A Stepmother’s Marchen


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The iron widow, the spider widow, male hunter, the witch of Neuwanstein castle, the embarrassment of noble ladies…….

These were all the words used to describe the Marchioness, Shuri Van Neuwanstein. Despite receiving such criticism from the world, she raised her ‘children’, who were unrelated to her by blood and were old enough to be called her siblings. And finally, on the day of the first son Jeremy’s wedding, she felt that all her hard work had tied all the loose ends together.

But she had been terribly mistaken. After hearing the message requesting her to not attend the wedding, she got caught up in an accident and died while leaving the castle.

When she opened her eyes, she woke up on the day of her husband’s funeral, seven years ago. I refuse to suffer any more. I won’t live as I had in the past a second time!

Associated Names
One entry per line
A Stepmother's Fairy Tale
어떤 계모님의 메르헨
Related Series
Recommendation Lists
  1. Slow burn romance NOVEL KR
  2. psychological, tragic shoujo/josei series
  3. Family FL - my favs and stories I haven't read yet
  4. josei novels i have read
  5. No BS - Female Leads

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/16/22 Nishao c62
01/02/22 Nishao c61
12/15/21 Nishao c60
11/14/21 Nishao c59
10/26/21 Nishao c58
09/28/21 Nishao c57
09/18/21 Nishao c56
09/18/21 Nishao c55
09/18/21 Nishao c54
09/09/21 Nishao c53
08/19/21 Nishao c52
08/13/21 Nishao c51
07/29/21 Nishao c50
07/29/21 Nishao c49
07/06/21 Nishao c48
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16 Reviews sorted by

Skite rated it
January 6, 2021
Status: c56
Review is for the comic version, not novel.

The good:

    1. It feels very accurately European, which is pretty rare.
    2. Though it could have gone that way, it is ultimately not a "you should have been cuter/ nicer/ more feminine, and then you wouldn't have died!" story. I HATE those. Shuli, our MC, does better the second time around simply because she now has the calmness and efficiency which come with age and experience. I.e. She isn't a friggin 16 year old trying to balance tasks grown ups would have mental breakdowns over. It's nice because she is a rare rebirth MC who doesn't start behaving like a baby, but acts her actual mental age, and it doesn't feel like she's trying to "fix" things. She did a pretty good job the first time around. This time, she's mainly just better at her job and less worried, so she has more time to enjoy herself and notice others.
    3. Shuli isn't endlessly sweet, and neither are the kids eternally cute. They annoy the bejeezus out of each other, and fight, and disagree, and sometimes don't like each other. Just like real people. A+ on the complex characters.
    4. Despite having lived through things, Shuli doesn't have a mental calendar of every single detailed event that will happen, complete with plan on how to come out on top, unlike most rebirth heroines. Sure, there a few big ticket things she recalls, but she is largely going with the flow. Her small changes significantly alter her re-lived life, to the point where it's almost a completely new one. Which is nice, because that's how I imagine an actual rebirth would go, and find it silly when things don't change
    5. There's a lack of a protagonist halo. People react like normal people would react, not like someone dazzled by a protagonist. So there's no cheap and easy deus ex machina moments where everyone loves the MC and proclaims she's a genius. The side characters get to be real, fleshed out people, too, which is very nice.
The bad:

I have SIGNIFICANT issues with Johan, Shuli's dead husband, and the entire premise.

Shuli was 14 (!!) when she married a pushing 45+ Johan, and he's got 4 kids. The oldest of whom is only 2 years younger than Shuli! Shuli is only 16 when her husband dies and she's left in charge of everything. It is creepy and weird when Shuli is treated as an adult by the actual adults. It is creepy and weird when Shuli calls herself the kids' mother, and even weirder when they go along and believe it. Like, no one is saying it's bizarre and strange that she is their "mom", rather than her switching to a protective older sister type relationship.

I get that Johan gave Shuli a huge opportunity by marrying her and then training her as his successor, but ultimately, he used a child as a sacrificial meat shield for his own children, and the whole thing is just ick. He could have gotten a relative, or a steward, or something.

I find it helps me if I pretend, and think of Shuli as being about 30 years old (roughly her actual mental age) and then imagine Johan marrying her as an appropriately-adult woman in exchange for her promising to be their guardian after he dies. Makes the entire situation far more palatable.
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lady-kyo rated it
December 2, 2020
Status: --
This work was very well written, the author managed to create a very realistic atmosphere of the nobility, unlike many other works of this genre, MC cannot do everything just because he is from an influential family without worrying about other people's options. I think it's amazing how the author dealt with the part of how the gossip of society can influence our lives and how MC, even though it worries about it, never let what other people think interfere with her children's upbringing. The evolution of MC is extremely... more>> realistic, about how the mistakes of her first life are caused by unexpectedness, since she was only 16 years old and how she was more capable in the second life because of the experiences she had. Nothing magically improves only because the MC has gone back in time, or everything is easily obeyed by the power of protagonism, the scenes are built with extreme realism, a reflection of noble society in Europe.
I believe that the main theme of this work is about how our parents influence us, and this influence is good and bad, how we develop a character and traumas by mistakes that our parents do not realize they have committed, since they themselves have difficult childhoods with severe parents. That said, Shuli is the best mother in the series, which says a lot, when she is just a 16-year-old teenager (23 years old if you count on regression), and yet, 23 years old is too young to be responsible for 4 children. <<less
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Mio2102 rated it
February 18, 2021
Status: --
I personally love this except for the fact if Johanan I just hate it that he is portrayed as a good person when in reality he was just a selfish dad who wanted the good of his children by using a 16 yr old against all life's hardships letting her suffer his childrens wrath while making it her responsibility to make sure his children grow up naturally like heck!!

Else I love the plot the characters
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Infinite_V0id rated it
October 30, 2020
Status: v1c1
It's a masterpiece, damn those fools who rate it low, translate is a little bad, but I read manhwa and it was great, even though there is only prologue now, I learned some facts, that where not mentioned in manhwa.
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Anurupa Roy
Anurupa Roy rated it
July 28, 2021
Status: --
An absolute master piece! I love it so much and it deserves 5 stars! I saw this manhwa and I had read the summary and I thought that this was gonna be another one of those rebirth mangas but boy I was wrong! The characters, plot and development was so good that it got me hooked.

I usually drop many isekais when they get boring or when I can predict what's gonna happen next and then the thing I predicted happens. But with this manhwa it was different and I knew... more>> that the moment I finished with 5 chaps of the it. Let's talk about the characters a little!

MC: Our MC is Shuli Von Neuschwanstein, 2nd Marchioness of the Neuschwanstein family. She was wed..... actually sold off to the Marquess Johaness Neuschwanstien by her mother at the mere age of 14. She was trained as the next marchioness by her husband so that when he dies then she can act as the temporary head and later secure her stepson Jeremy as the Marquess. Unfortunately Johaness died when Shuli was only 16, so she became the head at a very young age. To make sure that no harm came to the family she acted grown up and mature for her age and was later called the Iron blooded spider widow or the witch of Neuschwanstien. Unfortunately she too died when her stepson Jeremy was going to get married. Given a second chance she decides that she will live differently. Now this is how she develops. Her development is my favourite of all the characters! She doesn't have fully mapped plan of everything that's gonna happen in the future... thankfully like a normal person but she does have all the big events in her head. She goes with the flow and this time she lives as someone who won't think of others opinion of her. This time she doesn't panic like she used to and tries to stay calm most of the time. She's not shown as a miraculous genius who is loved by everyone like other heroines but her little steps make a big change and that is what I like to see. She thinks rationally and doesn't let her emotions get the best of her but she doesn't live like a cold person either and I like this balance. Tho not gonna lie it's weird how her step children call her mom

Jeremy: He is the oldest stepson of Shuli and I really like his character. He also wants to get pampered instead of being the mature kid he tried to be after his mother's death. He didn't like Shuli at first but he later knows how much his stepmother has suffered to raise them. He couldn't tell her his feelings in the past life because the knots were tied too tight. In the second life he likes Shuli because he can see how much she is suffering after all she is almost his age. He understands her more than anyone. I like how he lets go of his over mature self and just becomes another 14 year old. It's nice to see him acting his age.

Elias: He is Shuli's second step son and he's lowkey tsundere. He never mean to hurt Shuli but in the end he couldn't get his words across to her. He's scared because he used to believe that his mother's death was because of him but now he's more open and not mean but funny and super cute and sweet. All he needed was to open up.

Rachel and Leon: It's sad that we don't get much of these two's screen time but I really like them. These twins can't accept another mom. They believe she's fake because she didn't give birth to them and they can't believe how easily their mother was replace by another but as they open up they realise why their father bought her. She's not a bad person and that she's kind. She knows that she is just a step mom but she tried her best to raise them and just like the other two siblings they couldn't say anything because the knots were tied too tight but they really liked her and hated to say that they loved her even if it would br their last time together and they could never see each other again.

Theobald: The crown prince.... getting hella sus feelings from him and I don't like him a bit.

Nora: I simp him! I really hope he's the ML. Nora is the next heir of Duke Nürnberg. He's rebellious not because he's a teen but because no matter what he does his father dotes on the crown prince. His mother can't do anything but cry because of his rebelliousness. He want's to escape cuz everybody says that he's not suited to be the duke but Shuli believes in him and that gives him courage. I'm waiting for the time he will open up to his parents and when his father will tell him that he actually loves him. He fell in love with shuli in her last life and he loves her now also. Overall I love his character!

Cardinal: Sorry I couldn't remember his name but he's the cardinal at church.

He fell in love with Shuli at first sight in her last life.... If I'm right and then proceeded to kill her because he didn't want anyone to have her cuz he couldn't have her. I'm not sure if he loves her in this life also but I guess he does.

He's creepy AF. Don't like him at all.

The Characters are very nice and the development is super good. Those who said that the MC is s*upid for wanting to be with the Kids again after they hurt her I want to ask a question. Would you accept your father marrying another woman after your mother died? I can't believe that you would love her immediately. The shock that your mother died and this "New" mother has come.....I would feel the same as the siblings.I would not like her. She took place of my mother and this I know as one of my friends has a step mother and she feels the same way so please don't blame the siblings. I also agree with the people who say that the marriage between Shuli and Johaness is kinda messed up and I'm not trying to justify it either. That part didn't sit with me... especially the fact that he used a mere 16 year old girl to take responsibility of the family but I would like to say one good thing about Johaness is that he didn't try to make a move on her. He treated her like he would treat a daughter and not as a marriage partner. He never touched her nor did anything to make her uncomfortable. But the fact that he used still makes me sad.

Overall this story is super good! The politics is not too heavy but just enough to make the story really interesting! And as someone who has read many isekai and rebirth Manhwas this was the first one in which I cried. Isekai's and rebirth stories can get hella repetitive. This and "Ebony" are two historical stories where the charcters are strong and not overpowered. They use their brains and not the fact that everything is already known to them and all they need to do is approach it differently. It's a good read 10/10 would recommend.

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l0513 rated it
April 21, 2021
Status: --
Im giving this story a solid 4. Four because tho its heartwarming it is also so heartbreaking.

I think her husband chose her because she looks like the dead empress. Some sort of revenge or play there for their circle (emperor, current empress and her husband’s circle).

Nonetheless, this story is excellently written. The story is good and it is somehow realistic except for the coming back part.

... more>> *spoiler* read the rest at your own risk.

All in all. Its good. If you want the type of story that will make you so sad. If you’re a masochist like me. Then this is your cup of tea. So many misunderstandings, so many screwed up parenting which resulted to screwed up children who fought their own way in life. And their only light? Our main lead who died feeling lonely. Which they all regret. Sad but realistic. As they said, you’ll only know importance once you lose it. <<less
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Asphyxia778 rated it
October 4, 2021
Status: c35
I've read the manhwa version and I absolutely adore it. Now I've started reading the novel version too.

As with most of the readers I'm really uncomfortable with how Johan used Shuli as a shield for his children when she was a child herself. Other than that I really like this because the characters actually act like humans and don't have perfect behaviour all the time.

Even Shuli after her rebirth doesn't have a protagonist halo because she makes mistakes and has her own worries. She also doesn't perfectly remember everything so... more>> she can only react according to the situation. She isn't a perfect MC. It's just that she has the maturity and calmness that helps her solve issues. Now that she's not struggling like in her previous life she finally starts to notice others and things she missed in her previous life.

The children too have personality. They are bratty, annoy each other and perform pranks. Which is actual behaviour of children. This is a joy for me because I'm tired of seeing super Robot like perfect children in novels.

Basically I highly recommend this novel. If possible the manhwa too because the artwork is gorgeous and the settings are highly accurate. (The world building is very accurate. The European esque vibe is used appropriately.)

Go read this! <<less
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Sutad Aatma
Sutad Aatma rated it
July 14, 2021
Status: --
Nothing I say can cover what the other reviewers have not said. Only one thing.

A lot of reviewers are cribbing about the age gap between Shuli and Jonathan. Might I add, considering the time era, this might have been uncommon but it is not weird. At least it is not like one of those weird CN novels that have a couple with 15 years of age difference in modern era and everyone pretending it is fine. Their relationship was platonic and he groomed her to be his proxy after his... more>> death because he knew that his own relatives are unreliable and he cannot marry a woman of his age because he cannot give her love and she could be greedy for his wealth, robbing his own children of inheritance. <<less
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Attackonfeelings rated it
June 2, 2021
Status: c1
Honestly I’ve only read the manhwa, BUT I know I’ll love the novel based off what I’ve already seen. I have never cried while reading a manhwa but when I tell you I was genuinely feeling my heart break for the FL I mean it. It’s such a good story and written beyond beautifully.

It’s definitely a tragedy, but it’s just so beautiful and I’m happy that at least if the characters in the story never truly saw the FL’s sufferings that the readers got to sympathize for her. The story... more>> had a lot of aspects, but for me it’s mainly about the love of a mother and how far she goes for the ones she loves and cares for. Absolutely beautiful story and I can’t say that enough. It was a lot of heartache but it’s one of those tragic stories where you want to read it and have a good cry. I’m not a fanatic of the titanic but I guess it’s something similar to the people who love watching it despite the story being so sad and tragic. <<less
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SomethingUser rated it
March 18, 2021
Status: Completed
I love this novel and the manhwa and sometimes I feel like this is one of the best novels ever that have a female protagonist as most Female MC novels are romance but I picked this up and read and couldn't stop because it was amazing and I know a lot of people will hate the character of Johann but the stuff that actually goes into the main character and other characters is phenomonal so if you are looking for a great novel and wanted to see what other people... more>> thought about this then you should read this you not gonna regret it <<less
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ayyk1205 rated it
March 7, 2021
Status: v61
I've just read the manhwa version of this novel, and I definitely could say that it is a masterpiece!! I cried a lot while reading the story eventhough I only read the manhwa, which means if I read the actual novel i’d be weeping in tears T.T it’s really good guys, yall will never regret to read this!!
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3.crying.3 rated it
December 20, 2021
Status: c75
A stepmother's märchen is the best!

As someone who likes angsty, dark and sad manhwa's/novel's with unexpected twist's, I loved it.

I love the emotional roller-coaster of manhwa it is, where you could be laughing your a** off in one chapter and bawling your eyes out in the next. I love the twists and turns it takes and how it goes from being so light hearted and comforting to dark and thrilling.

What I love about our MC/FL is that she is strong when she needs to be strong but is very fragile,... more>> she does everything to the best of her abilities even when she isn't complemented about it (sadly people fail to remember she is still a young, she never got the chance to grow up properly and is still healing, that's why I wish she lives happily!!). Has multiple side plots (romance, comedy) but is mainly focused on the family drama aspect that surrounds it

especially as we get to see more into Shuli's past.


I would definitely recommend!! <<less
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LilithFromEarth rated it
December 12, 2021
Status: c30
I can say that this story is excellent, it's fresh and all the characters have personality. The rebirth and the flashbacks make you understand every move that the FL made, but that doesn't make her omnipotent. The fear, past trauma still there, but she tried her best to fight against it and make a peaceful place to the people that really love her even in her past life. If you like the story where the protagonist is badass and take revenge it's not your story. She will fight, but in... more>> her own way and will open her heart to the people that she thought hate her.

The only thing strange is the relationship with her husband, but I understand that in that time it was legal to marry young girls, and they didn't have any type of intimacy and just a contract, but even it sound weird. Just thinking that her parents will marry her to any other sugar daddy, it's just gross.

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Renn44 rated it
November 11, 2021
Status: c4
it's only 4 chapter, but I already sobbing and my heart hurts so mich for shuri

objectively speaking, I only ready 4 chapter but it's a so good read, I don't know for the later chapter.

but for these early chapter it has a great writing, and translation is good and the premise is good
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Aku_nafri91 rated it
June 22, 2021
Status: --
Dude I just register to this website just to say, this novel (actually I read the manhwa version) is totally a masterpiece.

The story is so freaking sad yet cute yet quite thrill. It is more about a family and there is a cute romance in between.

I love how the author doesnt make the young stepmother as pure strong lead type. Eventhough she has been reincarnated, it doesnt mean she wouldnt make a mistake. The author shows how she made mistake when she asked lucretia and the young brother to stay... more>> and then after what happened between shuri and lucretia, shuri somehow need to ask lucretia for help eventhough shuri did cut her relationship with lucretia in hard way.

I read the manhwa twice, and twice I fckng sobbing especially when the manhwa shows what happened to sulli..

Not too mention, nora and shuli is just so adorable.. And jeremy as the protective step son and very much adore shuri is so cute.

Then we got the super crazy elias with the havoc twin. Lmao. The manhwa is funny as heck.

One more thing, whoever draws the manhwa is freaking talented. The art is very good. One of the reason im so absorbed into the manhwa. It is not too childish and not too strong kind of drawing. It is like a manga but with colours. I wish I can give his/her word of gratitude.

Trust me, you guys wont regret reading it. The only thing kinda off is the age of out MC. Yes I wished the author at least make her 18 when she met the husband. But seem during old time, young girls are probably into the marriage very early.

100% recommended, just read the manhwa first. It is freaking sad. <<less
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YourSisSugarBoy rated it
May 30, 2021
Status: c36
s*upid story. MC was mistreated in her early life by these devil puffs, but after going back in time, she just tried her best to earn their love. Mc's s*upidity gets on my nerves. If I were, I would leave those punks without suffering.
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