A Tale of Two Phoenixes


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The most famous deed of this princess was her words to her younger brother Liu Ziye.

When he became emperor, she told him, “Although your highness and I are of different sexes, we are the children of the same father. Why can you sleep with so many different women, while I must be only with my husband? This is so unfair!”

And after the Emperor Liu Ziye heard his elder sister’s words, he ridiculously thought it made sense. So he immediately corrected his “wrong ways” and painstakingly selected thirty handsome youths for her to enjoy.

Chu Yu awoke in the princess’s body and realized that she had obtained a male harem of three thousand; should she take just one to drink, or keep all of them?

Associated Names
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Feng Qiu Huang
Untouchable Lovers
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19 Reviews sorted by

Kimchi759 rated it
September 21, 2016
Status: c27
Rating: 2, if I'm being nice.

Warning: rant ahead. Also, SPOILERS AHOY!!!

I have to admit I was excited by the premise of this story. A transmigration story with a clever female lead? And a historical, deliberate reverse harem?? Yes. Sign me the pluck up. I was ready for an assertive female lead in a position of power, especially if it challenged gender dynamics in a historical setting. I am still ready. I will forever be ready. :')

You know how transmigration stories always try to display the protagonist in a... more>> better light by portraying the original inhabitant of the body as a poorer version? As if it's impossible to make the current protagonist likable without tr*shing the character of the original. This normally isn't a huge deal, as it's basically a cornerstone of CN transmigration LNs, and goodness forbid we have more than one likable/strong female. But. With the expectations the premise inspired... It was doubly disappointing in this story.

You see, one of the main reasons, if not The Reason, the original inhabitant of the body was so very, extremely, unrepentantly, unforgivably unlikable...? The reverse harem she had.

I mean, the story also mentions her selfish and ruthless nature (which is interestingly yet eye-rollingly connected with her s*xual immorality), but the new inhabitant of the body never misses an opportunity to decry and scorn the original. Such as when the protag despairs that the body she's inhabiting belonged to a woman denounced by history, with her name sullied forever to never be used again, because she had the gall, as a woman, to be above men. How disgusting, right? Unforgivable. She definitely deserved to have her life cut short and replaced by a 'better', more 'virtuous', more 'pure' version.

She's also constantly pointed out to be an adulterer and insinuated to be a s*xual deviant. This is, of course, ignoring the harmfulness of male libidos and their pervasive infidelity. Also,

one of the 'understandable' and 'excusable' reasons some men in her harem plan a rebellion against her is because their pride is injured, being a male concubine. Which. It's obviously that it was a woman who owned the harem that was the problem, not that they were concubines. Protag even goes as far as to release them to prove her 'virtue/goodness/womanly worth'.

*insert eyes rolling out of my face*
And did I mention how any sign of a woman having a s*xual drive being a terrible, horrible, no-good thing is? And how often this is reinforced not only by the antiquated opinions of other characters, but by the protagonist herself? And how the protag has gross reactions to things like a man putting on makeup like feeling grossed out herself and wondering what's wrong with the men who do it?

Additionally, and this was the last straw for me, the most likely romantic partner for the protagonist is a man insinuated to be the most powerful, despite being a concubine. His most significant trait is being unfazed by the princess and curiously powerful - to the point of having the other men's loyalty and being able to go against her orders freely. His 'mysterious draw' seems to be that she has no real power or control over him, and that she is not really above him in any way, much less equal. Oh no. He is definitely her superior, better than her and a few hundred steps ahead of her at any given moment, which is /so attractive/, amirite? *eyes roll on the floor*

Tl;dr I was excited by the idea that there might be less chauvinism in this story, but instead the protagonist is a loud/proud espouser and figure-head for sexist ideals, and traditional gender roles. The underlying message is still, disappointingly, that women should never be 'On Top', and if a woman dares to be equal, she is a harlot/sinner/failure. Oh, and men are only attractive if the gender inequality is tipped in their favor. *eyes roll themselves off a cliff into blissful oblivion, away from this story*

The only redeemable part about this fic was that she did have scenes where she used her head and made clever decisions (though they were notably unrelated to romance/gender which is a good 90% of this story.) Also, the translator (who also does Stunning Edge) did an A+ job of making the story easy to read and understand. So kudos to her.

If you do not mind the sexism and misogyny, and find deleterious gender roles to be your thing (or at least something you can brush aside), then maybe this might be a good read for you. For others like me, with a pretty basic but firm set of standards for female representation in my media, this is a no-go. <<less
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Rabbitson rated it
April 7, 2018
Status: Completed
The low score for this novel makes me a little sad.

The synopsis of this novel is misleading. If you came here for a bold, flirty, progressive female lead, run away.

This novel is not about gender equality.

This novel is about love, power, and sacrifice.

This is a touching novel about love and sacrifice.

What will you sacrifice for love or power? Are you willing to sacrifice either for the other?

Don't join the party with the wrong idea.


    • Like three-dimensional characters.
    • Great writing
    • Good plot.
    • A developed male lead who suits the protagonist well, and seems like a real person unlike all those other 'Benwangs' in Mary Sue stories who exist to be stepped on by the Female Lead.
    • A realistic love story - no exaggerated love confessions and love at first sight here. Or the dreaded, "This girl is interesting I, Benwang, shall watch over her but I'm really in love with her at first sight despite my denials."
    • Want a touching love story and are willing to cry
    • But still want a Happy End. (Yes it's HE)
    • After reading all the trials the main couple had to go through and sacrifices they had to make, once you reach the ending, you will feel satisfied.

    • You are looking for a progressive story.
    • You are looking for a progressive or perfect female lead. The female lead was not made to be entirely liked by the reader. She is flawed, she is prejudiced, she is human. You may not love her, but you will sympathise with her.
    • You want an 'artistic' novel about the meaning of life etc. The novel does have insights and themes, but no major existential ones.
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Narutolvr rated it
June 23, 2018
Status: c25
I think Kimchi759 did a great job of summarizing the biggest issues with this novel as a female reader, so I don't intend to start a rant- I just want to emphasize a couple of points I find the most off-putting. To be honest, I knew this novel was going to be on some bullsh*t when I read the synopsis. Why? Because when the new emperor responds favorably to his sister's desire for equality between them, the author describes him as "ridiculously [thinking] it made sense". Right there you can... more>> see that the author doesn't think the original body was within her right to not be constrained by one partner just like men are. So I honestly went into this novel with fairly low expectations. Yet, somehow, I was still disappointed when reading.

The characters of the novel (and, most disappointingly, the MC) paint the original body as one step above Satan for desiring her own s*xual freedom. I would understand the MC not being into it-

waking up in a bed of naked men is probably a jarring situation, after all,

but, with the way she basically describes the original body as a heathen beast deserving of death, you'd think the MC was the one from ancient times instead.

The harem members constantly bit*h and moan about being in the harem and being forced to serve a woman, yet they're the ones who joined a harem where they would have to serve a woman. The male interest is... honestly, I don't understand the appeal. He doesn't seem to care at all about the MC which attracts her for some reason? (See Kimchi759's description of this relationship dynamic because it's spot on). I find myself disliking every character except that little boy in the harem (whose name escapes me). All in all, this is an anti-feminist message wrapped up in pro-feminist gift wrap. I sincerely hope this author isn't a woman because I can only say his or her views on women and sex/sexuality are dangerously misogynistic. <<less
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Neverim rated it
September 26, 2016
Status: Completed
I've finished reading the entire story to the end in Chinese.

22/3/17 P.S. There's a drama for this novel now.
... more>>

http://www. Spcnet. Tv/forums/showthread. Php/40243-Untouchable-Lovers-%E7%94%B5%E8%A7%86%E5%89%A7%E5%87%A4%E5%9B%9A%E5%87%B0-2017-A-Tale-of-Two-Phoenixes-Feng-Qiu-Huang-%E5%87%A4%E5%9B%9A%E5%87%B0#. WNH8T_mGOUk



It has one of the most intricate plots and almost every character is fleshed out, though the author doesn't spend much time on less significant characters who were equally intriguing and can leave you wondering what happened with them. Even the author admits this, but through the MC's POV, where the MC neglects these characters.

Also, although this is a reverse harem story, the MC will disappoint and the whole premise of the Princess she took over is poured down the drain. If you read this expecting something progressive and flirtatious, don't. However I do recommend reading this for the exquisite plot writing.

Every chapter is a mystery that leaves you wanting for more and every time you think you understand what's going on as a reader, the result will stun you, literally making you experience getting played with by the male protagonist as much as the MC.

All the side characters will earn their place and present a much much bigger picture like a jigsaw and have their own attractive points.

However, the MC's character development is disappointing. If you're looking for an MC who would change for the better, this one won't. While it looks like she matured through adversity, her base development did not change at all from how the story started and her behavior can be frustrating and hypocritical.

But she can be considered a very average and relatable character, being so normal in her reactions, to a reader I suppose.

Just don't get your hopes up for liking the MC, like I did. You will like the rest of the cast though.

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Agrotera rated it
August 8, 2018
Status: --
Sadly I have to agree with Kimchi759 and Narutovlr.

I think Kimchi759 said it all in their review, so there is not much left to say for me.

What I can say is that in general the story outline is good, a smart female lead, an ancient setting and an reverse harem with various characters, but the harsh bashing of the former inhabitant of the body regarding her sexuallity (/her striving for s*xual freedom) is distressing. The main is permanently judging others (behavior, morals, affinities whatsoever) and the men are kinda the... more>> same.
Not for me sadly. <<less
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Berlin rated it
March 13, 2019
Status: c220
*Update: I'm at ch.220 and this is surprisingly one of the best novels I've read spanning Eng, Jap and a few other CN novels. I'll edit my review after I finish it. It's so good it deserves translation. I hope it gets translated completely (lol I'm willing to translate it myself if it doesn't, cause it's that good). I've never been this addicted to chinese fiction nor have I cried when reading them, until now.

Seeing the mixed reviews actually made me interested so I decided to read the raws... more>> and I think I understand why the reveiws are so polarised. The real novel is truly a hidden gem.

The problem is the story premise and summary are misleading. This isn't about a reverse harem. It's about court intrigue, suspense, friendship/loyalty and drama with what I can only describe as a tangled connection and intriguing development of feelings between the unlikeliest of people. The drama is based off this novel but with a major difference I won't spoil. (I wonder if the harem tag should be removed because the harem only sets out the premise. Even the recs don't fit...)

The reason why the reverse harem is so looked down upon in the novel is because it's still set in ancient times and the storyline has very little to do with the harem, hence there won't be any development towards acceptance of one female having many male concubines because it's so far removed from the core of the story.

Given the premise it seems to be a slow burn and the ending seems precarious but worthwhile to read. The characters are 3-dimensional, realistic people (except for their otherworldly good looks) each conflicted with motives of their own. MC is not OP and grows into herself along the way. ML may not be the most likable character but he's set up to be who he is - creating a most peculiar relationship seemingly with a world's rift between them, yet connects and creeps up on them in tiny, inconspicuous, suppressed but undeniable steps.

ML is not a good person. I'd go as far as to say he's the hidden antagonist. He's ruthless, but his ruthlessness is due to a totalitarian regard for rationale over morality. He believes the end goal is justifiable through any means necessary. For this, he won't be everyone's cup of tea. However, I for one feel this adds to the complexity of his character. Then again, I'm also a sucker imperfect, morally grey characters and romances between characters standing on completely different pages.

Still, the story is worth reading for some of the side characters alone, namely Wang Yizhi and Tian Rujing.

Certain historical figures and events are also based off Chinese history, which to me is a plus for novels. There is a poetic, empathetic quality to the novel and some deep meanings about life, love, duty and living itself.

The closest this story reminds me of is Scarlet Heart/Bu Bu Jing Xing - a court romance/suspense drama. It's completely far off from a real reverse harem story. So if you're looking for a harem story it wont be this one. If you're into interesting romance dynamics, realistic characters and thrilling court drama, I'd strongly recommend this. <<less
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Kerbasi rated it
August 18, 2016
Status: --
How funny is it that I've been declaring the same things to my guy friends for so many years? "Why can guys get a harem and girls can't?!"

So it's pretty funny how the words I spoke for a long time actually was made into a novel xD fuhahaha I love it!
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Nana (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
Reading the first few chapters, wow.. The author really has a great imagination. To think that they make a female royalty having harem. So I jokingly do a search using google and found the wikipedia article about the real life princess chuyu. Damn. Never expected she's a real person.

Anyway, the release frequency is decent on 2 chapters/week, the story is fluently translated into English.

MC itself was transmigrated into princess chuyu body, she woke up in a bed between naked body of her concubines. Not many chapter had been translated yet,... more>> but she came as a smart and sensible. <<less
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Mikleo rated it
July 18, 2016
Status: --
This novel is very interesting. Just a few chapters, I already fell in love with it.

Basically, the MC transmigrated into the body of an Imperial Princess. However, that particular princess is the one and only Liu Chuyu. The princess who had (or has) her own Harem filled with Bishounens.

It was very interesting since the MC is both cunning and intelligent. She may have her 'down times' or 'weaknesses', but she's the type to shoulder it in and barge through it.

I just hope that she would resume her (past self's) activities,... more>> and make this Novel a True Harem Novel.

I'll give it a 5 for now. I just hope it continues to be fun and interesting till the end. <<less
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Rhianrey rated it
December 28, 2017
Status: --
I dont get why the rating of this novel is lower than I expected.

There is a lot of mystery and questions going on about this novel that I would really love to know the answer. Especially who will she end up with or the reverse harem is still there.. What are the conspiracies evolving around the imperial and the harem.. I wish this novel will be translated completely
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rabbit_casa rated it
November 30, 2019
Status: Completed
The novel is one of the most unconventional books that I have ever red. The FL is smart, strong, kind yet unique that makes you couldn't help to fall in love with her.

The MC is one of the slyest characters who you would ever met, yet he is endearing because of his persistence and protectiveness of the FL (although he is only protective of her only, other people probably see him as devil incarnated).

The plot isn't so heavy on power struggle between different fractions of politics and power or scheming,... more>> though it plays an important role in novel, which is just how I like it. Some novels are too heavy in palace power struggles and schemes, which give me headache when reading them.

Overall, this is a perfect novel for everyone to read if they have time to go through 200+ chapters. <<less
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BurntToast rated it
October 29, 2018
Status: c48
I love the concept, characters, and execution. I have read a number of web novels, and this is permanently in my top three. I love how every character is dynamic, powerful, but not impervious. The FMC is intelligent and proactive, and does a decent job of competently navigating her new environment.

In fact, this is the first isekai that I've ever actually liked. This is also one of the few times that I haven't been sure as to the MMC's angle, and I find that fascinating. The author does an excellent... more>> job of navigating her characters and her world while maintaining a beautiful but realistic overtone. I hope to see more of this, and huge thanks to the translator.


  • You're looking for a progressive (politically) story. The author holds very traditional Chinese values and while she has no problem with standard harems, seems relatively repulsed by reverse harems. A bit of a missed opportunity in my opinion, but I digress.
  • You're looking for romance fast. There has been little to none as of yet (ch. 48)
  • You're looking for an omnipotent anyone. The FMC doesn't crush anyone, and as powerful as the MMC is, the FMC still seems to keep him on his toes. Everyone is unlikable in their own way, which is honestly my favorite part. Imperfect characters are so important to me.
  • You want a harem. For a harem story, there isn't much of a harem. That part was a bit sad, but I like everyone's interactions all the same.

  • You like physically attractive but still imperfect people
  • You like a proactive heroine who keeps her cards close to her chest and convincing character interactions
  • You want to read an intricate plot line that keeps you guessing
  • A well-developed, immersive setting with decently realistic boundaries (by webnovel standards), legitimate political intrigue, and a handful of literary trolley problems
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SilverBullet888 rated it
August 6, 2016
Status: c7
This was a refreshing reincarnation story that hooked me from the very few chapters. The protagonist is interesting and has a calm personality that makes me like her, and the other characters are intriguing and makes me want to know more about them. The translation also reads very well, and is not awkward in their wording, as some translations tend to be. All in all, a good series. I am looking forward to how the story develops.
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KillerGinger rated it
October 13, 2018
Status: --
If I had not read raws it would have been high rated. Kimchi is on point.

It is different spin and even has a few moments to chuckle. Since it is true time travel I guess in end chapter I have not reached she can't win.

The male lead is horrific schemer that is WORSE than brother just less open and bloody. Brother is affected by status, era and the terrible childhood the original siblings survived through. The only lead pushed at us? Despite fact she knew he was poison all along...... more>> he CHOOSES the harm he does. has NO loyalties. Most the plot hiccups are not too jarring an can be overlooked until you get to around 140 chapters. Then the protagonist suddenly is struck by "useless heroine**" IQ. with her Darwin award death only held back by the hero halo.


BTW for those who read past 100s: She hires as Princess to go after assassin... but not after the sl*t that ransacked her house an ruined her rep and (*important clue!) was in the mouth of the assassin? Oh right because it is a minion of her true love, can't let her get smart and go after it before he can set his plot in motion..... -_- ya author, just crush my dream of a smart/pragmatic heroine some more. Oh brother I think you should kill those uncles, after all, rebellion is them or us. [6 minutes later- oh gee let me go after the assassin but not the person who WILL JUST HIRE ANOTHER ONE and just FUBARED my life! I predict the happy ending is her "dying" and being protected by her 'true love' that made her dependent on him for a lifetime after taking her status, friends, plans and family away. The idea makes me nauseous. I guess it is still a better story than Twilight


=**dependent on those around her, distracted from the IMPORTANT task of surviving and plotting required to ride the wave of the rebellion she knows is coming in order to go to some party that ends up her indirect Hongman Feast and drags the hind legs of her most trustworthy acquaintances who are targeted to bust her support.= And suddenly she is Patrick Star... Doh wonder who has ABILITY, ACCESS and is not close to me that might be pulling these strings. Gee dunno maybe the one you suspected most before crushing on him? Many enemies but not many had ALL her details. And this is where I flipped a table. All unique attributes now are fading. Not sure if I will finish. I don't mind lack of dogfood, but I hate protagonist that is stuck with r*pey/controlfreak for FL or Braindead/Bewby Bimbette when ML All her plans ruined by allowing into her inner circle the one she was originally most wary of. <<less
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White Head Ice Prince
White Head Ice Prince rated it
July 3, 2016
Status: c7
Its still early in the story but I'll leave a review for those who stumbled upon here by chance.

The story up till here is about modern female protagonist Chuyu who died and traveled back in time to enter the body of Liu Chuyu (some historical character who was one of the firsts to have so many male concubines). With not having any of Liu Chuyu's original memories, modern Chuyu deals with her unfamiliar environment as the Princess and her Harem full of Bishounens.

Its Perfect for you if you like lots... more>> of pretty boys and are okay with not having that much comedy, I'm not saying there isn't as the interactions between the concubines are pretty funny. <<less
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dian888 rated it
October 29, 2021
Status: Completed
This is another iconic novel in China which had people voting the ML in this novel as the most ‘Fu Hei’ (which means outwardly kind but inwardly cold/evil) character of all time - making him very very famous in the BG novel scene back then.

I have re-read this novel 2-3 times already, and it still holds up. One of my favourite parts of this novel is the FL - unlike other transmigrators (I’m comparing transmigrators of novels released around this time like early 2010s), she is smart, she is calculative... more>> and she tries her best to survive and change her fate. Although this is a romance novel, we also get to see a lot more calculative scheming as the FL is in a high position in her world as a princess and is vulnerable to being taken down.

Our ML, a calculative Fuhei character is well loved as I mentioned before. I’m not one to really like calculative characters, but I can appreciate that despite being somewhat of a cold blooded, calculative person, at one point in time, he is willing to change his well-laid out plans just for our FL - which goes to show people really like seeing heartless characters find their heart.

In terms of the criticism attracted - it’s always interesting to see international versus Chinese responses. I guess, when I read it, given it was in an ancient times context, what the original FL did was quite forward and not accepted in the ancient times. Perhaps, the author was trying to explain that through our transmigrator FL perspective. However, from a 5 star, I’ll minus a star for that. <<less
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Dream Seeker rated it
July 21, 2016
Status: c9
An interesting perspective on harem using the reverse genders. Though it's no best seller it's a pretty good read with a pretty unique concept and setting that I recommend.
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YanZhan rated it
June 10, 2023
Status: c82
hohoho its been so long... or maybe I never rated 1 star before this?? usually I am quite generous in rating. And when I read the description of this novel I thought it will be a good one. Reverse harem?? wow so unique. but it turns out to be such a boringgggg story. I really cant continue reading anymore... *sigh*
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October 18, 2023
Status: --
Princess challenges emperor brother's double standards on relationships, gains a male harem of three thousand. Now, Chu Yu debates between indulging in one or keeping all.
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