The Fourteenth Year of Chenghua


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In the fourteenth year of Chenghua, the imperial harem had one Consort Wan, just as the Western Depot had one Chief Eunuch named Wang Zhi. Crown Prince Zhu Youcheng was barely eight years old, and it was uncertain whether he could grow to adulthood without a hitch.

The Emperor was mediocre, and feckless. Eunuchs deceived those above them and kept those below them in the dark. Court officials patched up leaks left and right. Those doing evil were arrogantly savaging, and those doing good were helplessly sighing.

With the ways of the world like this, how could the ways of the Heavens possibly be just?

That year, Tang Fan transferred into Shuntian Prefecture from Hanlin Academy, taking up a post as a sixth-rank Judge.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Chenghua Shisi Nian
Năm Thành Hóa Thứ
Sleuth of the Ming Dynasty
성화 14년
Related Series
Peerless (11)
Thousand Autumns (5)
Golden Stage (5)
Those Years In Quest Of Honour Mine (4)
Sha Po Lang (4)
The Founder of Diabolism (3)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Actually Worth Your Time
  2. Goated/Notable BL Novels
  3. Read *** or **** 2
  4. danmei
  5. Danmei

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/14/22 Chichi extra 16-18
01/13/22 Chichi extra 13-15
01/10/22 Chichi extra 10-12
01/07/22 Chichi extra 7-9
01/05/22 Chichi extra 5-6
01/04/22 Chichi extra 3-4
01/02/22 Chichi extra 1-2
12/28/21 Chichi c150
12/27/21 Chichi c149
12/27/21 Chichi c148
12/26/21 Chichi c147
12/25/21 Chichi c146
12/23/21 Chichi c145
12/19/21 Chichi c144
12/18/21 Chichi c143
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42 Reviews sorted by

New HiddenHermit rated it
May 4, 2024
Status: Completed
Fun to read in serious way. MC, Tang Fan, is a genius foodie whose first love might be delicious food. ML, Sui Zhou, is cold, strong, and happens to cook excellently. ML falls in love first and romances MC via his stomach. 😆 The romance is super slow and not blatant even after they are together. The conspiracy plot is what makes this novel interesting and MC's personality adds to the fun.

In summary, a recommended read with a happy ending.


A secret organization called the White Lotus Society has been dormant for some years but had started to pop up again to cause trouble. MC unknowingly interferes with their plots and he quickly rises up in the ranks.

As the story progresses, hidden society spies are uncovered and dealt with in far away places and even within the inner palace. With MC's and ML's support, the crown prince successfully ascends to the throne.

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Lycol rated it
April 26, 2020
Status: c169
I've just finished reading the novel. Tang Fan, Sui Zhou they both great characters that is made for each other. Their love for each other is simple and unlimited. What I liked the most is the novel doesn't only focus on them. There are many plots and actions. Also the author did good job explaining things without being annoying. Lastly, this novel is good example of healthy relationship and somehow realistic love. I recommend this for people just started reading this kind of novel (bl). No heavy smut, just light... more>> kisses and heart-fluttering moments. For those heavy smut lovers, maybe this isn't for you if you're looking for s**. So good luck, welcome to "The fourteenth year of Chenghua". <<less
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ssangss rated it
July 23, 2021
Status: c169
I'd first like to say that I am a fan of the drama and since starting the drama last year, I have rewatched it a number of times. While not the same as the novel, I think it's great in its own right. Moving on to the novel, I really commend Meng Xishi for writing something that isn't essentially just bad wattpad fanfiction levels of shallow nothingness. This is a fully fleshed out novel with mystery and suspense and character driven plots and development. I've read a lot of danmei... more>> since officially starting out with MDZS and I have to say that this is clearly a superior piece of work. I realize the purpose of danmei as a genre isn't to be great literature, it's derivative of fujoshi culture so I get why people criticize stories like this more because it's not meant to peddle bad yaoi as its main purpose. If I wanted to read a bad portrayal of gay relationships, I can do that in many other places. The appeal of danmei for me is the Chinese culture that is saturated in works like this.

So, overall, if you care about ANYTHING in fiction other than two men in top/bottom roles having intimate relations, then this is a novel for you. You witness character growth, aging, evil thwarted and good prevailing, all the things of a great story, in particular the makings of a great hero's journey narrative! It's all really good and I just can't wait to reread this with a translation that I find pleasing to read, of which, for me is only Nhi's translation and until I get that back, I won't be satisfied.

Nothing against the efforts of ChiChi and Nottegram but I definitely have a preference for keeping pinyin of titles and certain forms of address like "gongzi" for example. Reading English translations of those titles is quite off-putting. I can take Official or Lord as a translation for "daren" but at the same time, what's wrong with leaving it as "daren?" There's just something about retaining things from the original Chinese that I think is better than going above and beyond to make it palatable to Western, English speaking readers. But I digress! Back to the story!

Of course I love the main cast, Tang Fan the main character, Sui Zhou his love interest. (Actually Sui Zhou from the drama is one of my favorite characters of all time and I'm frankly obsessed with him as a character. I really enjoy the novel version as well but appreciate the drama giving him just as much focus as Tang Fan) I have to say the minor characters are good too! For once I don't feel like the side characters just exist to be cannon fodder and are there to get in the way of the main romance. Qian San'er, Lu Lingxi. They both had personalities! I loved Tang Yu, Xiao Wu, so many others! They actually had motives and personality this is such a rare thing in danmei works. I'm a lifelong fan of Mengxishi because of this now. Even though this has, so far, been the only work I've read from her. She might even bump Priest down off the first place for my favorite author! Haha!

Long story short, this is a great work worthy of as much fame as some other danmei staples such as the works of MXTX and Meatbun. <<less
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Elurrana rated it
May 11, 2020
Status: c169
I really enjoyed "The Sleuth Of The Ming Dynasty" So of course, I decided to look for the novel. Since it was not finished, I forced myself to start reading the poorly translated one on MTL novel, but I was very thankful to the translator regardless. It was still understandable. I would love to thank the translators who are translating it again. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart! I will enjoy it even more when I reread this in the future!

Now, I was actually a bit... more>> surprised when I read the novel, because Tang Fan's character was portrayed differently in the series, but that did not stop me from reading, as his character was still interesting to me.

I was also planning to drop this novel temporarily on chapter 60, because there was barley any BL but I gave up on that idea because of chapter 61. It made me realize how lucky I am that I decided to read one more chapter before dropping it. It reminded me of that one picture where it shows two men that are mining for diamonds but one of them gave up too soon, and it would show the diamond was only a few mining away. The other man mined till he found it and did not give up. I felt as accomplished as that man did. I'm so silly but that chapter made me fangirl a bit more than usual. :'D

All in all, I recommend this because it is not as boring as one would think, the couple still showed some cute gestures towards each other in the early chapters. It was interesting to read about the cases and them trying to solve it. It would even make the readers think that they can tell what's going to happen in the future, but the results are totally unexpected.

In conclusion, I personally enjoyed reading it and I hope that goes for you too as well. ;) <<less
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Ratiboise rated it
March 16, 2021
Status: c72
Currently reading Chichi's wonderful translation. You can feel there's a real wish to translate and not just decipher the chinese original, the translator makes (sometimes bold) linguistic choices to create a smooth and elegant text. And it's an absolute joy to read.

Like many people, I've come to the novel from the tv drama, which I had found entertaining, but also slightly schizophrenic, downright confusing, mostly childish and sometimes really irritating... So I was extremely surprised when I realised that the plot of the book was clear and interesting, the mysteries... more>> engaging and intriguing, and the characters reasonable and believable...

The core of the book (from what I can tell after 3 completed cases) is the human drama in mystery stories with a delightful cast characters. The romance plot is hinted at early but slow to start because those characters don't transform into possessive monsters at first sight (shocking!).

This is not just a good BL book, but simply a good book. <<less
17 Likes · Like Permalink | Report rated it
May 9, 2020
Status: c6
Oh boy - I'm really glad there's a new translator because I was put off by how difficult to understand the original essentially-MTL translation was. No shade to the previous translators, but the new one is putting a lot of effort into making the language natural and explaining the copious footnotes. The new version is even nicely formatted into a google doc! Thank you very much, Nie!

So far, this is really promising! Please ignore the summary on novelupdates which personally gave me zero clue on what this novel was actually... more>> about. MC seems to be the cunning but friendly type and the ML is stone-faced, general type. I believe the novel is about MC solving crimes like a detective. There's a lot of political/historical info that will make your head spin, tbh I'm skimming through those parts, and it doesn't seem like too much is lost. <<less
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October 10, 2020
Status: c169
I'm so glad to have found this novel and stuck through it until the end. It's a long read, and if you start reading this novel looking for heavy romance and smut, you'd be sorely disappointed. The romance between Tang Fan and Sui Zhou in this novel is a slow, natural progression of love and you feel the connection they have for each other. They're love for each other stems from unwavering trust and the mutual understanding that you don't need words to express your love.

For those looking for romance,... more>> the real romance doesn't start until Chapter 60 but it's worth it in the end.

The cases were very interesting and keeps you guessing until the end. The authors writing style also makes the reader not too bored with the historical information.

For those who watched the drama first and are now coming to read this novel, this novel is very different in the best way possible. I enjoyed watching the drama but it just doesn't compare to this wonderful novel.

Thank you so much Xoai for your translations. Im looking forward to the rest of your translations so that I can reread this novel again. <<less
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Shortk rated it
February 4, 2022
Status: Completed
Despite being predictable at times, there is nothing much to say except this is extremely well written. Incredibly 3d. Brilliant in morals and personal attitude to take note of. Great moral lessons all around because of the open-minded, equal perspective of the MC. The ML himself actually is holding the romance up by himself and we are grateful for him. While the MC holds up the morals, wit, and plot of the novel. Forgot to mention, just a thoroughly entertaining read. A true page turner.

Truly a rare Chinese novel that... more>> is not misogynistic (despite the historically accurate portrayals of sexism and hypocrisy in it) thanks to the wonderful perspective of the MC. An author that doesn't have internalized misogyny that shows up in their novels, we stan.

Also ty chichi for being u <<less
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Cocole rated it
January 5, 2021
Status: c6
Watched the Chinese series- wasn’t great but was somewhat interesting. Am reading this because of the wonderful translation work and knowing that it will get finished ❤️👏🌈
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yilinglaozhuwei rated it
September 6, 2023
Status: Completed
This is the first novel I wrote a review about. I was not really interested in this novel before reading this. Just picked it up to relieve boredom. But... it was a great journey... This is a hidden gem. I am not rly a fan of slow burn. This one literally teaches u the meaning of slow burn... but still I loved the couple very much...i was eagerly waiting for their moments in each chps. And I rly love their character. They are not a pushover at all. If u... more>> like to read detective bl stories with politics, this is for you. I rly love wang zhi. He is the tsundere bestie our fluffy deserves.... you should rly give this novel a chance. <<less
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Kanei rated it
November 21, 2021
Status: c134
This story is so good. What a shame that this is one of the underrated ones and not getting enough recognition from readers. Not only not even a tiny bit boring reading Tang Fan cracked the mysterious layer by layer but each character also plays their respective role very well no more, no less. Moreover, MC's and ML's relationship is not too cheesy and they are pretty well-matched!! Chichi's Translation too, Very Satisfied!!!
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Kaur00 rated it
June 15, 2021
Status: Completed
The 14th year of chenghua is a great novel. Its one of best novels in danmei.

5 ⭐

Firstly, this novel has the really really slow romance. Until 100 or so chapters there a little cute and sweet interactions between the MC and ML. However, the focus and point of this novel is not the romance. So please don't expect anything romantic in the novel.

On the other hand, the strong point of novel is the cases and suspense and the mind blowing court politics. You will hooked from the very first chapter.... more>> The all build of the plot is amazing that you will forget about the romance.

Tang Fan and Sui Zhou are both great characters. Wang Zhi however has the character development that no one has in the novel in my opinion.

Overall, this novel is worth a read. The all money will be sold out. MC is loveable and sherlock holmes. Sui zhou is husband that every body wants but nobody gets. The couple is sweet but unfortunately we did not get most sweet moments of them. Anyway, read it and enjoy it. ♥️~ P.s: the mini theaters or authors note did provide the insight about the couples romantic life and also many others things in the novel and the author is amazing by the way. Thanks for translations to all 3 translators. <<less
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psychofreak rated it
June 4, 2021
Status: Completed
Landed on my top novels list. The cases were really intriguing, the romance buildup was satisfying (I want my own Sui Zhou too), and the palace intrigue was, well, intriguing.

I loved the leads so much, they complement each other, and their relationship got so deep they don't even need words to understand each other. Many funny moments as well, especially with the MC. The face slapping moments were also satisfying.

Supporting characters are wild (for a eunuch, where does Wang zhi get all the testosterone lol) and interesting.

If there's anything to... more>> dislike... can't think of any. Well maybe the emperor for being grossly incompetent, but he's cannon fodder anyway. <<less
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Nayleikimnina rated it
December 30, 2022
Status: Completed
I'm currently on chapter 116 and could say I'm enamoured with this novel. Wait till I finish this and I'll write a short review about it.

I have finish it and needless to say I need a man like Sui Zhou in my life but, alas I'm no Tang Fan. Even though the romance in the novel is not that much, the impact it has on me is huge. They're soft, cute, independent but love each other very much. "My heart is joyed by a gent; does the gent's heart feel... more>> the same?" - Sui Zhou. God yes they're everything 🤟🏻

Wang Zhi is freaking hilarious. I love that guy and Emperor Hongzhi. Honorable mention Ah Dong, Lu Lingxi, Qian San'r and Xiao Wu 😩❤️ Noble consort Wan and her brother could go to hell for all I care hmph. *For the people who are about to read this only for the romance and smut, don't read it cause you'll get dissapointed BUT the crimes and cases in the novel is top notch. Besides, even with little romance it can definitely capture your heart. So all and all I give this a 5/5. <<less
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Kyuusaku Lee
Kyuusaku Lee rated it
August 8, 2022
Status: Completed
Let's start from why I give it 5 stars.

This novel is indeed not a typical shounen-ai novels in general, where the plot is very much focused on the relationship between MCs. In in novel tho, almost 70% (almost 80%, actually) of the plot isn't about romance, but rather politics, cases, and so on (mostly related to Court politics). Even tho it's not too focused on the MCs' relationship, I still find that the plot is somewhat interesting and engaging, and like another MXS's novels, Thousand Autumns and Wushuang, Fourteenth Year of Chenghua is heavily influenced by so much historical references. As someone who likes history like me, it's an interesting story.

But here comes a problem. ... more>>

Although the main characters, or rather the main couple in this novel are Tang Fan and Sui Zhou, but for me, Wang Zhi wins all my attention. He wins my heart, mind, attention, everything. He is the most interesting and engaging person in this whole novel imo. Compared with the 2 main characters, I think Wang Zhi stood the most. His behaviour's also kind of domineering when he's interacting with other characters.

... Not to mention that the epilogue was closed by him...


I give it highest rating because I myself am not too fond of heavy romance plot, either. I like novels with heavy plot. But honestly speaking, compared with Qian Qiu and Wushuang's main couples, I still feel like the main couple in FYOC is still a bit lacking. Just in my opinion tho. <<less
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magic101 rated it
March 29, 2021
Status: c20
I heard about this novel after watching the drama adaptation and so far I'm loving it so far! I'm reading xoai ngon's wonderful translation and damn do they do such an amazing job translating this novel! You can see how much they care about this novel with how close their translation is to the original meaning and how they explain the nuances very well without watering down the original Chinese novel. Right now I'm waiting patiently for the translator to update again!

The cases are so interesting and keeps you interested... more>> till the very end! For people looking for a fast burn romance, you will probably be very disappointed because this is a slow burn romance novel where the romance is more like a subplot and the focus in more on the plot. <<less
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Inkscreamedmo rated it
March 14, 2023
Status: --
Reading this felt akin to holding sand in my hand, and feel it slowly slip past my fingers till my fist turned up empty. The story certainly had potential, but with each progressing arc I felt that slowly slip away till it became an utterly boring mess devoid of any substance.

As we progress into the story, the characters (especially Tang Fan) gradually loose their charm, and the filler chapters take the lead.

If you are reading this for the romance don't bother. The two leads share a brotherly relationship and... more>> are highly respectful towards one another. And even as they do progress into their relationship..... it still feels platonic? Especially on Tang Fan's end. (0.5/5)

If you are reading this for the palace intrigues and the politics..... again... don't bother. (1/5)

If you are reading this for the cases... it's passable at best. (3/5)

On the positives, the ML is highly likable, and the overall ambience of the novel is fairly good.

Note: This isn't central to the story, but I really am curious on what made people like Wang Zhi so much? For me he was just an obnoxious troublemaker who could use a kick or two. <<less
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saphire8626 rated it
March 27, 2022
Status: Completed
3.5 stars. this is much better than Bei Dou and more like what I expect from Meng Xi Shi.

this is a detective novel with a lot of political intrigue. set in ancient china, the main character, Tang Fan, is a lowly court official who solves a lot of cases and maneuvers around political plots. he 'levels up' by the end of the novel and becomes the prime minister iirc. I really liked his personality. he actually reminded me a bit of Xie Lian from Heaven Official's Blessing.

there are about five arcs/cases that Tang Fan resolves, and the secondary cast is really fun. I really loved Wang Zhi... wish there had been more of him.

the author is a history buff. she talks a lot about the history of the time in the author's notes, the biographies of these characters (she based them off real world people), her interpretations of their actions etc...

i have to mention the romance coz I thought this book was primarily romance-centric but I was totally wrong. his love interest is Sui Zhou, but don't go into the novel expecting it to be about the two of them (like I did) because it was REALLY light on the romantic development. I was kinda disappointed actually, coz some of the key scenes in their relationship weren't shown and Sui Zhou disappears for chapters at a time.

read it for the cool sleuthing/mystery solving and political intrigue. romance is a major backseat in this one.
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November 16, 2021
Status: Completed
Well it’s a really good read. Only negative I guess is the sparseness of fluff. Although it did hint in the extras that they were already intimate, it would’ve been extra nice if the author wrote the whole journey. I mean not the smut part but how sz and tf crossed the ‘bridge’. MC was the typical ostrich type, unless sz really pushes him he won’t initiate any intimacy at all. And ML, though he’s sorta the tyrannical type, evidently from the main story he was completely helpless about tf’s... more>> attitude of playing dumb and acting blind. Sz really did seem like he didn’t have the heart to push him down - would’ve loved how to read how to got over this dilemma. But anyway if you’re lookin for decent plot and mystery, and you don’t mind the lack of fluff, this novel is just right for you. <<less
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WhoLightsUptheWorld rated it
February 25, 2024
Status: v4c140
It's so good I want to cry. Everytime Tang Runqing and Sui Guangchuan interact I giggle like a little girl... And the plot..... It's simply too delicious~
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yo-le rated it
May 5, 2022
Status: Completed
MXS never fails when it comes to detective case solving novels. Probably my favorite novel from MXS and can rival Golden Stage.

Only thing I do not really like is how she writes endings. Yeah, just like WuShuang, The "ending" dissappointed me greatly. It stops right at the end of the climax and all loose ends get tied up in the "extras". It's a bit infuriating but aite.

This novel however, had a much more mellow ending. It was more of a "and history continues ever so slowly regardless of our main... more>> characters" type vibe. This novel has some of the best cases I ever read. It's very clear cut when it comes to arcs (like in Peerless) but every story has you gripping your sitting in excitement.

My favorite arc is definitely the "Case of Suzhou" (arc 9). It was so fun reading through all the surprises and twists. Romance was never the key point here and is pretty secondary (i like that in a book) and felt like a treat when I got to see the 2 MCs interact in flirty lovey dovey ways. <<less
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