A love story revolves around the 9th Princess of Western Liang as she journeys to the Central Plains to fulfill a marriage alliance with the Crown Prince. Having received overwhelming love and admiration as the 9th Princess, Xiao Feng is forced to leave the life that she has known in order to become the Crown Princess. Her husband, the black-bellied Crown Prince, holds the highest position second only to one, the Emperor. However, the Eastern Palace is the most dangerous place to be. For political reasons, the Prince has no choice but to marry the Princess from a foreign land. He has his own favored concubine while she has her own life. Two parallel lines begin to intersect in a place fraught with danger and deadly power play and buried somewhere deep inside are memories that have yet to resurface. (Source: ChineseDrama.info) ~~ Adapted from Fei Wo Si Cun's novel of the same name. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Best Historical Romantic Drama of 2019This is one of the very few dramas that has more depth and lets the viewers experience all kinds of emotions – love, hatred, happiness, sadness, kindness, cruelty, trust, betrayal, amongst others. Being a tragedy, this drama has captured my heart and emotions, and takes me through the journey of joy and pain.
The female lead grows from an innocent and naive girl living on the steppes/desert, into a thoughtful and self-sacrificing woman living in the palace. Her role makes her the most loved character in the drama, and Peng Xiao Ran has effortlessly achieved the high standard in her acting. She is an amazing actress – natural, beautiful and authentic.
The first male lead, Chen Xing Xu, is very young in his early 20s. He has also achieved successfully his role as the 5th Prince with a boyish personality. He gives viewers the impression of a silly thoughtless youth, and yet, he is a smart scheming lethal strategist deep down. This is a very complex character to portray and Chen has done it with flying colors.
This is a high-quality production, from acting to costumes to props. The whole cast plays their roles convincingly and effectively. All details are taken care of. There are no or few holes/loose ends.
The story itself is heart-wrenching and sad, but it also calls up many questions we may have within ourselves about life and about decisions we make daily – things may not always be what they seem to be.
Since it is a tragedy, the ending is what it is expected, a tragedy. I love the ending because there is proper closure for every character; no unnecessary killings just to write-off a character. Everyone gets what he/she deserves.
The sound tracks are the most unforgettable tunes for this drama. Each song is meaningful with sorrow and longing that are sung in beautiful melodies. I don’t know how many times I have listened to the “Little Fox” which gives me the deepest impression. The song conjures up images of a girl riding a horse running freely on the steppes, long gone is the pain one has to endure in life.
Despite it is heart-wrenching to watch some episodes that involve betrayal and killings, this is a must-watch drama. I give it a two-thumbs up.
Li Chengyin is the character I’ve always wanted to see. He is a complex character living in a treacherous world. He has to use his cunning every single moment of every single day just to stay alive. Every mistake that made him appear soft brought danger to his doorstep, so can you blame him for the person he’s become? He’s so clever in the face of his enemies, but that becomes his downfall in the face of love. You love him and then you hate him and then you love him all over again.
Qu Xiaofeng is such a charming girl. She defies norms in costume/historical dramas wherein she IS the politically-favored wife, she doesn’t have to fight her way to the top of the harem, she has almost no trouble getting along with anyone in the palace, yet she’s put in this lonely predicament because of the narrative Li Chengyin fabricates in his best attempt to protect her. He tries so hard to protect her from everyone that he forgets to protect her from himself. The thing is— she doesn’t need to be sheltered; she’s brave, upstanding and receptive. His attempts to preserve her innocent spirit pushes them further away from each other.
While Chengyin lives in a world of darkness dealing with the demons surrounding them, Xiaofeng is the brightest light, his polar opposite. And that’s why they seem to never agree on anything. In another lifetime, their love could have been a romantic comedy; if he were just a regular tea merchant, they would have lived every single day together, trifling and loving. Their chemistry is undeniable. On top of that, the performance by Chen Xingxu and Peng Xiaoran breathes life into the characters from the novel. They convincingly portrayed every sweet moment and every heartbreak. I still feel strong sorrow for these characters as if they’re actual people I know.
The costumes and cinematography in the drama are so lovely, the characters are charming, the dubbing is really well done, the OST is unforgettable, and above all, the story is beautiful. This drama exceeded all of my expectations. If you’re interested in a tale that dares to straddle the line between love and hate and still manages to make it work, I implore you to give this drama a chance.