Under the Oak Tree

Description

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The daughter of a duke, the stuttering Maximilian, married a knight of lowly status at her father’s coercion.

After their first night, her husband departed for an expedition without another word.

He comes back three years later, this time as a famous knight in the whole continent.

How would Maximilian face him on his return?

Associated Names
One entry per line
상수리나무 아래
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Living As the Villainess Queen (10)
Predatory Marriage (9)
The Duke’s Imposter Sister (9)
I Don’t Want to Be Loved (8)
I Should Have Read The Ending (8)
I Raised A Black Dragon (6)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Smutty
  2. {UwU}
  3. Novel Recommendations
  4. smutty k-novels ( waiting for more chapters )
  5. My Romances to read List, with Female MC

Latest Release

Date Group Release
07/21/21 Secret Translations c184
07/21/21 Secret Translations c183
07/21/21 Secret Translations c182
07/21/21 Secret Translations c181
07/21/21 Secret Translations c180
07/21/21 Secret Translations c179
07/21/21 Secret Translations c178
07/21/21 Secret Translations c177
07/21/21 Secret Translations c176
07/21/21 Secret Translations c175
07/21/21 Secret Translations c174
07/21/21 Secret Translations c173
07/21/21 Secret Translations c172
06/21/21 Secret Translations c171
06/21/21 Secret Translations c170
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117 Reviews sorted by


Rino_Spell
New Rino_Spell rated it
July 23, 2021
Status: v2c1
I fell in love with this novel and can't wait for the sequel. The physical and emotional violence caused to the protagonist is the reason for the fear she has for anyone. Everything Maximilian has gone through justifies her doubts and fears, as well as the fear of loving someone, and it's fascinating to see how she overcomes difficulties and her inner demons. Reading Riftan's perspective also shows us why he has become what he is and why he feels inferior, justifying his stance towards the nobles. I really hope... more>> the writer recovers and goes back to writing this novel that slowly keeps us captivated by each character and looking forward to the outcome. <<less
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creams
New creams rated it
July 23, 2021
Status: v1c150
Some comments are disgusting and probably read the entire novel without comprehension. Lol

if y'all gonna review a book make sure you back up it with stuff that are actually facts within the novel and not some 21st century standards
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08phamann
08phamann rated it
May 27, 2020
Status: c17
I don't understand why this novel has such a good rating...

MC is a pushover and spineless, for sure, but that's because of the verbal, physical and mental abuse of her family. And then ML comes back and continues with this abuse, making it even worse. He is disgusting. He supposedly is infatuated with MC but when he sees her for the first time in like 3 years, he can't even say anything nice and just starts to throw accusations and insults around. Doesn't treat MC with any of the "love"... more>> he apparently feels, and for a "capable hero" he can't see that she is scared and stuttering?? Ask yourself why she is scared you jerk and fix your actions. Even if this novel does get better and he does become better, I still won't read as his actions at the beginning were disgusting and really hard to read. This is made all the worse because MC is genuinely trying but had been abused and compared to her sister for so long, her mentality is warped and instead of making her feel love ML just continues with the abuse. I'm sad that MC falls for such a scumbag. <<less
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Z_E_D.00
Z_E_D.00 rated it
January 12, 2020
Status: c4
So far, the reviews I’ve read had been leaning towards the negative.

The story is great aside from the fact that it’s badly translated, but it’s fully obvious that it isn’t BL.....

now for the MC herself, she has a madical condition which makes her stutter whenever she talks (I’ve noticed that some of you didn’t understand why she stuttered so much).

its understandable why the MC would act very frightful around her husband, she has been scolded in the past if she spoke (because of her condition) and she can’t risk the... more>> ML getting irratated because of her condition and divorcing her (she thinks that’s what will happen because her father told her so).

she’s been abused all her life because of her condition which is why she is always at a loss of how to act around her husband who btw thinks her stuttering and continuous silence is because she doesn’t like him, he is insecure himself and thinks she can’t bare to look at him (because of his previous lower status).

the only one who’s winning in this miserable situation is the MC’s father.

-sigh- I hope this review helps show this story in a better light, it’s quit unique actually, you don’t find a lot of light novels where the ML is the one with lower status. <<less
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MeimeiXgreetsXNiangniang
MeimeiXgreetsXNiangniang rated it
March 31, 2020
Status: c15
Some people are so quick to judge. Well sorry if you don't like a stuttering and weak MC. However, I believe this story is about how Maximillian will overcome her trauma from her abusive father. So far we're only 15 chapters and yes Maximillian is still stuttering and weak.

If you don't like that kind of character then please leave.

In my case I want to see her get her happy ending so I'll continue to follow along.

As for the ML, he quick to misunderstood the MC and quickly make assumptions. That's... more>> why some people might get frustrated reading their interactions. However, at chapter 15 he showed that he can actually explain himself once he understands what's the problem. The only problem is that he's very dense at realizing what's going on. For someone so talented in the military, he's bad at reading MCs mood. <<less
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inori-chii
inori-chii rated it
January 5, 2020
Status: c8
First of all, thank you SO MUCH, dear translator, for picking this up! Having seen so MANY fanarts of it, I was super curious about the story! (Even Spoon, the artist of WMMAP, made few fanarts of it! My NU's PP being one of them btw hehe) Judging from how there's many cosplays & fanarts of it, I'm guessing the WN is pretty popular in Korea

That aside, for those who are being put off with what's going on in the few first chapters, maybe I'm biasing from what I saw... more>> in some fanarts containing spoilers, but I can definitely tell/guarantee the story will get better as well as the FL & ML's relationship too. So y'all please don't lose hope in this story!

Spoiler

Again, I'm biasing from what I saw from the spoilerish fanarts but ML is actually super duper in love w/ the FL. He actually loves & knew her before their marriage & them getting married is something he wanted. (Which is probably where the Love Interest Falls In Love First & Possessive Characters tags come from lol) Later, the FL will join the ML's army (not sure for that part but she'll spend lot of time/get to know some members of his army) & apparently, she can also use magic. Again, small reminder that I have NOT read the korean raws so some infos might be slightly wrong!

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Just google the korean name of the WN if you wanna get spoiled from the fanarts (mainly on Twitter) like me ;) <<less
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Vanessanellyn
Vanessanellyn rated it
April 13, 2020
Status: c96
This is a story with great character development, so if you're patient (cause the MC will be VERY timid in the early chapters), then this will be an amazing read.

Please do know that the translation has divided every chapter into • two partsso even though it's currently ch96, we are actually still reading around ch48.

The story starts with a pitiful, traumatized MC meeting the rude ML (her husband, he's only rude at first ?) for the first time in three years. The story progresses steadily, turning a... more>> timid and stuttering MC into a courageous woman who's capable of standing side-by-side with the ML.

I can see why many people are bashing the MC because of her spineless nature, but we can't really blame her. She was severely abused (verbally, emotionally, and physically) by her family. Despite being a noble, she was constantly belittled by her own father and was treated as lower than a maid by her own family. It's not surprising that she became a stuttering mess, as others would have decided to take their own life if they were her.

But the beauty of the novel is not at the beginning, but in the later chapters where the author decides to develop her characters, especially the MC.

MAJOR SPOILER

Spoiler

The MC won't be a stuttering mess forever. She will become a great mage who can stand and fight alongside the ML. She becomes a great fit for her husband who loves her to death. ?

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Well, even though I'm telling you all of these, we wouldn't be reading this if not for the translator, so we should always try to support them by leaving encouraging comments (or becoming a patreon if you have extra cash) whenever we have spare time. ?

P.S. I recommed reading chapter one at word-excerpt. I'm really sorry to the other blog, but the way they translated the story just increased the confusion of the readers (including me at first) ? They made the ML become more of a jerk than he actually was. One of the reviews even asked if this was BL, which is not true... <<less
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Scitri
Scitri rated it
August 12, 2020
Status: c84
I read 84 chapters waiting for it to get better, but I only ended up disappointed.

The main character is misunderstood and timid. The story starts off with multiple misunderstandings between husband and wife. I was looking forward to all of this being cleared up and for the couple to finally have an understanding of each other and perhaps even for the husband to feel a little bad about treating her a little harshly. Instead, the misunderstands only increase and also ends up multiple more people misunderstanding her, although to a... more>> degree that is almost passed over in the story line.

There's also little things that her husband does that make me dislike him. He seems to mainly focus on his own needs, dragging her around to have s*x with her whenever he wants (though she doesn't seem to dislike it), and acts caring afterward. This is the girl who didn't even understand what pleasing her husband meant or entailed in the beginning.

Her husband has constant words of endearment to her, but that doesn't make sense to me. He does not understand her as a person and she does not have much of a personality outside of her timidness. They seem awfully out of place to me, given the lack of character development or relationship building that occurs in the novel.

The only thing I thought were good were the s*x scenes. If I look at those separately from any plot points, they were enjoyable. But, I think I'll stick to one chapter fanfics to get my fill of p*rn without plot. <<less
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herkawaiinovels
herkawaiinovels rated it
April 30, 2020
Status: ss c1
I read up to the end of the first arc. And let me tell you, this novel is harsh and brutal.

If you are looking for a cute and fluffy novel, this isn't it.

Both MCs are deeply flawed. They make a lot of mistakes and need a lot of growing up to do. But they also have their own reasons for being flawed. These characters are so well-developed and I think that is one of the main strengths of this series.

There were so many points in the series where I really... more>> wanted to give up on it. Their relationship remained toxic even up to chapter 100. As a feminist, I couldn't take the values that Max had. I even questioned whether the author really believed and promoted these patriarchal values herself. But it wasn't until the end of the first arc that I realized, the author was criticizing those beliefs, not promoting them.

This novel is very well-written. The world-building is rich, and the story-telling is well-done.

All I can say at the end of the first arc is that the journey was painfully beautiful.

Spoiler

The end of the first arc devastated me however I also think it was something that needed to happen. But also... poor Riftan : (

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otomefreak
otomefreak rated it
January 6, 2020
Status: c4
The fact that you guys give one star for a story that is barely beginning is unfathomable to me...

From what I see, the story and characters have big chance of developing, especially the MC. Well, there is a Character Development tag, after all, and this is what intrigues me the most. I’m curious how will the MC change later.

The translation definitely needs some work, though... Maybe the translator could use an editor. Nevertheless, I’m grateful to her for picking up this novel!

I’m giving four stars for now, perhaps I will... more>> come back later when the story develops further. <<less
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kucing.gatel
kucing.gatel rated it
April 13, 2020
Status: c22
At first I hated the novel too. The MC started off as a spineless woman who couldn't even stand up for herself. But you need to understand that she was abused verbally and physically since young. I personally went through verbal abuse for about two years and it crumbled me - I became this low self-esteemed and depressed mess, opposite from my usual chirpy and happy person. So I couldn't imagine how it would be for the MC to have received this abuse at a young age.

A HUGE thanks to... more>> translator for picking up this project!! And also for all the heads up in the novel itself to ask us to be patient with the MC cause she will grow to be a different person (thanks to Riftan).

I can't wait to see how the story progress ? <<less
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Kardelune
Kardelune rated it
October 22, 2020
Status: c104
I've seen a few reviews that strongly dislike the ML... I understand, but I can't agree with them.

Honestly this is an amazing story, and the characters are beautifully fleshed out and believable. The story is well paced and never boring. I rarely recommend web novels to friends who don't already read these sort of thing, but I wouldn't hesitate with this one.

When the story starts, the MCs don't know each other. Expecting Riftan to figure out immediately that she's poor and mistreated, when she's lived in an opulent palace all... more>> her life and her sister is known to be extremely coquettish is ridiculous. He doesn't treat her badly at all, his words are rough and he's angry at her because of his misconceptions, and his words seem to confirm and enforce her own misconceptions and insecurities, but he's acting normal toward her. He doesn't see her as broken and so he doesn't treat her as such. And this is something Maxi picks up on and she uses it as a foothold to lift herself up and try to fix herself, and in the process discover that she is capable, she isn't s*upid, just left in ignorance, and she can and does learn, she was never broken, simply never allowed to spread her wings! It's what makes this story so wonderful.

This is a story about overcoming your insecurities (I mean there's more to it but that's the emotional journey at least). Both Maxi and Riftan have a belief that they aren't good enough for the other. It's what leads to misunderstandings between them, but it's by noticing and being open to the other that they realise that they are wrong.
Spoiler

Maxi is pretty straight forward, she's been abused and treated as incapable until she truly came to believe herself to be useless. Then her father had her marry a man whom he (the father) looked down upon but needed as a connection. She didn't get a chance to know him, he's a physically overwhelming guy with a rough way of speaking, she also thinks he's being forced by his own circumstances to marry her, because why else would any one marry her? So she's scared of disappointing him even more, and that he'll treat her worse than her father if she doesn't stay out of sight and mind. They got married and then he went off to fight for several years on the king's orders, leaving her to the mistreatment of her family.

Riftan feels as if he stands out in high society, he's a lord, but he understands nothing of etiquette, fashions, parties, the nicer things in life are a mystery and for the most part seem useless to him. He gained status and fame through violence and war. He is and sees himself as a soldier first, and it seems he went to fight dragons from a very young age. And for the most part he's good with that, he knows who he is, and he's satisfied with it. But somehow he landed this lovely and delicate aristocrat's daughter who he believes has been pampered and treasured all her life. He thinks she's marrying lower than she deserves, and that she dislikes him for that. When he returns from battle he thinks she refused to live at his castle because it wasn't good enough for her. It frustrates him, but now that he's back she's just going to have to live with it, he thinks he can make it up to her because he's got the money to maintain her life style now.

Admittedly Maxi is scared of him at first. Her father has convinced her that Riftan will be angry that he's got her for a wife. But while he's clearly on edge around her she notices that he never actually does anything violent toward her even though he's an intimidating guy, and he does whatever he says he'll do, she sees a possibility of hope and she tries to open up to him. But when she realises he expects her to be a sophisticated noble girl she hides the truth because she's scared of losing this better life.

It takes Riftan a day or two to realise that Maxi isn't so much disgusted by him and forcing herself to be in his presence because she had to marry him, but because she's extremely shy. She doesn't avoid his gaze because he's revolting, she's not stuttering because she hates him so much and once he realises all this, his annoyance drops and his attitude softens somewhat. He's still a rough kind of guy, but he misunderstands her words less from then on. And he never looks down on her even once he realises her stutter is her natural way of speaking, and not something brought on by too much negative emotion. I love him for that alone.

It's so rare to have both main characters be so flawed, but it's great!

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I'll add as an aside, that one of the tropes I hate the most when it comes to romance is the "strong male lead saving the damsel and then providing her with everything he thinks she needs to grow into herself" which is fine in the early stages, but too often turns into a kind of grooming of the FL disguised as good intentions and never stops. In such stories the FL often ends up learning nothing of her own volition even if she does grow stronger, only following every suggestion from the ML resulting in the woman appearing dependent on her man for everything. In under the oak tree, Riftan's misunderstanding means he doesn't know there is a need to help her learn anything (he already thinks she's perfect lol) and Maxi is the one who ends up finding the strength to build herself up, she ends up needing help, of course, but this allows her to learn from others (Ruth has the most active role in this, but the servants and young knights unwittingly help her too) it's a richer experience for her, and a much healthier way to grow.

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eburcher
eburcher
September 28, 2020
Status: c106
This is such a cute story. It starts off rocky but you really can't fault the FL for being so timid after years of abuse. If you have some patience and get a little ways into the story, it's really obvious the ML adores her. She just doesn't believe it because she's been brainwashed by her father. There is so much character growth in this story once there aren't so many misunderstandings between the leads.

On a side note... where did all the chapters go?! I was up to 106... more>> on wordexcerpt but now they only have the Manga posted and not the novel. : ( <<less
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yueppic
yueppic rated it
April 17, 2020
Status: c25
I'm sorry but this novel is already on my fav list. I don't know about others opinion, but for me this novel can surpass Lucia's position from my favtest list easily. I was gonna wait until 50 chapter, but those fanart I've been seeing on my twitter TL really tempting me ;;u;;

... more>>
Spoiler

I heard Max (MC) going to become alot stronger after some chapter ahead, like she gots some magic on her. I can't wait for that to happen to our beloved Max ? I can't wait for them to be free from Max's father. Having seen alot of their fanart too, ITS HELLA CUTE WHEN ALL THE KNIGHT ARE THINKING MAX IS A CUTIE LIVING BEING. And Max is totally a cutie when she is being drawn as a chipmunk. And somehow I want to see Riftan sulking reaction on the novel cause the fanart's version ARE SO HELLA CUTE.

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I'm gonna read it and wait until that times comes with alot of patient (lol) <<less
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Renjiko
Renjiko rated it
October 30, 2020
Status: c106
One thing I say, do not trust those reviewers who wasnt even have sht to read until furhest chapter. This is gem and to think its still yet to dive on its climax. The story's good going and quality of writing so far good for a smut. I have allot of expectation. If you like Lucia and Living as villain then you'll like the quality of writing for this one. I was doubting for a long time seeing how readers criticize both male and female lead for being your... more>> typical as*hole and weak damsel in distress respectively, which is cliché. But upon reading it, it is one of my top 5 rom smut light novel I read so far. Has good smut, quality of plot and writing and translation.

I like straightforward and short length novels but this one, tho slow phased and long it has this quality that'll make you emerge and dwell on it (reading it without getting bored or stop in the middle, atleast so far). Kudos to the quality of translation!!

This novel is basically how MC grows from timid, weak and sickly to a strong independent woman with her husband on her side. She started to see world and discover her strength and capabilities once she met him. Guessing, it's still halfway done. <<less
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mina713
mina713 rated it
September 11, 2020
Status: c344
This novel is a journey in itself. The beginning is rough, I can't deny that I was a little frustrated with Maxi's character as well as Riftan's and their interactions. But as you keep reading, we're given their backgrounds and their growth throughout. Reading straight from the raw, I really have to praise the author and the way she words and describes all the details of the characters, their actions and thoughts.

Seeing the one-star ratings I was a little offended only to see that they've barely made it into the... more>> story. Also, if you're reading the translated version, please note the translator splits the chapters so chapter 100 is really chapter 50 in the raws... aka no where near the half point of the story AT ALL.

If you're thinking about starting this novel, please try to at least read the entire first arc before deciding to drop/give this a bad rating. This novel is truly a gem. There's a reason why it's so popular and gets a lot of attention from the Korean audience. <<less
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Bardura
Bardura rated it
April 23, 2020
Status: c30
Oh dear, this is a tough one.

This is one of the stories you have to be patient with and wait for the character development to start. There are a lot of miscommunication at the beginning because of the lead characters low self-esteem. Max and Riftan, they are both so awkward and poor at communicating.

One thinks that anger is a sign to beat, and the other takes every word as a critique of his social status.

One is very timid, the other one is a bit overbearing.

And both of them misunderstand each other due to FL, Max's father.

Since Max has a below sea-level self esteem and Riftan has insecurity the misunderstandings between them are still not cleared.

So why keep reading it?

Because there is an explanation for everything, the story mainly revolves around Max's character progress which has already started and we've already seen Riftan being really considerate with her when he f*cking doesnt misunderstand every damn thing.

Max is just an innocent bean who got physically and mentally abused by her own father. Our MC grew up without love or care from her family, she never had friends as well... she's quite pitiful to be honest. It's sad that she's been abused so much so that she's a trembling mess in front of her husband.

Riftan used to just a knight of lowly status who was 'forced' to marry Max before departing for an expedition that lasted 3 years. So when he comes back he has a lot of insecurity about Max and their marriage.

So Of course they misunderstand each other!! They will probably need long time to restore confidence to communicate normally.

However, after the come-back sex, which annoyed the hell out me and nearly made me drop this series because the author had a rough and unappealing start to the smut aspects...
Spoiler

by that I mean when Riftan doesnt realize how f*cked up she is and instead direct dives in to sex. ugh, I nearly dropped this. I mean the girl is shuttering for God's sake. But he's all like; 'oh you must be disgusted with me because I used to be a knight of lowly status and you're a Duke's daughter, never mind, let's have sex''. WHAT. THE. f*ck. Come on, how thick can his skull be to not see that she's scared? Is he dumb or what? I understand that he doesn't know Max has been abused her entire life, but you have to be BLIND to confuse fear with haughtiness. The poor girl didn't understand anything that was happening when they started to have s*x but he kept f*cking misunderstanding everything. I was pulling my hair reading it. But it really all boils down to cultural differences, with Korea being more conservative on the subject of sex. At least he was sorta trying to not make it painful for her and was really patient in guiding Max to get her to prepare herself during s*x so I hung in there and I'M GLAD

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... he was so considerate with her. He loves her so much (dont know for sure yet but it seems it was love at first sight for him) and acts like a beast because he loves her so much. He's overbearing but in a not as*hole way. Even though he's quite rough around the edges he's already shown some remarkable good qualities.

Overall; despite the feeling want to smack their head to wake them up, I look forward for their growth.

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Brand New Fan
Brand New Fan rated it
May 4, 2021
Status: c25
From what I can tell about the readers that do not like this story, theyq have a hard time accepting deeply flawed characters. Max has been abused since birth by everyone including maids. Riftan is plagued with self doubt. His need to be accepted wars with the knowledge that he may never be accepted and it kills him that the women he loves my never accept him. So she is unable to explain her feelings because it is all normal to her that she is viewed as useless. He is... more>> also unable to explain himself because he is harder on himself than others are on him and he often lasses out in anger but just verbally with her. he feels she looks down on him but that is because he does not understand how she was raised. Neither is able to put themselves in the others shoes and the love you see right there in front of them is agony to watch them try to reach. I feel the author is amazing in creating these characters and is very gifted in their writing.... about everything😜. <<less
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Achiless
Achiless rated it
November 16, 2020
Status: c106
Ok hear me out, the ML is actually chill so those worried about toxic relatonship gotta chill too.

This story has the smut, sweet romance and some bit of action etc.

None of them are really amazingly done, but their mediocerness strangely cancel each other out lmao making this good. And strangely it also isn't all over the place.
    • Smut: So the smut isn't that hot, but it's also not straight up awkward to read like with most shoujo's (shoujo smut is just painful). I lowkey skipped all the smut scenes except for the first few. Except the r*pey first time, after she arrived at Riftan's castle, the smut scenes were pretty decent.
    • Rapey: so their first time was r*pey, but if you're willing to put yourself in the time and characters (more about it later), you'll get over it. Btw I'm not even sure whether it was straight up r*pe cause it wasn't in the webtoon so I'm confusion, but the ML def came on too strong so still r*pe in the end.
    • Romance: I've never seen the "I m gonna do something for the other" coming from both sides in a very long time. Also, the MC actually acknowledges her feelings for the ML whch I didn't expect so thank god. Also *improvement shalallala* and *development shalalala*. No forever tsundere/yandere sh*t here.
    • Snusnu: I hate sweetness. I even hate any story with a sweet MC. But I couldn't help just straight up giggle, like seriously giggle, at the sweet stuff in this. For me it always stops just before it gets too much.
    • Action: not really much action (yet idk), and what there is isn't anything special but it also isn't cringe (like trying to write detailed action scenes so much like you're starng at a picasso in a bad way). The author knows to just stop. But there is this folk-tale legend hype within the novel, and that just makes my shounen blood boil. It made me wanna watch a whole Alexander doc again.
    • Characters: just wow. Not amazing, but this should just be the bottom line (and I haven't seen that line for ages now). -First of the MC is so realistic. She doesn't get over her trauma immediately, and often falls back down (cause that's the way it goed). It's a good thing to remember that she isn't timid 24/7 and also has a bit of charater. I think the author could've done beter on displaying that. When she rolled her eyes I was like is she going OOC? Her stuttering adds to her timid appearance, and I know that you can still stutter while talking fast, loud (and even confident), but I just couldn't place her like that at all. All I got from her was her behaviour. A switch in emotion is rarely spelled out by the narrator, but instead showed through Maxi's own words, which doesn't help at all as her stutter slowers the reading pace and makes her look shy. I strangely didn't hate the MC. Prob becase she's actually aware of her situation, surroundings and feelings (very important, cause most of the time shy/soft female charas will be s*upidly oblivious to her feelings) and tries to take mini steps to change. She's not amazing, but I didn't mind reading this from her perspective.

      -Then the ML, who's just a giant ball of fur that doesn't know *communication shalalalala* in the beginning (neither does the MC but hey she's fking traumatised). But it isn't that bad. He's prob like every other person cause we all lack communication skills. He isn't that bad, and does communicate his fair share and displays his love for her through words and actions. He came of very assholly in the beginning, but afterwards I've realised that that's just how his character should be. He's a lord, a war hero, who grew up "uncivalised/un-nobel" in medieval setting so his temper is just him. It's only normal that he doesn't change into a complete diffferent person when he's with Maxi. That's how it should be cause that's called *character analysis shalalala*, but most shoujos with rough/harsh ML either turn out to be "I'm a bad guy but when my wife comes my split persona kicks in" or "I'm a yandere/tsundere so I'll keep hurting her ow no why do I do that she keeps suffering but she can't leave me uwu". Riftan does get softer around Maxi, but doesn't change into a different person. The ML also doesn't know what the MC has gone through so he doesn't take his temper as a big deal. Also he was really harsh in the beginning but he got his reason for that (he thought his wife and her fam just sent him and his army to die). -Sidecharas: finally side characters who neither completely humiliate the MC nor completely adore her. There are some of both, and also people (like Ruth) who's just in-between. No one will keep humiliating her behaviour throughour the whole story, nor will all the character all act as if she's a baby. I've seen my fair share of that bullshit, so I'm glad this is different. Not much side character depth, but they all seem realistic enough for a web novel.
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daviemae
daviemae rated it
May 14, 2020
Status: c41
This is among my favorite Korean web novels.

The thing that I love the most about it is that the author writes some believably realistic characters. Once you are able to see what they’ve been through, especially the FL, you’ll get to understand why they think and act the way they do. FL really tugs at your heartstrings and I find myself genuinely rooting for her character growth throughout the story (it might be a little slow but it’s there). ML is probably my favorite among the novels I read. He... more>> is a very well-written character that I truly find endearing.

Do not let the beginning of the novel phase you. I myself, found it frustrating to read because of how weak the FL is and how ignorant the ML seems. But moving forward, I realized that author did so the readers can firmly grasp the beginnings of the journey towards character development for the two.

Overall, it is definitely worth the read.

PS The comment section over at wordexcerpt is gold. <<less
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moon-bunnies
moon-bunnies rated it
May 30, 2021
Status: c160
I can see how some people may not like this novel, but I'm not one of them.

I adore this piece of work because it has it all. Romance, smut, and multi-dimensional characters driven by their own motives rather than plot.

Maxi starts off as meek, socially-challenged, and a general ball of anxiety. She's been conditioned to be weak and fearful of male authority due to an abusive father.

... more>> Riftan starts off as the epitome of toxic masculinity, craving affection without communication and a wife who magically understands him.

Their relationship isn't equal; Riftan is controlling while Maxi, subject to a life time of abuse from her father, knows no better than to wordlessly accept it. But it doesn't stay this way. Maxi wants to change, and she continuously pushes herself to be stronger. Riftan, on the other hand, must come to terms with his past trauma, insecurities, and severe abandonment complex. Both their perspectives are nuanced and complicated by their past. The novel shares our awareness of the deep flaws of its characters, and slowly explores how they grow beyond that. Without spoiling anything, I can still safely say the novel main focus of the novel is on how the two constantly re-define their relationship through difficult trials given by both their circumstances and each other.

What's interesting is that the novel doesn't just roll with Riftan's possessiveness as a symptom of its genre. Rather, the novel criticizes it through Maxi's perspective and explores his behavior through a few dozen side chapters in his perspective. In time, we'll see Maxi's journey of rising above their original relationship and desiring to be treated as an equal.

That's hell of a refreshing take in comparison to other romances.

And you know what's better? Under the Oak passes the Bechdel test. Agnes, the "rivaling female character" that the novel foreshadowed for dozens of chapters, isn't a rival in love at all. She's a staunch supporter of female independency, gives zero damns about Riftan, and tries to empower Maxi.

Of course this novel isn't perfect. I wish it could go deeper than its subtle hints at social-economic tension between old nobility, new nobility, and the working class, introduce a few more complicated themes beyond swords & magic, form more intricate storylines regarding politics, etc. Riftan also has the potential to be developed so much more too. But for what it is, it is pretty damn good. <<less
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jen0905
jen0905 rated it
January 7, 2021
Status: c104
I totally agree with some of the other reviews; yeah the beginning can be a little frustrating, but if you try to understand where Maxi is coming from, you can see past all of the miscommunications between the characters. Just stick with it! I promise it gets better!
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