Royal Rumors (2023) 花琉璃轶闻 

Summary:  General Hua’s daughter Hua Liu Li Ft Meng Zi Yi is invited to the capital of the Jin Kingdom and given the title of County Princess in order to quell rumors and discontent in the kingdom that the Hua family has too much power. Once in the capital, Hua Liu Li hides her capabilities and plays up the sick and feeble young woman in order to establish a foothold in her new environment. This behavior catches the attention of the Crown Prince Ji Yuan Su ft Xu Zheng Xi who is focused on ensuring stability in the Jin Kingdom from threats from neighboring countries, particularly the kingdom of Jin Po.


Total Episode Count: 24

Initial Airing Date: March 15, 2023

Platform: Tencent


*Note – most English translations are my own and may not exactly match Tencent’s official translations


Rating: 6.2/10: A serviceable romance drama that is light-hearted and beautiful on the eyes but suffers from lackluster chemistry between the main couple and a weak overall plot. The antics between the main pair are entertaining enough if you’re looking for a short drama to pass the time. 

Hua Liu Li 花琉璃

Meng Zi Yi 孟子义

Intelligent and crafty, Hua Liu Li is given the title of County Princess and arrives from the border to the capital city of Yu Jing. To hide her skills, she portrays the image of a weak and frail woman who will fall over at the push of a wind. In reality, she knows martial arts and has studied military tactics from a young age and is here to protect her family’s standing.

Crown Prince 姬元溯

xu zheng xi 徐正溪

Cold and calculating crown prince of the Jin Kingdom, he immediately sees through Hua Liu Li’s initial act of playing a damsel in distress but cannot help but be intrigued by her. He cares mostly about securing his kingdoms borders and has a loving cat called Hua Hua he dotes upon.

He Yuan Ting 贺远亭

Zhu Yuan Bing 朱元冰

The unfavored second prince of the bordering country Jin Po. He tried to trick Liu Li while the nations were fighting in order to kidnap her and blackmail her family but ultimately failed. He arrives in the Jin Kingdom for peace talks.

Tian Jia Min 田嘉敏

Su Meng Yun 苏梦云

Daughter of a princess, this adorable princess in her own right grew up with vast amounts of wealth and power but when faced with a foe like Hua Liu Li, can only learn to back off. But Liu Li doesn’t mind her harmless schemes and they develop an interesting friendship in the capital.

Plot Summary

The Jin Kingdom and Jin Po Kingdom had been at war for many years and it was General Hua and his wife General Wei that fought a victorious battle that secured the Jin Kingdom and maintained peace for many years. However, in the capital of Yu Jin, the court officials started highlighting how the military strength of the Hua family will soon threaten the stability of the Jin Kingdom. In order to quell the anger and rumors swirling around the Hua family’s loyalty, the Emperor decides to give the title of County Princess to the Hua family daughter and invite her to the capital. 

18 year old Hua Liu Li arrives in the capital of Yu Jing, and knowing she’s being watched by everyone on her way in the capital, feigns illness after being blown by the wind.  There were assassins in the crowd hoping to kill her but she is saved by the Crown Prince. She and the crown prince have been pen pals for a while in their youth and in her letters to him, she was extremely fierce and capable, the exact opposite behavior to what the Crown Prince sees now in the feeble and weak woman in front of him. This confuses while also intrigues him. 

Liu Li settles into the old Hua manor and starts to gather intel on the climate in the capital. Her primary goal is to ensure that her family is protected from the various court officials in the palace who aim to dismantle the army. She contends with Princess Jia Min and the Prince of Ying who aim to limit her influence in the palace. Elsewhere, the crown prince works with his undercover network to ensure the border is protected and threats from Jin Po Kingdom are discovered.


Overall thoughts

This drama is just…fine. It’s short but even with the shortened length, there was a lot of bloat in the story. It’s clearly a simple, cheesy romance drama that you’re just going to enjoy and not think too much about. The character traits of the main leads where they’re basically changing face on a dime is entertaining enough but there isn’t much gravitas to the story. Almost as if most of the threats to the kingdom are child’s play that the characters are able to easily manipulate.

One of the most important takeaways is Hua Liu Li’s monologues on border safety and military strength. Her fierce devotion to her country, family and those of the Hua family soldiers are touching. That was one of the key moments in the drama where her character really shines as someone who is focused on making change and doing more for her country.

My main problem is with Xu Zheng Xi, the main male lead. He’s pushing the age limit of where he should be acting in these cheesy romance dramas and it seems like he’s staying in his comfort zone. He’s just been pumping out these romance dramas over the last few years without much substance.  The warmth of romance and his smile rarely reaches his eyes when he’s acting in this drama. Instead, he shines when he’s the cold, calculating crown prince conducting official state matters. I’m more interested in his solo scenes with his subordinates and Meng Zi Yi’s solo scenes. Their scenes together? They just aren’t as cute and heart fluttering as they should be.

I do really enjoy the costumes and hairstyles in the drama though. Particularly Princess Jia Ming’s outfits and hairstyles. This reminds me a lot of the lavish Tang dynasty outfits and quite a change from the rather bland hairstyles from fantasy dramas of late.  But something that has been a problem for several of these period dramas of late is that it’s very clear these are modern day women in historical clothes. How they behave and act is rather outlandish. Meng Zi Yi’s hair accessories are whipping her in the face all the time and it’s rather distracting…





2 thoughts on “Review: Royal Rumors (2023) 花琉璃轶闻

  1. Lol. I think that’s been the trend for some of these dramas of late where the makeup/lighting makes the actor’s/actress’s faces look so pale you can’t see any features on them. Or at least for the ML, it’s to make him look younger. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ That’s why dramas like Empresses in the Palace/Story of MingLan are more preferred because there’s less of this photoshop heavy/zombie like aesthetic.

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