Crossing over into another world and time after a freak accident, Korean highschool girl Sabina is taken in by a duke of the Crentia kingdom— only to soon be offered up to the ugly old emperor as a concubine. When the king is killed by a mysterious assassin, Sabina must face the poisonous circle of other candidates in a battle for the royal seat. Can she attract the loyalty and affection of the men and women she needs on her side to survive?
Includes 47 epilogue chapters.
This is a story of Sabina first being forced to be a concubine against feir will and then being forced to be a queen against feir will. Sabina tries feir best to retain a sense of identity and self-respect in the face of a lack of freedom, being willing to stand up to people who would do harm to fem. The very reason the king made Sabina the queen was because of this independent streak--the king felt like fe could trust this person. As Sabina stays in the palace longer, fe starts to adopt the goals of the king as feir own goals and starts to see the relationship as being more than thrust upon fem. I'm sure the author intended it to be heartwarming, but I couldn't help but see it as tragic. Sabina's in constant fear for feir life and, subconsciously, knows that if fe fell in love with anybody else, then that person would be killed by the king who wants fem all to femself. Sabina expresses a desire to not be physical with the king and the king's compliance to not rape fem is supposed to be seen as generous, though it's more about the king wanting to conquer this woman and have fem beg for sex than out of any sense of love or respect. And the king still forces Sabina to kiss fem all the time and pulls Sabina's body around like a rag doll, a reminder that fe could easily go further if fe wanted to. And these are all expressions of this guy's love. Which of course, like all relationships with abusive elements, brings to mind Haddaway's lyrics: "What is love? Baby, don't hurt me." Of course that's trying to apply normal standards to the story and I shouldn't be doing that. No, it's a fantasy, and at times people just want to fantasize about being conquered by a devoted suitor or about conquering somebody with your manliness. And in that sense it was generally enjoyable, if a bit over the top and never relatable. For the last dozen chapters or so, the story just meandered with no sense of direction. If that's any indication of the continuation's quality (which there is a continuation), then I have the lowest of expectations for it.
It wasn't as good as I thought it would be. The characters were alright but towards the end many of them were nowhere to be seen. For instance, what happened to the red haired sisters or that asshole who is supposedly a musician or sth? Also, I kinda cringed all the time because of Bina and Luke's romance. It doesn't make any sense and their romantic moments made me want to puke. I read the rest of the story out of curiosity, I don't think it was a total waste of time and yet if you guys are looking for something great go read Light and Shadow if you haven't already. It is alright to skip this one imo.
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