Qiang Jin Jiu


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The six prefectures of Zhongbo were offered to foreign enemies on a silver platter, and Shen Zechuan was taken into custody in the capital, reduced to *a drowning dog loathed and condemned by all. Xiao Chiye followed the scent of the furor and made his way over. But instead of setting others on him, he kicked Shen Zechuan with his very own leg, rendering the latter an invalid. Who would expect this invalid to turn around and bite him in a counterattack until he was all drenched in blood? That was the start of an epic feud between both men who tore at each other every time they come face-to-face with one another.

“Fate wants to bind me here for life, but this is not the path I choose. The yellow dust submerged my brothers deep under. I have no wish to bow in submission to an illusory fate. The imperial edict can’t save my troops, and the imperial court can’t fill the stomachs of my mounts. I’m no longer willing to lay down my life for this purpose. I want to surmount that mountain. I am going to fight for myself.”

Note: a drowning dog is someone who is down and out, having lost favor or power.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Qiang Jin Jiu
Related Series
Sha Po Lang (6)
Golden Stage (6)
Nan Chan (4)
The Husky and His White Cat Shizun (3)
Yu Wu (2)
Jun You Ji Fou (2)
Recommendation Lists
  1. My Favorite BL Novels
  2. Possessive Gongs
  4. Non-Fantasy Historical Etc To Read
  5. Quality Reading

Latest Release

Date Group Release
05/06/21 Lianyin c125
05/03/21 Lianyin c124
04/30/21 Lianyin c123
04/27/21 Lianyin c122
04/24/21 Lianyin c121
04/21/21 Lianyin c120
04/18/21 Lianyin c119
04/15/21 Lianyin c118
04/12/21 Lianyin c117
04/09/21 Lianyin c116
04/06/21 Lianyin c115
04/01/21 Lianyin c114
03/31/21 Lianyin c113
03/28/21 Lianyin c112
03/21/21 Lianyin c110
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17 Reviews sorted by

New fiffia rated it
May 4, 2021
Status: c105
Okay, soo.. I've read it two times so far. During the first time, I had no idea what's going on and just rushed through only stopping for a while on the CP scenes. But I've missed so much.

In the second read, I paid a lot of attention to the names, cases, cities, and everything and it was literally so worth it. The politics are really well written, but to enjoy it you have to pay attention to the plot first and well... have some interest in this topic. Also omg...... more>> the descriptions are so nice. Especially the nature ones.

As for the CP- I really liked them both. Their interactions are so funny and satisfying. I really liked how amongst the power struggles happening between them, you could still see that they are both still young. Their relationship might seem a lil toxic to some people at first but I honestly loved it especially after they both finally realized they're in love and supported each other.

Oh, also, the translation is honestly perfect and is progressing so fast.

I'm not even halfway through and I'm waiting for the translation to be completed, but I just wanted to say that it's really worth reading :) <<less
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New jaeran26 rated it
April 28, 2021
Status: c122
Amazing!! I have been waiting for a story like this. Why is this novel not more famous?

Favourite BL novel so far. Imperial China, political intrigue, military themes, multifaceted characters and BL romance!

Plot, plot, and more plot. Never a boring moment. Seamless transition from plot to plot. Unpredictable.

Intelligent, strong, cunning and very grey main characters. Very much a power couple.

Good writing and excellent translations.
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Lianyin rated it
September 24, 2020
Status: Completed
QJJ is *NOT* like 2HA, enuff said.

◈ QJJ is POLITIC-HEAVY & POLITIC-INTENSE. That means lots of backstabbing, strategizing, plotting, scheming, deception, betrayals, and stuff like battle deaths. IT'S NOT ALL FLUFF AND SUGAR. If this isn't your cup of tea, just save yourself the headache and don't read it.

◈ If the characters or world in QJJ confuse you, check the characters and places glossaries on the translation site.

... more>> ◈ By enemies-to-lovers, it literally means enemies.

◈ No matter what happens, it's HAPPY ENDING (HE) for the main couple. 1v1 + HE, HE, HE. Important things need to be said three times.

◈ Things aren't what they seem they are, especially when it comes to Tang Jiuqing's works. Keep an open mind until the very end.

◈ Xiao Chiye is meant to be a jerk at the start. He's also hornee. Just watch out for his character development. But he will still be the same old hornee.

◈ Shen Zechuan is meant to be UNREADABLE. Can't understand him or figure out what he's thinking? That's the way he's meant to be. Dude is one motherducking strategist (or schemer, whichever you prefer). Don't look at his actions at face value.

My Review:

I was hooked the very moment Shen Zechuan said "I don't like his shoes." Shen Zechuan is bae. Shen Zechuan alone is worth five ★★★★★ <<less
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yuukine rated it
June 23, 2020
Status: c34
Final rating: 4.25/5

"I am but an insignificant nobody." Shen Zechuan said softly, "Even if I didn't show up, you will still live."

"Exactly what, " Xiao Chiye's inebriation had worn off. He asked, "are you up to?"

"Repaying a debt of gratitude." The brim of Shen Zechuan's umbrella sheltered Xiao Chiye—This was how close he was to the latter. "Repaying all of you for your mercy in not killing me."

It starts with pain. Shen Zechuan is the last descendant of Shen Wei the traitor. The way it goes, because of Shen Wei's apparent betrayal, Shen Zechuan (Lanzhou) is now also implicated in his "rebellion" and forced to bear the very unpleasant consequences: torture, maltreatment, threats and death sentence hanging over his head.

Despite barely staying alive, and hanging by a thread, he finds the will to live when his old shifu and adoptive father Ji Gang finds him and doesn't blame him for the death of his own Ji family. But Xiao clan, on the other hand, also despises Shen clan and Xiao Chiye, the second young master, decides to kill Shen Lanzhou... But was unsuccessful. With the help of Empress Dowager who wanted to use him and therefore delaying his execution, he manages to survive for another five years, to the current point of time.

Shen Zechuan is thus dragged into the world of politics, of treacheries, of rebellions and turbulent ruling era, he wishes to live, while Xiao Chiye, who was free to soar, is now confined in Qudu and unable to return to Libei, where he belongs.

"I seek to live. You seek to die. The Xiao Clan once had me trapped, and now the Li Clan does the same to you. Isn't the ways of this world strange? The bird in the cage longs for its former woods, while the fish in the pond misses the deep. Your lot in life has been laid bare from start to end. If you can't go back, then you are nothing but a loser with lofty aspirations sans actions. The most regrettable thing in this world is to train a wolf into a dog. How long can your fangs remain sharp in Qudu?"

The two quickly realize that they are both trapped, with their wings clipped, and that maybe their fates are intervened and connected... as they had been from the start.

This book has almost 300 chapters and is quite long. I can only write this much, but from what I have read, it's amazing book with very good politic system, schemes and catches. The translation is superb, as expected of Lianyin, and the story flows smoothly, although sometimes needs more concentration in order to focus.


Main characters: very interesting, intriguing, well developed. 4.5/5. Will probably love them even more in the future.

Side characters: intriguing, but so far I am not really invested in them, so 3/5.

Story: linear and clear, but court drama sometimes ends up being complicated and therefore requires complete concentration and attention.

Humor and angst: If it doesn't make you cry, you surely have heart of stone. There's no much focus on comedy, after all this is mostly serious story. 5/5
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biiru rated it
March 7, 2020
Status: c89
So far the story is engaging. I became interested with this novel because of some pretty fanarts on twitter. Most people gave great reviews to this novel, too.

The translation is very good. It also has one of my favorite tropes: enemies to lovers.
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AneeChan rated it
February 19, 2021
Status: c75

Here's the reason why:

Priorities first, as I reckon most of ya'll are here for one and one thing only and that's; The BL.

Their relationship is seriously one that you'd hardly come across in a thousand books as it's absolutely not your typical BL relationship. If you're here looking... more>> for a healthy, consensual and fluffy cotton candy of a relationship Or an angsty yet non-toxic, slowburn - please see yourself out. I repeat, PLEASE SEE YOURSELF OUT.

These are people who owe eachother blood and life and naturally their relationship was one doomed by the fates. Sure enough it's the enemies to lovers trope; But enemies here is definitely not the 'Don't-look-at-my-boner-when-we-fight ' kinda enemies BUT enemies driven by mutual loathing and inexplicable blood thirst. Like animals snarling and tearing eachother, cornering eachother and finding comfort in the blood bath they created themselves- And that's not cute. Heck, their 'love'is just so distorted that I'm not even sure we can call it love anymore.

○Relationship dynamic- Realistic. Unconventional. As any sensible person would not go around professing love towards a guy who's answerable to the grave of more than a thousand clansmen and how any intelligent person would not admire the d*ck of a guy who hates you- These characters, I'm tempted to call people, are true to their situations. No spoilers but the development they experienced from going to each others throats and subsequently their pants was so agonizing but so worth it. It's hilarious how Xiao Chiye (Gong/seme) kept telling himself "He's bad news he's bad news" but at the same tym be like "Damn wish I had that candy". It's an endless game of push and pull where ultimately both end up losing and falling. Oh, and sexual tension? It's a sea of it in this book :)

As a combo they're a bomb and as individuals they are even more of a treat.


》Shou- He's just so well developed and layered omigodd: He's bright like the fire in your hearth and still like the calm waters but the moment you deflect your eyes- He kills. When people tell unpredictable: This bi*ch is the deal. He's so unpredictable that the ML doesn't know wtf he's thinking, he's so sly that the characters don't know wtf he's doing and he's so unreadable that the reader actually doesn't know wtf he's upto. A mysterious guy who hates anything bitter (especially tea) and carries a pompous folding fan to con b*tches - Is really my type. Besides his descriptions are just so salivating that I wanna transmigrare into the book to see him. He's THAT FKING BEAUTIFUL. Also he's mastered the artof nonchalantly roasting people and I ROFLed pretty bad:D

》Gong: The carefree, oblivious seme who's got nothing better at life than to whore, gamble or exist around until Shou comes and he falls so mad in love that he'd bring the fking sky down for him? Not here. Seemingly carefree and seemingly airheaded and all that's Seemingly because he's made of beast material. He strikes when you least expect much like the shou and he's much morethan what the opening calls him out as. Unlike cardboard semes who got no life beyond the love interest He actually has a goal, motive and personal interest behind his every action. Additionally he's a total snack to the eyeand is constantly horny.

Also sidecharacter-- Do I even need to spell it out? Go read it :)

Lastly the,


The plot is obviously regarding political machinations and imperial drama that's absolutely interesting once it picks up the pace. Give it sometime-Around the 20th chapter if you're not hooked then pretty sure this is not your thing. But I promise for people like me who thrive on the myriad mind games of betrayal, scheming and heartless manipulation including sudden military assassinations and mutiny- Fear no one. YOU'D LOVE IT. Because it's not a one man show with a who dunnit- One loop combines another loops to an extent where the end of one arc would instead lead to hundred more than before. Thus not boring definitely, not at all. Because in this massive chessboard the one last move of our protagonists- it's just so well crafted that nobody knows what's the endgame.

Within a 100 chapters and so MUCH has happened. I don't even know wtf can even actually remain by 300 chapters. But no worries. It'sa HAPPY ENDINGGGG for the main couple it seems. Wallaaa

Onto the deep stuff. The most crucial theme of the whole story summed up in one word would be FREEDOM. It's a constant battle for freedom from confinement, freedom from setbacks and then there's freedom for authority, power and so forth. It's not an easy read you can read by as there's a kot you gotta concentrate and digest. But of course, it's this complexity of the story anf characters that makes it interesting.

One thing that absolutely sets this book apart from the rest is how true to its nature the author created it. She doesn't shy away from dubcon or portraying toxic relationships and in carving characters with selfish motives as that is indeed the nature of human beings. Nobody's a happy go lucky bulldog or a tragic hero- They are as despicable and lovable as the people around you are. There is also no fixed manual or direction in which the plot flows- Some chapters are just pure agony, some hot and action packed whereas others are tempered with mutiple backstory prose- Basically the perfect balance with a consistent ambience. When it depicts romance it does in the most brutal, searing way possible and when it depicts strategies it does so in the most downright inhumane way possible.

This story is SO RAW, INTENSE and EXHILARATING that it's unforgettable regardless of whether it's likeable or unlikable.

For a strange toad like me who's a sucker for these love-hate relationships it's GODDAMN FIVE STARSSSSS. HELL I'D GIVE THE WHOLE GALAXY IF I CAN. UTTER PERFECTION. ☆☆☆☆☆ <<less
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rosiekafe123 rated it
June 29, 2020
Status: --
This one is a masterpiece!!

Rated 5/5 This novel climbed top 3 best novel I've ever read in novelupdates. QJJ is extremely well researched. There's a lot of focus on strategy, heavy politic matters and wars, and in the middle of that, bittersweet romance between MC and ML. I LOVE XIAO ER GONG ZI! All of the side characters are great, the antagonists have complex motivations and the story and drama are super well done and compelling.
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schipmate rated it
October 27, 2020
Status: c60
This story is so good, heavy political plots, interesting characters and side characters. I find myself consulting the character page regularly to figure out alliances and other relationships.

Both the MC and ML are extremely well written with flaws and desires, nobody is perfect in this story. The romance is subtle but somehow scalding hot and passionate.

Lastly, the translation is so very good, the editing is clean, the notes are all well researched, the character page is so necessary and well done.
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Psyche000804 rated it
May 15, 2020
Status: c120
The translation is so good!

the story itself is quite heavy-plot. And there will be a lot of Chinese names and positions u need to memorize but the tl site has their dictionary so don’t worry!

if u don’t like politics, u may not like this novel.

then interaction between the couple was sweet, I like to see how they fall in love with each other from enemies and believe and protect each other even the world is just a turmoil.
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seika27 rated it
June 29, 2020
Status: c40
I am really enjoying the novel, the political plot is easy to read and entertaining it does not bore me at all, and the main characters have good chemistry, their personalities fit well, I like them both, I am looking forward to seeing how their relationship will develop. In conclusion good story
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June 22, 2020
Status: c30
The vocabulary, politics, and setting are very rich. The author uses a ton of idioms and references, so it is actually a slow read for the less literary of cn readers. A cn friend warned me about it and refused to elaborate, and I think I understand why, now.

The translation is high quality, informative, and honestly, a relief to have. Kudos to the translator! You did a good job, although some of the names chosen gave me a little whiplash :D

"Fate wants to bind me here for life, but this is not the path I choose. The yellow dust submerged my brothers deep under. I have no wish to bow in submission to an illusory fate. The imperial edict couldn't save my troops, and the imperial court couldn't fill the stomachs of my mounts. I'm no longer willing to lay down my life for this purpose. I want to overturn that mountain. I am going to fight for myself."

... more>> The philosophy and content can be rather heavy sometimes, which is why I suspect some readers left low ratings and no reviews. In actuality, this is an excellent piece (so far) heralding survival, growth, and the will to fight.

These are the points which draw the CP together— and make them terrifyingly formidable, alone or together.


TJQ's handling of the material makes me think nan chan will also be a fascinating book; the summary sounds like it could be eh, but with my current understanding of the writer, it is probably great <<less
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tiredtiredtired rated it
February 20, 2021
Status: c100
I am in complete and utter awe of how one is able to create such a masterpiece.

Qiang Jin Jiu is an amazing story filled with twists, a complex plot filled with even more complex characters, with several layers to them.

5/5 This story deserves more recognition and love, and the translators and editors who managed to translate such a complex story filled with so many idioms and historical context deserves the world, Thank you so much lianyin for doing such an amazing job.
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pHantomRJ rated it
March 8, 2021
Status: c23
I just couldn't stop myself to write. First of all, I love the writer, I've read the novel "Nan Chan" which is written by the same author "Qiang Jin Jiu"! Second, translation is so satisfactory. Thank you translator I can't thank you enough.

I am bad at reviews so I will keep this short, I am at the 23rd chapter and it's making my heart da-dam, da-dam!

The political schemes and conspiracy are full at the point. There are no stretching feelings like how chapters are long enough and nothing is... more>> going on type! I am reading it and I know every chapter will give you some to look forward to.

I can only say this for now. ML Xiao Chiye and MC Shen Zechuan. I don't KNOW what is going to happen to them they are still enemies and stabbing each other whenever they are face to face and I love to read their interactions a lot, I love 'love and hate' kinda vibes. Everyone's imagination differs so don't listen to this point of mine.

But please, give it a try it's worth it.

Just one thing, translators please update it every day!!! <<less
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engineer001 rated it
February 21, 2021
Status: --
Wow. The plot is very extensive. Although there is quite a bit of romance, there is a LOT of plot. I love that.

This is the first danmei novel that I've read where I can believe every single character is the star in their own narrative. Some authors create dramatic backstories (tragedies etc) for supporting characters and villains to seem like everyone has depth, some give supporting characters more time/focus and their share various aspects about their day to day so they seem more real. But either way, it's either contrived,... more>> unbelievable or boring.

There are a lot of romance novels where power is involved, be it supernatural powers or political/military powers or wealth as power etc. None of it is realistic because it's all romanticized. QJJ is the first danmei novel I have ever read where it feels real. When power is involved at the top, no one can be 100% altruistic and kind, it's a cutthroat and cruel world.

Not a single character is good and pure.

Not a single character is evil.

The novel is about fate. Everyone is born into their own unique set of circumstances, but they're all just people with different ambitions in life. Its ambition of all sizes, as small as someone giving up on their old dreams and just hoping to survive, or as large as conquering everything. In the end, all the characters are merely human. They're at times noble, kind and good. But they also make terrible, cruel, s*upid decisions other times.

"时也,命也,运也,非吾所能也" Be it timing, fate or luck, none of it can be controlled by someone like me. (Chapter 282, but quoted from 吕蒙正格言)

Some people are born into the luckiest situations and throw it all away. Some people plot and scheme only to fail, or succeed for a time. Good people commit treason for what they believe are honourable reasons - but is treason truly ever honourable? They all draw their own lines differently. It's super worth reading!

I love the depiction of women in this novel too. Most women have no way out in life and they meet bad ends. But you have some strong women characters and they're each strong in their own way.

The Empress Dowager who's the most successful woman, so clever, schemey and great at reading situations (

although she was murdered in the end, she spent decades holding on to power - and she achieved the highest "accepted" title for a woman in China.

), she depicts the kind of woman who plays by the rules of society to reach the pinnacle.

The only female general ever who fights against order and the rules of inheritance to get to where she is. And she does this because it's what she likes. Her determination and skill also led to her becoming the unofficial head of the clan. Her ambition later on in life is to be remembered by generations after for her achievements, and not to be noted only as her father's daughter.

The female Emperor born of the former Emperor and his daughter in law (although related by blood, it's incest), defies her birth circumstances to become the a fairly wise ruler for a time, but still fails in the end, because you cannot escape fate. In the end, goes crazy before ending herself.

The noble born 3rd Missy, taught by the Emperor Dowager and is as clever as the Empress Dowager. But lacks the same ambition and greed, so she gets her own happy ending. But she is as ruthless when she puts her mind to it.

The noble born Princess Zhuoyue, who is the only one in her generation who is remotely capable. But she understands the limitations to her birth and never tries or wants to do more. Happy enough with what she has, in the end, when the nobles get into trouble and her husband is among the first to be executed. It's her idea that saves her father and brother from execution. Even after going bankrupt, she quietly and calmly picks herself up and sells embroidery she makes, and writes for others to earn money.

Be careful if you are easily triggered though. QJJ doesn't shy away from reality or try to be PC. There is a very horrifying chapter of animal cruelty which is related to the humiliation of a character (power play) that I couldn't read too closely because it was so disgusting. There is also human trafficking, prostitution, a lot of mentioned r*pe (not of lead characters), pedophilia, torture by the lead character (

MC tortures someone by skinning them, and leaving him alive. Poor guy killed himself out of pain - this seems kind of vague in the English translation I read but this is elaborated in later chapters I read in Chinese

), 1 brief mention of cannibalism (due to starvation).

I have to finish this by saying this is one of the best translators I've read so far. Great work. Historical Chinese novels are probably the most difficult translate if I have to be honest, especially when it comes to titles and how people are addressed. This translator has done a fantastic job. <<less
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anotherworld20 rated it
March 19, 2021
Status: Completed
The writing style of the author is very different,
The scene transitions are not stiff and very beautifully smooth...

for example ch 150 on fallen leaves then the scene changed, ch 184 the raindrops falling into the water, the fish jumped and the scene changed, really beautiful and I was amazed many times...

This is the first time I read a novel with a beautiful and unique transition, I feel like watching a drama instead of reading a novel, the author is unique and stands out in this technique.

if you think... more>> you know the end, you're wrong... the author will make you think that everything is predictable, but it turns out we are blind this whole time.
This story makes you understand that there are not 100% good or bad people, everyone are just trying to survive. All characters have their own reasons, born in a war era makes them do whatever it takes.

The scene when Li Jianting hits the drums and sing poetry is very beautifully sad, every verse will show the events of each character...


After reading this novel I am TIRED,
my brain is squeezed, I cry for Yuan Zuo and Qiao Tian Ya....

Yin Chang character made an impression on my heart, many of his words touched me, such as

Good hunters will not easily reveal their purpose, they are patient, and their weaknesses are a disguise to lure the enemy.

The author made me understand the feelings of all the characters, why they make mistakes... until I can't blame Hashen, Amur, Doerlan and Bayin I still love them There is no right or wrong during the war years, and each has its own beliefs! They are also the heroes of their nation! <<less
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XYJ rated it
February 28, 2021
Status: Completed
I love this story so so so much.

The plot, the conflicts, the schemes, it's all a complex thing driven by the greed and interests of multiple groups that affect each other in unpredictable ways. It feels so real, the chaos and unpredictability, the way things rapidly spiral out of control, both for the main characters, the side characters, and the antagonists.

And the characters all feel 3D, multifaceted, unique, and distinct from each other. I love that most of them have internal struggles to deal with. And also, the main characters,... more>> especially, make me think of the saying "one man's hero is another man's traitor." <<less
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mariaphoebe rated it
December 15, 2020
Status: 77
Up to now it's great. Since it's too early in the story, I will refrain from reviewing until I read the whole thing. The translation work is top noch though, a huge thank you to the Lianyin team!
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