Greetings, Ninth Uncle


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Cheng Yujin was the elder twin sister, who was supposed to be engaged to an excellent man. However she later learned that her fiance, Marquis Jingyong, had proposed to her because he mistakenly recognized her as her younger twin sister. Marquis Jingyong and her younger sister had a deep relationship, and after many twists and turns, finally broke through all hardships and became eternal lovers. While Cheng Yujin was the villain who replaced her sister’s good marriage, kept framing her sister, and hindered the main couple to be together. A really wicked older sister and poisonous late wife.

After the younger twin sister was reborn, she revealed Cheng Yujin’s ‘conspiracy’ early on. Everyone scorned her, and her so-called fiance was indifferent. Cheng Yujin sneered and tore off their engagement letter in front of her fiance.

Everyone was gloating and happily waiting to see her regret her actions. However, before Marquis Jingyong had a chance to see Cheng Yujin’s regret, he saw his former fiancee marrying her uncle.

The ninth uncle of Cheng family was truly a hidden dragon, his real power frightening everyone.


Cheng Yujin, this coquettish little wife, lightly lifted her eyebrows and casually said, “A mere Marquis Jingyong, is he worthy? Do you think that robbing him away will affect me?”

Almost forgot to say, ninth uncle wasn’t surnamed Cheng. His real name was Li Chengjing, the crown prince.

Associated Names
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The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir (4)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Favorite CN novel must read
  3. misters before sisters
  4. Ancient time Rebirth
  5. Read and liked

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190 Reviews

New problematicq
Jun 12, 2024
Status: Completed
I tried reading this story, dropped it out of boredom, then much later restarted from chapter 80 and finished it easily. GNU should've been a short story and not a novel, as the content is just too little. Cheng Yujin's struggles in the boudoir have low stakes and little scope. It should not have taken 80 chapters to tell that part of the story. Post-marriage, the main leads' conflicts are somewhat trivialized by the fact that all they need is the Emperor's support and they already have it ... more>>

(As soon as he stops supporting them, he drops dead. Protagonist halo FTW.)

but at least there are actually dangerous conflicts and intrigues in the palace, so it's better.

As other people noted, the story is long-winded. The MC rambles, the descriptions ramble, even the unnamed eunuchs ramble. It makes the story feel much longer than it is. There's a cute joke where the ML teases the MC for her rambling, and this feels like self-awareness on the author's part, but self-awareness is not enough. The author needs to work on not sounding like an exhaustive encyclopedia entry.

I liked the male lead and the female lead. Unlike most Chinese webnovels' male leads, this one doesn't substitute stoicism for personality and misogyny for faithfulness. He expresses respect and regard for women other than the MC, which shows that he likes her for who she is, not because he regards other women as worms. Meanwhile, the FL is smart and calculating. The author has a good grip on characterization: naïve characters seem naïve, smart characters really do come off as smart, etc. The pair have some cute moments together.

However. At more than one point the author rambles on and on about imperial majesty in an effort to stick gold to the FL and ML's faces. Imperial hagiographers would blush at some of these passages. You look up what a diyi + fengguan looks like and then look me in the eye and tell me that you find someone balancing a pearl-encrusted piñata on their head while swaddled in garish red tablecloth ~majestic and otherworldly~. Give me a break. They also try to pass off this farcical pomp & circumstance as some kind of ~heavy burden~ the imperial family ~reluctantly bears~ for the sake of the country. I bet, lmao. These ceremonies were for the sake of peacocking to an enclosed group of aristocrats who had to flatter them anyway. They had no more effect on the country than modern events like the Met Gala do (and even less without mass media). Most people would never hear of blue and white cakes at the such-and-such imperial banquet. Even if they did, it would do nothing for imperial power. People chewed poorly milled coarse grains while the imperial palace threw out entire banquets because the emperor held military power, not because the empress was such an on-trend fashionista. Needless to say, the author's unbridled fetish for imperial monarchy is more than a little distasteful (when it isn't being unintentionally funny).

The latter half of the epilogue is bad, skip it.


IDK why authors of regression (or in this case, "prophetic dream") stories can't suppress the urge to go muck about in the original timeline, but it sucks. The going assumption in a regression story is that the og timeline is gone, and now we get a happy ending. Whenever the author dips back into an og timeline, they undo all the work of resolving and avoiding the grievances of that timeline. It sucks! Plus, the "happy ending" turns out to be a SECOND regression (which implies we just created a THIRD timeline and thus didn't fix the first timeline at all). Worst of all, the author's creativity was all dried up so they just said that all the same events as in our main story happened in the og timeline, which means Cheng Yujin's existence and efforts don't matter at all to affairs of the court or inner palace, she's just a comfort doll for her hubby. :))) It sucks!! This is a very small part of the story but it's the very last part so it left a sour taste in my mouth. Skip it.


Small digression: this story seems to mislead readers about twins.


Cheng Yujin gets pregnant with twins and for some reason nobody seems to realize that twins can be a boy-girl pair prior to the birth. Fraternal twins are several times more likely than identical twins, and they have a 50-50 chance of being a boy-girl pair. In other words, boy-girl twins account for near-half of all twin births, but the author even calls boy-girl twins extremely rare. IDK if the author is misinformed or if they're misinforming others for the sake of drama, but it's reasonable to say they should've looked this up before stuffing inaccurate medical information into the mouths of ancient medical professionals who are otherwise treated as reliable sources.


Cheng Yumo could be said to be the second protagonist of GNU as well as its antagonist, but her story isn't focused on past chapter 80. There is a scene where Cheng Yujin scolds Huo Changyuan for his atrocious behavior as a husband that for me rates as the best scene in the book. This could have been a turning point for Cheng Yumo, but it wasn't.


Her story fizzles out like a wet firecracker as we get the unsatisfying and unconvincing revelation that actually, Huo Changyuan was in love with Cheng Yujin and just transferred that love to Cheng Yumo (??? Utter gibberish lmao). Then they get no more scenes.


It's a shame because side pairs like Cheng Yumo and Huo Changyuan often serve as seasoning to the main pair's healthy but bland porridge. But no seasoning is allowed in this story.

GNU has some hits and some misses but is overall defined by its low stakes, low tension and low tempo, culminating in a profound blandness that the author seems bizarrely smug about both within the story itself and in the afterword. While I agree with the author's sense of relationship ethics - a love full of betrayal and drama indeed makes for an unsightly love - the point of story-telling is primarily to be interesting, not to avoid being unsightly. Not to mention I've read plenty of stories that had an ML and FL who respected each other but still managed to create exciting relationship drama or relied on fast-paced storytelling to avoid boredom or constructed a riveting story to which the relationship merely added flowers to brocade. This story is so oddly self-satisfied with its depiction of a normal, healthy relationship that it forgets to add substance. 3/5. <<less
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New SoulineMist
Jun 12, 2024
Status: Completed
This was my first time reading a cnovel and I freaking love it! 😍 This was such a great novel. I love Cheng Yujin's personality and how fleshed out her character is. She is strong, calm, and confident. The ML is Li Chengjing, he's such an understanding and kind ML definitely a green flag. Their relationship and interactions is literally "charm" and "communication". Absolutely love this story, in the end what I can say to summarize this is that People become what they are because of their upbringing and environment.... more>> Yujin learned to be tough because she lacked affection growing up. Go and read this you all ✨☺️♥️

Here are some of the lines from the novel that I wanna share cause it stuck to me:

Crown Prince and Huo Changyuan are products on the views of adults who surrounded them.

The so-called excellent men did not like smart and capable wives was merely a self-comfort of s*upid people.

Cheng Yujin, who everyone unanimously thought to be too rigid, proved with practical actions that a truly capable person could do well wherever they were. <<less
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May 26, 2020
Status: Completed
This is a quite refreshing and much lighter read compared to other ancient Chinese rebirth stories that focus heavily on revenge.

Here, we have twin sisters Cheng Yujin (MC) and Cheng Yumo. However, they were separated at birth as CYJ was given to Cheng family's eldest madam to raise, while CYM stayed with her birth mother, the second madam. This isn't a secret in the family, so everyone in the mansion is aware of it.

... more>>

MC's position in the family is quite awkward. Her adoptive mother (eldest madam) and her birth mother (second madam) are always at odds at each other because they're both competitive. Eldest madam is proud and guarded against MC, because she thinks that MC is partial to her birth mother. Second madam also has complicated feelings for MC, since she had to give her to someone else to raise and didn't grow by her side. As a result, MC's relationship with both families ends up quite lukewarm, so she doesn't feel like she belongs anywhere.

CYM, on the other hand, grew up with her birth mother and is the recepient of all her motherly love.


Their personality and temperament are completely different from each other. They are both well-liked and beautiful, but MC is always in the limelight as she is the more "accomplished" sister, while CYM gets along more with her peers due to her easygoing personality. Despite this, they co-exist harmoniously as sisters until they get entangled with a certain man, Marquis Jingyong.


In their past life, during their stay in a mountain estate one snowy night, CYM suddenly disappeared. Realizing that it had been a few hours since she left, CYJ grew concerned and personally went with her servants to search for CYM. She ended up rescuing Marquis Jingyong in passing after discovering him in a cave and taking him to the estate.

The marquis was grateful for her life-saving grace and proposed marriage in return. CYJ's family was thrilled and immediately accepted. Unbeknownst to everyone, CYM had already helped and treated the Marquis prior to CYJ's rescue. CYM felt like CYJ stole her credit, but wasn't able to voice it out until after the marriage and CYJ's pregnancy with the marquis' child. CYM used this as an opportunity to "visit" her sister, but her purpose was actually to voice out her "grievances" to the marquis.

This put a wedge between CYJ and her husband, which eventually led to her death. CYM married in, etc. Etc.

CYJ dreamed about this in the current timeline when she and the marquis were still engaged. Around the same time, CYM also experienced a rebirth, so she immediately revealed the whole story to the marquis and he found it convincing, prompting him to cancel the engagement with CYJ the very next day. The marquis thought that this was CYJ's scheme to steal CYM's credit for saving his life, labeling her as a malicious sister in his head.

Already aware of the reason after dreaming about it, CYJ accepted by calmly tearing the engagement book to pieces in front of everyone, angering the marquis and his mother.

Afterwards, the marquis followed CYJ outside the main hall, leading him and CYJ to argue, where she ended up slapping him out of frustration. This was the first scene ML encountered with the MC upon his return, after years of traveling outside the capital.


MC has a great reputation for being beautiful, talented, and virtuous, which she actually worked hard for. She's also very clever and eloquent. She matured early due to her awkward position in the family, so she strived to become a model young lady and basically became the poster child for noble madams looking for a daughter-in-law. This is also in line with her ultimate goal to find a good and rich husband.

She knows her worth, so she won't settle for less. She's very practical and calculating, and doesn't really care about feelings as long as she marries well and lives a comfortable (and rich) life. She is also very self-aware and her character is consistent throughout the story.

As written in the synposis, our ML is known as CYJ's ninth uncle, whose secret identity is the crown prince.

The ML is also different from all the overbearing and pushy male leads common to this genre. Okay, he's still typically handsome and oh-so-noble, and is often detached and indifferent. BUT, HE RESPECTS MC'S BOUNDARIES and doesn't force her to do anything she doesn't like. He isn't pushy and domineering and you can sense his care for her as their relationship develops, before he even realizes his own feelings.

The development of their relationship also feels very natural. It isn't overly passionate, but is harmonious and serene. They actually communicate so there aren't a lot of misunderstandings. They're quite similar considering that they're both clever and ambitious, and are very good at enduring in order to reach their goals, which is why they understand each other so well. I find them both to be really likable.

ML has a bunch of rivals, but they're essential to the plot and aren't really just there to fawn over MC. They also don't fall in love with MC at first sight, and I find that their feelings for her are well-deserved, given the reputation she worked so hard to build.

There's a sprinkle of political intrigue towards the end. I also find the ending to be quite satisfying. Overall a good read! <<less
153 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jun 28, 2020
Status: Completed
The author's afterword says it all:

Nine Uncle" was serialized from August and ended at the end of December. It lasted for more than four months and basically became a part of my life. Suddenly I want to say goodbye to them, so sad.

Cheng Yujin and Li Chengjing (Cheng Yuanjing), these two characters, I was very upset when I first set up the characters. Cheng Yujin's character is very... not so magnificent. Her ego, hypocrisy, and extreme egoism. Similarly, she is also smart, beautiful, ambitious, and unwavering in her goals. She has the qualities that a successful person needs, but she is not a good person in a secular sense.

I hope that everyone, like Cheng Yujin, will always take the initiative and be firm forever, and will not arbitrarily decimate feelings like her. In order to avoid the end, we will cut off all beginnings.

Li Chengjing is an ideal prince. He has been burdened for too long, and he doesn't even know what his character was. Only when he confronts Cheng Yujin in the later stage will he reveal the contrast of the old cadres.

In fact, when I first set up the emotional drama mode between Uncle Jiu and Cheng Yujin, I was bald all the time, even worrying about how two passive people like to fall in love. It was later written that after the two of them got married, they found that it was okay. The two old cadres were in love. No one was on the surface. In fact, the old house was on fire, which was really good.

Because "Prince" has already written palace fights, and I still don't want to write palace fights after the marriage of "Nine Uncles", so the court struggle is weakened, and the court and court struggles are reflected by the emotional changes of Cheng Yujin and Li Chengjing. So after the marriage, there is a lot of life in the two people's daily life. Although it seems plain, every time they chat, it corresponds to an important event on the timeline, which is reflected in their conversation.

  1. I have always believed that love is gentle, love is respect, and love is equal. When comparing Huo Changyuan and Cheng Yumo to cp, I also pay particular attention to this point. I will fill in the final explanations for the remaining characters. Because I was so violent for half a month, when everyone saw the end chapter of "Nine Uncles", I had actually finished writing for half a month (I'm so proud) (inadvertently mentioned) (try hard to hold back).
135 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Nov 05, 2020
Status: --
I'm one of those few people who was rubbed the wrong way by the MC. Spent so much time wondering why since the writing and pacing was good. I realised that I didnt like her because she exhibited the ugly human characteristics which are normally glossed over in most MCs. She's greedy, proud, manipulative, cold blooded and self-centred. She showcases most of the flaws we dislike in our MCs because they reflect the ugly nature in us and it makes her one of the most realistic MCs out there!

Nobody loved... more>> her growing up so she doesnt love anyone but herself. Nobody was ever truly sincere to her so she learned to fake and manipulate to get the best outcome. Nobody gave her a safety net so she cushions her own even if she has to wear mask every second of her life. She's hella fake and a master bootlicker but growing up in a major family with a shabby standing anyone would turn into that; thats why I say she's realistic. Most MCs are treated terribly growing up and somehow show no psychological shadows from their pasts when they grow up which is weird. I liked how she was not vicious or needleesly cruel even after the rebirth. She just wants money, power and glory.

Another reason I find her realistic is that she's not "special" like most MCs, her reputation is something she has bled for because she knows she has nobody to help her if she's anything other than perfect. Her head is filled with securing a good marriage, she once said "I love money and power and cannot see myself struggling with some man in poverty." It may seem shallow but for a woman in ancient times, a bad marriage was akin to life imprisonment. MC knows how to bend and she's flexible, most MCs would rather break than bend so it took me a while to get used to it. <<less
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May 24, 2020
Status: Completed
This is one of the few gems where there is no revenge for the things that happened in the previous life. Our lovely MC Chen Yujing experiences her previous life kind of like a movie. She knows that is what's going to happen if she keeps going down the same road and she's not having any of it! Slight spoiler but its noticeable in the first 10 chapters. MC twin sister also rebirths and would like to speed up her process towards a good future instead of the ups and... more>> downs she went through with MC ex fiance. So this is were their paths disembark. From the summary you get the impression that MC goes straight for 9th uncle, however that is not the case. In learning His true identity MC decides that with his power he can help her find a suitable marriage partner. And our story goes from her trying to fend off horrible marriage partners while also living in a society that looks down on women. "A wife is to listen to her father, and then her husband, and the child to their elders, " MC tries everything within her power to stay as a model women to find a good family and lead a leisure life. Her tongue is sharp and she leaves people speechless but is still a very likeable character. At times I find myself cheering and laughing at her actions.

MC previous life doesn't truly impact her as much since she describes it as though she watched a move. MC sister Chen Yumo has the standard rebirth and rememberseverything almost vividly. The Ex fiance actually gets snippets of the previous life at his wedding with Cheng Yumo. This eventually progresses more and it is hinted that he starts to remember everything. Which unravels his and Cheng Yumos relationship. ML Chen Junjing/ Li Chenjing..... I believe I spelled that right.... in the the 2 extra chapters we go back to the original timeline and he is alone and possible wife candidate dies unexpectedly or disappears. ML is a lonely monarch and one day he falls asleep and slips into the current timeline. Their he sees what his life could've been like. This leads him to investigate what happened to Cheng Yujing and he ends up demoting the EX because of his conduct. ML spots a Taoist who tells him that he missed his fated person and she passed. This angers ML and he locked the Taoist in the dungeon. The next day the taoist disappears and ML wakes up back to the the starting point and decides to speed up the process with MC. Which seems like a separate timeline now.

overall it was a enjoyable read that wasn't too long. <<less
68 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jun 08, 2020
Status: Completed
edit : typos

The author did a great job, I love how well they write the setting and the characters. The FL and ML always communicated and understand each other very well. Overall it's a great story without too much dog blood misunderstanding drama we seen in other historical c-novels.

If im going to complain is about the grandfather, the Cheng's old master. Here why I think I really dislike him and feels injustice towards his wife.

... more>>

first, as u know, the FL can be seen as selfish and arrogant thinking of choosing husband with a great background and family. I don't blame her, at that time marriage is a big deal for them. I don't think she is selfish as she just want to have a good marriage which will last for her entire life. Nothing wrong from wanting to have a good life.

One thing I want to complain is the grandfather, the Cheng's old master. Now, let's talk about the cheng's old master. He's not a villain but why I disliked him so much ?

Selfish. Hypocrite. That what I think his character is. Yes he did a great job protecting the ML's identity and everything he did is for the Cheng's family. But I saw him as a failure for a father and a grandfather. He never ever cared much for his family. He was always reminded of the past, so in love with his old lover. That when he is dying, one of his thought was his old lover must have been waiting for him.

Sure I understand hardly any love will exist between him and his wife, the grandmother, Mrs. Cheng. But from what I seen as I'm mtl, although mrs Cheng is not a great person, I pity her for marrying the old master. Even if there is no love between them, at least he could care for his sons when they were young. I could just imagined when he decided to bring his old lover back with ML, how sad and hurt is mrs Cheng. She live knowing that her own husband probably will never love her or their sons.

I just felt pity. If he take his role as a father seriously, perhaps his sons would actually grew up as a great person. But no he never look or cared for them. He never even cared for his own grandchildren. He was so selfish. He blamed his sons for being s*upid, blamed his wife for not taking care of his sons. But never ever thought that they grew up this way also part of his fault. He so invested in taking care of his old lover and the prince.

As a father and grandfather, he never did a good job at raising them if he even think of them in the first place.

I think I'm maybe too emotional but at that time, I agreed very much with FL, men in that era only know how to blame their wife if their child do something troublesome. I just feel tired. He never deserved any respect at all. My rant is done.


I was hoping that perhaps he will realized that he never be a good father and grandfather much but in the end it just what I hope. Maybe im analyzing this too much. But this is what I thought whenever the old master cheng came out. <<less
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Dec 08, 2020
Status: c13 part1
Okay, whoever said that the FL is a mary-sue, fight me.

The very definition of a mary-sue is a character, usually a young woman, who is portrayed as unrealistically free of weaknesses. She might be exotically beautiful, exceptionally talented in an implausibly wide variety of areas, and may possess skills that are rare or nonexistent in the canon setting. She also lacks any realistic, or at least story-relevant, character flaws — either that or her "flaws" are obviously meant to be endearing. The side characters would be overwhelmed with admiration for... more>> her beauty, wit, courage and other virtues, and are quick to adopt her as one of their True Companions, even characters who are usually antisocial and untrusting. Other than that, the canon characters would be quickly reduced to awestruck cheerleaders, watching from the sidelines as Mary Sue outstrips them in their areas of expertise and solves problems that have stymied them for the entire series.

And as an idiotic fanfic author who once made a fanfic similar to the monstrosity that was A Trekkie's Tale, I don't agree with the notion that the FL is a Mary Sue.

The FL is unloved by her parents and sister. Her peers either hated or envied her. Her elders either thought of her as a pawn or a decoration. Heck, even the FL herself thought so. Her only weapons were her calculating brain and sensibility. As an example, this is an excerpt from the latest chapter I read through:


She was given away as soon as she was born. Her birth mother Ruan-shi loved the children who grew up by her side more. Qingfu Junzhu obviously loved her biological son more. Only Cheng Yujin, who was caught in the middle, had nothing. Ruan-shi accused her of preferring a rich adoptive mother. Qingfu Junzhu also guarded against her, thinking that she was a white-eyed wolf who wasn't close to herself despite the adoption grace.


The novel itself is a typical drama of ancient China, focusing around family and court drama. The reason why I gave this novel five stars is the way the author handled the typical drama into something you can enjoy. For once, you're reading through the eyes of an FL who calmly calculated her surrounding and flowed through the experience. I like that her experience wasn't a smooth lake but riddled with waves. The main couple's interaction was also something that grew with the story through their similar experience. They cope and dealt with their problems without exaggerating the drama. <<less
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Mar 13, 2021
Status: c41 part1
It's a good novel. But. SO LONG-WINDED.

MC will talk your ears off, melt your eyes, destroy your focus. I looked forward to the scenes with ML because he couldn't stand it either.

Good plot, good world-building, good characters. But JeSuS ChRiSt. I cannot go on. I've begun to dread trudging through the author's ramblings and nonsense. I just want to read about ML and MC, but MC is burying me alive with all the nonsense text. I am a fan of short and concise sentences, like the ML, and after 41... more>> chapters I want to run away. MC is scary, she talks so much, everything she says is logical, cohesive, irrefutable, which is impressive... but her words are so lengthy it could wrap around the earth.

Because I was fed up I grabbed the text to see the word count. MC used 325 words, to say "Steward Liu, bring these clothing patterns to my Yunyi Shop. I made a short jacket using fabric, place it in the store next to other fabrics so customers can choose/customize which design their short jacket will have." -> 37 words... It's not even important. This story is about her and her ninth uncle, so why does the story write essays on trivial things and give a brief glance at our ML? Let me see him more, I get buried alive in text nearly suffocating and my salvation is the ML saying "Finish within ten words.”, “You can say it in one sentence. Why use so much nonsense?”, and "Your nonsensing ability is top-notch"...

The ONLY character growth I need, is for MC to stop her motormouth and speak concisely. <<less
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Feb 10, 2022
Status: c78
Another great story ruined by the ML. Jesus f*ck he is annoying. At first he is great, I like how the FL can shed her pretense and be her true self around him. The ML also has his own set of goals & agenda of his own. His interaction with the FL is also very interesting & good. But then this annoying f*ck keeps on interrupting the FL's plan. He knows how bad the FL's situation is but he still keeps on ruining her plan bc of his s*upid jealousy.... more>> He didn't even realize at that time that he was in love with her but he still choose to interrupt the FL's plan knowing that it could possibly ruin her life just bc he is feeling UnCoMfOrTaBLe. Then after he realizes his feeling, instead of being upfront about it, he actually expect the FL to be a mind-reader and just immediately know about his feeling. I have to drop this novel when the ML said he'll be "magnanimous" and forgive the FL for not realizing his feeling. Man, f*ck your egoistical inconsiderate ass, the FL is desperately trying to secure her future here, no one gaf about your s*upid feeling. I think the author is trying to pass these whole situations as some sort of a comedy shticks.. But it just didn't work. The ML come across as an inconsiderate a**hole. I have fo drop this, sighhh just when I found a great FL.😞 <<less
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Apr 29, 2021
Status: Completed
One of my favorite historical romance novels. I read this a while back and am just now writing a review for it, but I'd love for more people to read it. The novel to me is very similar to Malicious Empress (vaguely in plot but more tone and romance) and I would say if you like one, you'll definitely like the other. I'm very surprised I haven't seen these two novels under each others recommended, especially when you have stuff like Eight Treasures at the top which... isn't that similar... more>> at all. In any case I'll give an overview of why I liked it and why I feel like others should definitely read it too.

Probably the thing I enjoyed most was the characters, the romance development, the plot progression, and the ending. I'll go into each one briefly.

I'm gonna ignore the side characters cause I don't remember all that but for the main characters the FL was really likable to me. She wasnt a good person, she wasnt some especially powerful person either. It was more she had a bright mind and foresight and everything she did had logical explanations and was for her own survive in a world where women didn't have good lives without men. You couldn't help but feel for her, even though she was so damn scheming.

She was the adopted daughter of the first sons wife (bc wife was unable to have kids at the time), but was birthed by the second sons wife. Both women who were her "mothers" treated her like shit. The former because she was suspicious of her loyalty, the latter because she wasnt raised by her and valued the other daughter more. Her father's on both sides did not care for her, neither did her grandparents who valued her for her use, neither did her cousins who liked the more cheerful sister of MC and found MC dull, neither did the fiancee who abandoned her swiftly for said sister. Never, not once, was she put first and cared for.

So in that environment, she forced herself to become perfect. Perfect manners, always gaining the higher moral ground, trying to benefit herself as much as possible in everything. Bc if she didn't take care and consider herself, literally no one would. So even when shes scheming to the extreme and using people, I never faulted her. She was doing her best with a bad lot. She was called dull and boringly perfect, and maybe she is, but you can see how circumstances made her that way and as the story progresses we see alot of her emotions of inferiority as she tries to find a husband for herself (to get out of her situation, she still has to rely on a man, sadly). The story tells alot about how it isn't women's fault they had to manipulate and plot for a man's love, as often times that was there only way to live. I admired her alot, especially near the end when she become increasingly courageous and vicious, while gaining even more pride as she finally had the status to back it up. In general tho shes brilliant.


As for the ML I liked him alot too. I know some might have thought his actions of hindering the MC annoying, but when you consider the series of events and that the romance was blooming, it would've been odd if this guy that supposedly likes her didn't interfere and didn't get jealous. He

Interrupted MC and her suitors alot but tbh I didn't care bc as readers we know their going to be together anyway and all these people are obviously plot devices. If he didn't prevent it and one her 4 suitors managed to succeed, where would the story be? In fact watching the antics it was obviously the author implementing humor because the story would go MC sets her sights on a possible prime rib husband, ML notices shes weighing the meat considering someone, he gets jealous, he hilariously puts a stop to her plans, she shows a little temper (which, for someone known for being calm all the time I honestly thought a little anger and playfulness was good for her. She never got to be a child and this is shown later when the two joke around and are comfortable with each other).

In any case ML was a pretty great guy. He had thoughts like thinking it was s*upid to leave the harem completely up to your wife and how a husband should manage the house affairs too. He never took concubines and only married the MC (even though her family didn't benefit him at all). He liked and appreciated MCs scheming nature. He tried to understand the dependency women were forced ti have on men in those times and how that could lead to actions MC would take. He helped in alot of ways he could by returning power to her hands (stoping the family from taking her dowry, sending his men to help her manage her shops, often seating back and letting his wife talk once they get married. In any case I liked him.

Update: Saw someone say that author also gave him a plausible reason for having those thoughts as an ancient man. His mom was empress and she was the emperors only woman before she died. His adopted mom that picked him up, while with a married man, also had him to herself once they reunited. He grew up with monogamy and with evidence that a messy harem showed incompetence. So he simply eliminated that possibility by making MC his only. In fact, when he explains to her why he doesn't even talk about love he says that he wants to guarantee the eldest son (or just in general his kids) is born from her and the best way to do that is to simply not have anyone else in the harem since we all know these btches be scheming. This was a surefire to get rid of many issues. Also he never planned to rely on either his empresses or his harems families to occupy the court. He did it on his own so he didnt need to use other women for power. So it all made sense in the grounds of that time. It wasnt just an "I love you so imma ignore these courtiers telling me to marry concubines". Though ofc it was a bit of that too lol


Their romance is gradual but you can tell how they fell in love and why. They've got a tactic understanding thing going on, a perfect united front. Even before they get together, multiple side characters feel they look oddly complementary and you can see why. They're actually very alike.

Like I mentioned, MC was never the favored one in anyone heart. She was never put first and for ML it was similar. His dad (the king) was so incompetent and obviously had other things he valued more despite feeling bad for this son of his. His adopted dad was only with him to save his family's ass. In general, both of their treatments depended on how useful they were, like embroidered pillows. But in reality they were both crazy scheming and masters of outwardly calm inwardly vicious. While putting on a facade to the world, together they could loosen up a little and trust. This was especially hard for MC as she knew ML could take concubines and that the marriage was not advantageous for him. It was hard to let her guard down and face possible disappointment from having expectations. But by the end I felt like she was able to finally out down all her burdens and open herself fully to ML. He waited for her to do so while understanding her fears. They just felt very harmonious, like it was only natural for them to be together


I liked the plot progression. There was a kind of slice of life feeling at the beginning because the leads needed to get to know each other but there were interesting events like MC weighing meat trying to find a good husband. I didn't care for these side dudes as there wasnt the slightest bit of romance it was literally the MC weighing pros and cons like she was purchasing a new phone model. If ur worried about love triangles I would say they dont exist. The side dudes dont get enough screen time for any of that. During this time we see alot of the MCs schemes at home. But after

ML sheds his fake identity and goes back to being the prince and they marry, we get palace scheming. This was fun too, so was the face slapping and MC getting used to her position and wielding her power. Alot of the things I found irritating about palace intrigue weren't in this since both leads are smooth as cucumbers. Theres a tangible buildup to them eventually taking over the throne.


The sequence of events at the end was probably what made this novel for me. For some reason it was very satisfying bc everybody in the court

died. No literally the queen, the dowager, the king, the scheming princes, they just kept dying like dominoes wtf! I dont think I've ever read a historical novel where the whole palace got emptied usually the leads are forced to keep someone around because "appearences' but nah they all went. By the end MC had no filial piety at all to do I wanted to laugh. ML had a death grip on the court without the queens family all up in his business. Everything was neatly wrapped with a bow tie. It was very satisfying.


Lastly I'm going to list some of my favorite events/scenes:


1. Anytime MC was ruminating over where said guy would be a good husband. There was so many candidates yall she was hard at work. It was hilarious.

2. Any scene where the main couple got contrasted with MC ex fiancee and sister. Like deserved btch.

3. When the MC is cornered by an imperial doctor and the dowager (or was it the queen idk) so they can induce her into miscarriage but she was so strong about it! Like omg her inner strength at that moment she literally threatened them with a weapon and ran off to the king for asylum. All the while ML could not help her since he was doing business outside the palace. I felt both terrible for her but also crazy proud of her.

4. The Phoenix dragon twins. So cute.

5. When the palace ladies come to inspect the MCs etiquette (aka bully her) before she gets married but they literally cant see any flaws in her behaviour whatsoever shes simply too perfect lmao. She even corrects them! Lol


In any case, this was a long review but since it's so long you can probably see my level of enjoyment. Recommend for anyone who likes historical romance to read this novel.

Update: Just saw alot of reviews saying MC was reborn but she wasnt guys. She had a dream about the past lifes events but it was like seeing in movie perspective. She even doubts whether it was real. She never actually experienced any of the things that happened, not like her sister did. Her sister lived through that previous life, MC didn't. So dont expect the previous life to be a big thing for her trajectory, it's barely even thought of by her. <<less
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Jun 04, 2020
Status: Completed
Found a hidden gem! The premise of the story captured my interest at once and I finished reading the raw in 3 days. The fact that both the MC and her sister had memories of a previous life was very refreshing.

All the characters are very well-written - everyone had their own motives, their strengths and their flaws. Even the side characters are fleshed out. We understand what they think and why they act the way they do. While the MC is no Mary Sue, she can seem a bit OP.... more>> However, this is made believable due to her family situation and how she had to be careful not to offend anyone.

I also really liked MC's independent nature. She knows what she wants and is proactive in trying to achieve her goals (marrying well, enjoying a comfortable life). She is aware of her limits and thus never considers the ML as a marriage candidate because she thinks he's out of her league. This makes for some great comedic moments as the ML becomes increasingly frustrated and jealous at her ploys to marry herself off to other men.

The ML is great because he's not like the usual black-bellied, overbearing and possessive MLs in other stories. Once he recognizes his feelings, he adjusts his plans to incorporate MC in his life. He is willing to make sacrifices for her if necessary (which is super sweet) and has the very unusual (but much appreciated) attitude that the matters of the "inner yard" shouldn't just be left to the women.


Timeline 1 - original life - ML and MC never meet and get married. MC marries the Marquis, has a son and dies early. The Marquis also marries her sister.

Timeline 2 - story timeline - both MC and her sister have memories of their first life. Sister marries the Marquis in hopes they will be happy again. MC meets ML when the Marquis comes to break off the engagement.

Timeline 3 (in the extra/side story) - the ML from Timeline 1 dreams of his happy family life with MC in Timeline 2. He wakes up to his younger self in Timeline 1 and decides to take break off the Marquis' marriage with MC and asked to meet the MC.

I find it sweet that the ML realizes he missed his chance in Timeline 1 and is determined to marry MC when he finds he gets a second chance.

TL:DR - great read, definitely recommend. Can't wait to read it again once fully translated. <<less
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Dec 29, 2020
Status: c54 part1
Although I'm only about 1/4 of the way through the novel (up to the currently translated chapter), the clear translation made this rebirth novel a real gem. So much, I read to the end using a MTL version and the complete story makes me yearn for a faster translation of this novel set in ancient China.

FL is reborn to right before her wedding to the nobleman she saved. She is, of course, determined not to make the same mistake twice (she died in childbirth after a painful marriage where she... more>> discovered her husband had mistaken her for her twin sister years before) and breaks the engagement. But, as she begins to relive her life as a virtuous and talented miss - she starts to notice small changes. She must not be the only one who has been returned!

Using this situation as a challenge, she decides to become even more perfect and starts eying up young men of her acquaintance in order to quickly marry out of her unhappy home. Cousins, widowers and - strangely - the handsome Ninth Uncle of the family. She starts noticing how much his life has seemed to change and how helpful he's being to her. Hmm. What could possibly be causing this?

As other reviewers noticed, this story is the perfect set-up for a revenge story but that's not how our FL sees it. She seems it as a chance to burnish her skills and evade the poor behavior of her family and other noble families. The description of her calligraphy and embroidery skills are fascinating and give you a lot of insight into her reasons for wanting to be so skilled. Eventually, she starts to let real feelings creep under the skin of her perfect shell. Really, she's so smart, well-mannered and shiny that there must be a place for her high, high above the other ladies. Hmm, wonder where?

It's a charming story but not all fluff and dogs blood. The author does a great job letting you into the FL and ML's minds. Some characters change, grow and find their wings. Some characters learn to regret their life choices. Other characters never see the pits opening up beneath their feet. Try it - you'll find it fascinating. <<less
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May 26, 2020
Status: Completed
This story was definitely hard to read as a MTL cause of its ancient setting. Nevertheless I’m glad I persevered to finish this gem.
Honestly this was an extremely satisfying book to read, all characters were well-rounded and I loved the main leads. Of course, they were both maybe a little too perfect, but honestly it fit the story so well that I can overlook this fact.

I enjoyed the ‘old married couple’ feel of the leads, plus this was not the usual ‘overbearing ML.’ The ML was caring and kind, but vengeful to his enemies. His past is tragic but he’s a stronger person due to the adversity in his childhood. The love between the two wasn’t overt but instead shown through small actions and the trust they had for each other.
The story has a nice clean happy ending that was fun to read.
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Nov 10, 2020
Status: c43
This is a realistic novel leaning more on the negative side of human nature. So in my pessimistic perspective of life, this novel was one of the most old-era realistic novels for me.

Sometimes when you get too much fluff, you just feel like you want some normal affectionate moments without much dog food. That what this novel is. It makes the "love" worth the wait.

About the FL.

... more>> She's the anti-hero we didn't deserve but we needed.

She's the master of manipulation. Master of deception. And master apathy. And most importantly, she's someone who needs a hug. ㅠㅠ

Heck, both ML and FL need a hug.

Everyone in the story has a bad side...

FL, manipulative but has reasons to be. She was already on the weaker side of society. The weak have their own way to fight.

ML, overall he has a good character. Not nice or mean, he's just a passerby. (ofc not to FL) That aside, I don't believe that he hasn't killed anyone yet. Come on, he's the crown Prince. His road to survival can't lack few crimson flowers blooming along his path.

Relatives, son of a b***- sorry. Let me rephrase it.

Brainless son of a b****. <<less
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Sep 21, 2020
Status: Completed
I completely disagree with LunadeSelene's review. Sounds like they're describing a completely different novel. Maybe don't judge a book by the first 6 chapters?

The FL here is one of the most rational, truly smart, and independent FLs I've seen in a historical romance. She is calm and rational and cold hearted towards marriage because she has no other choice to be. She's a survivor. When she has a goal, she strives towards it no matter what and I respect that. I liked how she recognizes how little power she has... more>> in society because of her gender and calls out the double standards in marriage.

The ML knows her true character and understands her. They are the definition of a power couple, in a way that's not overboard. They don't really have those cliche romantic moments, but it's the little moments that made me love them. How the ML trusts FL, how he knows how strong she is but lets her know that she doesn't have to bear the burdens herself. How he treats her with the utmost respect. How he doesn't shy away from bending down to her level and acting affectionate and caring towards her that are deemed "unmanly" by other husbands. He really sees her as an equal and treats her as such.

He recognizes her position is society is hard, and sees her efforts to survive as something worth commending instead of shaming. I can easily see how the FL, smart and scheming that she is, could be seen as the "villain" in other stories, but she's literally just trying to survive in a man's world where she's only a tool in the hands of her family. ML wishes their daughter grows up to be more like her so she can defend herself like MC does and not like his own mother who ended up dying at the hands of the harem.

Anyway, it was surprisingly poignant at times. Their love is stable and sweet, I enjoyed it.

Bonus... ML's kinks...


ML likes to tease MC by calling her niece lmao. He teasingly asks her to call him Ninth Uncle in bed when she's utterly exhausted and she wants to kill him LMAO

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Aug 10, 2020
Status: c70
An MC who knows what she wants and does what she needs to get there. Not a Strong Female Role Model by modern standards, rather MC games the system by projecting an image of the perfect daughter-in-law. Everything is calculated in pursuit of a higher goal (i.e. Being rich and having a good, stable life). MC is smart, cunning, and not naive in the least.

... more>>

An unusual point is that 2 individuals are rebirthed/have memories of a past life - the MC and her twin younger sister - but this doesn't really make a difference in the plot yet except as motivation.


Not particularly action-packed, it's mostly rear court drama and navigating marriages. MTL is perfectly understandable. <<less
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Jul 21, 2020
Status: Completed
I mtled this because the premise caught my attention and let me tell you I don't regret it. I really like the couple's interactions. Like how everyone kept thinking of them as a couple even before they became the actual deal.

If you like a strong hard working female lead, logical but loving (only to FL) male lead, a couple that understands each other, interesting plot buildup, some political intrigue, some fluff.. Then this is for you.

Is it a happy ending?

This has a happy ending. Everything gets a nice closure and we are left with satisfaction.


Definitely recommended!

- Faradise
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Jun 23, 2020
Status: Completed
Disclaimer: I MTL'd most of this with DeepL. In some ways, this reminded me of Butterfly's Shadow Beneath the Moon's novels set in ancient China. The MC is incredibly mercenary and rational in her approach to marriage, and only really desires to marry into a wealthy family where she can give birth to the heir, live comfortably and have stability. The way she rationally and coldly does a cost/benefit analysis before deciding on her target is always funny, and in a patriarchal society with concubinage it's hard to argue with... more>> her philosophy. The MC's personality reminds me a lot of Qu Qing Ju from To Be a Virtuous Wife, but she's even more calculating.

The story is pretty entertaining, but I'd say it drags a little in the middle, and the author relies way too heavily on huge exposition dumps to provide background. The final ~40 chapters are really entertaining and fun, and the political intrigue is mostly good, but much of it just gets skipped over and I'd prefer more detail. I'd give this a recommendation to anyone who enjoyed To Be A Virtuous Wife or Eight Treasures Trousseau, however. <<less
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Oct 21, 2020
Status: Completed
Recommended 👍🏻🏆

The FL is very calculating. I think she becomes 'cold' and mature after she was 'reborn' from her tragic life. But it can be seen that she's still a little girl at heart ♥️

She just wants to be saved and she wants to run away from her current predicament. And she believes that she can only rely on herself and no one else~ 🦋

She dares not expect any warmth from anyone, including the ML. So the ML had to work really hard to get the HE with the FL.... more>> 😌🌈 but I like that the story doesn't have much conflicts/drama between the FL & ML. They're the perfect couple everyone is envious of 😄😍

The ML is worthy to be called "Jiu-shu". He's very patient and loyal 😇

Happy to have found this^^ 🍫🌟 <<less
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Aug 01, 2020
Status: Completed
A well written story, with plenty of court intrigues, humor and romance and, of course, inner courtyard shenanigans - all characters are consistent throughout the story. ML is intrigued by MC considering the situation they first met and MC not caring enough to hide her true self in front of ML, lead to some funny MC-ML interactions and a gradual sweet love story. Later on, Jelly ML often interrupts when MC is locked on to a possible husband target and keeps on foiling her plans. Though he is not a... more>> pushy domineering CEO-type character, and is very understanding of MC's situation - wiling to accept all of her, faults included. His thought process shows off his maturity and ahead-of-times liberal attitude.

The MC is a very likeable character, who is not revenge-obsessed, understands herself and her wants completely and just wants to live well (high). Though she gives as good as she gets, she's stuck in a very unfavorable situation in her family- she looks like she has a good life, but on looking closely, she seems a bit pitiful. With no one caring for her, but expecting the best from her, she had to mature much earlier than others. Not receiving any love growing up, it's sad how she doesn't recognize the feeling at all and relations to her (with ML included) are just calculations... With unscrupulous, greedy vultures family aiming at her at all times, she has to fend for herself with no one (except later ML) in her corner. The story really highlights how difficult it was for women in ancient times.

The book is a good read and definitely recommended. <<less
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Jun 03, 2020
Status: c112
A historical romance novel with well-rounded characters. Our couple is sympathetic and admirable. The politics also feel real without overtaking the couple's relationship (which is what we're in this for, let's be honest here). Neither the plot or characters' emotions are overwrought. A satisfying read without flights of fancy or hysteria. If you enjoy a quiet and practical romance - in this case entangled with a bit of Imperial Court powerplay - this is for you.
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