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 she 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
何为贤妻
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Eight Treasures Trousseau (20)
Chu Wang Fei (12)
Mei Gongqing (7)
Husband, Be A Gentleman (6)
A Mistaken Marriage Match: Mysteries in the Imperial Harem (4)
The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage (4)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/05/16 Dreams of Jianghu c123
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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whatdoyoumeanihavehpv
New whatdoyoumeanihavehpv rated it
June 14, 2018
Status: --
While I like the novel and it's characters, I really dislike the translation style. The translators left too much untranslated Chinese in the translation for it to be a smooth reading experience. I know that they justified this by saying some meaning will be lost in translation if they fully translate. That is fine, I accept that but even words that can be translate with little to no lost in meaning are not translated. This is the only novel I have read in a long time that the MTL is... more>> about as understandable as the translation (in term of difficulty anyways).

Really though, a better example for this style of translation would be "Princess Wei Yang", it still have plenty of Chinese words that can't be translated due to their meaning leftover. However, it's still easy to read and you don't have to return to glossary every 2 minutes. <<less
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Bebopbeats
New Bebopbeats rated it
June 11, 2018
Status: c1
I was put of reading this novel at first by the many, many untranslated titles that make things hard to follow if you don't make the effort to read the chapter supplemental. After that I could muddle my way through using the context. I think it was worth the effort though as this is a very well written and translated story. I was actually saddened when I realised I'd reached the end of it.

The MC is probably the coolest protagonist I've ever read. Nothing phases her, and her moral path... more>> and world view are as strong as stone. Some may find this boring but I prefer a protagonist who is sure of themselves and has plenty of inner strength to face the problems life brings. Maybe it's to make up for not being an assassin or mercenary in her previous life.

I didn't think the husband would end up being the ML of this story. He ignored and neglected his original wife which helped lead to her death, so MC starts of thinking of him as nothing more than a slightly useful bed warmer. It takes plenty of time and effort on his part for him to prove to MC that his feelings are sincere.

Spoiler

I wouldn't have read this story if I knew that ML would become the Emperor. Having to share your man with countless other women doesn't really give off a romantic feeling. But if the ML started out lower than the average man then by the end he is far, far above them. The fact that he abstains from the constant temptation he's surrounded by for an entire lifetime practically elevates him to godhood.

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The villains are a little simple but that they're dealt with in a timely manner and I felt satisfied seeing them defeated. I liked that there were female characters who weren't enemies even if they weren't friends with the MC. All up a bit hard to get into but an easy, enjoyable read. <<less
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monaffmona
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:

Spoiler

(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)

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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:
Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

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. = =

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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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Llamia
Llamia rated it
March 19, 2016
Status: completed
Absolute gem. I love the “no bullsh*t” 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.
... more>>
Spoiler

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

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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. <<less
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Ecirteab
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.

... more>>
Spoiler

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.

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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
Spoiler

at the emperor's death scene

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. 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. <<less
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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 stupid. 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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remy911
remy911
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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Liri
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.

Characters:

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.

Spoiler

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.

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Plot:

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.
Spoiler

"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?"

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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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Mizura
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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NastyOlRoshi
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 sh*t) 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 intercourse 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
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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Xye86
Xye86 rated it
December 9, 2017
Status: c123
Just done reading this novel and I can say that this is really Gem...a treasure novel. Real Fairy Tale in a more realistic plot.

Been doubting reading this novel at first. I, myself, doesn't like male MC behave as a Lothario but the Male MC here proves me wrong... He is hopelessly devoted to the female MC. I bow to this faithfulness.

I love the tenacity and coolness of the female MC. Wish I could be like that.

Overall this web novel is something I would love to keep and re-read it again... more>> sometime soon.

I intensely Recommend this to readers who loves a realistic Fairy Tale (with some twist). <<less
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Molenir
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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Sae
Sae rated it
October 19, 2016
Status: Completed
Definitely a great novel of its genre, whichever you would categorize it into.

There is a fine balance between romance and noble/imperial life struggle, though it is more lighthearted and easy on the mind than other disadvantaged female reincarnation stories. The novel is straightforward, laced with humor and subtle philosophy, only 123 chap yet many moments are pure gold, I didn't regret a second of it.

There are no overly, obviously 1D dumb characters that put up a headache of prolonged nonsense verbal arguments. Many characters are realistic and some even... more>> delightful, those who appear simple are not really simple, befitting the era setting. The lead couple are smart people who excel at acting and hiding their true capabilities. Their interactions are thus interesting and spark great chemistry.

Minor
Spoiler

The MC is clear-headed, open-minded, charismatic, adapting and knows how to care for herself. She has a firm mindset and not afraid to live as freely as she could because 'the worse is just death'. She manages people skillfully and never goes out of her way to slight more people and create never ending cycle of enmity, nor actively trying to climb the power ladder. That's why she is lowkey, not showing off her might yet still greatly respected and able to enjoy her life though being a member of the imperial family.

The male lead's character can be considered pretty decent for the era and also for someone with the prince position. He is also capable yet even more lowkey, because he is the type that secretly scheming, and he is very good at it. The story being not from his pov also contributes to this. I eventually got to see how he is fitting to be a ruler, a skilled flirt but I never held him highly in the matter of romance and reading the MC's heart. However at c104, I realized that I underestimated him greatly. After that he gets better and better.

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The translation quality is thumbs up great, the translator is thoughtful and pleasant. The author leaves a good impression. 5/5 for everything. <<less
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pichu
pichu rated it
May 10, 2016
Status: --
Lack of sleep for 2 days is worth it.

I enjoyed reading this story. There is no major conflict between the main characters, its more like nourishing love as time passed. Slow paced yet I can't stop reading it. Good job and thank you.
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Iskandria
Iskandria rated it
March 3, 2017
Status: c123
This is an excellent light novel.

With only 123 chapters it is the shortest novel I've read so far, which is also completed, naturally.

Overall idea is a reincarnation of a smart female into the body of a unfortunate one. A classic. The female lead has no overpowered abilities. She simply has brains. Nice! As one might think, the chapters are on point and doesnt get lost in senseless explanations. 123 chapters, youre never getting bored or try to skip parts. A welcoming change. Story is simple, slaps are there... more>> but not as excessive as the classics.

Focus lies on the characters. Sweet, nice, and understandable. MCs have s*x. Nice! Villains are not purely villainous but comprehensible and with intelligent reactions and endings. Author puts emphasis on the fate of women in a similar time period as the Ancient chinese dynasties. Bittersweet, not always fulfilling, but intelligent and realistic. Do not fret, though, happy ending for MCs.

Low chapters mean not always satisfying appearences of side characters. Which is sad, since they are well made and likeable. Doesnt negatively influence the Story, though.
Had some good laughs along the way, so Humor is there. Nice!

Overall: Read this, its good. <<less
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sandy0097
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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alexfilia
alexfilia rated it
August 9, 2017
Status: c123
This novel was awesome!... it was really buetifully written <3

Its a slice of life story about womens lifes in an ancient china family

It deals with the struggles of being one in many where the husband may not like you, your family only wants to use you and your servants may not respect you.... Untill you step up your game and take charge

Or that what the MC did when she lived her life
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maiha-sama
maiha-sama rated it
May 23, 2017
Status: c123
Absolute love. This is a great example of a novel that doesn't need an overly convoluted plot or complex writing to be compelling, sweet and satisfying.

Qing Ju is one of my favorite female characters - she is lazy, realistic, street smart, mature and independent. She plays her cards right and makes sure she gets to do what she wants. Overall, she is pretty badass. Her and He Heng are quite the perfect foil for each other. He Heng seems to be boring at first, but as we read on, he... more>> is as scheming as he needs to be. He's a solid ML - a quiet black belly. By pulling the strings in the shadows, he was also able to make things play out the way he wanted. He deserved to be big boss.

So there's no surprise romance angle or anything - it is pretty much laid out at the start. Initially I was hoping there would be a third wheel to spice things up but after finishing the novel, I'm convinced the main ship deserves the sturdiness it had - despite everything. The endearing moments between the lead couple are a treat. A few scenes were really impressionable (QJ shouting at HH, the walk down the Palace stairs, the lantern festival) and will stay with me for a long time.

The slow build up of trust between the leads is whats worth reading and when that turns to love, its the cherry on the cake. The feelings that simple, quiet actions can convey are weightier than the feelings three words can hope to confirm. I especially liked how He Heng was accepting of her true personality and didn't ask her to change, ever. He covered for her and protected her. Though he was tempted at times, he didn't give in. It was lovely to read.

I was surprised at the amount of heartache I felt when reading about Rui Wang. It just ate me up.

The Chinese ranks could be confusing at first but as you read similar novels, it becomes easier to relate to them. So I'm glad to have read the novel with the terms untranslated.

Don't be surprised if you called yourself chen qie

on occasion.

Bengong is off for a cup of tea :) <<less
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KKristen
KKristen rated it
February 12, 2017
Status: Completed
TL;DR:
This is a slice-of-life story with a realistic depiction of life as a woman of ancient Chinese nobility. The romance, character development, and plot moves slowly but steadily. There are no plot-holes and the ending will leave you satisfied.

RECOMMENDATION:
5/5 for good, realistic writing.
Highly recommended -- but only if you are patient and interested in politics, a very slow-burning romance, and ancient Chinese culture (with no magic or martial arts). You also should enjoy scandals and seeing noble women throw a lot of shade.

It may sound a... more>> bit boring because it lacks battles and wild main characters, but I thought it was intriguing and really enjoyed it!

PLOT:
To Be a Virtuous Wife is a slow and steady historical fiction about a modern woman who is reincarnated in the body of an girl who has recently married a royal prince. She navigates his harem, deals with other noble women, manages his household, wins him over, and supports him as his brothers fight to become emperor.

The reincarnation aspect is more of an explanation for her personality and understanding of people, rather than a crutch, source of power, or major plot point.

TONE:
This novel really feels like a slice-of-life: slow and consistent most of the time, occasionally exciting, occasionally emotional. It really is about how the main character lives day-to-day (though there is also a real plot that advances steadily). The tone is good-humored, rational, and intelligent, just like our main character.

Also... in case you're worried about the romance... even though the actual love develops slowly, the flirting and interactions are constant and really enjoyable!

CHARACTERS:

Qu Qing Ju - She was a skilled manager in the modern entertainment industry, so she understands a lot about the tricks and temperament of people. When she is reincarnated she rationally chooses to live her new life fully and to the best of her abilities. She is intelligent, mature, knows how to behave, and has no disillusions about love between men and women. Her character development from a friendly but distant reincarnatee, to a wife more invested in her new family, is subtle and well done. Although she is extremely skilled with people, overall she is a very realistic MC.

He Heng - The noble wangye husband. He's a very smart man who knows how to stay out of political trouble and knows how to treat his wife (even if there is no real love between them). He is familiar with the lies of nobility and the wiles of women. He becomes more and more likeable as a character as he learns to respect and rely on his wife and his affection for her slowly grows. (He also becomes somewhat of a masochist without realizing it, which is very enjoyable to read.)

Other nobility - They are very present characters and you understand their weak and strong points. He Heng's three brothers each have distinct personalities and schemes. His mother and sister are amazing women. Some of the antagonistic women are a little too arrogant and obvious, but it's done in a realistic way. The women constantly throw shade at each other (in a very sneaky and elegant way, haha).

Other side characters (such as servants) - They aren't bad but they aren't as fleshed-out as the nobility. I didn't mind.

TRANSLATION:
The translation quality is very high, especially when it comes to poems and thinly-veiled insults. The translators are very good at expressing the right feeling.

However, there is a steep learning curve with lots of Chinese words and titles that can make getting through the first few chapters difficult. I think this is a common occurrence with Dreams of Jianghu's translations. But as always, they are really great at choosing really smart and well-written stories (these are the same folks who translate World of Cultivation). <<less
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Selax
Selax rated it
September 10, 2016
Status: c123
Awesome story. Couldn't keep it down. So addictive that I had to re-read it immediately. Definitely recommending this story to everyone. You won't be disappointed. Straight forward with no time wasted.

The female lead is amazing. One of the best reincarnation character that I have come across so far.
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craz
craz
November 12, 2017
Status: Completed
First and foremost, don’t be fool by the title! When I first saw TBAVW I avoid it for a couple weeks until I ran out of novels to read, finally decided to give it a try and to my surprise best historical romance novel.

TBAVW is my favorite transmigration novel follows by ETT. I loves the MC’s personality so much. Moreover, the loves between MC and male lead bring tears to my eyes, especially the ending. Furthermore, male lead’s mother is such an awesome and noteworthy character. The things a mother... more>> will do for her child is unbelievable.

All in all, I highly recommend TBAVW. <<less
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