Legend of Concubine’s Daughter Minglan


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The pessimistic and negative daughter of a concubine living in the ancient times thought – since life is so difficult, why should one invest serious effort in struggling to live?

The life of an ancient noble woman is often determined and controlled by her family. Moreover, one’s actions often implicate one’s entire family – thus, it is fairly common to see an unexpected calamity result in suffering borne by one’s whole family. Managing to live a good and successful life while retaining one’s dignity is simply too difficult to achieve.

Ah, living in the ancient times is simply too dangerous – we should all just sleep till we die.

Associated Names
One entry per line
The Story of Ming lan (drama)
Zhī fǒu? Zhī fǒu? Yīng shì lǜ féi hóng shòu
หมิงหลัน บุปผาเคียงใจ
庶女· 明兰传
Related Series
Eight Treasures Trousseau (10)
Chongfei Manual (9)
Heavenly Divine Doctor: Abandoned Concubine (7)
To Be A Virtuous Wife (7)
The General’s Little Peasant Wife (5)
Chu Wang Fei (4)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Favourite historian CNovels
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meiberry rated it
June 2, 2018
Status: c120
The title of this story "知否?知否?应是绿肥红瘦" literally translates as: "Do you know? Do you know? It should be fatty green and thin red." This title describes how the essence of a plant is a small spot of color surrounded by dense greenery. The flower is the star of the show while the leaves are numerous and in the background. Just like plants, a man in ancient China is the star of the show and the center of power while surrounded by numerous women.

A young woman from contemporary China transmigrates into... more>> the bed-ridden body of young toddler Minglan, whose beautiful concubine mother has just died at the schemes of another concubine, Lin, in the house. Minglan's interior thoughts are weary and hilarious as she muses over the house gossip that she has no choice but to hear spoken among the maids that take care of her. She is incredibly depressed to learn about her body's identity and the family situation into which she's been plopped by the hands of fate. She has no will to live in this sexist world in this deeply disadvantaged body, and she literally tries to sleep to death until Concubine Lin, who was responsible for the death of her new body's mother, shows up and bawls in front of the father and other members of the household in the room next door.

Minglan's eyes literally open in shock from the concubine's impressively manipulative acting. In a humorous twist, Minglan is inspired to live on in this world after witnessing how far the concubine was willing to go in her manipulations. Basically, she thinks to herself, "If this Concubine Lin has the balls to turn black into white, why can't I be brave enough to face my new reality?"

And so Minglan lives. She takes each day by each day. There is no fast-paced scheming to take revenge on her mother - Minglan nearly never interacts with Concubine Lin for the rest of her life. The story is a slow-paced, slice of life drama - although it's not without its tensions and conflicts. There is always plenty at stake for every character.

This 220 story has two main arcs, the first half of the story is pre-marriage and the second half is post-marriage. Up to chapter 120, I have been immensely impressed by this novel. It definitely reminds me of Yue Xia Die Ying's To Be a Virtuous Wife and Eight Treasures Trousseau. I have yet to read Mei Gongqing, but I also assume they have resounding sensibilities. The biggest theme across all of these C-novel romances is the same - what is a girl to do if one were to transmigrate to ancient China? The closest love story you could tell would probably be this.

This story gracefully included all the implications of a polygamous society where women had no rights and no power. It's incredibly hopeless for a girl to fall in love in ancient China. The author carefully calibrated all potential male leads' levels of desirability to make sense from the other characters' (such as Minglan's Grandmother or Minglan's Father) points of view as people strictly from that time period. Why does the Grandmother prefer one boy over another boy for Minglan? Why is a boy from a "poorer" family better than a boy whose father is a marquis?

Male character A is good looking, and his family background is good - in fact, TOO good, which means it's likelier that he'll cheat because powerful men never have only one woman in their lives. In fact, he's already slept with his maids and marrying him would mean becoming a wife to a husband who already has concubines. Another male character B is kind and gentle and unlikely to cheat. But he's not that great looking, and the family background is so-so.

We've read other Chinese romance novels like this, where we pit an attractive character against a "safe" character, however, this is the first time that I feel deeply for Minglan and strongly resound with desire to be with the "safe" man whose risk of cheating is so much lower than the attractive man's.

"Cheating" or "chu gui" is a term that Minglan brings with her from the modern world, because there is no such thing as "cheating" in ancient China. Sleeping with many different women is a normalized, legalized thing for men to do.

How does a girl live in a world where she has no rights and powers and all of her livelihood depends on her husband, especially when the chances are very slim that her husband will love and cherish only herself for the rest of their lives? This is one of the many questions that this story sincerely ponders, sometimes in tragic tones and sometimes in light-hearted humor.

The favorite of the story is definitely Minglan's grandmother. Sheng Grandmother is not blood-related to Minglan, because Minglan's father was a son of a concubine. (Someone needs to make a family tree of all the relationships...) I was spellbound by this character and all of her interactions with Minglan. I was actually in love with every one of Minglan's familial relationships - I loved her interactions with her sisters, her brothers, and her Mother (who is not her birth mother but is the official wife of her father, so Minglan must call her Mother with a capital M).

What does it mean to care for someone? What does it mean to be an elder who truly cherishes a child? Does it look like letting her child marry into wealth and power? Does it look like letting her child fall in love? In the case of Minglan, it's neither. Loving and caring for a child like Minglan comes in the form of being honest with her about the reality of living as a woman in this world.

Love, for Sheng Grandmother, comes as a form of acknowledging reality and fighting for Minglan's freedom to be happy.


I think one of the most stirring scenes for me was after when Gu Ting Ye agreed to marry Minglan after Rulan was caught with the Wen kid, and to patch up the abysmal mistake, Minglan's father offered Minglan. Obviously, Sheng Grandmother disapproved of this, and they screamed a lot about it.

I was so incredibly touched that moment when Sheng Grandmother said to Minglan, "Don't you worry my child, I'm not dead yet! There is absolutely no way I will ever let them do this to you. In their dreams!" I was just so struck by this little old lady who is willing to go against Minglan's father, the head of the household, and all of the might that comes with the suitor's background as a general and new favorite lanky of the emperor. How could she possibly do it? She could have done it, I'm sure. But the odds were so against her and it just showed how much she loved Minglan and how far she was willing to go for Minglan's happiness.


The author is patient and compassionate in her storytelling. Every character is impressionably colorful, even all of the villains. Pettiness is portrayed three-dimensionally, there is no action that is not driven by human motivations. Above all the drama of the people around her, Minglan rises to the top like cream.


But I have to admit that it's rather boring now that Minglan has married. I preferred her days with Sheng Lao Tai Tai. I ship that relationship forever. Love doesn't need to be about romance.

This story has really not prepared me well for the man that she married. She marries the former wild child Gu Ting Ye, who has basically berserked his way through Jiang Hu and the army in recent years and made a not too shabby name for himself.

It has been a REAL struggle for me to get into this relationship. I just can't help but feel like Minglan deserves so much better. I really actually preferred the doctor boy. I felt like that would have made for a romance that made more sense in light of the first 90 chapters of this story that went on and on and on about the emptiness of vanity and how upper-level ancient Chinese marriages are basically dead-ends for every girl - no matter if you are the concubine or the wife, it just sucks to be married to a powerful man. The breathtaking descriptions of the male lead's romantic feelings for Minglan don't seem to suffice. I feel like I was catfished into reading a historical-feminist story by a romance story cover, but then when I was getting into the strong, feminist themes, I got dumped with a romance story that I don't really want to read anymore.

This male lead is SUCH a weird character for a romantic male lead. He's related to Minglan in really weird ways - like how Minglan's friend used to almost be engaged to him and Minglan helped her break off that engagement before it became an engagement, or that he has some type of seniority over Minglan where she calls him "Uncle" (in some contexts, that's like the Chinese version of the daddy kink).

I think that above all the weird aspects of his character, I'm probably most bothered by the fact that Gu Ting Ye has been married before and has a kid already. It's a little too realistic, you know? The romance aspect just doesn't seem to work for me. I'm exactly like Sheng Lao Tai Tai when she was like, "They all think that the prodigal son who made a comeback as a general is some kind of treasure... I don't think he's all that at all... 却我就瞧不起... (she holds him in contempt) " I'm like, EXACTLY, Grandma! He has a kid already. Come on. When Minglan married him, the kid is like 8 or 9.

I'm not against single dads (on that note, the birth mom of his kid isn't even dead yet, she's just locked up at the hamlet because of her propensity towards violent schemes, so that's another point for uncomfortable baggage). But do you know what I mean... it's just not easy. Pragmatically speaking, an existing concubine's kid is a big no-no for Minglan's future kids as well. What if this girl gets raised to be a violent schemer like the usual trope for concubine children and takes revenge on her father who treated her and her mom like crap? And the fact of the matter is that he treated her and her mom like crap.

It's just not a fair marriage (which is the whole point of marriages in ancient China I know). Minglan deserves better. Like, maybe if Minglan were also a widower or has already spent her tender youth with the doctor boy and that didn't work out - then I would be so much more accepting of her marrying Gu Ting Ye. A widower with a widower. Of course, that's like assuming women have any chance of equal standing with men, which they don't.

Anyways, I'm going to move on to something easier for me read... I still think that this a really good story but I'm here trying to read some romance to escape from real life and this story kind of gets a little too realistic...

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Mibuokami rated it
November 27, 2016
Status: Completed

In the same vein as Chu Wang Fei, the Legend of Concubine's Daughter Ming Lan is one of the best story amongst the genre of “slice of life” historical romance.

This story is almost entirely plot and character driven with very little action; the protagonist is very empathetic and likable while the supporting casts are well rounded but unlike Chu Wang Fei, most have character flaws that makes them distinctly more relatable and human (No Mr. Perfect Chu Fei Yang here).

The only supernatural element in this story is the actual time travelling protagonist and some minor reference to other time travelers that have either made a difference to the world the protagonist lives in or fail miserably and became infamous.

The story starts with the MC taking over the body of a 5 year old shu daughter of a minor government official after she passed on due to a high fever; her birth mother has also just passed on during childbirth with implicable that her death relates to the power struggle of the harem. The story progress from their, detailing the growth and integration of the protagonist into her new life; interacting with the other woman of the household, her struggle and eventual success in gaining a foothold within the family and the good and bad time therein.

The second half of the story details life after marriage and the complication that arises after Ming Lan moved to her husband’s household. The conflict in the second half of the novel is a bit more blatant and the struggle more bloody, however it is still dialogue and plot driven rather than action filled and the action scene are secondary to the development of the plot.

Be warn, anyone who hates slice of life story will find Ming Lan incredibly boring, the majority of conflicts are acted and resolved through dialogue only.

One very interesting aspect of this story is that the main character understands her situation and does not try to revolutionize her surrounding with new innovations and ideas. Given her precarious situation and low position in life, any attempt to change society would be silly at best and could bring disastrous consequence to both herself and her family. Deeply aware of this limitation; the protagonist works within the culture of the time and does not try to fight society with ground breaking modern idea.

Overall a fantastic story with great characters, good romance and a decent plot with a satisfying ending that left me happy to close the book.

Anyone who enjoy reading this story and can understand Mandarin should also try the following:

Both are in the same genre with a similar premise and have my recommendation. They should both be available through audio books too.

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KKristen rated it
January 30, 2018
Status: c22
What you have here is probably the most realistic and life-like transmigration story you'll ever read. No, it may not be action-packed, and some may find the pace a bit slow, but the detailed and intricate characters make it worth it. 5 stars!


  • In a messy household in ancient times, the husband has favored his concubine over his official wife, resulting in the death of his youngest concubine. Her neglected young daughter opens her eyes, delirious with fever... and terribly disappointed with her current situation.
  • Yao Yiyi was a workaholic and plain woman who, after years of struggle, graduated from a law university and got a secure job as an employee at the peoples courts. She didn't care for fame, fortune, or men, simply living her life to the best of her ability. She volunteers for a tough court job in the mountains, expecting to complete the difficult work and return with satisfaction, but dies in an unexpected landslide... only to be reborn in the body of poor concubine's daughter Minglan.
The character development is truly where this novel shines. This novel has some very unique features:

  • A realistic look into the mental health of a modern, average protagonist reborn as a "tr*sh" character. Imagine losing everything, then being forced into an unhealthy body not your own, hated with no future prospects? Watching the MC gradually find her purpose and regain the will to live is incredibly refreshing after reading so many other cliche transmigration novels with OP, white lotus, or too-composed protagonists.
  • A flawed father character who is biased but not ignorant. This is a man who considers the advice of others, attempts to treat his wives and children fairly, and tries his best to restore order in his household despite his many mistakes.
  • Wives and concubines who all have their own individual personalities, who actually grow and react in different ways to their mistakes. These are adult women and mothers who know when to push and when to withdraw when it comes to maintaining the delicate balance of power between them.
  • Siblings who aren't totally good or totally evil. These are realistic children whose personalities and actions are shaped by the adults around them. Their characters are flexible and change over time depending on the lessons they take to heart.
  • An elderly matron character who does not fall into normal stereotypes. (The scheming grandmother, badass matriarch, blindly doting old woman, etc.) She's a seasoned but weary woman, who is reserved in showing her affection, who has her own opinions about the events and drama in the house but prefers to stick to her own place in the family.
  • Despite all the subtle family drama, I do want to add that there is one very badass character: Governess Kong, who is brought in to whip the misbehaving children into shape *ahem* educate the children about society. I don't want to write more and spoil anything, since reading her parts are the most fun.

  • There aren't many chapters out at this time (and the translation updates VERY slowly, maybe once a month). However, the translation quality is excellent with very few mistakes. The translator does a great job of capturing the mood and intricate character interactions.
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darkelf01 rated it
January 18, 2021
Status: Completed
The author's postscript is nauseating in the way they tried to defend the ML's perspective and THEN spent another 100-ish of romanticized words to say that the ML's f*cked up behaviour is love.

It's f*cked up how the author sided and justified ML's behaviour in their postscript. I'm used to reading about dog blood and abuse drama but romanticizing those acts and then saying that it's because the ML loved the FL is pushing my bottom line. I hope they never write another story. This novel also received heavy criticism from... more>> the readers in its original language, so, english readers, you're not the only ones who want to send knives to the author.


ML didn't even love Minglan, she's just a conquest because she's 'interesting'. He schemed his way into having Minglan as his bride even though he knew that Minglan would be better off marrying her other suitors (who are much, much better people). And then, what's worse is that the author tried to pass off and romaticize how this f*cked up 30-something U N C L E trapped a 16 y.o girl and left her with no other choice but to marry him even though he already have two kids and a few concubines by saying that he did that because he luvz Minglan. He treated Minglan like an (sexdoll) object after they got married and he was so indifferent even when a fire orchestrated by his family razed their residence when Minglan was heavily pregnant until she was forced to gave birth, for f*ck's sake). I was as disappointed in him as Minglan is when I read about that part. He also threw Minglan into the hell pit that was his messy backyard of a family and often left her there as Minglan struggled under the thumb of his family. Fortunately, she was pretty much a great solo fighter.


I wouldn't call the ML a sad man who just wanted to understand love, because he's just a manipulative and shitty playboy uncle who refused to own up to his past mistakes. What threw me off even more is that he apparently married Minglan so that he could watch as she straighten up his rotten family.

For a man with great authority, he couldn't even fix his own family. The author did wrote that he was feeling apologetic in the end, but at that point I couldn't care less about this uncle. I'd rather have Minglan cut off her hair and run far, far away to be a nun than being with ML. She'd have a much better chance to live peacefully in the ancient era like that. <<less
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Aya fullbuster
Aya fullbuster rated it
August 25, 2019
Status: Completed
It was such a great realistic story at the beginning, with unique well developed characters and MC, then the author suddenly dumped the male lead who was the worst person ever, no matter how many times he declared his "true" love for MC and how many times the author tried to make the romance epic etc, it just fell flat for me and made me wonder what happened to the great beginning of the story and why we were only left with disappointment.

I know it was meant to be realistic... more>> but it just went over the top with trying to make the romance realistic and bearable at the same time, it achieved the opposite effect, for example the MC had no realistic reason to even consider ML so she had to be tricked into marriage.

Overall, I regreted reading it because it only brought me disappointment in the end <<less
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quivo rated it
December 12, 2019
Status: v4c169
I had high expectations for this story after reading the earlier chapters and various reviews, but I feel like the story failed them in a way I wasn't expecting at all. In the end, I think I'm probably going to stop partway through.

The best part of the story is before the MC's marriage, where she navigates the complex but fairly realistically portrayed landscape of her family's inner court. I loved a lot of the characters here, whether they were allied with the MC or against her. It's mostly political slice-of-life... more>> at that point, one designed to show off the MC's pragmatic personality to the fullest without engaging in cliche harem fights. I particularly loved the close relationship she built with her grandmother.

The most disappointing part of the story is the MC's marriage and the first few days afterwards. I feel sorry for the current translator---they went out of their way to translate a smutty extra of the MC's wedding night, and it is just embarrassingly bad, 100% on the author there. It isn't just r*pey in a cliche cnovel way, it's also ridiculous ("purr~"---you'll know if you get that far). I just reread the chapter (156 on Flying Lines) and while it's not as bad as I remember, it's still cringey enough that it doesn't feel like it fits with the rest of the novel.

With that shitty s*x scene and the fact that I've looked at spoilers that say the ML lets the MC down while she's pregnant in the future, it was pretty easy to decide to call it quits at this stage. I don't feel any fondness for the guy she ended up with, especially not when he seemed like yet another carbon copy CEO male lead, you know, the kind of guy who's 'overbearing' and 'forceful' to the point that he had to trick her into marrying him, and has a complicated back court but also wants his new wife to fall in love with him and also react to whatever he does in exactly the way that'll flatter him most. Minglan deserved better, and even though I knew she wouldn't get it, I wish the author had handled it in a way that didn't show how blatantly she thought that this as*hole suited Minglan, or that their love was ~destined or whatever.

I would recommend reading the pre-marriage arc, I feel that was enjoyable enough to be worth anyone's time. Afterwards depends on your tolerance for the ML; if you find yourself feeling bitter and upset by him during the run-up to Minglan's marriage, I'd say just stop reading there. <<less
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risqyee rated it
December 8, 2016
Status: c120
The Legend of Concubine's Daughter Minglan is a refreshing read. First of all, the protagonist Minglan does not have any unbelievable powers or skills from her modern persona. Her strength is in her different mindset and her understanding of how difficult it was for women in ancient times.

There are a few of the usual "too s*upid to live" villains, but only as one-off minor characters. Instead, I found myself liking many of the characters, understanding their flaws, and sympathizing with them. This is extremely unusual in a genre that tends... more>> to be filled with cardboard cutouts for readers to hate -- not here.

So far, in the first half of the book, the story focuses on Minglan and her family. The story here is surprisingly fluffy. Her relationship with her family is not bad at all, which came as a surprise to me. Reading this brought a smile to my face and made me miss my grandmother a little.

Unfortunately, the quality of the English translation is only decent. While this is a hard novel to translate, and the translator clearly worked hard on it, the language is still a bit too dry, which stifles some of the emotion that was evident in the RAWs. However, if you are not too picky about the language, this is still a good read that I wholeheartedly recommend trying out. <<less
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Wugyii rated it
August 4, 2020
Status: c157
I feel betrayed. I liked the first part, but was disgusted by GTY. I hate how novels always ruin the perfectly good plot, characters, and protagonist with overbearing, disgusting MLs.

Spare me this torture. F the ancient life.
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icedcoffee rated it
November 28, 2019
Status: c127
I am so pissed off with the story. It had a promising start... but towards the end I felt that our MC suffered great injustice from the author. Because of my bad mood, Im giving this 1 star.


MC got an undeserving husband.. geezus effn christ.

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wolikethat rated it
April 27, 2019
Status: c78
Like so many of the comments have said, this novel is such a realistic slice-of-life transmigration story. Very different from the OP and idealistic stories in it's genre, all the characters (including the usual cliche white lotuses) are well rounded and full fleshed out characters and the MC is a believable and accurate depiction of a modern woman thrown into a historical time. Minglan is clever and intelligent in way believable for a modern woman, but instead of trying to use her 21st century knowledge to change the times, she... more>> learns to adapt and fit in to the past so that she can lead a safe, comfortable, and tranquil life despite being a woman in a time where women had few options and many risks.

One of the things I love most about this novel is the relationship between the sisters. Our MC has three half sisters, two born by the legal wife and one born of the overly favored concubine. Typical stuff for a historical novel. And of course there's the expected rivalry, scheming, and fighting between half-sisters. But that's not ALL there is. In so many of these novels half-sisters are so ready to torture and kill each other, and even at their worst I couldn't see any of these sisters doing that to each other. At their best, they still have moments where they can get along and talk to each other, yes with some snippiness to their tone, but still in a civil manner. It's such an exquisitely done depiction of these relationships that navigate the complexity of blood relation and growing up together but also being divided by social status (concubine born vs legitimate born), paternal favoritism, and the harem struggle handed down by their mothers. Molan's white lotus ploys are grating, but you also can't help but understand her using what weapons she can to snatch standing when you see how Rulan so casually throws the superiority of her legitimacy in the faces of both Molan and Minglan.

I'll echo what others have said about it being low on action (at least to the point I've read). Minglan is not Wei Yang or Divine Doctor's Yu Heng. She is a young lady of the rear garden and thus on the periphery of the grander happenings of politics and the capital. For example, a rebellion occurs in which a prince stages a bloody coup to snatch power from the emperor. We hear about the mu*ders and the events that happen in the palace only through other people (such as the father) recounting the events afterwards. The focus is not on these events, but rather how the ripple effects of these events affect our MC and the people directly connected to her.

The MC herself is charming, funny, and clever. Her connections with a lot of characters (especially the grandmother) is so sincere and warm and significant that I don't care in the least that the romance and the ML don't put in an appearance until the later half of the story. In the meantime, the MC does have a few admirers milling around, and you can absolutely see why they'd fall for her. If I were a nobleman in this era, I'd want the MC as my wife too. And there are no black-belly or super cool flawless male leads here. Although the women are really the stars and focus of this slice of life story, the men are also well rounded and fleshed out humans. They are flawed, like all people are; products of their time who make mistakes and stumble over their own biases and preconceptions. The good ones learn, the bad ones repeat cycles; but it all makes for wonderful character development.

Highly highly recommended! <<less
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ghuiling rated it
July 9, 2019
Status: --
I- I've read the comments and the spoilers. And I've prepared myself for this. But GODDAMNIT

... more>>


I've already realized since beginning that there's no way she'll end up with that QH bcs their difference in status but I'm still heartbroken when it gets to the part where he marry the princess. AND I EXPECT DOCTOR BOY TO BE THE ML. I'VE APPROVED THIS PAIR. GRANNY ALSO APPROVED THIS. BUT WHERE DID THIS WILD GTY COME FROM


If you're not easily invested in pairing and you love realistic MC you'll love this. I do love minglan. And rather than giving her to the ML I'd rather she grow up old together within her family. This is the first time the main family doesn't fully hateful but not entirely innocent and I love their interaction with minglan. Especially grandma. <<less
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Jinang rated it
April 1, 2018
Status: Completed
Very realistic but not so much that it makes the reader lose their sense of wonder. You still get the sense that Minglan has some kind of cheat because she transmigrated, but only in that she's not going to die or be in very bad circumstances. But every character is realistic and not op. Characters aren't evil just for the sake of being evil, and neither are they jealous of the main character for the sake of being jealous.

When action happens, it happens, and malicious characters will often get what's... more>> coming to them, while good characters will receive good endings. It's cliche in that way, but it's written in a way that's believable.

One thing that separates this book from the rest of the genre can be summarized also from something the author said: "I've had a lot of readers ask me why I don't make Minglan attack her enemy's children and others who are defenseless. But you need to understand that in her previous life, Minglan has led a normal and happy life. She had a loving childhood with loving parents, and she grew up with good foundations and moral values. I'm sure that if any of you dear readers were in the same situation, you also wouldn't want to hurt someone who was innocent. I'm sure you are all good kids!" (of course there are lines from the book that basically say this point, too but I dont want to spoil anything)

Of course there are also problematic elements that are typical to this genre (being 20 is considered old and just the whole age thing), but on the whole this was a refreshing read. <<less
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Ancient Millenial
Ancient Millenial rated it
January 7, 2023
Status: c1
This is one of the only good books I've ever read.

I want to be clear: I've read thousands of books. Many webnovels, yes, but many many physical books as well. So many of them were ostensible 'classics' yet Minglan is the only heroine who I feel has reached into true literary merit.

Let's talk about men characters. In this story, there aren't any, besides perhaps the ML. Every other male entity is a mindless deterministic machine, a windup toy whose every movement is predicted and anticipated for well in advance by... more>> all the women in his life.

The tone of the story is so thoroughly set by the first chapter: an old woman trying to force her step-son to understand the cruel reality of life for women when his absent minded dalliances have inexorably led to one of his concubines being killed by the emergent chaos of the other women in his life.

Make no mistake - this man (Minglan's father) is a genius. He, by the real sweat of his brow, raised his family from obscurity, and through civil wars and crisis and the real crazed adventure of life, drags his backwoods, fallen family to the limelight until he himself is the grand vizier of all of imperial China.

All of that is irrelevant to Minglan's life. He is not a character, he is not a person. He is a monsoon, an unescapable phenomena. This is true for all men: the world of men is so alien to Minglan's own life that, despite the fact that so much crazy stuff is constantly happening and the men are really intelligently and actively responding to events, this is an aspect of life that Minglan as a woman has no access to, so to her it is the same as weather patterns, good or ill.

How about I start talking about Minglan? She is a modern women transmigrated into the body of the 5 year old daughter of a high Chinese nobleman. Her hopes and relations turned to dust, no one loves her. She does not talk for years, for she is sad, a sadness which swallows all thought. It is only because of the positive bullying of her eldest sister (herself only 11 or so) that she ever begins to talk or move again.

Eventually, the rich emotional maturity (she as an effective orphan) expresses, as well as her devastating temperament, wins over her step-grandmother, herself a woman only living out of a sort of formal momentum. These two women bond very thoroughly, which forms the emotional backbone as well as the heart of this novel.

There are several points in the novel where Minglan, as a modern woman, cannot persist in the shallow femininity of millenia past and risks everything, life and limb to achieve her goals. In this book, her actions at these times feel psychotic, valorous in an unbelievable way. It feels like the awakening of a person so thoroughly beaten down, igniting against all odds and despite all reason to accomplish some desperate, unthinkable thing.

The war of practicality versus the sentimental inner life (such as it is) is central to the choice of Minglan's husband. When Gu si ye cuts through all red tape and uses his privileged position to get an imperial marriage, there is this, textually reinforced, duality where this is bad because he is removing her choice of husband, yet it is good because he is the only man in China who has the perception to value her so highly he burns an imperial favor over this.

There is real characterization, and narrative arcs, and just a real sense of the emotional journey of characters living in a real world.

I'm not sure how cogent this is, but be aware I really like this book. <<less
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omgsijin rated it
December 5, 2020
Status: c1
1st 100 chapters was really good I enjoyed reading it but the next 200 chap all went downhill to heII it was disappointing I dropped it.

... more>>

there were 3 ML candidates in Minglan's life. Everytime she move to another candidate it gets W O R S E The first really loved Minglan but she turned him down bcs of status also had a d*ceased wife, the second had 1 alive infertile concubine she can easily deal with since her supposedtobe grandmother in law is a badass but d*amn 3rd




the 3rd one she ended up with is the W O R S T. It was so unexpected. It was a curveball from heII. She ended up with her bestfriend's playboy ex-fiancé whom she went out of her way to help her bestfriend get away with whom later on she calls U N C L E. On another perspective, he can't get the 1st girl so she b*nged the bestfriend. She was tricked to marrying the tr*ash after he pulled strings to sab*taged her engagement with 2nd. I skimmed and discovered The 3rd had kids, a LOT of concubines and outside residence mistresses and had the nerve to proclaim "love" on her???? She also got dragged to political fight and sht instead of living peacefully with the 2nd.


Highly recommend the 1st half and highly disregard the 2nd half. The author pulled a huge bullsht out their bum. It had a lot of potential but downgraded for the sake of exhausting drama. Should've put tragedy on the tags bcs the story went that route <<less
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scriptor rated it
December 22, 2016
Status: c12 part1
At least as of the chapters currently released:

*dying from diabetus and cannot be resuscitated*

(the beginning is a bit confusing -- to be fair, it's also confusing for our heroine -- but one of the more realistic interpretations of the whole time-travel schtick. It's definitely worth it if you stick with the story past the first couple chapters and things start to make more sense)

(I adore the sweet and caring relationship between Minglan and her grandma, it warms the soul~)
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November 11, 2022
Status: c354
Having seen the series and then reading the book, I don't feel adverse to the ML as many in the review section have. In fact, he deserves Minglan much more than any other ML in the novel including the doctor. The first one, he couldn't fight his family for Minglan and then was late. Even if she had married him, given how haughty his mother was, Minglan couldn't have been much happy in her married life as she was with Gu Tingye. Though it is true that her in-law's house... more>> was worse, at least her husband supported her fully. I don't think any of her previous love interests could have done so. The doctor guy was a wimp as was his mother; they couldn't shake off their relative in a definite way and wanted to have his cousin as a concubine. Though Gu Tingye had one concubine before, he had already gotten rid of her and her influence even before thinking about marrying Minglan. If you read the story well, you will see that as a young man, he was very naive, trusted quickly and believed easily. This is how his stepmother fooled him easily. But once he became aware, he was indeed a one-woman man.

The serial showed how ML started to fall in love with the FL much better than the book which mostly had Minglan as the main narrator. We see the story from her perspective. But the serial showed ML's life apart from Minglan as well as we see how he fell in love with her and won her. Yes, he was black-bellied and schemed to get her, but was devoted to her wholeheartedly, which was something Minglan always wanted. <<less
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IrisBay rated it
August 5, 2020
Status: --

I really do like the novel and the MC, especially the way she's thinking, even it was unbearable for me to continue to read it after her marriage, I did still continued reading it because of MC.

I was sad to that guy can't be married to MC because of status (picky mother of that guy), I do like the pair.

And I'm sad not married to suppose to be her fiance guy, he really did work out for the marriage to MC.

But why was she end up married to the Uncle ML that even she personally help a girl close to her, not be married that girl and Uncle ML, and the Uncle ML married that girl sister instead. For me, seriously that Uncle ML was disgusting, yes.... For me he was disgusting. Because MC was just an Uncle from the start.

  • 12-14 years gap. She married at the age of 15 and the Uncle was around 28 (one of his mistress was 26-27 yrs old),
  • he had taste alot of women (because since young he goes to a whorehouse, even he gave his brothers money to stay in whorehouse, there was a part of the novel that he got sick a old Mama said when youth or on his run away home, I wonder if it was HIV or AIDS. He suppose not to get sick easily because he had a strong body and his martial artist)
  • he also had 2 children in his one of his lover (a responsible man, even the mother of the children lied to you atleast be a father, the children are his choice.. Why choice, he can actually chose if he will f*ck a girl or what, he's old enough and aware that he can make a baby, if he wasn't he won't go to a whorehouse the novel said he was cunning and smart.. Or he really was a sperm brain man) He obviously like that actress, if not he wouldn't disobey his father and other people who care for him and plan a future of them, working and save money for the actress and the children.
  • He don't care about women. One of that was the made a trap that MC married to him, he knew that MC had a marriage agreement and both parties like each other.

Actually, I don't care if the ML change or not, if he love the MC or not, even he was trick by an actress, it his choice from the start. And he chose that path... And he can't change the fact that his disgusting....

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kiraikirei rated it
June 21, 2019
Status: c220
Honestly speaking, this is one of historical novel I'm rooting for.

The MC is a reasonable and realistic modern woman. In short, I think she's loveable.

Though the story is slow paced, I enjoy it very much. The characters growth is excellent and there's many loveable characters like MC's grandma, MC's siblings, and so on.

The romance gets very touching at the later part of the story, especially the times MC & ML have a serious talk about their feelings. I'm crying soooo hard when MC told ML her disappoinment (they got to talk after the grandma's poisoning accident) for ML's calm reactions at her first time of giving birth....

Actually, I'm not really against MC & ML's relationship, but I agree that MC deserve a much better partner to be her husband. I mean, the ML has concubines and he also has an outside mistress (though it seems he doesn't love them). He even has 2 children before marrying MC, for goodness sake! And he's shameless enough to trick MC to marry him (it's so hateful in a certain way, if you know what I mean). I just think it's a bit unfair for MC in many ways....

But overall, this is a good story and I highly recommend it.

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tofumofu rated it
March 22, 2018
Status: --
Its like the ancient china webnovel version of Little Women.

(but like with more poison and drama)

Its a really good read. Its not as stressfull as other transmigration novels and the tone feels laid back especially at the first half of the novel. Its really appealing.

I especially love the relationship between the granma and ming lan. Its heartwarming? Idk. But its nice to see some love. So used to seeing treacherous and licentious family members with no sense of familial love. This was a breath of fresh air I... more>> suppose??


+ points for the MC.

shes very human. <<less
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Dhetz rated it
February 16, 2020
Status: c224
I wish someone will update the Status in COO it says completed at ch220 which made me decide to read since the translation at the time was only short of 10 or so chapters. Alas, I got a great new favorite but am forced to wait for updates. Feels like a torture to me but I can't even go for Mtl because then it would lose the best value of this novel which is clever word play/dialogue.

The second reason I'm writing this not-review review is to give another side to... more>> the "rape" issue that bothers a lot of previous rewiers. I don't really hate reading about it as long as I enjoy the story but I feel that there's one circumstance that an FL being r*pe will ruin the story for me and that is when that FL has the temperament of Minglan. So I dreaded this extra chapter and even skipped reading it the first time but then my OCD made me look and after reading the whole thing I kept wondering if I read some thing different from the reviews.

I think the chapter is really sweet and funny. It did feel r*pey to me at all. It was just a coy Minglan pretending to hate it while secretly loving it and our ML seeing right through her act but enjoyed the play too much to expose her. Even after almost every around the FL got offended on her behalf at the misconcieved abuse, the FL's actions and words afterwards didn't show her disgust or unwillingness.

All in all the ML may not be the most perfect man but I think he's the perfect one for novel in line with the novel 's "realistic approach" and I quite like him. As grandma have said, it's better to have someone who racked their brain and exerted effort to marry you than the one who tried to make the FL do all the hard work herself for their marriage. <<less
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