Tag Archives: Translated Novel

Team TBR Challenge Review/Rant: 暴君请放手 by 一抹初晴

暴君请放手 by 一抹初晴
(Tyrant, Please Let Go aka “Beauty’s Fault“) by Yi Mo Chu Qing
Beauty's Fault Hoopla Audiobook Cover

他擁有絕美的容顏,卻因此淪爲仇人的玩物;她爲報救母之恩,替他承歡於他的仇人身下。終有一天,她助他得以飛出囚籠,重獲新生。本以爲可以從此自由,誰料他殘忍下手,揮劍刺向她的胸膛。“怎麼,想離開我,回到他的身邊去?”他絕美的脣角掛着陰鷙的冷笑,長劍的劍尖上還淌着殷紅的血。他的劍,怎會刺進她的胸膛?這樣的結局,是她始料未及。他冷冷地指着她:“你逃不了!我不會放過他,也不會放過你!”
He has a beautiful face, but because of this he becomes the plaything of his enemies; in order to repay the favor to her mother, she acts his body double and makes nice with his captor on his behalf. One day, she helped him fly out of the cage and regain his life. She thought she could be free from now on, but who would have expected him to be so cruel that he stabbed her in the chest with his sword. “Why, do you want to leave me and go back to him?” There was a sinister sneer on the corner of his beautiful lips, and the tip of the long sword was dripping with red blood. How could his sword pierce her chest? This ending was something she had never expected. He pointed at her coldly: “You can’t escape! I won’t let him go, and I won’t let you go!”

First of all … I spent too much time hunting down the actual book blurb, and “translating” it – TBH I obviously used google translated and edited what it spit out … What it says in Hoopla is this:

“Canon grave” is based on Jiang Feng as the main line, wrote about the jiangs pawnshop in three hundred years throughout the country. The story took place in different times. The Jiangjia Pawnshop before liberation and the Jiangjia Pawnshop after liberation were staggered.

… which is obviously fucking wrong. Also I started listening to the book in my car so it’s not as if I could’ve tried to find the source material and plug it into a translator. Anyway I’m salty AF. Especially since all the [Chinese] sites I’ve found it on label it as a romance. A ROMANCE! NO!

While the prompt for the TBR challenge this month was “furry friends” I’m ignoring it because I need to rant. (Also I considered writing a review of a book I enjoyed that had a dog, but look … I need to talk about this goddamn book more.) Calling the … I don’t even want to call him a “male lead” – even in my notes I just called him “dude” other than my descriptive “13 year old shitprince” … anyway, calling him a dog would be an insult to dogs. And not just because I LOVE dogs. I felt insane while I was listening to this book. I didn’t DNF it because I’d DNF’d like eight books over the weekend – so many that I didn’t even bother putting them all into GR. I kept listening because the first part was ok, and more I kept hoping it’d get better. I kept thinking, “it has to get better, right? Everything is going to turn around.” Well, I WAS WRONG. I think this might be the most “what in the goddamn fuck” book I’ve ever read in my life. Continue reading

Team TBR Challenge Review: It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager (宫斗不如当太后) by by September Flowing Fire (Jiu Yue Liu Huo, 九月流火)

It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager (宫斗不如当太后) by by September Flowing Fire (Jiu Yue Liu Huo, 九月流火)
Historical romance published in 2021

It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager by September Flowing Fire Book CoverTang ShiShi was the number one beauty. She was arrogant, domineering and aggressive. She accidentally acquired a book and learned that she was just a vicious female second lead in a palace struggle. Later, she would fight for favor with the female lead, and eventually she was ruined and died miserably.

Now, they have just entered the fief of Jing Wang, and the first meeting of the male and female leads has not happened yet. There are two paths before Tang ShiShi. The first is to hold the heroine’s thighs tightly and join the female lead camp early; the second is to please the male lead and steal the favor of the female lead.

Tang Shishi chooses the third way.

Tang Shishi knew that the male lead’s adoptive father Jing Wang seemed to be low profile, but in fact he was overly ambitious. In the near future, he will invade the capital and proclaim himself emperor before the imperial court, but it is a pity that he passed away before passing the throne to the male lead.

This year, Jing Wang is twenty-four years old, still young, and has yet to marry a wife.
Anyway, she already in the game. Instead of being the concubine of the male lead, it is better to be his adopted mother, the empress dowager in one step.

————–

Zhao Chengjun had no intention to get married, so he adopted his subordinate’s son as his heir. He thought he would be with his army his whole life.

Later, the imperial family sent a team of beauties to Prince Jing, and the leader was named Tang ShiShi.

His young, adopted son and his subordinates also persuaded: Your Highness, this is a beauty trap.
Jing Wang: I know.

The so-called beauty trap was merely a bait for those who wish. – lightly edited from Novel Updates

The prompt for this month was “Once More With Feeling” and I figured since this is the only Chinese romance novel I’ve re-read so far, it fits. We’re going with loose interpretations here. It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager features another delightful mad romp of a story with a loveable heroine, a grumpy but entirely devoted hero, and a frustrating cast of characters you love to hate. I described the heroine as an utter chaos muppet, and I stand by it. She’s such a delightful mess handicapped by what she thinks is a “life cheat” and it makes her constantly second guess herself and make the “wrong” choices that ultimately of course turn out to be entirely right. Continue reading

TBR Challenge Review: Greetings Ninth Uncle (九叔万福) by September Flowing Fire (Jiu Yue Liu Huo, 九月流火)

Greetings Ninth Uncle (九叔万福) by September Flowing Fire (Jiu Yue Liu Huo, 九月流火)
Historical romance published in 2019

Book cover of Greetings, Ninth Uncle by September Flowing Fire Plain read book cover with a yellow gold rectangle running through about the middle third with the title written in Chinese vertically. Next to it is a small block with the authors name in the style of a Chinese shop sealCheng Yujin was the elder twin sister, who was supposed to be engaged to an excellent man. However she later learned that her fiancé, Marquis Jingyong, had proposed to her because he mistakenly recognized her as her younger twin sister. Marquis Jingyong and her younger sister had a deep relationship, and after many twists and turns, finally broke through all hardships and became eternal lovers. While Cheng Yujin was the villain who replaced her sister’s good marriage, kept framing her sister, and hindered the main couple to be together. A really wicked older sister and poisonous late wife.
After the younger twin sister was reborn, she revealed Cheng Yujin’s ‘conspiracy’ early on. Everyone scorned her, and her so-called fiancé was indifferent. Cheng Yujin sneered and tore off their engagement letter in front of her fiancé.
Everyone was gloating and happily waiting to see her regret her actions. However, before Marquis Jingyong had a chance to see Cheng Yujin’s regret, he saw his former fiancee marrying her uncle.
The ninth uncle of Cheng family was truly a hidden dragon, his real power frightening everyone.
***
Cheng Yujin, this coquettish little wife, lightly lifted her eyebrows and casually said, “A mere Marquis Jingyong, is he worthy? Do you think that robbing him away will affect me?”
Almost forgot to say, ninth uncle wasn’t surnamed Cheng. His real name was Li Chengjing, the crown prince.

If you’re randomly happening upon ALBTALBS, let me tell you, I’ve left the continent entertainment wise this year. If you’re a ~regular, or follow me on social media, you know I went hard on watching c-dramas for much of this year, then turned to reading translated novels. I’ve been having a grand old time, even with some really terribly translated books. Luckily this isn’t one of them – and in fact is one of my favorite reads of the year. I know the title is a bit lacking, especially in English, but 🤷🏻‍♀️. The point is the story is a delight – and in fact when I was reading it I kept thinking “the author has got to be a psychologist or something” – the analysis and interpersonal relationships are that good.

I’m a week late on the TBR challenge, but that’s pretty on brand for me. The “prompt” for this month was “Festive” and … does it count that the hero’s birthday is on a festival? This book spans a number of years so there are also multiple festivals mentioned … so I’m going with it. Also because this book is worth gushing about. Continue reading

TBR Challenge Review: The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage (重生之将门毒后) by Qian Shan Cha Ke (千山茶客)

The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage (重生之将门毒后) by Qian Shan Cha Ke (千山茶客)
Historical romance published in 2014

The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage by Qian Shan Cha Ke book cover - it depicts a painted image of a woman and the title written in Chinese charactersThe di daughter of military lineage, pure, amiable, quiet and yielding, foolishly in love with Prince Ding, throwing oneself to the role of a wife. After assisting (a ruler) for six years, she finally became the empress. Accompanying him to fight for supremacy, to expand the country’s territory, taking risk to be a hostage in another country, after returning five years later, there was no place for her in the Inner Palace.

The beauty in Prince Ding’s arms smiled brightly, “Older sister, the country is stabilized and you should retire.” Her daughter had met with a violent death and son the Crown Prince was deposed. The Shen family who had sacrifice themselves for the country, not one of them were lucky enough to escape. In one dynasty everything was overturned, her clan had perished and she needed to mourn for her children! Shen Miao never thought that as a married couple who went through trials and tribulations and mutually assisting one another was just a joke to him!

He said, “Seeing that you have followed *Zhen for twenty years, I will grant you with an intact corpse. Thank me for my kindness.” Under the three meters of white silk, Shen Miao made a malicious vow: In the time to come, she will take part in each and everyone’s end!

Upon rebirth, she returned to the time when she was fourteen, where the tragedy had yet to occur, her family was still alive and she was still the pure, amiable, quiet, and yielding di daughter of military lineage. Relatives hiding a black heart, elder and younger cousins are ruthless and malicious, the new Yiniang is like a tiger watching its prey and the disreputable man that wants to repeat events?

Family must be protected, the huge enmity must be avenged, the Imperial seat of the country must also be part of the trophy. In this lifetime, let’s see who can beat the others! But that little marquis from the Xie family, the arrogant and obstinate spear carrying youth, stood at her side and proudly said, “it’s just the fall of the Imperial power. Remember this, the world belongs to you. You– Belong to me!” – Summary taken and lightly edited from Chubby Cheeks Thoughts.

So November’s TBR “prompt” was “Once Upon a Time” and … why not Ancient China?  I have found my new most favorite romance hero ever. Xie Jing Xing (XJX) can’t be discussed too much without spoilers, but it’s him. I loved him so much. If you’ve visited the blog at all you know I’ve only been reviewing Chinese dramas this year – because it’s mostly the only media I’ve been consuming. However for whatever reason I got the urge to try to read the source material of an upcoming drama, and I was hooked. This book was my second read by the author, but I’m currently on my fifth book by her. I’m crushed I’ve blown through her backlist. Not only have cdramas been my jam this year, but specifically rebirth and revenge stories. Heavy focus on the revenge. This book brought me such joy. This is a pretty niche genre, and of course it requires some suspension of disbelief, but … what novel doesn’t? Continue reading