Both are Foxes 都是狐狸 by 千夜魅罗 Qian Ye Mei Luo (HE)

both are foxes


Her looks surpass this world, her talents are earth shattering, but all these can be deeply hidden by her. Because she knows beauty will not be a blessing, and intelligence is a greater virtue, especially in these ancient times where evil runs abound – so in the eyes of the people in this world she is a woman who is so ugly that ghosts will be afraid of seeing, she is a weak lady who does not know anything.

A sacred decree from the Emperor causes her to marry the renowned Prime Minister Dong Ling (North Hill). Having to face all the disdainful glances and open and hidden attacks from the people around her – she looks at it with cold eyes and a cold smile, all these were not what she wanted – why do women like to make things difficult for other women?

She’s the ugly, cowardly, useless delicate lady, Zi Yin Ye (Violet Silver Night), but even more she is the handsome, dashing, amazingly talented Prime Minister Ye Yin!

[Ebook] [Audiobook][Eng Translation]


28 Responses

  1. Mei
    Mei January 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm |

    Thanks for the recommendation! I am reading and enjoying this book. I’ll admit I initially didn’t really believe you when you said that the female lead is, gasp, intelligent! (Been burned one too many times, heh.) But now I do, and if you want to recommend any good books with smart female leads, I’m all ears!

    One gripe: I wish the author would edit this. The numerous “misspelled” characters slightly detract from my enjoyment of this book.

    P.S. Decembi, your blog doesn’t seem to want to let me leave comments? For some reason, my comments always disappear/are never posted after I submit them.

  2. decembi
    decembi January 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

    Hey Mei,

    I have no idea why the comments aren’t successful – because I don’t moderate the comments and I let anonymous users leave comments! I’ve removed the word verification – I hope that helps!!!

    YAY. I am so happy that people are reading this book. I know quite a few people have read my full review, but I wonder how many go on to read the book.

    She REALLY is intelligent right? Haha. I wish the author didn’t make her pretty too though. I mean it’s a bit exaggerated haha – so pretty and so smart.

    Please read on and tell me which male character you root for the most!

  3. Mei
    Mei January 26, 2014 at 6:21 pm |

    Hi, Decembi!

    Gosh, you don’t have to turn off word verification for me. That’s like inviting the spammers inside your home. 🙂 I do have an ad blocker turned on; maybe that’s why? I’ll play around with it.

    I had previously tried to leave a long “comment” on your blog but it vanished into the ether. I actually skimmed this book first, to see if I would like it, and am now going back to read it a bit more thoroughly.

    First things first, I found this book to be a surprisingly easy read, and my Chinese is “so-so”. Even though it’s set in ancient times, the author isn’t as “poetic” as other authors, so I didn’t have to bust out my dictionary to look up every other word. So for anyone who’s hesitating about picking up this book because of the length and possible reading difficulty, don’t be. There are a few politicking/strategizing sections, concentrated when Ye Yin/Zi Yinye (the female lead) starts out on her journey to unite the Kingdom of Zhi, but they’re easy to skip and you won’t have missed anything. My only gripe about the writing is that, as I have mentioned previously, the author really needs to go back and edit her writing. My Chinese isn’t great and even I can tell when a word is “misspelled”!

    My “favorite” male character, insofar as I found him to be the most complicated and the most pitiable, was Nangong Piaoran, with whom I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I love him because he fell for YY despite believe she was a he. (Compare that to Ren Fengyao, the male lead, who declared that if YY had been male, he would never have fallen for her.) I hate him because he indirectly caused 5000+ people to be massacred (who had been under YY’s care), and despite feeling bad about it, he continued to protect the person who instigated the massacre (his younger brother/cousin). I also used to hate him for initially planning to kill YY (because he knew that he was falling for a “man” and thus thought that “cutting off the weed at its source” might sever his feelings for “him”), but after thinking about it, YY did “owe” him a life-debt, for once saving her/”him” from a deadly poison, so I suppose this makes them even. NGPR also did later regret his plan to kill YY. But the massacre I couldn’t forgive.

    I wouldn’t call Nangong Piaoran wishy-washy, but he definitely had a lot of things he cared about that were pulling him in different, sometimes completely opposite, directions. As much as he might have liked to, he couldn’t give up his family, his people, his responsibilities, to be with YY always. Compare that to RFY, who had no such attachments to anything except YY, and thus for RFY, giving up the position of prime minister of the Kingdom of Dong Ling, and all of its accompanying responsibilities, in order to be with YY was as easy as breathing. RFY really made no sacrifice at all, whereas NGPR would have had to make much too great of a sacrifice. And that’s why I pity him.

    I didn’t have a problem with making YY a great beauty in addition to a great thinker, since most of the guys around her were pretty good-looking as well (especially NGPR – I might have found it annoying how many times the author described him as “a man more beautiful than any woman” if I didn’t find it hilarious). I did initially wonder if RFY would have fallen for her if she had actually been as hideous as rumored; however, RFY was quite kind to and protective of her even when he mistakenly believed her to be ugly, and so ultimately, I do believe he was attracted to her for her brain and less so for her beauty (although that certainly helped!).

    One last thing: I don’t think the author is homophobic, but quite a number of her characters go around proclaiming “I am normal!” when really they mean “I am heterosexual!”. Even YY, who supposedly time-traveled back from modern society and is therefore, supposedly, accepting of homosexuality, uses the same lingo. However, I understand that Chinese society, even the young educated people, still has a ways to go before it becomes truly accepting of LGBTs. I actually have yet to come across a Chinese author who writes LGBTs in a truly sensitive and accepting manner so usually it rolls off my back (as long as they’re not being outright homophobic). It just annoys me when people go about broadcasting how accepting they are of non-“normal” people (insert any minority group here for non-“normal” people) when their thoughts/speech/action indicate otherwise.

    Okay, rant over. 🙂 Overall, I liked this book and don’t have that much to nitpick about it. Next time you recommend a book with an intelligent female lead, I’ll actually believe you, Decembi. 😉 Hehe. (I did say I was burned before!)

  4. decembi
    decembi January 27, 2014 at 10:54 am |


    Your comment is EPIC, EPIC! I love it. You write very very very well, and when I first read your comment (before I headed to work), I was like I felt the exact same way!!!

    I think your chinese is much better than so-so!! I agree that this novel is fairly easy to read and it’s quite easy to skip some of the political plots. I got slightly annoyed at how YY and her maids had the sherlock-watson dynamic, where they ask all these inane questions of what she plans to do, why she does certain things – to me, a mark of a very good writer is her ability to weave in clues of why a character does her actions in a certain way, without needing to explain it every few seconds. So, she’s a good writer, but not very good yet! Haha.

    I don’t actually like reverse harems in c-novels, where every single male character falls for the female character. And, I started to laugh because everytime someone remotely good looking appears, you know it’s the author’s signifier of “OH, new impt character here”. I generally dislike that because some authors shorthand their character’s development – it does not mean someone is extraordinarily good looking that you don’t have to develop a personality too! But, thankfully, all the characters have their own personalities so it was still enjoyable for me. I agree that the male lead fell for YY for her inner beauty and brains more than her external beauty.

    Actually, I do feel that the male lead’s love for YY appears effortless because he is that smart and careful. It’s not that he was overconfident that YY would never fall for another guy – he watched her with the bodyguards he sent, and ensured that Nangong would have to leave everytime they got too close. The male lead was just someone who always knew what he wanted and will get it – I felt that he deserved her because he placed YY over everything else in the world. Just because he was an orphan and could see past powers and riches did not mean his love did not come with its own sacrifices – he had to leave the emperor (I love their mixed love-hate kind of relationship, in a way, they were brothers) and he had risked his life to save YY in an assassin attempt. I was fully on board with the first male lead all the way.

    For Nangong, I felt that he dug his own grave so to speak. It was not him ascending to the throne of his own kingdom that killed the relationship, but as you say, his act of massacre. YY really started to have feelings for Nangong because the village he allowed to be massacred was a village that he built with YY — so that was truly killing their love. It was hopeless and inevitable from then on that he was doomed to lose her. Also, the fact that after he got her kidnapped and drugged her to make her lose her memory so she could forget she was in love with the male lead, was truly psychopathic. Haha.

    Oh, I truly agree that the homophobicness comes out a lot in these novels when the girl dresses up as a boy – it’s a bit sad, but if I ever find a well written one, I will highlight to you!

    Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your lovely views!!! It makes me really happy. 🙂

  5. Mei
    Mei January 28, 2014 at 1:07 am |

    Aww, Decembi, you’re too nice. You can just go ahead and say that I’m verbose. 😉

    You’re right that the author does quite a lot of “telling” instead of “showing”. She’s definitely not as good as, say, Tong Hua at weaving subtext into her stories. Thankfully, there was less of that as the story progressed, so I’d almost forgotten. I’ll also admit that it helped a lot in skimming, haha, since it meant that I didn’t have to read in detail in order to figure out what the heck was going on.

    I don’t really mind reverse harems, since most of the C-novels I read are set in ancient times, which means all the men have harems, so I figure reverse harems equalizes things a bit. XD Haha. In YY’s case, I was actually most intrigued by those characters who fell for her when she was in disguise, such as Prince Ping and Lu Qiaoyue (and of course NGPR). Those guys who fell for her knowing she was a beautiful woman, I found less interesting by comparison (such as Hua Jianli and Wen Yuanbo).

    Oh, I apologize if my previous comment came off sounding like I didn’t “approve” of the male lead. I actually have no problem with YY and RFY being the OTP. I was just saying that compared to RFY, NGPR would have had to sacrifice much more in order to be with YY. RFY on the other hand was so detached from everything, except for YY, that cutting his ties off from the rest of the world in order to go into seclusion with YY was a much easier choice by comparison. I just think that it makes for meatier conflict (and angst 😉 when the choices the characters have to make are more difficult and less straightforward. Of course, I love a devoted male character just as much as the next reader; it’s just that on a “literary analysis” level, their devotion can become rather one-note and even impede their character development, thus I tend to find them less interesting than the more conflicted characters.

    Oh, and my finding a character “interesting” doesn’t mean that I necessarily “like” the character on a personal level! For example, YY didn’t have very many stereotypically likable traits (for example, I was rather shocked to read that in her previous life, she seduced her best friend’s boyfriend just to “prove” that no man is 100% faithful and this led to her best friend’s suicide – not nice at all!), but that certainly didn’t impede me from rooting for her journey.

    Anyway, like you said, NGPR definitively dug his own grave when he tried to “poison” YY in order to make her lose her memories. At that point, I was like, facepalm. Still, he redeemed himself somewhat by making the difficult but right decision to let her go. Thus, it was for his sake that I enjoyed the second epilogue, in which he meets YY’s daughter, who looks just like her and has the same trickster personality. I would’ve liked to know what happened after. XD

    Now that I’ve learned to have faith in your book recommendations, Decembi, I’ll have to take a gander at your other recommendations. 🙂 I see you’re currently translating XMCCJRS. Hardcore! I tried picking it up but I swear I was looking up every other word and I was also getting lost in the audiobook. In any case, I think I may be second-male-lead-shipping in that story, which is just going to end in sadness for me. (I apparently have a thing for pitiable male characters? Haha.)

  6. decembi
    decembi January 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm |


    Haha you are too modest! Your comments are super fun and insightful!

    Eh, YY seduced her best friend’s boyfriend? Really? I don’t know if I skimmed past that part, but from what I remembered that back story was to show why she couldn’t trust man, because her best friend & her boyfriend was always considered an ideal couple in her heart, but her best friend committed suicide after her boyfriend betrayed her and ever since then YY did not trust love. I really doubt YY seduced him though because that’s very out of character for her – as she’s such a loner, she prizes her friends very much.

    Haha, I really enjoyed the epilogue too! I even thought for a moment it would be nice if he could end up with the daughter – although that’s also icky in some ways. I guess he seemed so sad at the end, that one just wants him to have some kind of happiness.

    Oooh pressure! I like a wide variety of books, so I don’t know if you will always like my choices – but since you find this book, which I found to be 3.5 stars not bad, I think you should enjoy my other ancient novel choices haha. I am kind of second shipping on my second read of Heavy Sweetness, but with a kind of built in tragedy lock already since the re-reading only proves how doomed the relationship is from the start haha.

  7. Shir
    Shir May 28, 2014 at 11:47 am |

    Hi Decembi and Mei,

    I too am a sucker for intelligent female leads and I super like this story after reading your comments. But alas, I am just a beginner in reading Chinese novels so I am sure it will be too difficult for me………any suggestions to help me to read and understand better this book besides the audio book?

    Appreciate your input that I can read this book without being hampered by my minimalist Chinese vocab. Thanks! 🙂

  8. decembi
    decembi May 29, 2014 at 1:18 am |

    Hello Shir,

    Great to hear of your interest! Hmm I don’t think anyone has picked this novel up for translation, it’s quite a long one. I think the lengthiest summary on this is probably mine and the full review. I can try and answer any questions you might have here!

  9. E
    E December 3, 2014 at 2:07 am |


    Im new to this website and reading Chinese novels so bear with me. Just recently discovered this site and I LOVE IT! Thanks to whoever runs this site cause it is absolutely wonderful, especially for ABC’s like me. The links are super helpful so please keep up this website.

    I really enjoyed this book. Finally a heroine that is actually smart. It gets kind of annoying when all the characters say the main girl lead is smart but she doesn’t do anything to warrant it. 🙂

    Thanks a bunch


  10. E
    E December 3, 2014 at 2:08 am |

    just wanted to show my gratefulness. 🙂

  11. decembi
    decembi December 3, 2014 at 2:37 am |

    Glad you enjoyed it! The female lead is definitely a clever one 😉

  12. silhoutte
    silhoutte March 1, 2015 at 1:06 am |

    Glad you enjoyed it! The female lead is definitely a clever one

    Could anyone kindly give me the direct link to this novel (at the link here just goes to the homepage and with my limited language proficiency couldnt search for this book at the homepage) cos I really wanna give a go to attempt reading this after reading the synopsis. Intelligent, beautiful and witty females who can pit themselves against their adversaries esp in the ancient world are a rare find!

    Appreciate your kind assistance…

  13. ggirl
    ggirl March 23, 2015 at 5:41 am |

    Hi, sorry does anyone know if there’s a vietnamese translation of this novel? Tt sounds really interesting and I really want to read it. Thank you!

  14. Serendipity
    Serendipity March 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm |

    silhoutte: Could anyone kindly give me the direct link to this novel (at the link here just goes to the homepage and with my limited language proficiency couldnt search for this book at the homepage) cos I really wanna give a go to attempt reading this after reading the synopsis. Intelligent, beautiful and witty females who can pit themselves against their adversaries esp in the ancient world are a rare find!

    Appreciate your kind assistance…

    heres the link to the Chinese version. I’m not sure if you can read Chinese but this is the link I used to read this novel. You can change the Chinese to simplified Chinese or traditional Chinese! (yes I am a lover of this site…)

  15. silhoutte
    silhoutte April 8, 2015 at 1:53 am |

    Thanks Serendipity for the link, at a very minute pace and with the help of dictionaries can manage to grasp the fundamentals……….

  16. Cara ng
    Cara ng May 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm |

    Hi can anyone tell me when did nangong piaoran realise that Ye Ying is a woman?

  17. decembi
    decembi May 24, 2015 at 7:43 am |

    Hello Cara, I’ve read this fiction too long ago to be able to pinpoint the exact part. Haha. But, I think it’s around the second half of the novel after he made peace with the fact that he was in love with a guy that he realised Ye Ying was a woman.

  18. Cara Ng
    Cara Ng May 26, 2015 at 3:04 am |

    Thank you Decembi

  19. silhoutte
    silhoutte May 27, 2015 at 10:17 am |

    I just finished these novel not too long……NGPR discovered YY was a female cos he asked someone to check into RFYs background and they discovered that he was married to a woman called Yin Ye who died five years ago and from there NGPR deduced that Ye Yin is just a play on the name for the new, young and handsome Prime Minister of Je Guo (not sure of HY for this country)

  20. Cara Ng
    Cara Ng June 4, 2015 at 5:26 am |

    Thank you Silhoutte

  21. Moonblossom
    Moonblossom September 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm |

    This book has been on my reading list for the longest time n …. I finally reading it today! Yey!
    Maybe I’m pressed for time but I found the pace slow and started skimming after chapt 15. Nearly every character gets a storyline which I like, although I find the Feng young master part a bit too incredible. I mean I can accept he is gay, but gay at age 6? And one who bear sabotage his sisters AND has ability to strike deals with foreign princes? .
    I like both RFY n NGPR but the author really torture them quite badly, so I’m v glad when RFY finally get to hold YY in the end. YY has too many faces – smart, remember grudges, wise, cold, ambitious, girl-like, etc, so sometimes she feel like 2 or 3 characters instead of just 1 person. Perhaps she need a while to sink in so I find the second part of the book more interesting.

  22. sparklingdawnlights
    sparklingdawnlights November 20, 2015 at 12:02 pm |

    I wanted to read it since it’s the school holidays now but not sure if I can finish it 🙁 So longggg… When the holidays end I might still be halfway throughhh

  23. serendipity
    serendipity November 22, 2015 at 1:56 am |

    HOLIDAYS ALREADY??? im so jealous….
    *smacks head on desk piled with lab reports….*

  24. Sparklingdawnlights
    Sparklingdawnlights November 23, 2015 at 1:58 am |

    Heeheehee, yep, holidays already 😛

  25. lacusclyne1
    lacusclyne1 April 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm |

    @ggirl I found the Viet title. It’s apparently “Đô thị hồ ly”

    You can find it here:

  26. Seiyu Aihara
    Seiyu Aihara June 20, 2016 at 5:05 am |

    Where can I read it?! O.o

    I can’t find it anywhere!! Help!

    (Also i noticed that the [ebook] link doesn’t work

  27. ggirl
    ggirl November 20, 2017 at 5:10 am |

    @lacusclyne1 thank you so much! even though it’s been over a year already but i just recently came back on this website. still excited to read this so thank you!!!

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