The Child Emperor


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Three Emperors have died in quick succession. The prince whom nobody had taken notice of unexpectedly succeeds to the throne. He is quickly plunged into layers upon layers of danger. The Empress Dowager dislikes him, wishing to install a younger, more obedient Emperor. His half-brother dislikes him, accusing him of stealing the throne that is rightfully his. The palace attendants and servants dislike him, believing that he is not a true Emperor. The Child Emperor must save himself.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Reincarnated as an Emperor ~ Will the Emperor at Birth Survive? (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Kingdom Building in Ancient Times
  2. male protagonists
  3. Needles in the haystack
  4. Ancient Times
  5. CN Novel Novels (2022)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
04/15/24 Tuzhi Translations c145
04/14/24 Tuzhi Translations c144
04/08/24 Tuzhi Translations c143
04/07/24 Tuzhi Translations c142
04/01/24 Tuzhi Translations c141
03/31/24 Tuzhi Translations c140
03/25/24 Tuzhi Translations c139
03/24/24 Tuzhi Translations c138
03/18/24 Tuzhi Translations c137
03/17/24 Tuzhi Translations c136
03/11/24 Tuzhi Translations c135
03/10/24 Tuzhi Translations c134
03/04/24 Tuzhi Translations c133
03/03/24 Tuzhi Translations c132
02/26/24 Tuzhi Translations c131
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6 Reviews

Tuzhi Translations
Tuzhi Transl
Mar 24, 2023
Status: Completed
Hey all, this is the translator here. Thought I should finally submit a review of this story now that a number of chapters have been released. In short, this is a story that weaves complex political dynamics, palace power struggles, and the journey of a young and inexperienced MC thrown into a world of danger and deception. I remember being reminded of The Goblin Emperor by Sarah Monette (which I enjoyed) when I read this story, but I think this story provides a more challenging journey for the MC.

As stated... more>> in the synopsis, the MC is a prince, previously overlooked, who ascends to the throne after the sudden death of three Emperors. As the story unfolds, the MC grapples with the "fog of war", and both he and the reader have to decipher the intricate web of lies and deception in palace politics. The MC is a rational actor who thinks things through and comes up with plans to advance his own interests and goals. His journey is a difficult one, and his growth and development are the backbone of this story.

One of the most striking aspects of The Child Emperor is the portrayal of the machinery of imperial bureaucracy and the complexity of competing interests within the Imperial Court and Imperial Palace. No one in the story is willing to altruistically support the protagonist simply because he is the MC. Instead, he must navigate a treacherous landscape, forming alliances and outwitting his opponents to gain a semblance of agency. This aspect of the novel portrays a realistic and believable power struggle.

The alternative history setting, based loosely on ancient China's Han and Tang dynasties, adds depth to the novel by incorporating themes prevalent in the history of China. From young Emperors trying to break free from their regents, to the influence of powerful Empress Dowagers (think Wu Zetian and Cixi), and the impact of cults and law-breaking pugilists (think Yellow Turban Rebellion and wuxia novels), the novel encapsulates various aspects of ancient Chinese history. Additionally, the novel explores the tension between the Emperor and his officials, corruption and the plodding weight of imperial bureaucracy, as well as the constant threat of barbarian invasions from groups like the Xiongnu. This blend of history and fiction allows the author to create a unique and engaging world.

The story also avoids certain tropes common in webnovels. There is no "harem" in the pop-culture sense, and without revealing spoilers, I would say Emperors of ancient China were generally expected to have harems. There is some mild romance, but the focus remains on political intrigue. Also, although the novel includes martial arts like those found in wuxia novels, there is no cultivation which results in superhuman levels of power.

So, if you're looking for political intrigue and a touch of ancient Chinese history, you might like this one! <<less
13 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Nov 03, 2022
Status: c20
So I am first to write a review 😁

The story started with the death of the emperor of the Great Chu who had reigned for 41 years. It was the end of the so-called "golden age".

Then, his son, the crown prince, ascended the throne to replace his father. The new emperor then began his efforts to reorganize the entire realm which - though apparently very prosperous - was in fact chaotic.

... more>> Unfortunately, it wasn't long before he sat on the dragon seat, in just 3 years, he died.

His successor was his 15-year-old eldest son. However, for some reason this family is somewhat very unlucky. It was as if the heavens were not pleased with them. This young emperor followed his father into the afterlife in just a matter of days!

Three generations of emperors. Less than 4 years...

Five Trusted Ministers tried their best to stabilize the court. The usually disunity court began to take one step together to overthrow 3 eunuchs who were seen as threats. They wanted to establish one of the sons of the deceased young emperor to be the next emperor.

However, the eunuchs weren't their only threat. The bigger trouble they must faced was the Empress Dowager.

Both factions - the court and the Empress Dowager- for the sake of their interests, had already chosen their own emperor candidate. Each raced against time, to ensure that they could get ahead of the opponent...

Later, everything was just like written in the synopsis. The one who became the final winner was the prince whom nobody had taken notice of... Heaven truly played with people.

This story is very well written, in my opinion. But not exactly light reading material for some readers. I only read 25 chapters, so I don't know whether there is romance here. So if you are not too fond of romance but prefer imperial palace intrigues instead, I guess you will like this one!

Highly recommended. <<less
9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Dec 25, 2023
Status: Completed
One hundred percent recommended, in a novel that catches you with the intrigues and how the MC has to overcome.

I also liked how MC grows and how he goes from being an innocent child to a ruthless and kind entrepreneur, as well as we readers have to unravel the conspiracy and intrigue that occurs in MC's life.

It is a great novel that keeps me going, although they left the ending in mind for the future.

one of the best imperial court novels I have ever read
3 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Apr 08, 2023
Status: c66
Since it's been a year since Tuzhi started translating this work it's a better time than ever to give a review of this wonderful novel. For those who have read Death Sutra/Death scripture, this is written by the same author. But this is more polished and refined and with a heavy interest in politics. For those interested in the writing itself, the novel is incredibly grounded. This means that the characters and the world are alive and have their own intentions that cascade with our MC (a child emperor).


  • very grounded/realistic progression
  • great worldbuilding and story building
  • memorable side characters
  • intriguing plot
  • unexpected twists
  • great translation so far
  • no cliches
  • rootable mc

  • starts off slow
  • MC takes time to be likeable
  • the plot sometimes can feel as though it's not progressing
  • historical context is a mesh of different time periods (personally I see this as a pro)
All in all, reading a child emperor has been a great experience and I recommend to read it.
3 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Feb 10, 2024
Status: c3
So far, 5 stars! I'm on chapter 78, so good! Thankyou so much to the translator, so so much. You are so kind and dedicated 😭

I like that the protagonist is not OP, and there's somewhat not a good guy, bad guy situation. Very realistic. My favourite (so far) is Yang Feng of course.
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Oct 24, 2023
Status: c12
I bet 90% of the people reading this novel quit by chapter 5 because of the pacing. It's glacial. Seriously. And the main character is way too realistic. 99% of the novels in this genre portrays badass MCs who blasts through enemies and crushes all opponents boldly.

This one on the other hand shows a very realistic MC who ... more>>

Misses his mother and home and wants to go back. But he realizes he can't. He doesn't dare speak up much. Which is wise. He doesn't dare offend the extremely powerful factions. He keeps trusting and speaking with the guy who repeatedly betrays him, although in return he gets information from him.


Consequently, (at least till the chapter I have read so far), this novel becomes a fabulous piece of literature but not at all relatable. In other words, this is a very heavy and serious read rather than a light read. If that's something you are looking for, then this is it.

Translation quality is very good. And characters and world building are really well fleshed out. Being a casual reader myself, I cannot rate this in good faith. Try it for yourself. It will either be your cup of tea or it wouldn't. But the time invested wouldn't be wasted in either case. <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
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