, she sits and waits until the ML seeks her out again, and for some reason instantly falls for him, despite all the cautionary tales before her since he's different this time, leading to a lot of angst and heartbreak before their happily ever after >>
The MC Qin Zhi Ai waited 8 years for her high school sweet heart Gu Yu Sheng, whom she went on a single date with and didn't remember her the second time they met, even agreeing to act as a substitute for Liang Dou Kou, a famous actress and the daughter of a family friend who convinced his grandfather to push for their marriage since she and her grandfather had both saved his grandfather's life.
The MC is raped, and physically and emotionally abused throughout the marriage since the ML hates the original wife. However her docile character (usual for DV victims), innocent eyes, and the nostalgic feeling he gets from holding her causes him to soften and fall for her.
Before they can understand each other, LDK then returns, crushing the MC's originally low self esteem. After a lot of unnecessary angst solved by day time drama tropes to make everything better (yes, amnesia), they end up together, allowing the ML to spoil her, as per the synopsis.
The female lead Bai Pingting, is captured and sold as a slave to an enemy country, where she meets and attracts the general and prince of the country, Chu Beijie. However as an enemy strategist, she escapes to her country despite falling for him. After a few clashes on the battlefield and plots orchestrated by BPT but manipulated by the second male lead, He Xia, she eventually returns to him despite his distrust. She’s soon captured by HX and while escaping, is hesitant to return to CBJ due to the friction and doubts that exist between them. HX then attempts to conquer and unite the countries, however his ruthless and manipulative approach causes BPT to re-unite with CBJ to defeat him.
BPT is supposedly a cute, intelligent and charming character, that attracts the attention of CBJ through her personality. And he is caring and dedicated to her, having recognized her as his intellectual equal. However given their roles in opposing factions (although she just happens to support all his enemies), this ideal relationship doesn’t last. This is followed by several make up and break up sessions. When they’re fighting they’re excessively melodramatic, and when they’re on good terms, they’re disgustingly sweet in a cheesy and tacky way, making them bi-polar but flat characters.
While there is a lot of commentary on the MC’s intellect, it seems like her greatest victories play on the affections of the male lead towards her, and his unwillingness to harm her. Similarly, a lot of the angst and bitterness on her part due to her need to test his affections through unreasonable means despite misleading and disappointing him several times.
Tests include not explaining herself despite being accused of poisoning his nephews/heirs to the throne and expecting him to return to her on his birthday despite the country facing a coalition army at their borders. Both these choices are pretty much there to distance him from his country as well as his family for her. While her other tests make her appear suicidal, as she risks her life to prove a point.
The male lead is also meant to be cold and calculating but in front of the female lead, he seems to have lost any spine or common sense and is willing to chase after her and to take her back regardless of her actions. In a way he resembles Nangong Liuyun from DKC but without the moments of ruthlessness and ingenuity, while his female lead lacks Su Luo’s feistiness, resourcefulness and charm.
The second male lead loses his family and home at the start, and is driven by vengeance and ambition to conquer the four countries. To him, BPT represent the happy moments in his past, while CBJ gives him an inferiority complex. In the end he’s blinded by his hate and loses everything he values. In a way he’s the only character that actually makes sense in the warring states/political context, but not particularly great.
The male lead: While he wasn’t the best male lead ever, he was the only one who never hid his true nature from her and his situation would give her a peaceful life. So in a way Pang Wan chose the one most suited to her... after going through all the others...
Love interests: one planned out and fell for her future self, another is tied strongly to her past and cares for her platonically while the third did truly see her for who she was and loves the current her.
Ending: By the time the story finished, it truly felt the MC (and the reader) was just so tired of everything she just wanted out. I had wanted her to mature, but not to retirement age.
1. The story begins when she’s 6. And she meets the 15 year old male lead a few chapters in... And they go around picking fights with under 10s. Mentally they’re the same age but physically... He doesn’t fall at first sight but a lot of affections did emerge during puberty (hers coz he’s near the end of his) and they spend the middle of the story just waiting it out until she’s legal.
2. It starts out rather quick since the story begins with the female lead getting her revenge on like 3 people coz she didn’t live that long. It’s not extremely calculated, but fast and ruthless, getting the job done. However, after that it’s just the male lead watching over her until she’s old enough to marry, going through puberty, other people’s relationships and a bit of politics at the very end.
3. The female lead doesn’t actively hate her father and every other woman in the story. She actually has more than 1 female friend, while her father’s bias towards her is why her step mother hates her. Though her father is still disappointing – the only reason her half-sister ended up so badly was because both parents failed her, but at least her mother actually cares.
The author is not a fan of women, but she does seem to love incestuous themes.
Similar to SS, the lead couple separate based on a misunderstanding, as well as the male lead’s inferior background and social position compared to the MC. Thinking that she’s disliked, but also due to frictions with her friends, she distances herself, moving to a new city and undertaking training to take over her family’s business. The MC soon encounters the second male lead, who she clashes with at first but is a more compatible match with her.
He’s probably similar to the male lead in the SS, struggling with the contradictions between his pride and inferiority, unable to express himself until he proves his worth. However I feel like the MC’s affections are wasted on a troublesome person.
The second half will probably be filled with more angst, but also more interactions between the characters and insight into ZX’s thoughts and feelings.
In recent chapters, I do get the feeling she might end up with LYS, since the MC her self is such a resilient character. LYS also has more screen time and makes her happier. While due to her relationship with her father, she wouldn’t go for the reserved, overly ambitious types who go out of their way to create misunderstandings.