After Being Forced to Marry the Evil Star General


Links are NOT allowed. Format your description nicely so people can easily read them. Please use proper spacing and paragraphs.

Zhao Yelan was born as a criminal s*ave and was rescued by the Third Prince. After years of painstaking efforts to put him on the throne, Zhao Yelan became a sycophantic minister whom everyone detested, but he was actually given a marriage by that person to general Yan Mingting, the lone star of Tiansha.

The general caused the death of his own father, his mother, his wife, and his dog. Everyone hoped that the curse would also kill Zhao Yelan as soon as possible.

On the wedding night, Zhao Yelan, who was dressed in red, took out a dagger, his eyes sharp: “What do you want?”

Yan Mingting held his hand tightly, and borrowed his dagger to carve a large character on the head of the bed – – Early.

“You’re weak and frail, get up early every day and practice horse stance with me!”


The common people thought this marriage was truly wonderful!

They heard that this big minister was beaten every day. He had to repair the roof tiles when the house leaked and also work in the kitchen. He served his husband and was very obedient, and from then on, he didn’t dare condemn people.

Hey, the general was truly mighty!

Zhao Yelan sat lazily by the bed, playing with the dagger, and raised the ends of his eyes slightly: “Where did these rumors come from?”

“From my dog mouth.” Yan Mingting, who was in horse stance, patted his thigh. “Madam, please take the seat of honor. You don’t have to get up early tomorrow.”

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Dandy Escapes From Marriage (Shared Universe)
Golden Stage (5)
After the Disabled God of War Became My Concubine (2)
Qiang Jin Jiu (2)
The Big Landlord (1)
The Sickly Beauty Substitute Called It Quits (1)
Peerless (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. danmei: court politics and palace intrigue
  2. want to read
  3. want to read
  4. Unconditional Love BL
  5. Right in the feels

Latest Release

Date Group Release
09/01/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 13
09/01/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 12
09/01/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 11
09/01/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 10
09/01/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 9
08/31/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 8
08/30/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 7
08/05/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 6
07/27/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 5
07/14/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 4
07/14/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 3
07/07/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 2
06/15/23 Neon Dragonfly... extra 1
06/05/23 Neon Dragonfly... c92
06/05/23 Neon Dragonfly... c91
Go to Page...
Go to Page...
Write a Review
40 Reviews sorted by

New IrrelevantFluff rated it
December 6, 2023
Status: Completed
I loved this story. Wonderfully written, well-developed characters (with power couple protagonists and fleshed out side characters), good pacing and plot flow, and a great balance of humour and angst.
It has the perfect mix of politics and intrigue within a sort of slice of life storyline that portrays two very different and equally strong people realising what it means to have a family, heal from past trauma and love one another.

Also, just want to mention, I remember seeing some reviews calling the General a bully... I feel like this... more>> isn’t really accurate. When they’re first ”bestowed” the marriage, they don’t know or like each other at all. Plus, they have fundamentally extremely dissimilar views on life, people and the world. So both of them are quite lacking in understanding towards the other, and there is a power struggle, and the strife of trying to find a balance in the relationship that could be seen as mutual bullying. The mutual aspect is important. And this actually quickly turns into a flirty teasing that both seem to quite enjoy, and that continues to be a part of their relationship dynamic.

There are a LOT of tags so let me just say that bickering and mismatched couple are absolutely accurate tags, but so are devoted and doting love interests. <<less
0 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
New Hadhira
December 6, 2023
Status: Completed
This was a rollercoaster of emotions for me, I felt so angry at times and happy at times. This novel is truly one of my favourites, all the characters are so real and amazing! Everyone has their own flaws. I read it at neondragonfly. org translations.

I loved every second of it, I’m so glad I read it, don’t be afraid to read it. Sometimes it squeezes your heart with some angst, then it sweetens your heart with some fluff.

Below are some spoilers and thoughts while reading this novel:

... more>>

Zhao Yelan is so cute man, he’s more tsundere and I feel like he reveals his true self more to Yan Mingting more than the emperor

In front of the emperor he acts accordingly and more falsely.

I love how they slowly start to love each other, you can see it progressing! I’m loving it!

I love how Zhao Yelan cares about how Yan Mingting thinks of him and tries to look good and tries to impress him

They’re so genuine to each other! Ugh so cute, my heart hurt when Zhao Yelan was thinking of leaving 😭

Chapter 59... when they started being more and more intimate ehehehehe

CHAPTER 61, I’ve lost all composure and I’m currently screaming in my pillow while typing this! HES SI DJEHRUVRKW. THEY’re TOO BLOODY CUTE SHEGIFVEKWBDURBEK

Might I add that Yan Mingting is infatuated with Zhao Yelan so you don’t need to worry about scum gongs

Chapter 65, I’m blushing rn, they’re too cute, it’s currently 2am, I’ve got work tmr...

No my heart hurts so badly, 😭,

They’re so funnyyyy, they smuggled nuts and little snacks to a royal banquet/meeting, they were even sharing it out 😂😂

Love all the characters man! Yan Mingting, best husband goes to you!!!! He’s so genuinely sweet and funny!

1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Hippopotamus rated it
December 19, 2022
Status: --
My reaction when I read chapter 1 was : ??? 🤨

Then I thought, "oh, what an interesting MC. I really like ruthless MCs like this." 🤔

Then after a few paragraphs and when I finally got to chapter 2, I was like this: HAHAHAHAHAHA🤣🤣🤣

... more>> How come the ML is so funny! The impressions of the first meeting are usually important, right? However, when ML and MC met for the first time, ML was in this situation:

He was poisoned so his face was swollen like a pig (that's why MC said that ML was ugly like a pig spirit) 😂

The first gift he gave to MC was a literally living chicken that he randomly asked his servant to catch from the courtyard! (because he thinks MC seemed to be so sickly and too thin and maybe not eating enough at home.) 🤣

Another funny aspect in this story : ML's subordinates. What should I say about them? Then I can only remember an idiom : like master, like dog (s) 🤣

It's still too early to actually write a review here because the translated chapters uploaded are still too few. But in terms of the author's writing style, or in terms of plot and characterization, I'm already very interested. There are a lot of misunderstandings in here that lead to comedy. Seriously 😂

I will follow this story and hopefully it will live up to my expectations and not just "good in intro, bad in the middle, and worse in the end".

This section contains major spoilers. Click if you are curious...


MC used to come from a happy family. His father was just a scholar who made a living selling calligraphy and paintings. But all that happiness vanished after - out of compassion - they helped someone who was injured and fell unconscious in front of their gate. That person then wanted to return the favor by recruiting MC's father but MC's father refused. Then he simply handed over a jade pendant and said that if they ran into any trouble, they could come to him for help.

That was the start of the nightmare. Soon they find out that the person they are helping is a rebel leader. But the man lost and was killed. The emperor ordered to kill all those who sided with the rebels, so instead of letting one fish escape the net, the emperor's subordinates arrested all who had been in contact with the rebels, whether they were guilty or not. Without exception all were imprisoned and tortured to death... Including MC's father and mother.

MC witnessed how his parents died in prison. Even though he was released afterwards, they branded MC as a s*ave.

The MC first met the third prince when he was sold in a cage by the salve dealer. The third prince then released MC and from then on MC became his confidant.

But after the third prince ascended the throne to replace his emperor father, he began to distrust his subordinates who used to help him in winning the battle for the throne. MC then uses the new emperor's will to consolidate his power to seek revenge for the mu*der of his parents. The new emperor didn't want to spoil his image as a benevolent emperor, so the MC did all the dirty works.

That's the main reason MC has such a bad reputation. Coupled with his bitter experience which resulted in him becoming such a ruthless person, MC became a frightening figure for all the court officials.



Regarding MC's marriage to ML. The main cause was the new emperor who no longer trusted MC as his confidant. But he didn't have the heart to kill him, because in the past, MC had almost lost his life to save the emperor.

The emperor didn't want the MC to expand his influence in court but he couldn't simply remove the MC position. If he did that his image would be ruined. So the emperor used the earthquake that rocked Mount Tai as an excuse to remove MC from imperial court, by ordering that marriage.



Regarding ML.

The reason ML returned to the capital was to find the cause of his father's death. His father was given poison that is odorless and colorless. The poison didn't kill him immediately, but it caused ML's father to slowly weaken, so he was later killed on the battlefield.

ML managed to catch and interrogate the person who betrayed his father. But that person was also poisoned with the same poison. Before his death, the man said that his family was captured and he was forced to betray his master. He also said that he didn't know who gave the order, but that person had very strong influence.

At first ML suspected MC. In an attempt to get rid of the emperor's secret intels, ML took the opportunity to arrest and interrogate MC's personal servant, XiaoGao.

However, it turned out that it was not MC who was behind the mu*der of his father. Then ML decides to ask MC for help in finding the real killer.



Regarding ML's reputation as Evil Star General.

The cause was mainly because the death of his family and his first fiance. Although everything was coincidental. Not his fault at all. But people just believed all the nonsenses.

His younger brother was dead at the very young age because of sickness. His mother too. And his father was poisoned and then killed in battlefield.

It was different case with his first fiance. She was r*ped by the late emperor (the third prince's scumbag father) 😡

His first fiance was the daughter of Right Minister Li. She was invited by the Empress dowager to her banquet. At that time the late emperor spotted her. The late emperor only knew that Li family have one daughter that already have marriage contract, but that was the first time he met her. The late emperor was a very lustful and vain persona. Without regard of his relationship with his minister, he later personally called her to his study and r*ped her there.

She came back home in devastating condition. At one side she was afraid that the general mansion would blame her father and made a fuss. And another side, she didn't want to be late emperor's concubine and afraid that the cruel emperor would kill her father and brother. Then she decided to drink poison so that Li family would be save.



About MC's sickly state.

The new emperor thought that MC's condition became weak after he almost died saving him in an assassination attempt.

But in reality, MC did deliberately let himself be injured because he was afraid that in the future the new emperor would suspect him and want to kill him like what he did to his other subordinates.

The wound did eventually heal, but the MC knew that he could not fully recover as before, in order to maintain the emperor's nostalgia. So he purposely used a fragrance that was actually a special medicine from the Western Region which made him weak and sick.



Regarding the relationship between MC and ML.

In my opinion, ML was the first to fall in love. And that wasn't unknown by MC.

He knew, but he already planned to leave the court for so many years. MC had planned that after he completed his revenge, he would be dead and then resurrect with another identity.

That plan also known by ML of course. But in the end our MC just couldn't bear to leave his beloved man... 😍


By the way, this story is a HE 👍 <<less
34 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
ReluctantMTLReader rated it
April 2, 2023
Status: --
Not sure how ML could ever be considered a bully, he's one of the most considerate lovers I've ever come across in danmei. But he is a general, so he's used to showing his regard through training his people to be the best they can be.

Also, MC is one of the best characters I've ever read about. He's a stone-cold, calculating schemer, but when someone shows him real love and respect, he does everything he can to return that same love and respect. He never neglects ML, even if it... more>> is sometimes very difficult to make himself vulnerable.

This is a really sweet story with a low drama threshold. Any time drama pops up, it's dealt with pretty quickly, and chapters usually end on a comedic note. You can trust this author to treat the characters with respect and let them develop naturally. <<less
15 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Ouryane00 rated it
March 30, 2023
Status: Completed
The bad reviews almost made me skip this novel!

I'm really really happy that I decided to give this novel a chance cause I couldn't stop reading after.

Some people would say that the ML is "forceful" or a "bully" at the beginning but I think he just likes teasing the MC and he treats him like he would treat his brothers/soldiers after all, he grew up in the army. Also the way he "bullies" the MC is really just making him exercise, which is good for MC's health and it doesn't... more>> happen often anyway.

I love how they didn't fall in love in an instant. They first schemed against each other, trying to figure out the other's plan then cooperating and falling in love.

I love the MC too! He is ruthless but I love how he is so different from other MCs. He's extravagant, loves money and wouldn't let himself suffer. But! He is also very soft hearted, he doesn't show it but you can see it.

Ahhhh! Also!! I love stories where the MC leaves the ML so ML will go find him or stories where MC leaves ML and they'll only meet again after a long time but in this story, that didn't happen and I love it so much

The MC is supposed to leave and the ML could feel it too but the MC decides to stay and even confess his feelings hihihihi


I wouldn't say that this story is big on romance but it makes my heart flutter so much!!!

Plus it's also really funny! I found myself laughing a lot of times

Edit: Just completed this novel via Mtl (it's understandable in mtl too)... Ahhh I love this novel!!! <<less
7 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Arenaphrodite rated it
August 28, 2023
Status: Completed
4.5/5 for me.

Okay, so this novel started out good. I really liked the first half tbh. The comedy, romance aspect and political intrigue blanded perfectly with e/o. I liked how the MC's character was a little gray, he did what he had to for survival. I also liked how the emperor was shown as a wise and somewhat merciless monarch. He knew how to choose sensible confidents and also kept his wild cards in check so that their power couldn't overpower him (heartless but logical thing to do as... more>> you can't really expect someone sitting on the emperor's throne be a pawn of others). I also liked the mystery surrounding ML's father's death. The sugar filled relationship between MC and ML made one's teeth ache and I'm here for it! They deserve the very best after dealing with so much hardship. But things kinda went downhill for me in the second half after they came back from Jiangnan. Author spent so much time writing about MC and ML's bantering only. Initially it seemed fine as they were on their honeymoon period but then it kinda became boring.


Another thing that I didn't like was how the author decided to introduce a totally new character at the end and made him the villain w/o any prior foreshadowing. ML also totally forgets about finding his father's killer but the killer himself just appears in front of them🤷🏽‍♀️ I felt like the last few chapters were written in a rush and the author just congested everything in those chapters. Btw for some reason the emperor also makes a 360 degrees changes in his behavior and I don't get why. His character perfectly fit the image of an emperor who's wise but somewhat wicked, in the beginning imo.


Anyway, 5/5 for the first half and 4/5 for the somewhat disappointing second half. <<less
6 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
March 14, 2023
Status: c10
Not rated bcs I dropped this story. Actually, the premise itself is not bad and the author's writing is good. It's just... The ML is not my taste. He's forceful, but not in a scumbag way, more like, the way he force MC to do this and that. I know he has good intentions, but it's just irritate me for some reason.

Maybe I just like to be contrary (like when I already have an initiative to do A, but when other people told me to do A. I don't want... more>> to do A anymore), so when I encounter a person with ML's personality as a love interest, I just don't want to read it anymore <<less
5 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Virtuous_imperial_consort rated it
December 21, 2022
Status: c9
I can honestly say that I'm enjoying this novel so far, especially Zhao Yelan's interactions with Yan Mingting. The general is hilarious but also earnest and well meaning towards his new spouse. Though they may be at odds now, those two have the potential to become a power couple. I'm very interested in how the emperor plans to interfere with Zhao Yelan and Yan Mingting's marriage. It's clear that he values Zhao Yelan as an advisor but values his position as emperor more, yet he just can't let go of... more>> Zhao Yelan. His feelings/actions towards his favorite official are definitely complex and I can't wait to see how everything unfolds. This novel contains all the elements that I like in the historical danmei genre: Interesting characters, comedy, and court intrigue! Hope this turns out to be excellent novel! At any rate, I'll keep reading to see where the story goes~ <<less
5 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Devrai rated it
September 22, 2023
Status: extra 7
Pretty good Lovestory with solid background and cast.

The description is a bit misleading. When the story begins, MC (Zaho Yelan) just got his order to marry ML (Yan Mingting). MC did help the current Emperor on the throne and everyone knows what happens to people like him. He already did prepare a lot to not make him suspicious of him but this marriage degree kind of sent him a signal.

MC is rather notorious as a super powerful person close to the Emperor, easy to anger and killing everyone who... more>> displease him.

When the story progresses you will realize that lots of those rumors are super imposed and ML often takes it on himself to protect others. He is by far not a holy person. He is doing good deeds and is not afraid to do bad things to archive the good outcome that he wants. He is kind of interesting.

ML is a famous general and feels a bit like a dog, following around. He is rather open minded and did not shun MC. While ML seemed rather fast in love with MC, the relationship progressed slowly and in a great pacing.

I did like the way MC and ML communicated and the food between them. Sometimes childish and cheeky but with respect and love.

The character hat enough dephth and background to feel real.

I really liked this novel and recommend to read it. <<less
4 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
bluedrop rated it
October 14, 2023
Status: Completed
I have been waiting for this to be completely translated because the story looks promising and the translations look beautiful.

I was not disappointed 😭♥️ I am so friggin happy reading this. I love the MC. I love the ML. I love the side characters. I love the blend of court intrigue, lightened with humor. Such a perfect blend and story to get lost in.

Besides the humor, there are so many heartfelt moments, and a few where I legit ugly cried like outright wailed and sobbed. My gosh my heart. It's... more>> the type of story that makes you long for such an unconditional unselfish pure romantic love that few are lucky to encounter in a lifetime. I'm not being dramatic.

The translators did such an awesome job in conveying things. I'm just so so so happy right now to get something of this quality, that's completely translated, in this genre. <<less
3 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
AnZhe798 rated it
September 19, 2023
Status: Completed
omg this one is one of the best novels ive read on NU

i just love how MC and ML interact with each other and their bickering and talk backs even after they got together

they're just a lovely pair really made for each other

... more>> andddd I really had doubts that the emperor liked the MC but ehh I dont really get it.. maybe he was just using him as MC was using him for his benefits

anyway this is worth reading !!! so what are u hear still reading this s*upid review

go go and read the novel


their actual first kiss was on ch 59.....

3 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Queen77 rated it
February 13, 2023
Status: c43
I like it a lot.

The housekeeper is one of a kind lol😂

I hate that dog emperor, anyone who likes to control ppl urghhh disgusting!

... more>> Everytime he showed up I just wondered when will the main characters kill him

Anyway, the novel is funny, really. Very entertaining. From Cn historical BL novels you'd expect a lot of imperial infighting and scheming, but this one is special, it's clearly a comedic novel.

It's a typical smart and sick MC, with a handsome talented War general (reminds me of Peerless)

Of course they don't like each other instantly at first, they get to know each other and there's always that one person who feels like the own the MC (in this case the emperor)

The emperor is absolutely paranoid, it's ridiculous

I didn't like how he planned to put one of the Ml's lieutenant in his harem, he's obviously testing the MC, to see if he'd pick the ML or help him, when he's the one who demoted him from 1st rank to 7th (its ridiculous) I've never disliked a fictional character with passion like this lol

3 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
May 18, 2023
Status: Completed
Nothing stops me from 5/5.

A very fulfilling story, lots to laugh about, Fluffy, MC is smart and ML is witty. It doesnt have many twists, but intersting side characters... All in all it was wholesome....
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Mins Cat
Mins Cat rated it
March 27, 2023
Status: Completed
Ahh It was such heart warming story. I cried and laughed so much while reading this novel.

It was really refreshing to read this story. Both MC and ML has really likable personalities and I loved to read about them. At beginning I didn't quite liked ML but just after few chapters I fell in love with him so bad. He was kinda of pushy to MC in the beginning but to be honest both of them tried to annoy each other in the beginning of their marriage since they didn't... more>> know each other. ML was really refreshing to read he wasn't typical cold refrigerator type ML. He was really playful, mischievous and childish around MC but at the same time he was very attentive to MC and cared a lot about his health and well being it was adorable. About MC, I also liked him a lot. He was very smart, sharp and pretty tactful. He knew how to survive and had his goals very clear infront of him, he knew his own limits and never interfered in MLs work. Both of them really respected each other's boundaries and tried trusting each other despite not knowing each other for long time. MC never really came off as bad tempered or irrational infact he was cute tsundere type and it caused so many silly banters between them it was fun reading. I really admire MC cause when he decided that he wants to be with ML he really dedicated himself for him, he cared for whole heartedly and even though he can be tsundere sometimes he never fell short to show his love for ML.

To be honest even before both of them made their relationship official they were so sweet and caring to each other that I almost had diabetes and don't even talk about after them getting together. It was hella sweet and I loved every second of it.

The story itself doesn't have any big up and down it's mostly focused on their relationship and how they grow to trust and understand each other as story goes on. So it doesn't really have unnecessary drama or any third person drama in it. Even though you might think that emperor is villan or will cause any major drama then answer no so you can read it without feeling any burden.

I will definitely re-read this again in future and I hope people will give a try to this sweet story.

Ps. You can MTL the story if you want it's pretty decent to read. <<less
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Kit Grouke
Kit Grouke rated it
November 28, 2023
Status: Completed
I don’t know how I came across this Gem of a novel. I just had to pass-by and say this was so good. Initially I too thought why is the ML clingy and forceful but hell noo. He is just another green flag bearer. He understood the MC especially his character and knew what he had to do to make him open up to the world he had once closed his heart too. He healed him without even trying a lot. This really is among one of the best BLs... more>> I’ve ever read. It will have to squeeze into my best green flag 5 danmei MLs. Anyways I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants something with a mixture of good emotions. It ain’t too angsty or too funny but just balanced well. Very Good Novel. <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
SammyTheBee rated it
November 11, 2023
Status: c14
I kept trying to push through, because I hoped it will get better. So far it did not.

Overoll impression? It's like 'Golden stage' but ML doesn't have any respect for MC. And he keeps being like "oh, you don't want to? too bad you can't fight me" as if it is only reason to respect 'no'... Well at least this doesn't happen in intimacy, only in decisions about everyday life.

Still... I feel like these 'mean cat - playful dog' characters went too far in unhealthy direction
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
FlareLeigh rated it
November 9, 2023
Status: Completed
The main leads are perfect for each other. I like the pacing and how angst in most parts but sweet. What I like about this story are how the author didnt neglect the side characters. They had attitude and made the whole story alive. Though the end was rushed but I already enjoy the first and middle which were the best part of the story. ML was such a green flag throughout the story.💕 MC was so lucky to have him as husband and partner for life.
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
October 17, 2023
Status: Completed
I totally love this novel. I really like strong MC. The ML is also adorable and strong. They are match made by heaven.

I like that the side characters are very supportive. Even the emperor is somewhat likeable.
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
sweet164ever rated it
October 13, 2023
Status: c91
nearing the end! I can't help but make a review earlier since the majority of the plot has been read..

comments about the side characters that made an impression on me first

best boys for me:

... more>> gao tan & li yucheng!

gao tan is naive, innocent, and LOYAL

li yucheng.. Well, he's li yucheng hehe. For the first part he seemed to he a passing cannon fodder, but he became good friends with the MC due to his persistence! And he had a good character development, too! Sometimes, I think about nhs when I read li yucheng. 😅 sun muyun

is me when I see two handsome men together 😅

ruan xuan, wang guisheng, kan chuan

it's nice to have plenty of honest people as civil officials in this kind of setting

the ML's troops/friends

they were welcoming of the MC which was nice

zhao xuan

it's nice to have a well-intentioned emperor who is not the main character


it's just a bit sad that he died in just a few years


the plot, the MC, the ml:

it has nice character developments, has great timing on when to insert the back stories. And the back stories may have a bit of angst, but not that much. Just enough to sting but will then make you recover.

i really like smart, black bellied, MCs. As well as those who can kill without twitching. 😅 the ML is like a giant playful dog. While the MC is like a giant delicate, moody cat. Hehe.

this novel made me skip some run days and study times. <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
September 26, 2023
Status: Completed
Loved the storyline... loved the dynamics between the MC and the ML.... they were a power couple... loved their relationship... loved the story with a few twists in between... although I would say the last 6 extras showcasing a parallel timeframe, I can see our MC doing it and I don't blame him... but still the ML went through hell... ultimately its HEA so its fine.. the translation by Neon Dragonfly is awesome... thanking the author and the translator for bringimg us tis piece of gem💎🙏.
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
twobada rated it
September 5, 2023
Status: c1
This was so good. From the character development to the plot events to the pacing and to the translation... worthy of 5/5.

Many times while reading, I felt amazed that I could enjoy it for FREE. The quality was so good that it triggered in me the primal urge to throw money at something beautiful. (Too bad I'm currently broke.)

Definitely a story to remember. Even the side characters felt so alive.

Aside from the character development, my favorite part is how the author unveiled things to readers without having to explain... more>> anything. A superb example of "show, not tell". It made everything so engaging and it was easier to feel invested in the lives and deaths of the characters, not just the main leads but of the side characters' as well.

When you truly break it down, there isn't actually a lot of action nor intrigue in this novel. But because the execution of ideas was so good and so clean, each chapter was interesting.

The romance part was also so nicely done! <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Staringatastar rated it
September 4, 2023
Status: Completed
Great novel with very interesting, 3d characters and world development. My only gripe is the alternative ending extras; when we've already read the perfect ending, this sadder, less satisfying ending was a bit of a disappointing way to leave the beautiful world the author created.

However, the main story and all the other extras were perfect. I fell in love with the characters, especially the MC. He's such an interesting personality - conniving and distrustful, cruel yet not abusive, ambitious yet happy to step down. The ML was a bit of... more>> a puppy-dog figure, but in a satisfying way. I love the slow, realistic relationship development between the two characters. You see how they slowly win each other over - first as strategic partners, and then as romantic ones. It's almost a perfect foil for the MC and the emporer if the emporer wasn't restricted by his responsibility to the country.

Another part I found satisfyingly realistic was how difficult it was for the two to start having satisfying physical relationships. It's funny how many romances portray interc**rse as the pinnacle of relationship development, and as a physical manifestion of the characters' love. It works perfectly and both are left mind blown on the first attempt. I think the way this novel portrays first times provides a more realistic alternative. It can be awkward, unequally satisfying, and confusing. If it's not perfect at first, that says nothing about the strength of the love or the relationship. If the partners care for each other, they'll try and improve so that it's satisfying for both people.

Finally, the mystery and plot in this novel is well-paced, and the slow reveal of back story mimics how people get to know each other in real life. <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Leave a Review (Guidelines)
You must be logged in to rate and post a review. Register an account to get started.