🇰🇷 🇯🇵 Week 4 of 後宮の烏 / 후궁의 까마귀 🪶 👩



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Jpdb deck for the book:

Korean vocabulary sheet:

Discussion ground rules

  • Any spoilers, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
  • Always mention where you are in the book when discussing, ideally by chapter so people reading different versions have a clear point of reference.
  • Feel free to read ahead if it’s exciting! But please refrain from spoiling ahead of the appropriate week :slight_smile:
  • If you have a question about grammar, vocab, cultural things, etc - ask! That can be part of the discussion too and I’m sure some folks would be happy to help.
  • Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.
Character Name Pronunciations
Kanji Reading
衛青 えいせい
夏高峻 か•こうしゅん
柳寿雪 りゅう•じゅせつ
星星 シンシン
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I’m enjoying this book more than I expected :grin:

I haven’t got much to say about the content this week either. But the characters are getting more interesting.

It’s nice to be getting some back story on 寿雪. She’s an intriguing character.


I feel the same.
The plot so far has been, let’s say ‘standard’? But I like both 高峻 and 寿雪.
The more the author emphasizes on 高峻’s expressionless face the more I’m curious about him and how he’ll eventually face the previous empress. :smile:
With 寿雪 I like how she always seems to know what she’s doing, and how she acts efficiently. Like… If her status is going to help her she’ll tell others who she is, but if not she doesn’t bother with formalities.


I’m surprised there can be a “sketchy” area within the palace. Must be an absolutely massive place.

I’m assuming 温螢 will stick around in the cast of characters, I’d like to get a bit more on him than just “nice guy who saved them”.


Same… If the 宦官 in there are making problems, can’t you just fire them?
I can understand the place being somewhat derelict, if being there is meant to be punishment. Not super nice that it’s also the place for retired 妃嬪 :joy:


Just caught up to the rest of you in time for the start of week five; I’m enjoying this.

The whole story seems set in a very small self contained world inside the palace. If it wasn’t for the brief flashback to 寿雪’s past as a very young child we’d hardly know there was an outside town/city at all.

I thought it was interesting that 寿雪 wasn’t chosen as the next 烏妃 because she had innate magic powers already, but was chosen first and then developed them. I wonder how useful her magic actually is – so far we’ve only seen it used for a few relatively small things, and most of the plot development has been mundane going out and talking to people.

When 高峻 wants more solid evidence for going after the empress dowager, is he going to want “presentable in some kind of court” evidence, or merely enough to justify his actions to himself? Anything magic related would probably not do for the former.

高峻 could in theory, I guess, but only if he knows about it. There must be thousands of people in this place, so there’s a lot of scope for some corners of it to be badly managed or under the control of some official managing it as his own personal little empire. It’s like the way big corporations can have some departments which are terribly mismanaged and awful to work in, but the board level executives never notice because the manager running that department is good at keeping things from blowing up into problems that would attract the attention of anybody at a higher level. 高峻 is dubious about 寿雪 going to that area of the palace, but maybe that’s just because he thinks it’s below her station?

The other aspect is whether the empress dowager really is as stripped of political power and influence as 高峻 thinks she is in his little “I couldn’t kill her back then but I could do it now if I wanted” monologue. She certainly seems to have enough contacts to still be running various schemes. Maybe sacking some of these officials wouldn’t be that easy – and it would perhaps be interpreted as a move against her that 高峻 doesn’t want to make yet.


Wait… I might be thinking of stuff that are spoiler for this week, because he definitely knows about it.

Just checked and no, it is this week that she (and 九九) go saved from assault. The guy was tagging along because those at the top knew about it… Now it is possible that the 皇太后 is using her remaining political power to keep that place the way it is (she’s certainly the reason why the 宮女 (forgot her name) was not allowed to go out, I guess). That must be a convenient point to smuggle things in and out (or at least store stuff you don’t want in plain sight).

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Well, this is kind of what I was getting at – does he know specifically that that part of his palace is dodgy for safety, or is he just having the bodyguard shadow them wherever they go because he knows these are dangerous political waters and the empress dowager’s men might attack them anywhere? The former raises the “why hasn’t he sorted that out before?” question, but the latter doesn’t – we already know why he hasn’t moved against her. And from what it sounds like, other than the fact the dowager’s men found it a convenient place to try an attack, the area isn’t really dangerous so much as it is run down and full of drunken layabouts.

Perhaps, but don’t forget the 宮女 was (falsely) convicted of a crime – restrictions on movement might be a standard part of the punishment.


She is not supposed to know about 寿雪 yet, so the attack does feel random…

Well, yes, but I don’t see her going through all that trouble to make sure she never talk to anyone and then just leave her unattended. Maybe she thought that no one would know/care about her anyway, but if she indeed has some control on the area, it seems easy to just put the 宮女 on a watchlist or something. When 寿雪 said “I’m bringing her out”, the answer was a polite no, not asking why or under what authority. (And she probably only managed to do it because the 烏妃 is spooky scary). There’s no way to know at this point (or ever, possibly)