To Be A Virtuous Wife


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As a virtuous wife, does it include tolerating his cousin, enduring his concubines, bearing his mother?

If you will not let me live freely, why would I let you live in satisfaction?

Did fate let women time-travel so they could learn the three morals and four virtues?

Rather than act like a coward and live, it would be better to live in satisfaction and die.

Associated Names
One entry per line
He Wei Xian Qi
Thế nào là hiền thê
Related Series
Eight Treasures Trousseau (Same Franchise)
Eight Treasures Trousseau (29)
Chu Wang Fei (14)
Husband, Be A Gentleman (12)
Chongfei Manual (9)
Demon Wang’s Golden Favorite Fei (8)
Mei Gongqing (7)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Completed Romance Novels
  2. BGs que eu amo
  3. Novels I Know I'll Read Again
  4. Historical
  5. Male lead chasing female lead

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/05/16 Dreams of Jianghu c123 (end)
01/04/16 Dreams of Jianghu c122
01/03/16 Dreams of Jianghu c121
01/02/16 Dreams of Jianghu c120
01/01/16 Dreams of Jianghu c119
12/31/15 Dreams of Jianghu c118
12/30/15 Dreams of Jianghu c117
12/29/15 Dreams of Jianghu c116
12/28/15 Dreams of Jianghu c115
12/27/15 Dreams of Jianghu c114
12/26/15 Dreams of Jianghu c113
12/25/15 Dreams of Jianghu c112
12/24/15 Dreams of Jianghu c111
12/23/15 Dreams of Jianghu c110
12/22/15 Dreams of Jianghu c109
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317 Reviews sorted by

New ashashash rated it
May 9, 2022
Status: c25
I was looking forward to reading To Be A Virtuous Wife as someone recommended this in the comment section of The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage (which is an amazing story btw) but boy, To Be A Virtuous Wife is soooo boring. I thought the plot would get better given the high rating on this site, and I kept reading till c25 before finally giving up. The plot is virtually non-existent as nothing exciting really happens, and the ML is just... like a 2-dimensional caricature. We don’t... more>> get any insights into the ML, or his personality, or his motivations etc. I’m ok with slow burn romance but there’s none in this, maybe cause the ML is so bland with no real personality.

I know a lot of reviews mentioned the excessive use of pinyin and footnotes. I can mostly understand the Chinese language so the translation (or more accurately, the lack of translation for many nouns) wasn’t a huge issue for me, but I can understand how a non-native Chinese speaker would struggle to get past c1 which has the most pinyin and footnotes. <<less
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New smlsqshy rated it
May 6, 2022
Status: Completed
it's such a good story, not many scheme or drama.

i often wonder if they're both (he heng & qing ju) really love each other since I can't really see the difference when their feelings turn into love since they're both good at acting from the beginning. But I think you can called it love, though they never talked about love, their action potrayed how they'd love each other.

i thought that this story would have a lot of drama from the description and setting, but no. You can read this leisurely.

this... more>> kinda remind me of other story, the job of imperial concubine.

and I wonder if he heng is just too smart that he knew about qing ju's feeling for him or that qing ju isn't as smart at pretending to love like zhuang laoyan from that story.


sometimes I found this story a little bit lacking in some aspects, not to the point of boring of course.

the author didn't set qing ju as the female lead to be an OP characters, the only thing she's really has a talent is dancing (and that only for he heng to see), there's no event to show her talents anyway. But he heng's character is the typical unrealistic male lead that I doubt even exist, well blame me for my issues. And I TELL YOU HE FELL FOR HER FIRST. <<less
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monaffmona rated it
March 17, 2016
Status: --
Long-ass rambling. If you're lazy, just read the last 3 paragraphs.

I'm so glad I changed my mind and decided to read this! Not what I expected at all.

I used to avoid this book like the plague (despite the fact that I came across it so many times on recommendations) because of its depressing synopsis. What's with "tolerating his cousin, enduring his concubines, bearing his mother"? Just seeing 'his concubines' is enough for me to avoid it. I don't read those kinda novels. If the heroine is abused, has to endure... more>> too many hardships, has to share her husband (even in ancient setting), etc, I don't read them. But this book is not like that at all.

(To be honest, I went ahead and read the epilogues before deciding if I should read this novel and that made me very partial to a character I wouldn't have paid much positive attention to otherwise, ahhhh just thinking about it makes me wanna cry T.T I'm glad I did that, though)

This book is about a woman from modern era transmigrating into the body of a timid, abused, beautiful noble girl who just recently got married to a wang ye (high ranked prince) who has a chance at ascending the throne. So basically she wakes up as a wang fei (princess consort).

The story is very unique in that it just features the everyday life of the female MC eg managing the wangfu, going to banquets, interacting with her husband, doing whatever to amuse herself/pass the time. Sounds boring but the fact that this is the life of the wife of a powerful prince who might one day sit on the throne makes it extremely fun, fancy to read about.

The female MC is very unique and I simply ADORE her. She is very smart, a bit lazy, and just wants to live a free/pleasurable/happy/satisfied life, but she's also VERY realistic, to the point of being apathetic in some aspects. She wakes up and finds herself in quite a predicament: unfavored wang fei in ancient era where women's quality of life mostly depends on the favor of their husband or their family background. What she does is simply ADAPTS to her current situation to perfection! She does her duties as wang fei flawlessly (sometimes I wonder how on earth she knows the perfect protocol/right things to do), (un?) intentionally attracts her husband with her beauty/charm/elegance, and simply lives a luxurious, pampered life where she can do pretty much whatever she wants (and that's what she wants) because she's very very smart in how she conducts herself and how she deals with people (I'd say she's very good at human psychology). She doesn't go out of her way to make others miserable, but she won't let anyone make her miserable and she's not merciful either. Here's how her husband describes her personality in the novel:


(this is from an epilogue)

How could the world have a woman like this? One who could be dignified, lazy, generous, cruel, and seductive. This kind of woman, any man couldn't help but look twice


which I think is pretty accurate (when you look from his point of view), though I doubt he ever got to know all of her, because based on her character, she wouldn't bare her all to him just for the sake of it. She's smarter than that)


The male lead really makes me believe he's a powerful wang ye. He has the mentality of a prince in the ancient time – proud, ENTITLED, can be flippant, doesn't hold many things/people in high regards. He's also smart, cunning, calculating, ambitious, and becomes very infatuated with the female MC, always doting on her. The intrigue/attraction on his part is instant and the development is quite fast but somehow it's still realistic and very in character.

regarding his concubines:

The male lead has quite a few concubines (has had them long before he marries the female mc), but they can't do anything to the female MC at all. He sees these women as amusement/playthings, and he doesn't care for any of them (ancient era dude mentality). After he meets the female MC (new soul, after she wakes up), he only has her, so the couple pretty much have a monogamous relationship. In fact, he doesn't bother with the concubines at all. He only spends time with the female MC.

Anyway, for those who are very sensitive to concubine/mistress/Other Woman elements:


Even after he falls for her (which is practically at first sight to be honest, though it deepens with time), male lead doesn't dissolve his harem or see anything wrong with him having concubines and female MC having to deal with them (as per her duty as wang fei). As mentioned earlier, solid ancient era dude mentality. He doesn't sleep with them or bother with them simply because he doesn't want them. Period. Not because he thinks it would be wrong to do so. As the story goes on, the male lead gets more and more open with his affection, but the female MC doesn't believe he can be a 1-woman man or that his love could be everlasting. (she's veryyyyyyy realistic. poor guy. though, she has good reasons and I think that's a smart choice in her situation)

I'd say this book is pretty safe for even fluffballs like me who don't read books with OW elements at all and usually gravitate towards fluff. Though the vibe is blue/bittersweet/realistic (it keeps me on my toes as I don't know which way the story will go/will the male lead's affection lessen with time/ etc), it's still very swoon-worthy and there's not really any OW stuff. Male leads stays faithful and I'd say he's wayyyy more devoted to her than she is to him. = =


In short, the story depicts the everyday life of the smart, calculative, realistic, and lazy female MC from modern time who woke up in the body of a young wang fei (princess consort) in ancient era.

A historical romance with strong slice-of-life elements. The tone is blue, bittersweet, realistic with a dash of fluff, sweetness, indulgence here and there. It sometimes makes me sigh 'ah, such is life...', but mostly just makes me all giddy with how much He Heng pampers his wife >.<

There are calculations and schemes, but not those crazy complex evil plot gong saga. This novel feels weirdly calm and simple, but it's soooo addictive and exciting I just couldn't stop reading. <<less
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Molenir rated it
March 18, 2017
Status: c5
I read 5 chapters, and was completely bored. Additionally the translation was extremely poor, with many words deliberately left untranslated, leaving us trying to remember or guess what ce fei, fu, wangfei, and so many more words mean. When you need to constantly refer to footnotes to read a chapter, it becomes less entertaining, and more of a chore. I normally like stories in this genre, but the combination of slow start, and bad translation did me in.
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VLeeAzn rated it
February 5, 2019
Status: c1
I am sorry it might be a good or even very good novel but the translation... there is basically nothing translated.

I am probably the only one thinking this way among all the people that voted but honestly, I would not mind if the names were not explained or just left as they are but you can't just leave every single noun of titles/object/status untranslated.

Just imagine if you were watching a foreign movie and the subtitle is just whatever the characters are saying but untranslated, you'll have a note forming and... more>> covering on the whole screen which would be the definition of the word.

If you ever dare to read it without the footnote at the end of the page because you don't want to scroll back and forth like me you will basically read it like this :

"Pushing a thing bird and cloud thing into her hair by herself"
"Thing, since you were ill the last few days, thing told the thing so the thing wouldn't disturb your rest."

I'm just picking random passage of the first chapter to let you see what I mean. You would just not understand one bit without the footnote.

First chapter you have 36 footnotes, and the unfamiliar words would be used multiple times. Unless you know a bit of Chinese or have some understanding to it, between reading the story, looking back and forth multiple times your reading experience quickly turn into a nightmare. <<less
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Llamia rated it
March 19, 2016
Status: completed
Absolute gem. I love the “no bullshit” attitude. At first I was unhappy with the way the husband was with the previous Qing Yu, but then you realize how cute he is.

Especially that part where he got drunk and he asked “Why don’t you ever believe me?”.


I read the whole thing in 2-3 days. I was looking for something to appease the slow update of Chu Wang Fei and The Princess Wei

The Epilogues were both sad and fulfilling. The story was not a sad one, but the author lets us see not only the end of the MC and her husband, but a few of the side characters. Epilogue 1 broke my heart and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a while.
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April 21, 2016
Status: --
This novel is transmigration, NOT reincarnation. Stop changing the tag. Anyways, might as well leave a review. Reading this is a like a slice of life historical. It’s basically about the MC who is the main wife of a prince and manages his household and harem (other women). It’s not a bad read, but I had to take a break from it because the translator is in love with pinyin and puts it everywhere. Having to remember vocabulary or refer to a glossary EVERY time a chapter releases is not... more>> enjoyable. (To be honest, I started just skipping over the untranslated words.) I’m not here to learn Chinese, I’m just here to read a story.

Impression so far: Likable heroine. Not too sure about the guy. Meh about the other women (very typical “harem politics”). Oddly calm story. <<less
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NatsuK rated it
February 10, 2019
Status: c1
I thought I should check this since I've seen great reviews and recommendations from other people in the comment/review section in other novels (for ex. In Rebirth of the Malicious Empress) but after reading 2 paragraphs of the first chapter, I gave up. The translator/s did a bad job translating this novel. It's like it wasn't translated at all.

1. There were so many nontranslated words that they have to add a LONG footnote at the end of the chapter and they repeat in every paragraph that I had to scroll... more>> up and down just to connect them to the context of what I was reading.

2. The translation on the footnote were so vague and unnecessary LONG. They were trying too hard to the point that they missed the point of what they're supposed to be doing. It felt like they translated this novel just to show off how good they are in Chinese language. That was so annoying.

3. The translations at the footnote are completely different from what was on their "glossary." Talk about consistency. I've read other novels which didn't complicate the translations like for ex. In one novel that I read, they'd translate it to Old Mama instead of writing Pozi every single time. I feel like Google would have done a better job. That word wasn't even important at all. They could have just added a trivia at the footnote ONCE to explain how it's said in that language. JUST ONCE. They don't have to shove it under our nose in every single paragraph. I'm highly disappointed and I lost interest in reading this which is such a shame since the summary seems interesting.

Am I sorry to leave such a harsh review? Not even one bit. I can go to hell (or wherever) for all I care. <<less
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Ecirteab rated it
July 11, 2016
Status: c123
The summary is sort of misleading and put me off but once I started reading, I couldn't stop.

I very much like the MC. There's no angst about her past and from start to end, her confidence, knowledge of her place, and conviction is something that makes her so very endearing. She is one of the most unique MCs I've read about and the relationship between her and her husband is something I came to love very much.

Her husband grows to supremely devoted to her and once he falls in love, basically never touches his concubines again. What I really loved, however, was the ambiguity of the MC's own feelings towards him. It is never explicitly stated and her husband is well aware her loves her far more than she loves him. However, as the novel so aptly states, actions prove far more than words and it is the MC's actions which truly reveal the depths of her feelings for him, and him for her. A very well suited couple.


This is a slice of life novel set in a the 'harem' of her husband with the expected politics and stuff. It may sound strange but I found the slice of life style very fitting to the story and the lazy MC. Actually, it's more 'languid' than lazy I feel haha. It felt natural and devoid of unnecessary tension but still capable of intense scenes. For me, the story really hit it's climax

at the emperor's death scene

. It was truly an intense scene and the events leading and following it were amazingly depicted. The concluding chapters of the novel were (to me) very much poignant and beautiful, the languidness of the imperial past, the fleetingness of life, but also the beauty of love. The writing and translations were well done and didn't diminish from the story. A very well done historical romance novel with a smart and fascinating MC.
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The Lazy Slug
The Lazy Slug rated it
April 30, 2017
Status: Completed
I agree with the praises sung for this novel. All doubts I had upon reading the summary is anything but! I'm glad I read it in the end.

One thing I really love about this is the temperament of the characters. First, the female MC's views is simple, but logical and realistic given her situation. She knew the big discrepancy of views and roles between men and women in the era she transmigrated, and because of that, became quite understanding and sympathetic with her s*x -- why some of them turned... more>> to vicious schemings and the like. So to them, she bore no ill-will. She did not chase after / drive away / scheme against those other women who came before her to the ML's fu. In fact, she was considerate of them and sensitive to their needs, giving them the excess things she had, looking after their clothes and food during winter, etc. To those women who had themselves ruined, they brought upon that cruel fate to themselves.

As said, her principle and aims are simple: she would live her life to the fullest, spoiling herself silly with her privileges and taking advantage of her husband, until the latter would become tired of her. She wasn't afraid of death, so she's going to live her life as if it was the last.

Now, before any of you would jump to the wrong conclusion, when I said spoiled, I did not mean the haughty, unbearable kind of spoilt. In truth, the female MC is docile, but once wronged, she would not hesitate to use her power to punish and correct the wrong. Moreover, when I said take advantage of her husband, well, she's an intelligent woman to begin with. Considering with how men view women in this ancient setting -- treating them as bed warmer, saying things of love but not hesitating to sleep with another -- FL believed her husband would do the same someday. She wasn't very optimistic. So while her husband showed her favour, she won't push him away.

In a way, this kind of view reminded me of FL from Eight Treasures Trousseau, that other gem of a novel. XDD

Going back, well, of course, it takes two to do the tango. Even with FL being so pessimistic in her thoughts and loving outward, ML isn't s*upid. In many occasions, especially near end, he expressed how he felt FL doesn't really have him in her heart despite them being together everyday. But then, rather than despising her, he took it upon himself to work extra hard just to show FL how sincere he was with his love, and remembered in his heart what FL said "action speaks louder than words". Yeah, he might've been similar to those normal ancient guys with how they treat women at first (if some of his monologues in the first chapters was any indication) but! He still has my good favours seeing how different he is throughout the story, wanting to set up a good example of a virtuous man and a loving husband.

He didn't really appear overbearing or the stand-offish kind to me. Granted he isn't completely innocent either, but with schemes of his own with regards to the ascension, but his heart was in place. For me, he was still the perfect candidate for Emperor. He doesn't look down on people and lead by actions and example.

Other than the characters, another thing I like about this, and the one thing that amazes me is that, in this novel, those three words were never said and exchanged between leads (despite this being a romance story). Instead, their love was painted by actions alone.

It's cute. It's sweet.

Moreover, the build up of events complemented the character growth, and their love, really well. The characters were well fleshed out. Their emotions delivered well, even without the need for words. The ending was really satisfying too. Overall, it's a novel really worth reading. <<less
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NastyOlRoshi rated it
June 9, 2017
Status: Completed
How should I put it.. This novel does a fairly good job describing the events that take place before the current Emperor picks the next ruler, one of his children. And of course a bit of what happens after that. There's your typical internal harem bickering, fighting and scheming (that typical boring shit) and of course what happens in the daily life of female MC. As an imperial harem story it's quite informative and okay but everything else sucks. The interc**rse scenes are heavily censored (unless the tl did that?)... more>> besides some teasing, scratching and touching it says he entered her and scene ends. Romance? There isn't any. That is actually what sucks the most. I never really felt like they have a very strong emotional bond with each other. More like they like each other, enjoy how the other person thinks and how convenient it is to be together? They never fully let themselves go, especially the female lead. Also there's no need for transmigration plot. It never really served any special purpose besides the change of personality, being cruel to family members (who may derserved that treatment) and dancing (which happens only once). Overall a pretty bad read, had higher expectations.

As for the htl, not to sh*t on it but the abundant amount of pinyin kills the joy of reading. Yes by the time you reach 25% of the story you more or less remember or have learned what everything means but it's still annoying. Translator put a lot of effort in and explained the reason he did it that way but I would have still prefered something simpler. <<less
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Mavsynchroid rated it
April 25, 2018
Status: Completed
An extremely well written and translated novel. This is NOT one of those female MC novels where the MC is some super assassin or genius doctor who goes around amazing everyone at every point by accomplishing the impossible. It is what I'd have to call a "realistic" time travel reincarnation novel.

It's about a normal modern day woman who ends up in the body of a weak willed girl who's just been married to what is pretty much a prince. I know, sounds generic, but it isn't. There' no... more>> cultivation in this novel. Nothing supernatural at all besides the fact that she time traveled into this body.

This is more about a fight for the throne between princes, and even more so how the MC decides to live her life in this ancient era. There is definitely no instant love connection between the MC and ML. They both play their parts in the marriage while keeping their true thoughts to themselves.

It's hard to describe anymore without spoiling things, so I'll just reiterate that this is NOT one of those female MC novels where every "chapter" is really a page and a half long and the MC cultivates to grow stronger and pills, refiing, pets or men living in her body's secret space, yaddah yadaah yaddah. None of that silliness. It's a mature novel for mature readers. It's as realistic as a time traveling novel could be.

The only gripes I have with this novel are two things. First, the translator decided to leave WAY too many words untranslated, like fei, wei ye, ce fei, etc etc. When I say way too many... let's put it this way.. the first chapter had 36 foot notes, each when for translating a word, like Ce Fei means secondary wife. 36 of them!! Even things like courtyard, concubine, first wife, and eunuch were all left untranslated. In my opinion, this is extremely overboard. It got to the point where sometimes I didn't know what status a person had, and had to rely on remembering their names alone. That would have been easy enough except the characters also had multiple names!! The main lead was known both as He Heng, his real name, and Duan Huan, I think? Not to mention other names like er sao, or er sadi.. or something like that.. whatever brothers call each other... the translator should have just written Second Brother, or Third Brother. It was needless confusion in a fruitless attempt to make the story seem more authentic.... 36 terms to remember in the first chapter alone!!

My second gripe is a small one. I'm just always annoyed in these time traveler/ reincarnation stories where the MC NEVER ends up telling their loved ones the truth. That they come from a different time. They NEVER use information from the modern era to do anything. It always makes me wonder.. why do they bother making the MC a soul from modern times. Why can't it just be someone who doesn't take crap from anyone, without soul swapping? I get the whole going from a weak timid useless person to a strong one transformation, but why make it supernatural when it'll never again have any bearing on the story? Just feels like a useless trope they always add.

Anyway, loved the story. If you like strong female MCs and mature romance, give this a shot. It's completely translated too! <<less
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sandy0097 rated it
December 10, 2017
Status: Completed
Its was an OK novel... its just that I never actually felt any love between the MC and ML. There is no detailed description of the story, I felt the only thing the MC did was dress up beautifully and eat??!!.. she wasn't all that extraordinary and smart. Lots of details are not described.... as I said it was almost like a long summary than a novel... you don't get to feel the characters pain and happiness. I gave it a 1 star because I had great expectations after reading... more>> many good reviews.. but was greatly disappointed, this novel is not for mature readers, its a good read for teenagers and people who don't want any strong drama or politics. <<less
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Alicha rated it
April 16, 2019
Status: c1
Alright I know I’ve barely read much of this novel but honestly I can’t be bothered! Like COME ON I’m here to enjoy a good story not to have a Chinese lesson! Too much is left untranslated and to keep referring to the definition of the words in the footnote ruins the whole experience! I was so pumped going into this because of the reviews but was hugely disappointed once I was bombarded with all the words I didn’t understand! Perhaps you’ll enjoy this if you know the language but... more>> if you’re like me I don’t recommend this novel. <<less
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wolflord1307 rated it
July 1, 2018
Status: Completed
Let me start off by saying that I'm writing a review because I saw a couple of reviews that were less than 5 stars because they thought that the love between the main leads were lacking or that the untranslated words were annoying or that the plot was bland. And I just wanted to talk a bit about that.

The untranslated words may be annoying to some people but as a Chinese myself, I feel that by using pinyin for words such as ce fei and wang fei really kept the... more>> translation authentic. Because ancient china was extremely strict about hierarchy and the different titles are extremely important in showing ones status. And there is no exact English translation for all the titles because there isn't exactly a need for it. If the translator tried to change it, it would have become difficult to understand because direct translations would be too flowery but anything else than that wouldn't convey the true meaning. That's why I think that this translation style is actually extremely suitable because it maintains the original meaning.

Secondly, about the love between the main leads. Yes I do agree that the love between them doesn't seem obvious and I did find myself questioning if she truly loved him. But I think that in the context of this novel, with the pragmatic character of both leads, this is the kind of interaction you would find. Because he is an ancient era man, true love doesn't really exist for them. He is willing to have only her for the rest of his life but is his love undying and eternal? Doubtful. As for the female lead, she is realistic and pretty much decides to accept her fate and enjoy life as she pleases. She knows that it is impossible for his heart to belong to her only and if it was between the country or her, he might not choose her. Thankfully our male lead didn't have to make that decisions. She doesn't appear to love him and I think she doesn't, not completely, as far as the parts we read concern. In any case, the time frame of the story is a few years at the most and who can really fall in love so deeply without having being through trials and years of interaction. I think that the portrayal of their interaction is extremely realistic.

The plot is bland. Alright it kinda is. But seriously, how much drama did you think the ancient era would have? It's slice of life and it did it perfectly.

Overall, this novel is extremely realistic and interesting to read. The translation is great and extremely good and I definitely recommend reading it! <<less
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Dilandau rated it
October 24, 2020
Status: c3
I can't read this.

I rarely complain about the use of wangfei/cefei/wangye/zhen/qie/chenqie/etc. because I'm aware that the English language is severely lacking in self-pronoun variations and title variations and sometimes it's just necessary to note the original pronouns. Those aren't normally issues, likewise for cultivation novels where forms of address are kept as original pinyin such as shidi/shifu/shixiong/etc.

However, for words that have a rough English equivalent (like the "flying immortal hairstyle" or even various tiers of servants) or a descriptive equivalent that wouldn't be excessively wordy, just use the English equivalent.... more>> It is actually absurd that the first chapter is borderline unreadable for someone unfamiliar with Chinese without constant reference to the footnotes. Even more egregious is that the footnotes themselves define the relevant terms in clearly equivalent English for the vast majority of them but instead of just using those terms the translator insists on keeping the pinyin for much of the vocabulary.

Am I meant to be reading a fan-translated work or am I instead reading some pinyin half-transliteration? It's incredibly frustrating to run into the vocab roadblock every few sentences (or even every few words, for heavens' sake) and have to keep a separate tab open with the same chapter, but scrolled to the bottom for the footnotes. At the very least if you're going to have footnotes nearly as long as the bloody chapter length, be a bit more user-friendly and use a popup footnote system where people can click on the word itself the first time it shows up and a popup box neatly appears to define it.

If the situation improves in later chapters, so be it, but I'm dropping this after a few beginning chapters for how difficult it is to even follow what's going on when I'm too busy looking up words in the footnotes. As unreadable as it is, there's no need to mention the quality of translation—I frankly can't tell either way.

I have a perfect video for what's happening in this translation. Enjoy: https://youtu. Be/YvNxgHTWIlo <<less
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Mizura rated it
November 15, 2017
Status: c123
Like others, I was put off by the summary at first. But I'm glad I read this.

This story is about the perfect wife. Except, the perfect wife in this story isn't an innocent lily waiting to be bullied, nor an obedient vase on display, nor even a hard-to-get cold beauty. The perfect wife in this story is a real woman. And whereas most stories try to make you go, 'man I wish there was a person who'd treat me as well as the love interest treats the MC', this story... more>> makes you feel, 'I wish I'll be able to treat my partner as well as Qing Ju treats her husband.'

Our MC has no delusions that the ML would love only her his entire life without her doing anything, nor that if you're nice to everyone, you won't get backstabbed in return. At first she might even seem a little cold because she doesn't easily believe her husband's sweet promises. But in the end, actions speak louder than words. To sum it up, she takes care of herself. She takes care of her husband. And she does both damn well.

She's a woman with needs and will be seductive to get it. She likes to make herself gorgeous and maintains her hobbies, but won't be excessive to the point of causing harm to others. She's not happy to share her man and will work to keep him interested. She won't show mercy to those who would harm her, but is also extremely generous to those who do her right. She won't meddle in the things she's not supposed to, but is keenly aware of everything needed. She will talk back to people trying to make her lose face, but act virtuous otherwise, and even act innocent and ignorant in front of her mother-in-law which, in a weird twist of reverse psychology, gains her her mother-in-law's affectionate protection instead.

What the husband gains is a wife who is gorgeous and interesting, who makes him feel wanted and a winner as a man and as a provider, who keeps his household harmonious with an iron fist, who manages external relations, who gives him face and will never make him lose face, who won't question the shady things you are doing but will silently but firmly support you in your ambitions and believe in you, who will maintain good relations with your mother, who will take care of you when you're sick or injured, who can be ruthless but who also cares for the common people. Certainly, she may seem a bit cold at first, because the one thing she Doesn't do is reciprocate your professions of love, but when she has done all that, and proven how much you mean to her through actions, and you have done the same for her, are mere words needed? <<less
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Matpatpat rated it
February 6, 2019
Status: Completed
Bland Bland Bland. The FL never did anything of note nor did she face any hardship that justified the praise lauded on her. She sat around eating and looking pretty. She said some b*tchy one-liners here and there and that managed to seduce ML into being completely monogamous and obsessively in love... ok. For a transmigration story, there was no actually elements of the genre incorporated besides some holier-than-thou modern woman sensibilities occasionally talking down to the other women.

ML was generically handsome and bland. Nothing really went on with him... more>> besides a plot to take the throne from his shitty spoiled half-brother. That storyline was all-in-all won by a bit of coincidence and plot contrivance than any actual hard work.

Flabbergasted by the high rating. I guess if you wanted a straightforward female power fantasy where the main girl sits around looking pretty, eating, wins easy fights, and picks low hanging fruit then... yeah? I mean she gets the title of empress and is in a magical monogamous relationship. <<less
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januza rated it
December 8, 2019
Status: --
The low rating is given to the version of the story I read, which was the English translation. If you're planning on reading the translation and you don't have a good grasp on ancient/present Chinese terminology, let me save you some time by saying: don't. I mean, seriously? What kind of translator leaves the honorifics and titles - which are important to the story - as is? Chinese honorifics are different (as in, more complicated) from Korean and Japanese suffixes; different words are associated with quantitative ranking. That, coupled with... more>> the multiple names (birth, personal, title) is too much for a native English reader to understand without knowing about it beforehand.

Don't bother reading the translation without prior knowledge of the terms unless you have the patience of a turtle to refer to the footnotes every couple minutes. <<less
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Liri rated it
August 5, 2016
Status: Completed
I love reincarnation/transmigration stories, especially with political struggles, royalty and other similar tags, but every time I came to this story, I had chosen not to in favour of another novel, but I am so eternally glad that I gave it a chance, because this novel is a gem!

It's different than the other transmigration etc. Stories that I have read before, such as Chu Wang Fei or Descent of the Phoenix or Duke's Daughter.


The MC is different from the typical MCs. If you put her next to the queen of... more>> assassins (DOP) or calm and ccapable and eloquent previous investigator (CWF), she would definitely take a backseat. Surely, she is capable, intelligent, praised to be beautiful like the others, but she takes no initiative at the game of politics. The path towards empress, she accepted or more like consented to it, instead of pursuing the position. Neither did she grandly scheme for revenge or plot, when it was unnecessary. In the end, all her 'achievements' were a response to the antagonists around her. Yet, even though she made no deliberate part in becoming empress, it is also clear that no one else could have been in her position. In a way, it is fascinating, because despite not actively achieving it, she is worthy, more than any other female characters in the story.

The male lead was dreamy, perhaps too dreamy. Maybe he was not made to seem perfect, his behaviour towards his other wives and his perception of females in general before he met the MC was callous, if not cruel. But in the eyes of the female reader, he was perfect, because in the end he wholeheartedly loved the MC and devoted himself to her her and only her, their whole relationship and their interaction mostly revolved around the MC, so who can complain?

The portrayal of other characters are also worthy to mention. Of course, there are the villains and antagonists and other cliches, but even dislikeable characters had their moments of sympathy and pity, especially women, who met a tragic ending.


I absolutely loved the MC's remark about her mother in law and the Empress. If it were not for the society, making them rely on one man, they could have been great. It's true. The Empress and her mother in law, a concubine, were remarkable, capable and intelligent, but they were wasted on the weak Emperor.

Then we also have strong-willed Jing An princess, a divorcee more or less and an important political figure, especially since she is divorced from her husband.

But it is He Yuan's story, which is most captivating in the last few chapters. I do not want to spoiler too much about him, only warning to watch out for this characters and that, even if I am not sure whether I (should) like him, the epilogue broke my heart.



Is there a real plot? I feel like the story was more about the relationship between the female and the male character rather than what goes on. I am not saying that there is no action, there is plenty.

The plot/ relationship is very slow-paced, which did not bother me at all. A little frustrated, but no complaint, because it made it seem more mature and real. There was no need for the sudden declaration of love. Love, the word itself, was rarely mentioned aside from silly usages from females, who wanted to get into the male lead's good graces or fancied themselves in love. I admired this very much and it is not surprise, because both are level-headed and cautious, especially the female. The fact that you don't read this between them, you can read this between the lines, which makes it so much sweeter. I love the narration of the story. It also highlight some character's development, but also their complexity and the reader is given a chance to watch certain aspects from side characters, which is just wonderful. Many people say that the novel has a slice of life-element. It is an argument I can understand, because for a royalty, political struggle, revenge story, it has surprisingly less royalty, political struggle and revenge as the focus. These elements are there and yet, I think although they contribute, they are not the key factors that makes it so great.

I also love the take on the female role in society. There was one part in the story, which was beyond amazing and I think is worthy of being quoted.

"The biggest difference between men and women was that men were always best at forgetting the good of women and women was best at remembering the good of men."

"Peaceful days will make people forget the beauty of the past."

"If you forgot yourself, how could somebody else remember you?"


The novel is titled Virtous Wife and although you can find reasons in that, I believe it does not serve it justice. It is so much more and especially the summary is very lacking. If not for the sake of the wonderful and excellent reviews and ratings, I would not have given it a second thought. When I did, I became so addicted. Luckily, the chapters are all already translated, otherwise it would have been torturing.

Overall, it is a wonderful novel, worthy of being read. I can recommend this to every person. At first, I had wanted to give it only four stars, because I was a little critical, there was no overly dramatic event, it does not have the same suspension and high and low like CWF, the MC cannot really complain, but in the end, it would be unfair, because I remember they joy I felt when reading the chapters. Furthermore, even though it is uncharacterstically happy and 'peaceful', there is nothing wrong about it, because sometimes peaceful and happy is a good contrast to the dark and angsty revenge plots. <<less
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IvaAres rated it
June 22, 2020
Status: c8
I tried reading this novel roughly 2 or 3 times because it had such high ratings. However, each time I would give up before even reaching the tenth chapter. It really annoyed me how the first few chapters have so many unnecessary footnotes which could have been avoided by just writing the english translation for the word instead, such as legal wife or concubine.

I read some spoilers and found that this isn't much of politics and just mainly focuses on the interactions between the MC and ML, which isn't something... more>> I'm really fond of but I still tried reading it, only to finally give up on it after 8 chapters. <<less
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Kurobito rated it
October 19, 2017
Status: Completed
The overall story is great and down to earth. It really depicts the life of a wife and concubines in those dynasty. What I am happy about this novel is that I finally get to read a MC that is not OP in every aspect i.e the MC does not know certain things like playing a weiqi. The only complain I have here is the translation. Yes. Nothing but the translation. I have to refer every now and then what is 同房 (tongfang) 贵妃 (guifei) and some other chinese term... more>> that can be actually describe it in English. I am a half banana and already suffered like hell. I can already imagine some people that does not know at all the chinese language. I know the translator want to preserve the originality of the terms and words but for god sake, please be considerate. There were grammatical errors here and there but I can overlooked that. All in all, I could have given this story a four star rating if it is properly translated. :/ <<less
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