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Chinese title: 美人难嫁

Author: 是今

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Synopsis

Gong Qing was the daughter of the director of board of rites. She was smart and beautiful and called the number one beauty by the people. On the night of the Lantern Festival, Gong Qing and her mother enjoyed the lanterns together. Unfortunately, she was kidnapped. A man with the mask of the mythical lion-like animal saved her. Gong Qing felt something about this man who she had never met before.

  • Lantern Festival: the night of the 15th of the first lunar month

At the palace, mother Gong was determined to find a handsome and talented husband for her daughter. Coincidentally, Gong Qing showed grace many years ago to the newly top-ranked at the imperial exam Chen Zui Shi. The two families were just about to talk about marriage, they got to know that princess Ah Jiu fancied Chen Zui Shi. Gong Qing who had encountered many troubles deliberately made by princess Ah Jiu and crown prince Mu Chen Hong, deeply felt that life was truly difficult…

The heart of people were sinister and it was difficult for the beauty to marry. Gong Qing had fallen into the state where no one dared to take her as wife.  Fortunately, prince Rui of the first rank, Mu Zhao Lu fancied Gong Qing and asked for a decree from the emperor to marry her. Just when Gong Qing was happily preparing for the wedding, it was revealed that Gong Qing had the fate to be the mother of the world…

Prince Rui of first rank Mu Zhao Lu was elegant and graceful. The top ranked of the imperial exam Chen Zhui Shi’s behavior and appearance was out of the ordinary. Crown prince Mu Chen Hong was outstanding and a black belly. Savior was mysterious…

Everyone asking for her hand was out of the ordinary. The aristocracy and handsome and talented heroes; who would be her husband in the end?

Summary:

The story is about Gong Qing who was the number one beauty of the capital. Her mother was not worried about her marriage since Gong Qing was beautiful, smart and talented. She planned to find her a husband on the palace banquet like how she found her husband. However, she didn’t expect to encounter so many obstacles trying to marry off her daughter. First, she fancied the top-ranked at the imperial exam because he was handsome and talented. Moreover, they saved his whole family a few years ago when starvation was causing people to die. Hence, she thought that he would treat her daughter well since they were his beneficiaries. However, princess Ah Jiu also liked him. No one could go against the imperial family. Hence, she had to give up on him. Her next target was the general of first rank. She went to the palace to ask her aunt, the consort dowager for help. However, the consort dowager wanted Gong Qing to marry the crown prince instead to continue the power and riches of the family. Hence, she summoned Gong Qing to the palace and made many coincidental encounterings between the crown prince and Gong Qing but Gong Qing had no interest in being the crown princess.

On her birthday, when her mother planned another opportunity to find her a husband, the crown prince sent her a gift which was a ring he always wore and a flower with the name Flying in Pairs. After the gift, everyone thought that she would certainly become the crown princess. But, when her mother went to inquire, she heard that the empress and princess Ah Jiu didn’t like Gong Qing. Gong Qing thought that the crown prince was just playing a game. She went to the consort dowager to ask her to help her (GQ) ask for a decree to marry the general of the first rank. However, the consort dowager asked for a marriage to be bestowed between Gong Qing and the crown prince instead. This got the objection of the empress and princess Ah Jiu. In the end, the prince Rui of first rank asked for her hand and got bestowed a marriage to her. While she happily accepted her fate since she thought that he was her savior, the high priest saw that she had the fate of being the mother of the world. Then, naturally, she couldn’t marry prince Rui because the future emperor should be the crown prince. If prince Rui insist on marrying her, it would mean that he wanted to revolt and take the throne.

Now, she was single again. No one dared to marry her with such a fate. Finally, the crown prince got bestowed marriage to her. Many people tried to sabotage this one also. However, it turned out that the crown prince had been in love with her ever since young and had waited for her to grow up. He planted guards around her. So, the sabotaging didn’t work. It also turned out that all her other failed engagements had been his doing. After they had married, he treated Gong Qing very well and made her fall in love with him. They went through a revolt before they had a happy ending.

Review:

This is a short book that I recently had read. Since it was so short, it lacked depth. The plot wasn’t so well done. If there were more chapters, the story would’ve been more well-developed. However, it was funny. There were many comedic moments, especially Gong Qing’s mother was the star of this book.

The story happened in the era of empress Dugu of the Sui dynasty. I don’t know whether the empress of this book and the real empress Dugu were the same. Both were the only woman of the emperor which was very rare since emperors could have three thousand beauties. This was the only similarity. The other characters also had other names than those from the history. The story between her, the emperor  and Gong Qing’s mother is also isn’t that well-developed. I was curious about the story between them, but it turned out to be bland and anti-climatic. . It was briefly explained that Gong Qing’s mother didn’t want to become his consort because when they met, he was already married. She wanted someone to love her alone for her whole life.

Crown prince Mu Chen Hong was another character that I liked. He was such a black-belly and plotting all these plots behind Gong Qing’s back to stop her marriages and also when plotted to get her to make love to him was so cute. This is one of the story were the love-making is detailed. Aside from that, he was also the smarter one of the two. While Gong Qing could be considered smart, she was too passive. Even after falling into many traps, she still went to her enemy’s camp.

The other male leads were under-developed. Prince Rui appeared when the story was almost finished. His character was so brief that didn’t even know what his point in appearing was aside from the revolt.

This story had potential. If it was about just ten chapters longer, it would’ve been so much better. All in all, I will rate this book a 3.5/5 for lack of development.