Author: 寐语者 (Mei Yu Zhe)
First + second volume: She was born a daughter of the aristocracy, blue-blooded and as capable as any man. He rose from humble origins up the military ranks, an iron-blooded knight with high ambitions. In a transaction for power and alliance, she was severed from her childhood sweetheart. Their long-tardy meeting was the beginning of his and her vow: to stand squarely next to each other, for better or worse, till death do they part .
Politics, intrigue, dynastic struggles, he trampled through it all to become king. Old enmities, new disputes, with the lives of whole families hanging in the balance, she entered once more into the palace, and a new sun rose.
Meeting once again, they had become strangers. The peach blossom were all fallen, no more than a golden age grown cold.
Third + fourth volume: She and he stood side by side on the summit of power. To advance was to meet knives like the wind and swords like the snow; to retreat was to fall into an abyss ten thousand fathoms deep. One-time childhood sweethearts, now helplessly parted. One-time deeply loyal master and servant, now struggling against each other to the death. Scheming relatives, faithless family. After the storm, who still remained? And who had left?
A knight in cold armor, whose ambition was as high as the skies, charged against with his sword drawn. A great beauty as courageous as any man, cut her way through thistles and thorns, staining her hands scarlet.
The happy days of the past were as a dream, disappearing in the wind. The smoke of war, the conquest of rivers and mountains, to achieve that throne sitting atop ten thousand skeletons. What would be written of them in the annals of history? Their gains and losses, only they would know.
Support the author: (amazon)
I read this last weekend and was blown over. It’s epic, sprawling, romantic, ruthless, tightly plotted and beautifully written. Our hero and heroine are both enormously capable; the story moves along inexorably, with a sort of merciless inevitability; the cast of characters are exquisitely rendered, subtle and complicated in their motivations. It is not a sentimental story, and yet not without sentiment. As love stories go, it is less a story about mutual feelings and more about mutual effort. And yet it is a love story: as the author says, about two people who met for a brief moment in the span of history, and in that meeting, shone so brightly as to cast a light over the entire world.
The title gets translated alternatively as “Emperor’s Conquest” or “Emperor’s Supremacy”. “帝王” means “emperor” and “业” in this case could mean either profession or enterprise. Colloquially, I might render it something like “To Be King” — both the business of being king, and the pursuit of becoming king.
Table of contents:
- 番外一 燕燕于飞
- 番外二 绿衣
- 番外三 汉广
- 番外四 静好
- 番外五 荼蘼误（未完是坑）
- 附录 如芥亦如尘