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
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. Farming/Ancient/Gerrrrr
  2. To Be Read
  3. Read and Loved
  4. danmei <3
  5. Bl List 4!

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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31 Reviews sorted by

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
16 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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... more>> 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. <<less
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yellauraya rated it
January 30, 2022
Status: Completed
★★★★★ [4.5/5 stars]

I'm an absolute fan of mystery, crime-solving cases, historical and politics. And if all of that rolled into one? Yes, please. This is what this novel is about! Every arc is just as intriguing as the last, if not more! I've always said this, but I'm always into clever characters, and this novel gave me exactly that! Both the MC (Tang Fan) and the ML (Sui Zhou) are smart and competent characters with calm and compose demeanor. Though there were times when I was on the edge of... more>> my seat, wondering how they're able to solve the cases when they're already cornered, I was also anticipating what kind of step they're going to take to outsmart their enemies. I loved how both of them were made into deep characters with great substance. I prefer that kind of characters.

This novel has a tiny bit romance, but if you're only looking for a full on fluff, I don't think this one is for you. This has a very slow romance and their romantic relationship is not really the focus of the story. They have this tacit, mutual understanding of their feelings, a feeling that doesn't need to be said aloud to understand, and it reflected on why their romance was not narrated directly and explicitly. I also love the familial love that was portrayed here. I would have loved to be a part of Tang Fan's family. And also his bizarre 'friendship' with the arrogant and proud Wang Zhi is just so entertaining, despite of them having an opposite personality. They have this not so ordinary connection from the very first case and their verbal sparring is always so interesting to read.

I've watched the drama adaptation a few months ago but decided to drop it after a few episodes in, but I think I'm going to pick the drama up again because I really enjoyed this novel so much. This is absolutely, highly recommended. Just trigger warning for deaths in every arc. <<less
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Fantasy0Reality rated it
April 12, 2021
Status: c83
This is a great novel. The relationship between the MC and ML is well written. The author really spent a lot of time showing the slow progression of their relationship from strangers, to friends, and finally lovers. Although I have not reached the point in the novel when they get together yet. The cases and court intrigue are also excellent. They manage to be surprising without being too confusing.
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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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pyschoconstruct rated it
March 18, 2022
Status: c42
To be honest, if you’re looking for romance, I don’t think this is an inherently romantic novel.

It’s mainly a mystery with a lot of historical and political density. It can be a challenge to digest if your not willing to understand the political dynamic and how it influences the plot but trust it me it worth the read if your a fan of mystery.


The novel kinda gives me an allusion of Sherlock Holmes type of mystery solving as it strongly focuses on the MC, Tang Fan. In all honesty, there... more>> interactions between Tang Fan and the ML are severely platonic and it would be said they’re interactions aren’t as much as you’d think (at least until wear I have reached)

This would be considered a heavy slow slow burn (there’s a point you’ll even forget you’re reading a danmei novel) due to the fact the MXS has drawn all her emphasis on the novel being filled with mystery, drama and intense plot that the narrative lacks the blatant implication of romance. It’s still very much an enjoyable read, as I am a fun of the politics and mystery narrative ongoing. Additionally the characterizations are pretty good. Tang Fan is a very likeable and endearing character. I can’t wait to see also how the ML, Sui Zhou (who kinda feels like a background character for now) develops and grows and is actually personified. <<less
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raflow rated it
December 10, 2021
Status: Completed
if you like political, historical or mysteries novel, that's definitely the best for you (and if you don't like, I still think you should give it a try)

its focus isn't completely on the couple, yet it doesn't mean that they don't have a decent development. MC and ML started as partners to solve a case, then as good friends who respect each other, and then they became lovers. It's a slow burn, you know

it's been a while since I finished that, but I don't remember having any compliments about... more>> the author writing or lots of plot holes. Actually, what I remember is thinking that the author's writing where good and with a clear development

well, that's one of my top favourites novels, really really enjoyable <<less
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