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The Princess Wei Yang
January 28, 2017
Status: Completed
The only chinese novel I read from start to finish in it's raw form. Whew! That was quite a challenge, Mandarin is not my 1st or even 2nd language. 4.5/5 STARS!

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Spoiler

I really liked this story. It had just the proper amount of excitement and intrigue all throughout. The pacing was neither slow or too fast but was kept me interested. Although it was a bit offputting at first seeing WeiYang so easily outsmarting, outscheming and outmanuevering her opponents (almost) each time, she finally showed a bit of weakness/"humanity". I love that the author never forgot to develop her character and personality well. You could slowly witness as she turned from the vengeful deposed queen to someone able to fight not because of hate alone but because of family and love.
I think my favorite character is the Empress Pei. Her backstory was riveting as well, no matter how short we were given. She was incredibly strong and proud. Even until the end, I liked that she was able to have atleast one thing over the Emperor. I can't help but feel sad for the Crown Prince (of YueXi). He loved her so much, even if it became twisted, I can understand how much approval AND LOVE he craved from either of his parents. Really. The saddest kids in the world during feudal/ancient China were probably the children of nobles and royals. Most probably aren't allowed to show any sort of genuine affection. It's all schemes and plots and one-upping each other.
I'm glad the author wasn't shy writing about how cruel life can be. Princess QiXia was gentle and nice, innocent even, but even she had that horrible fate. It was heartbreaking what PeiYuan did to her.

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xairs
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Legend of Concubine’s Daughter Minglan
October 29, 2017
Status: Completed
Edit: reread it again now that the drama's on air. Still 5/5

5/5 This is a cut above the rest of its genre--so far, I've only read a few.

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Spoiler

Superb character building. The author didn't let anyone off. Practically all the casts had their own little histories and backstories. We get to peek into the what, the whys and the hows of their worlds.

Very well written! The story had a steady rhythm that pulls you in. I could almost predict what would happen next then plot twist! (No not really, just a different turn of events. Pleasantly so.)

Like MingLan, viewing that era as a modern woman, you get to be cynical and skeptical about everything involving feelings and loyalty between men and women, and even between family and friends. There were times that I found myself sneering at the supposed "husband and wife loving atmosphere" and then the author drops a line or two about the wife managing the concubines and concubine-born children (HuaLan JieJie!).

I really felt for MingLan. She had to fight her way (subtlety and slowly) for her own survival as a concubine-born, motherless and unfavored daughter before getting married then is pulled into the murkier and deadlier Gu household. Even when she's succeeding against the "outside" forces she also had to fight her own convictions and slowly developing feelings. There's a lot of dialogue in this book but every bit was well done.
5/5 10/10 200/100

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Man Man Qing Luo
October 31, 2017
Status: c1 part1
2.5/5

Maybe if I read this before The Story of Ming Lan I would have more appreciation for it. Sadly, the writing style, the plot and the character depth fell short to me.

It's a fun read, no doubt at 20-30% of the book I had urge to skip ahead. MingLan and Princess Wei Yang had more elaborate explanations and long-winded scenes but the way the author writes ManManQingLuo was just too... dreary. There were a few scenes that made it interesting and I liked the direction the story was going at... more>> some parts but it always felt like they were cut short. I always felt let down. Much like you're on that highest point of of a roller coaster ride and then suddenly the attendant asks you to get off, the ride is over! ARGH

I started skipping chapters at 50+. Not only was the plot going stale but the characters -_-

I don't want to spoil it but let's just say... there were one too many unreasonable decisions, one too many ridiculous scenes (that pretend rejection of the en******* and so on) and one too many characters acting unlike their portrayed personalities.

I like the male lead but sometimes being pigheaded and arrogant can only get you so far into a girl's heart and the female lead was finicky and spoiled.

Still, it was an entertaining read until about halfway, I enjoyed several of the fighting/battles and the segments where characters were going over their strategies and schemes.

Give it a try. It might just have been me being picky after the amazing MingLan. <<less
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Husband, Be A Gentleman
September 14, 2016
Status: c1
Entertaining read but the dialogues were horrible. The conversations felt stiff and forced. The sentences were almost crude like it was put together just for the sake of having them. I don't know if it was because of the translation or the author just couldn't be bothered. Every time I encountered conversations like "I'm hungry" "You did not eat?" "No" "Okay, here food." "Okay. Thanks" I wanted to quit reading then and there.
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