Chaos Of Beauty


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She has been drawn into the life of the phoenix, such fate – “The Emperor Swallow”, but few days later she married the Prime Minister; she possesses beauty that overthrows cities and ruins states but also has a talented and virtuous mind, yet her husband is deeply in love with the Emperor’s doted consort. On their wedding night, his face filled with guilt, says to her: Apart from love, I can give you anything……

Though deep in nobility, her life is not monotonous, to pick up the new number one scholar from within the imperial palace, to rescue the Nu clan’s prince in the back alleys, and with the young general falling off the cliff, with the Emperor engaging in a battle of wits over the inner palace…….

Many men were unable to conquer her beauty and wisdom, yet when trying to win the beauty, they cannot let go of their plundering desires in lust for power. Within the imperial court, there is an underlying turbulence of disputing fronts. On the battlefield, there is the slaughtering of armoured cavalry……the tender grace of a beauty, hearts fuelled with lust for power, which is it that is the burial of such heroes?

Troubled times since the war, they survive in this strife, fighting to dominate this world, seizing the beauty that overthrows cities and ruin states……

The world, because of this beauty, is in chaos; but who is it that this beauty charmingly smiles at?

Associated Names
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Related Series
To Be A Virtuous Wife (4)
Mulberry Song (2)
Mei Gongqing (1)
Song in the Clouds (1)
A Mistaken Marriage Match: A Generation of Military Counselor (1)
A Mistaken Marriage Match: Mysteries in the Imperial Harem (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Will Read
  2. Complete Cnovels that I absolutely love UWU
  3. Ancient is Gold!
  4. Really good. I wanna reread
  5. Complete Novels (Part 1) BG

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Date Group Release
12/06/15 xia0xiao1mei lin rui en special
12/04/15 xia0xiao1mei ending snippet
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11/08/15 xia0xiao1mei c28
11/02/15 xia0xiao1mei c28
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Biah_belle rated it
October 16, 2016
Status: Completed

If she had ended up with the Emperor instead of the husband I'd have given it 5 stars, if she had ended with the General I'd have given it a 4, but she ended up with her Prime Minister husband who she personally witnesses hoeing with another woman and who basically doesn't do much to be romantically involved with her besides "providing for her needs" and not mistreating her.

I have no pity for cheaters at all of any kind, why marry if you can't keep it in your pants, and when you cheat it's an end game for me. He expressly forbids her from loving other men but he readily waltz over into his ex's pants to the point to Emperor isn't even sure the hoes child is his. All while the female MC remains an untouched virgin for ages after their marriage.

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[email protected] rated it
January 18, 2019
Status: Completed
This novel enraged me. Is it because of the thematic incoherence? Or was I disgusted by the self-indulgent narcissism on the part of the author, which bordered on delusion?

I read the novel in the original Chinese. On a surface level, this story is about four (yes, not one, but four! four!) power-hungry men fighting over one woman, exploiting the mechanisms of state and a nation's security as chips in a gamble. Whether the woman or power itself is the means to an end is blurred by the narrative, as the... more>> dudes all find themselves obsessively in love with the main character, who—no joke—is described as a near-goddess with peerless beauty bordering on divinity. But ladies and gents, this is obviously no War and Peace. I keep my expectations very, very low when reading Chinese light novels. But Chaos of Beauty is difficult to swallow even with lowered expectations.

The core problem is that this novel is ruled by a perversion of ethics, which is made further outrageous by willful romanticization. Several male characters are irredeemably despicable, their moves to consolidate power guided by small-minded moral bankruptcy, as they inflict harm micro (orchestrating the deaths of specific characters) and macro (causing the deaths of armies and innocent civilians). Look, I'm not so naive as to critique a novel on moralistic grounds. Gray characters are fascinating, and gritty hard-edged portrayals of war and politics are important. But subjects like murder and war ought to treated for what they are, and presented with unflinching honesty. Even Game of Thrones, which exploits dark undercurrents for commercial shock-value, is at least clear-sighted and incisive in its treatment of power struggles. But when the deaths of thousands become the vehicle in service of the author's melodramatic romantic fantasy (perfect, beautiful heroine! powerful men fighting over her like rabid dogs! because of looooove), it leaves an aftertaste of pure disgust.

The only way this novel could have worked is if it were a cynical satire, in the vein of Voltaire's Candide, about the futility of human ambition. Or as an entirely realistic portrayal of the collapse of political stability.

The two male characters driving the conflict, the emperor and his prime minister, would have been great as unapologetic villains rather than "romantic (anti) heroes". In a better novel, Prime Minister Lou could have been a hard-nosed Machiavellian character— a "power is my only mistress" Napoleon or Julius Caesar — whose greed for power is realistically consistent. This is a dude who supposedly grew up an orphan in the Crown Prince's household, a lowly foot-stool of a servant who claws his way into power by feverishly studying for the civil service examinations and becoming the top-scorer in his year; his political rise is then paved by the murder of his former master, followed by another murder and double-crossing of the dowager empress, his former conspirator, to shut her up and cover his tracks. His eventual conflict with the sitting emperor (who had replaced his dead brother by faking virtuousness) is probably modeled after prime minister Sima Yi's power struggle against the emperors of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period, an instance of weakened imperial authority flailing to reconsolidate power from unchecked ministers. But this is where historical associations stop and poor writing begins.

The novel relies heavily on "tell, not show" rather than show, not tell. The narrative repeatedly insists Prime Minister Lou is a political genius, but all his actual maneuvers are shortsighted, if not downright s*upid. The historic Sima Yi had only moved to openly challenge the emperor after decades—decades!—of hard work had won him complete control of the army and state. Sima had clarity of vision and a concrete objective of seizing the throne; his son and grandson continued his work and eventually toppled the dynasty to establish a new regime. But in the novel, Lou Che has no hold over the military, which is firmly controlled by generals wholeheartedly loyal to the Emperor. Lou's power rests in the civil bureaucracy, where he has peppered the Six Ministries with allies and corrupt cronies. Based on this bit of clout, he decides to show his claws and openly challenge the Emperor. I mean, how s*upid is this guy? Right after becoming prime minister, he rapidly accrues so much power, in so transparent a manner, that no sane ruler would not consider him a threat. Lou basically puts himself in a do-or-die position where the emperor cannot possibly tolerate him, and he has no choice but to rebel. But again, he's a young minister relatively new to his post, with no control of the army and no legitimate birthright to actually replace the emperor. Unable to raise the forces for a military coup, the best he can muster is rally the emperor's beleaguered brother, Prince Duan, and a rival vassal king along the southern border to force the capital into a political deadlock. When the emperor starts murdering and removing his government cronies one by one, he's backed into an even tighter corner. Oh, and did I mention he had greased his new alliance with Prince Duan by kidnapping and prostituting his love-interest from youth as a token offering? I'll wait right here while you shudder.

A half-way decent novelist would have had Gui Wan, the "heroine", leave Lou Che after learning he had taken Yao Ying and pimped her out to Prince Duan. After all, throughout the novel, Gui Wan and Yao Ying are presented as mirror images: both are equally beautiful, both drew the same divination stick, both were pursued by the emperor, and both love the same man. If Lou has the capacity to betray and sell one, who is to say he will never do the same to the other? Any woman with a shred of insight and self-preserving dignity should know that, essentially, you can't change a zebra's stripes; that a bad man cannot be permanently "reformed" through romance. That and beauty is fleeting: Gui Wan enjoys the blush of youth at 19; Lou is mesmerized and professes his love; but what happens when she is 30, 40, 50? If Yao Ying's misfortune wasn't enough, then Lou Che ordering his men to kill Lin Yiran should have been a final straw. And if that isn't enough, realizing Lou's deadlock with the emperor had given a third-party the opportunity to orchestrate General Lin's impending death should have been the final nail on the coffin. Instead of having Lou Che exile Gui Wan to the northern frontier (again, how s*upid is this guy? Why would you send your supposedly precious wife to the frontier, where war is threatening to break, and where you hold no influence, instead of to the safer south, where your power base is concentrated??) while he "dukes it out" with the emperor, a better story would allow the girl some agency (and a sense of responsibility!) by her choosing to leave Lou, no matter how difficult, and to either escape the deadly capital, or travel north to warn General Lin of the treacherous Shu clan. And then, during that bitterly cold winter, she succumbs to suffering and frostbite, and her beauty is ruined (because, beyond death and politics, the giant unanswered question throughout is this: without peerless beauty, would any of these men love her half as much?). Lou Che, finding her no longer beautiful, stops his pursuit and lets her go, remaining true to his roots as an ambitious power-broker. General Lin survives the ambush and fends off the Nu tribe; the emperor consolidates power in the capital. Lou Che, ever the glib politician, escapes to the south, where he joins Prince Duan as rivals at the vassal king's court. The story ends with Gui Wan running an inn with San Niang during peacetime and tending her own garden, closing the narrative with a single smile. (Or, if you need a more romantic ending, she settles down with General Lin far away from the capital, and the story ends with him teaching their children martial arts in their humble yard).

But of course the above is just wishful thinking. The novel's actual plot makes me furious because, in an attempt to infuse the heroine's romance with histrionic drama, the one and only decent character in the entire story is killed off as a plot device. Poor General Lin was barely a character, an underdeveloped "tsundere" cliche who shows up in the story a handful of times. But the author inadvertently made him the only moral center of the story, when, during a conversation with Gui Wan, he wisely points out that power struggles lead to political unrest, and political unrest leads to suffering for the common people. The question then becomes one of should rather than could: a crouching tiger could paw after power; but whether he should do so is a different question. While everyone else is busy sidelining the real responsibilities of governance in favor of backstabbing and political intrigue, Lin Rui En is the one person who actually does his job, knowing full well he can't forsake the defense of the country. But of course he gets killed because the emperor and his prime minister are locked in a government shutdown, and an outside third party uses this opening to incite a prolonged war as an entry into power. Thanks to the irresponsible, callous incompetence of the emperor and Lou, the country loses their best general, gets locked into a long costly war, countless innocent people die, and the drained emperor dies early, leaving a weak empress with a toddler heir, which, if the collapse of the Han dynasty is any indication, is always the recipe for further disaster.

This is why I'm mad. My disgust has nothing to do with "shipping". General Lin was so underdeveloped as a character that he was never a credible love interest. But within the fictional cosmology of the novel, he was the people's last great hope, a beloved and respected defender against encroaching dangers, and a stabilizing counterweight against Lou Che and the Emperor. His death, paired with the long war and subsequent political unrest, means the people are thrown naked into senseless conflict. It's this senselessness that's so perverse— that two unworthy men should have the power to unravel an entire country. It's like Operation Barbarossa and the Siege of Leningrad; even without getting into the general morality of WWII, so much senseless suffering could have been avoided if Hitler and Stalin listened to their military advisors and fought more efficient battles, but instead both dictators dragged their civilians through blood and bone thanks to incompetent decision making. The mere thought fills one with anger and contempt.

One year before his death, General Lin had tried to gently persuade Gui Wan to do something about the Emperor and Lou Che's power struggle, explaining that her influence could save the lives of many. But what does Gui Wan do? Sleep with Lou Che a few times, tries to "distract" and "soften" his ambitious with romance. When that doesn't work, she stops trying altogether, literally taking naps and sitting around while turning a blind eye to Lou Che's scheming. Because of loooove.

I admire forthright narratives of how dynasties end, why authority collapses, how power is won and lost, and how ordinary men become corrupt. But a romance??? Get outta here! Lou Che may be "handsome", but he is a slimy bastard and there's nothing romantic about his actions. The "heroine" is essentially an empty vessel with a few idealistic traits (beautiful, charming, composed, intelligent) in whom the author/readers can project themselves. She becomes utterly passive and inert during the last stretch of the novel, doing nothing and simply waiting for Lou Che to shape their fates. Events and consequences are mostly shaped for her by men in the novel. The story had opened with her search for purpose, identity, and a true home. By the end, she has neither identity nor home.


I may be overreaching, but I think many Chinese romance novels manifest fundamental problems with identity and ideology in contemporary Chinese society. In every social stratum and field, modern-day China is so competitive and oppressive that, outside of objective success and overcoming the ordinary, people are locked in a mist. Most women, dictated by the rules of probability, are average looking with average jobs and average positions within society. And yet, you know what they say— "Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable." So many of these popular romance novels seem to be written by and for people with narcissistic personality disorders. Like we're not just talking about Mary Sues here. These heroines literally need to be the most beautiful and clever creature of the seven seas, chased after by every emperor, king, prince, duke, and minister within sight, and always positioned at the center of power. It's always about male attention and power. The "heroes" in these novels are cruel and power-hungry douchebags, but that's apparently okay because 1). they are hot; 2). they have power and status; and 3). they loooove the heroine. This general trend sadly reminds me of a Chinese saying, made popular in the early 2010s, "宁在宝马车里哭,也不在自行车上笑" (I'd rather cry in a BMW, than laugh riding a bicycle), a phrase which reflects the deep sacrifices Chinese women are willing to make—often at the expense of personal happiness—to date or marry someone with money and status. Well... I guess between an emperor, a barbarian king, a prime minister, a general, and another government minister, Gui Wan got her share of metaphoric BMWs, but she sure paid with tears too. <<less
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Liri rated it
September 9, 2016
Status: Completed
The novel is very complex and complicated. I feel terrible giving this story three stars, but my heart is not willing to give it any more. I am not happy about the story nor was I ever happy reading it, despite the fact that the novel is not bad. (It's like reading a Russian novel by Dostoyevsky or Tolstoi, everything is just terrible, you hate it, whilst knowing that it is actually a very good story.)

The characters are well written. They are not really likeable, except for maybe a... more>> handful few, but they are profound and complex. Every character is well written and realistic. The side characters are interesting and not just forgotten along the story. From my reading experience, I can say that just short before the finish line, I gave up (ch. 31). I was just so exhausted and disappointed that I did not have the energy anymore to read through it. I could not even bother reading the end, even though it was just one chapter.


I could not even bother knowing whether it had a happy ending or not. It would not matter anyway- For me, there was no happy ending. Everything was just terrible.

The male lead was terrible, one of the worst I have ever encountered. There was not one tiny part of me that rooted for him. The whole time my mind was ranting for her not to choose him, to choose anyone else, just not him! Even the emperor would have been better because with him, I felt as though at least he loved her more than the MC claimed he did. Even when it comes to chemistry, she was more compatible with the Emperor. Every other potential love interest also treated her better than her own husband, they had cherished her for more than he.

And then, the General died, the only decent male if not person in this story. Supposedly, he lost because, in the end, he chose honour before her bla bla bla. I don't care for that. He was the only person who actually tried to protect her, end of the story and with his death, it was the end of the novel for me, too.

End verdict: The female character is poor (in fate), the male protagonist is poor (as a character), the other male interests are poor (terrible endings for each).


Even though on an aesthetical level the novel is great, it was terrible as a reader. None of the characters were likable, you could barely root for any of them. The story is not about glory or really even love. However, it's about political intrigues, battles for power, fate and choices. If you are just interested in those topics, they story would be just your cup of tea. <<less
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dreamsinparadise rated it
November 23, 2017
Status: Completed
I finished this story awhile ago and came back here to reread it again and was shocked that the ratings aren't higher. I know that a lot of the top reviews on this page are negative so I just wanted to put my personal opinions on this story out there.

For one, it's really well-written, and a lot of other reviews acknowledge this as well. The descriptions are beautiful and the way the characters are developed is amazing.

One thing I think potential readers will have to note is that Chaos of... more>> Beauty is not a light story. If you're looking for a satisfying reverse harem or super sweet love story, this is not for you. The novel focuses on the political aspect of love and the main themes would be 'greed' and 'lust for power.'

The MC is a beautiful and incredibly intelligent woman. She's pure and innocent but at the same time cold and cunning. What I love about her is that she always sees everything for how it really is and just wants to live comfortably.

The main problem that people seem to have with the story are the MC's love choices. The men are in love/obsessed with her, but the story is realistic, meaning that they won't give up their lives for this one person. The focus point of the novel is whether or not these men are willing to sacrifice their ambitions (and thus their lives as well as their family members' lives) for love...


... and only one of the love interests proves that he's able to do so: Lou Che, her husband. This fact alone makes him, in my opinion at least, the most suited match for the MC. As I wrote earlier in the review, all that she wants is to be able to live comfortably. After all of those conflicts, after going to the battlefield, after several near-death situations caused by other people's thirst for power, it makes sense that the MC just wants to settle down. She's tired of court intrigue and politics and just wants to live a comfortable life. That's why I find the ending beautiful--she disappears from the world of politics and opens a little shop with her husband, thus achieving her dreams of peace and comfort. Lou Che is the only one that's able to give her this dream.

The fan-favorite appears to be the general, and while I agree that he's a very likable and sincere character, the fact remains that his first priority will never be the MC. His loyalty to the country comes first and he won't abandon his duties just for the MC. Lou Che, on the other hand, lets go of his ambitions upon realizing his feelings for the MC and willingly drops everything to start anew with her. He is the only love interest that is able to do this.

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dysry rated it
February 11, 2016
Status: --
The MC, Gui Wan, is a very charming character, displaying a playful and carefree attitude, hiding an intelligent mind. This allows her to navigate through the political intrigue and plots surrounding her and powerful and influential men that she runs into. Equipped with everything she needs to survive, her greatest shortcoming would be her taste in men, as the romance is the story’s weakest aspect with the MC choosing a male lead she had the least chemistry with/who performed the worst throughout the story.

She ends up with Lou Che, her husband, which is a predictable and safe choice for the author and character as she can just remain married and they got along well enough from the start and had a lot of opportunities to interact. However almost every other male lead seemed more interesting and more compatible with the MC (aside from Guan Xiu Wen) if they had been given the opportunity to develop, and definitely more reliable regardless.

Possible Pairings:
Lin Rui En – a sweet and slightly awkward pairing that developed slowly due to the inexperience of the general and awareness of the MC, but he was genuine, reliable and would have been very devoted/protective. If the author intended to pair him with Gui Wan, just needed to show initiative and slowly/awkwardly woo her while she developed her own emotions and wore down his awkwardness. Definitely appeared the most compatible but series would’ve been longer/war based.

Zheng Liu – The start of their interactions was very intimidating and disturbing for the MC, making it almost impossible to redeem himself after. However he formed very intense feelings for her and could’ve followed the plot several despotic ruler/innocent maiden stories to form a very passionate but bumpy relationship with the MC. Or gone down the sympathy/understanding route since he clearly wanted to open up to her.

Ye Li – similar wavelength to MC in his cordial nature and playful tone. Could have been mutual admiration and affection, but more likely friend-zoned.

Guan Xiu Wen – Is a hard character to understand/imagine, having been so “pure” but instantly developing an obsessive side. The duality of his character is hard to maintain.

Lou Che – appearing kind and charming, he clearly has a more sinister (or stubborn) and calculating nature beneath. Since this is rarely exposed its hard to gauge his sincerity and intentions. Overall it feels like they’re simply settling due to their proximity and familiarity.

Like makenai89, I also found the fact that he dropped everything and ran Du Cheng confusing and abrupt, but since he was probably going to lose in his confrontation with the emperor, it could have also been an excuse to extract himself from a sticky situation.
However I am more concerned with his treatment of Yao Ying. Claiming that he loved her at the start, Lou Che clearly uses her as a chess piece, trading her in to the emperor to gain his favour and after falling out, offering her to Duan Wang for support. Judging by this history, Gui Wan will have to watch out.

It's a good story with a likeable female lead. However it falls short due to the male leads, while the overall plot wasn't particularly memorable or fully exploited.
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mxg rated it
June 27, 2018
Status: lin rui en special
This is probably one of those books that, after completing, you need to put down for 5 months, leave the country and get a new identity just so you can fully contemplate and understand the beauty of this story.

As a self-proclaimed veteran reader of c-novels, I fell in love with the style of the story. It carries an elegance and passion that leaves the reader with such a profound impression, that they can't help but be moved by the novel. I have never cried reading a book, but goddamn... more>> did this story do something to me. The MC is absolutely spectacular. She's dignified and poignant, smart but innocent, compassionate but a strong ruler in times of need. She's wise in a way that not many c-novel characters are. She follows her heart and protects what she wants to the best of her ability. One of my favourite characters of all time.

A lot of readers were primarily unhappy because of who the MC chooses, but I personally was very happy with who she ends up with. The story itself might be centred around the romance and its events pertaining to the affection experienced by the men, but I saw it from a completely different point of view. I think it's important to see the story as a lesson to the power struggle that prevails in a society in which men rule; the aspect of love is something that can even be sacrificed for the sake of power and wealth. It something that happens continuously in the novel and we see many character developments as a result of greed and desire to get something. The man she chooses, in the end, is essential to fulfilling this lesson.


She ends up with the Prime Minister, her husband, Lou Che. He was someone originally hellbent on achieving power and in his path to do so, used countless schemes and traps to ensnare his enemies. He claimed to love Yao Ying, but we later realized he didn't (at least not truly) and was even willing to use her as a pawn to help him achieve something greater. However, the love he feels for the MC is completely different. In a time of utmost importance, where his power is on the brink of starting to fall, he's given a choice: sacrifice her or fall from grace. He, as an astoundingly smart man, knows the delicacy of his situation and knows that this one decision will pave the path of his future. In the end, he realizes he cannot bear to part with her and rejects the offer. He chooses to sacrifice power for her - something that no one else is willing to do. That is why the emperor's word in the epilogue is so important.

Furthermore, in the final banquet where Lou Che learns of the siege, he willingly gives up his position. He had a way out and a plan to secure his footing in the palace - he didn't need to surrender at all - yet he did because he realized he didn't want to continue these battles at court (maybe because it put her in danger and separated them).

So for those who say Lou Che cannot be called competent or are disappointed with the MC's choice, keep in mind of his own character development - of his bleak past and struggles, of the reasons why power means to him and what it has come to mean to him over time. The General may be sweet and a fan favourite, but loyalty always remain to his country. He is unable to fully put away the battles of power and struggles of war the way Lou Che subconsciously did. The General lacked power necessary to protect the MC the way Lou Che did. This was especially clear when they were leaving the Palace after Lou Che returns from his absence. The other choices were obviously wrong for many different reasons (I could barely even muster up sympathy points for the Emperor).

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karamielle rated it
February 7, 2018
Status: --
Reading so many frustrated reviews regarding the characters and plot, I was hesitant about picking up this novel.

After finishing the whole story, I can say I actually enjoyed the read very very much. The translation was done beautifully. The struggle between characters was engaging telling a story that perfectly matched the title "Chaos of Beauty"

It's a bittersweet story with strong characters. Definitely go for it if you are looking for imperial court stories peppered with politics, war and slight romance.
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sharon.nayoung rated it
February 23, 2019
Status: epilogue
eh.... I love a good reverse harem/strong female lead as much as the next person, but the person she ended up with was.... so..... awful.

... more>>

if she had ended up with the emperor, I would have given this a perfect score, same with if she had ended up with the general. even if she had ended up with the first scholar, the story would have been so much more interesting than what it ended up as. GW was so much more likable when she was indifferent to her prime minister husband.... I don't know about anyone else, but I can't stand cheaters and would honestly rather be alone than a willing mistress or a third wheel. it doesn't matter that her hubby fell in love with her afterwards - actually that kind of makes it worse since he's so wishy-washy and prone to changing his mind. how could I ever trust a man who "fell in love with me" after abandoning the one he said was his actual true love? honestly it's so funny, because the only thing she ever says about him is that he spoils her and let her do whatever she wants, and didn't abuse her. wooow, such amazing qualifications to be your husband. he hoes around constantly (even after finishing the story I'm unsure whether or not LC actually slept with the first consort, which is very bad.) and gets into situations where she completely misunderstands his affections for CL.

he is ALWAYS turning his back on her, leaving her alone, not letting her know what's going on in the capital, choosing his power trip over her. yet he thinks he has the right to control her and prevent her from being with other men. she stays faithful to him, but I kind of wish she had given him a taste of his own medicine. he literally drugs her to make her go somewhere.... I'm wondering when that behavior was acceptable. don't give me that "time period" crap, because neither the general nor the first scholar ever made her do something she didn't want to do. even the emperor, who honestly has the right to do whatever to whoever, stopped kissing/groping her because she was crying. that really surprised me. he actually didn't take her virginity because she was crying and upset. i've never seen that happen in a novel before. like..... I don't understand how the author thought LC and GW were a good pair. there was a point where LC was even considering giving GW to the emperor to distract him from the rebellion.... obviously he didn't do it, but the fact that he didn't immediately say no tells me a lot about his priorities.

not only is LC just not great, the female lead is weird too. she's this peerless beauty, intelligent, riveting -- basically a perfect match for any man because of how elegant and well-spoken she is. she literally makes the heartless emperor fall in love with her, turns the prime minister away from his first love, makes the nu prince obsessively search for her, makes the cold general softhearted... the list goes on. these men literally do not find happiness because of their obsession with her. how can a female lead be this perfect? her only flaw is the stubbornness that appears when the plot is convenient -- like when she forces lou sheng to turn her carriage around etc. otherwise she's a perfect doll, complacent and witty enough for men to drop at her feet like flies. I understand why the first scholar and emperor fell in love with her, but her husband, the general, and the nu prince literally just loved her because of her looks.

anyways, the story was just her pining after the husband who leaves her behind constantly, being sad and beautiful when there were so many better choices for her choose from to make the novel soooo much more interesting. imagine if she had been with the emperor, or the first scholar, the general, or even the nu prince. not a man who flopped back and forth between two women, traded the first consort for his military gain (traded a woman to a man she doesn't love, basically tricking her), drugged the female lead..... aiya.


it's a good read when you have some free time or crave a reverse harem/chinese historical novel, but honestly there were infinite ways the author could have changed it to be more satisfying. even the ending was not good. anyways, I recommend it, but only if you don't get frustrated with couples easily.

female lead should have died.

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Wife of Sovereign
Wife of Sovereign rated it
November 1, 2018
Status: Completed
Beautiful story. I wanted to give it 5 stars at first... And then the story goes and goes... It became 4-stars... Then finally, in the midst of my despair, it became 3-stars...

The story started as entangled fates between two devastatingly beautiful young ladies who drew two same lucky sticks (Which is actually very rare, and there's ever only one to be made), Emperor Swallow. Said woman who drew this stick will be a woman who greatly changed the dynasty and kingdom. Yes, the story started as it seemed like... more>> it's a fate of two devastatingly beautiful women who are destined to change the dynasty.

But as we delve even further you find out that it might not be the case. In the end, exactly which woman who will truly change the dynasty? As expected, there only be one woman who became the female lead favored by the heaven, no?

It started of refreshing, full of understanding from the husband's side who was in love with the emperor's favored consort. The consort is actually the other woman who drew Emperor Swallow, the other great beauty beside our FMC.

As we go further into the story the first atmosphere changed, becoming darker, becoming more frustrating.

My complaints? There are many. First thing, which is not exactly a spoiler, the smart and elegant FMC actually fell for her husband despite her husband's pathetic dog-like attitude to the consort, i.e running to the palace at her beck and call.

The consort is also pathetic, too deeply in love. Unwilling to let go of her old love even if she's already the Emperor's consort, whether she wanted it or not.

Now, to the more serious matter


The FMC's feeling is seriously crazy. I mean, she's taught by her mother to never love, never feel, as long as you never feel, no one can hurt you. That's her life's motto, which is very perfect for such a beauty. And she managed to perfectly uphold that teaching for eighteen years of life, never been too detached to things, never did she ever expect anything nor some feeling towards her future husband.

And then, out of nowhere, she's just.... In love? Wth?

And he never even expressed his feeling, as the summary said, "Aside for love, I can give you anything" the husband even promised to take care of her and live as like they're brother and sister, she agreed. Even know and witnessed herself how her husband always go away to the palace to help the consort, and even sees them hugging ambiguously in the palace's garden.

I thought she would be more distanced and unfeeling towards her husband, like, seriously treating her husband like a brother perhaps? No. She fell for him.

We have a cute, sincere and honest-to-god the best man ever, YOUNG GENERAL! AND HE f*ckEN DIED! My heart practically die at that and I don't care anymore. The rest of the story felt like a fleeting dream... I want to kill the author...

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Kerbasi rated it
February 18, 2016
Status: --
This was indeed eloquently written, though sometimes too flowery that I tend to not understand the meaning at all lol. I lost my interest in the middle of the novel though, and had to trudge through the rest of the chapters simply because I didn't want to read a novel halfway and leave it. This novel really emphasizes beauty. The MC is so beautiful she has 5 guys obsessing over her. I mean OBSESSING. She's nice and smart and all, but the description of her beauty always makes me gag... more>> lol. Or am I jealous? Wahah. Anyway, I lost interest in it when all the guys started obsessively wanting her, using despicable means too. <<less
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CrazyBaby rated it
December 22, 2020
Status: Completed
So when I first started this novel, I had prepared my heart from all the comments here. The General was going to die, ML was unlikable, it's a sad story... okay. The story starts off with the 2 most beautiful women in the world who can charm the crowd just by blinking their lashes (super peerless beauty, that kind of thing). They went to check their fate at a temple and both had the fate to change the empire/royal court. Beauty 1 (which I shall now refer to as B1)... more>> became the Emperor's most beloved consort while MC who was Beauty 2 became the Prime Minister's wife. From the summary, we already know that ML is already in love with B1 while being married to MC but I was thinking how bad can it be right?

Wrong. ML was just terrible, I still have no idea how other readers can love him besides the fact that he's very rich and handsome but hey, that's why golddiggers exist *shrugs*.


From the very beginning he treated MC embarrassingly. On their wedding night, he didn't even go to MC but ran to the palace to meet his lover B1 (yes, he's having an affair with the Emperor's most beloved consort). From the age of 10, he's been scheming his way up. At 15, he entered politics, killed the Crown Prince, then killed the Empress Dowager, and then now controls the court and is Farking the Emperor's consort while having MC as his wife. He also tries to kill the innocent Empress so his beloved lover can become Empress. So basically he has power, money and the 2 greatest beauties in his hands. He repeatedly abandon MC to accompany B1 and he even ran away with B1 making the Emperor angry and leaving behind his wife MC to clean up his mess and be imprisoned in the palace for 6 months in his place. Then after eloping with his lover B1 he then SOLD her to another Prince to gain more power. Such true love, wow, and the MC can still fall for him after he betrays his supposed true love (I don't know how the author described MC as intelligent cos she's anything but intelligent).


I love how other readers were saying the ML was so sweet cos he didn't abuse MC and gave her "lot's of love" (cos money and luxury equals love, people) but they keep forgetting about parts where he let MC be in humiliating/dangerous situations and didn't protect her. Once, MC even asked if it's okay for her to attend the banquet as her meeting his lover would be weird and ML was like so what? And true enough B1 tried to humiliate MC during the banquet. Motherf...... if money was love and no abuse means lots of love then by this logic I should just marry my father since my father spends lots of money on me. Also, at least my father truly loves me and accompanies me on the holidays I want to go and protects me from danger whereas ML keeps letting her be in dangerous situations and didn't keep his promises about accompanying her cos if B1 calls then he gotta go run to the Palace and farke her leaving MC behind to travel alone. =/


The Emperor is an ambiguous character, I felt more sorry for him as opposed to hate like what the other readers feel. The Emperor is twisted because ML killed his brother, killed his mother, farkes his consort, tries to kill his Empress, controls the royal court (leaving the Emperor powerless) and then tried to kill the Emperor. Yes, our beloved ML the Prime Minister was so power hungry that he even tried to kill the Emperor in the last 3 chapters. He had soldiers sent to the Emperor's Yu Gan Hall at night in secrecy and we know what that means. I think the reason Emperor was obsessed with MC was because she saw his true self.


ML didn't even really show that he loved MC (besides her being so beautiful and farkeing beautiful women is so hard to do right *sarcasm*) until the very last chapter

where he suddenly abandons all the power he's been consolidating for MC. If you ask me, I think it's more of him running away from the fight he knew he was going to lose because while he had soldiers sent to the Emperor's hall to kill the Emperor, the Emperor had soldiers right outside the banquet hall which means ML lose.


If you ask me, I think MC should have died. That way, at least ML will also suffer and regret that he get nothing in the end after always neglecting his wife and letting her be in danger all the time. His sudden thought of only needing her in the very final chapter seems very insincere and fake and basically him just running away. Translation was very well done and I feel like it could've been better if MC had joined hands with the Emperor to kill her scheming husband or if she had died after choosing to be with her cheating husband but oh well. <<less
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Shio rated it
December 3, 2015
Status: --
For a romance novel, this sure has very low number of romance scene. Heart touching romance, I guess there is.. Some at the end? Not to say that this is a bad novel. Quality wise, this one is probably the most realistic out of all historical romance that I’ve ever read. The character scheme were all marvelous, and you could really see that the author put a lot of though into the novel. It just after all of those scheme and political fight, I’m still hoping for a chapter or... more>> two dedicated to Lou Che and Gui Wan. I demand for more epilogue. Recommended for those who are looking for political fight, and scheme. <<less
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Kaprina rated it
May 6, 2018
Status: special
This was a really deep story with a bittersweet aftertaste. The complicity of the relationships and the decisions made, the regret you can feel for what could've happen. Indeed, this novel Chaos of Beauty is worth a shot if one ever wants to read a more serious - politics intertwined romance.
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maiha-sama rated it
May 23, 2017
Status: Completed
For me, this novel left a very bad after-taste. The premise was lovely and it had all the ingredients to make it a solid romance. No matter how much I tried, I could not bring myself to agree with the decisions the MC made. She is supposed to be very intelligent - which of her actions support this statement, pray tell? None. Her choices are questionable to say the least. I was devastated after a certain event and just absolutely frustrated-enraged towards the end of the novel.

The translation is a... more>> solid A+ which is what compelled me finish reading this.


why MC? Why? Why would you choose that bastard? He has always reneged on whatever he has told you. Even went back on his promise to the lady he supposedly loved. Even used her as exchange! He never gave you his time/affection/respect when you married in. Suddenly out of nowhere, he realizes that the one he loves isn't the woman he's been secretly meeting at the Palace for months - it's you. How. Convenient. Do you expect me to believe he actually left everything and went away with her because of their love? That is his redemption? HA! I think he had just done too much damage in the Palace

in the first place. Probably wouldn't have kept his head if he stayed. What about the poor girl he played and flung at another man? Is she even happy? Does her life not matter at all. What if he does the same thing to the MC? The author just chose the easy way out.

Truth be told, I wouldn't have minded even if she had ended up with the Emperor. It seemed like he was developing real feelings for her and would be good to her in the future. In my heart though, the General would have been the best choice. He loved her and she cared for him deeply too. A

lovely, awkward relationship that I can believe would have lasted for a long long time. The special that spoke about how the General and her almost saw each other that the temple (in Ch 1) just broke my heart. So close.

I would have happily rated this a 5 if she had divorced the numb-nut and flown into the arms of the General. I call BS.

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summerspring rated it
May 3, 2020
Status: Completed
Beautifully written though I came to hate the decisions of the characters but this too made them seem to be of flesh and not merely words on paper. For a short story it has impact. I both hate and love this story. This is not the saddest I have read nor the most satisfying ending. But I think based on my loose knowledge of these stories surprisingly realistic.
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Blueraven rated it
April 16, 2020
Status: c28
I couldn't freaking finish it. It was painful to read. Don't get me wrong, it was incredibly well written and showed a lot more realistic and clever writing in regards to power struggles, politics, and the she-bang than a lot of other novels. However, throughout the entire series I just kept feeling men were sh*t- except for the general, he deserved so much better.

Time and time again, I kept getting disappointed with the prime minister (ML). Even though he "treated her well", he kept leaving behind the MC and doing... more>> whatever the freak he wanted.

I originally thought it was cool that he was upfront about him loving someone else and not forcing himself on her but then he freaking goes to court his ex a.k.a the emperor's concubine, while MC waits at home- hoping they don't get found out and you know, get beheaded! ML later escorts her half-way through a long journey only to run back to his ex- staying in the palance way longer than he needs to- which leads the MC to be KIDNAPPED TO ANOTHER F*CKING COUNTRY! Then he goes and freaking ditches her for half-year knowing full well that she is trapped in the palance with the one person that wants to ruin him. He and the author just wants to justify his actions and cause the MC and the readers to understand even though it's utter BS! Like fine, he has his ambitions and desires but don't try to have both love and power when the MC is just going to end up r*ped and/or dead!


The leads- besides the general- are tr*sh that just expect the MC to follow them and do as they say without taking into consideration the MC's position or wishes. She's like an item to to be tossed around or used to hurt each other.

Also, how can the MC be so smart and s*upid at the same time! She doesn't know what the freak she is doing! I ended just questioning so many of her decisions throughout the series. <<less
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TheNanny rated it
October 29, 2019
Status: Lin rui en special
This story is one of my favorite Chinese novels. The characters are realistic (in the sense that their personalities befit the times, so expect some narcissism). Each character is profoundly complex, and the scenes well-written. This book will move you to tears and swing you from emotion-to-emotion. The characters have good and bad personality traits (which I think is a good thing, though some reviewers do not seem to agree). It is also translated well, this coming from a native English-speaker. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is... more>> tired of the surface-level romance novels that are "No!! She's mine!!" and "O woe is me!!!". I believe that the characters here are complex enough to where you can feel both empathy and indignation towards them at the same time. <<less
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Kaylee rated it
October 19, 2019
Status: --
When you read the first chapter, you'd guess, this is about 2 princess, their story in the turmoil of kingdoms. But as the story goes..... the pov will go to one of them, the righteous and pitiful one.

Ah, I hate the ML so much. The worse of the worse.
I regreted why MC not treated him the same as he treated her. He couldnt give her his heart, then just do the same, dont love him too!
At some point, I even cheered the emperor and wanted him for MC.... more>> Well, if not the emperor, the other prince from foreign country could too, as long as it's not the scum husband.

I mean, in the event where ML ran away with his childhood sweetheart (the emperor's concubine). ML knew he might not come back to the residence after going to the palace (maybe he went there to help and got the concubine to the safe place). He prioritized the concubine over MC, eventho he gave MC secret code to follow him to secret place so he could pick her and run too. He never told MC anything, not about the secret code too, so of course MC wouldnt understand it. Still, he chose to save the concubine first, and let the emperor to capture MC and spend months before going back to the capital. What a tr*sh.

If I need to say this is a good story or not? Just average one. But, I dont want to read it again.

The only con I have is ML. I wish MC would choose other. <<less
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EiraOfTheNorth rated it
April 16, 2019
Status: epilogue
If I were to summarize this novel in one sentence it's "Game of Thrones with a little more romance and with a happy ending."

And as a hardcore Game of Thrones fan myself, I adored this novel! All the scheming and the plotting, all the court intrigues, had me at the edge of my seat every time. The writing was absolutely poetic, lyrical and enchanting and tugged on my emotions, painting pictures with words as if I was in that place and time.

And the characters? Whoo boy they were an interesting... more>> bunch!





Chaos of Beauty was simply put, a breathtaking, action-packed novel of court intrigue, politics and love set in Ancient China. So if you're into those, then I definitely recommend this. I don't regret picking up this novel and I'm sure you won't, too. :) <<less
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crimsoniv0j rated it
March 13, 2018
Status: Completed
One of the most amazing novel I've read. It's so full of heartaches. Its a political and historical story. Im so impressed with the story, the love affairs and political struggles are so realistic, it feels like I was witnessing it myself.

IMO there is no actual antagonist, there is just the greed and selfishness of everyone that cause all the struggles.

... more>>

Guiwan, the female MC is a hell of a character, so beautiful and untainted. She is a beauty but not a damsel in distress not the usual cliché MC. She suffered a lot and was the subject of affection of all the main male characters but she is so loyal and very devoted to her husband. I like that, she didn't get swayed by all the power and pleasures offered to her.

Lou Che, the male lead and the husband of Guiwan. I love him, he is perfect and mighty. He didn't fell in love with the MC right away bec he has a lover already but their fate is to be together. He is a greedy for more power but when it is offered to him, he refuse it for he chose his wife (so manly!!!).

Zheng Liu, the emperor is a cunning character but he is also a pitiful person, I dont hate him at all.

Empress, the older sis of Guiwan. Her struggles and pain

really made me cry the most.


It was beautifully written, the joy, the pain of the characters were delivered and conveyed perfectly to us readers.

I cried buckets of tears reading this. For me, Im satisfied with the ending, truly a work of art. I truly appreciate the translators for the accurate and perfect translation. I totally recommend this one. <<less
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