Palace of Devotion (2021) poster
7.6
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 219 users
# of Watchers: 1,348
Reviews: 5 users
Ranked #4877
Popularity #6879
Watchers 219

Orphaned as a child, Liu E travels to the capital Kaifeng, and later catches the eye of Zhao Heng. Though she was a concubine, Liu E was perceptive to state affairs, and often discussed politics with Zhao Heng. This tradition continued when he became emperor in 997. Liu E is crowned empress after adopting the son of a concubine (later Emperor Renzong), and serves as regent of the Song Dynasty during the last two years of her husband’s reign. Liu E would continue to rule until her death twelve years later in 1033. (Source: cfensi.wordpress) ~~ Inspired by the life story of Empress Zhangxian Mingsu, Liu E of the Song Dynasty. Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 61
  • Aired: Mar 20, 2021 - Apr 19, 2021
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: iQiyi Tencent Video Youku
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 219 users)
  • Ranked: #4877
  • Popularity: #6879
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Palace of Devotion

iQIYI
Free (sub)

Cast & Credits

Photos

Palace of Devotion (2021) photo
Palace of Devotion (2021) photo
Palace of Devotion (2021) photo
Palace of Devotion (2021) photo
Palace of Devotion (2021) photo
Palace of Devotion (2021) photo

Reviews

Completed
ChineseDramaFan
20 people found this review helpful
Apr 23, 2021
61 of 61 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 7.5

The Hands Behind the Power

This drama portrays the life story of Liu E, one of the most prominent empress dowagers in Chinese history (b. 969 – d. 1033). She became the regent of the Song Dynasty for Emperor Zhenzong (reigned 997 – 1022) and later, for Emperor Renzong (reigned 1022 – 1063). Here, Liu E is depicted as intelligent, benevolent, decisive and visionary, far exceeds her male counterpart. Her journey from rags to riches based on historical facts, is interjected with fictional stories and figures.

The production cost for this drama is undoubtedly high with well know veteran actors, Liu Tao and Chou Yu Min, and the quality and acting are good. However, the editing is horrendous, in particular, for the first 10 episodes, making everything feel disjointed. There, events move very fast, from one big event to the next, supposedly unravelling over a span of time in days or weeks, even years, but the way the drama was cut, it feels like multiple events happening within the same day or hour, confusing and frustrating many viewers. The drama is said to have 80 episodes originally but drastically being trimmed down to 61 episodes.

Liu E has been portrayed as an evil woman in some literature which contradicts what historians think. In historical records, she was a very smart and courageous woman and had implemented many impressive projects that benefited the nation; her contributions were undeniable. Liu Tao's portrayal here is elegant and strong, and yet not lacking her feminine charisma. Whether or not this depiction is historically accurate, it is anybody’s guess. For me, compared with “Serenade of Peaceful Joy” where Liu E was portrayed in the first few episodes, I find some of the events in “Palace of Devotion” more plausible while others rather far-fetched with the writer’s imagination running wild. For example, how Liu E loses her biological children here seems over dramatic, but the request of wearing the emperor’s attire to a ritual ceremony seems out of place in “Serenade of Peaceful Joy” where a great deal of time is spent in arguing over the subject, whereas here, it becomes a brilliant idea by the Emperor himself to grant the Empress Dowager the status and privilege without much ado. Also how Cao (Empress Cisheng) comes to the life of Emperor Renzong is more believable in this drama than the previous one. However, I do love the dialogues in the former drama (“Serenade of Peaceful Joy”) which are more poise and humorous and the costume there perhaps more accurately depicted given Emperor Renzong was a very frugal person.

My Verdict
This is a rather well-done drama with decent CGIs despite the disjointed editing in earlier episodes and some inconsistencies in the logic of the fictitious events which are meant to spice up the story. Compared with “Serenade of Peaceful Joy”, “Palace of Devotion” is action packed with epic war scenes, spectacular warriors from Song and Khitan-Liao, and the settings are more opulent. The encounter of another great empress dowager, the Khitan Xiao Yan Yan, gives viewers two historically great women with strong personalities and powerful characters that leave deep marks in Chinese history; their intelligence and wisdom well supersede their contemporaneous male counterparts.

This is not a drama of great romance, and yet, Emperor Zhenzong is devoted to his Empress Liu. If not for the need of having a male heir for the throne, he wouldn’t have agreed to sleep with other women. This is pretty rare for a custom notorious for harems with thousand beauties.

Many viewers are also critical of the age of the main actors and complaint of their chemistry, Perhaps, these viewers are very used to having good looking young actors and fireworks type of romance. If so, this drama may not be their cup of tea.

“Palace of Devotion” comes with great character development and nice OSTs, at the same time, not lacking a sense of humor, tragedies and connivance.

Women have been an important force in shaping up societies and in politics. Seeing the two great empress dowagers of the time, a what-if question runs through my mind - what if women were given equal power, would we have a more peaceful and better world today?

Though not 100% perfect, this is a good historical drama for history buffs. I have enjoyed it. Great watch and recommended!

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Completed
Springsummer286
3 people found this review helpful
Jan 6, 2023
61 of 61 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

One of the Best!

This is my first ever review because I feel so compelled to do justice to this drama.

If you are a historical drama fan, you must watch this. Although the events and characters sometimes have some fictional elements (which I think they did on purpose to avoid censorship problems) the main plot and most of the events were played out nicely, down the the smallest details. As I watched this and read Wikipedia about each of these characters it really brought me joy in learning about Song Dynasty.

Some people don’t want to watch this due to bias against older actors/ actress (me included). But in the end I found them to be skillful and refreshing in telling this story. For those of us who knows the legend of Civet Cat replacing Crown Prince, this is the story itself but less vicious; more logical.

Wonderful to watch this without too much harem in-fighting and seeing a realistic portrayal of an Emperor, whom in spite of his status has a very hard life. He loves only one person and remains faithful through his embrace, gaze and need of spending time with her; yet he had to seduce other women in order to produce an heir (tastefully and sexily done …). He is also a fair person who doesn’t discard the women once he got his heir but to honor them best he could.

The main couple though in love evolved their love into a very mature relationship where they go through heart breaking decisions together. I sometimes feel so bad for them and wish they’re able to love like a normal couple.

Politically this drama also plays out the stress that the Emperor goes through and no wonder they die young whilst some ministers lived through 3 generations of Emperors. This is truly a bad for health job.

Everyone acts so well in their roles. Vic Zhou tends to have this pained , eye-squinting expression when he portrays the older weaker emperor. But he is very charming nonetheless. Even his consorts talk about his piercing eyes and good looks and how they all really love him. This includes the empress (Liu Tao) whom he loves so much.

This drama is a gem for people who likes to see a good quality set, high standards in acting, costumes, attention to every detail including etiquette and ceremonies. Amazing! Go watch it and you will be surprised how good it is. Some says initial editing was bad. I don’t think so. You just need to pay attention to the story. They make every episode counts and it’s paced so well that 61 episodes is not too long. I finally found something that is equal to Glory of Tang Dynasty which ‘wow’ me 3 years ago in a similar way.

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Serenade of Peaceful Joy

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Details

  • Drama: Palace of Devotion
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 61
  • Aired: Mar 20, 2021 - Apr 19, 2021
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: iQiyi, Tencent Video, Youku
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 219 users)
  • Ranked: #4877
  • Popularity: #6879
  • Watchers: 1,348

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