Chinese Drama First Impression Review: The Sword and The Brocade 锦心似玉

Watched The Sword and The Brocade on a whim, and it was one of the best decision over my weekend as it kept me occupied and entertained.

Starring Tan Song Yun and Wallace Chung, The Sword and The Brocade is about the life of Shiyi Niang (acted by Tan Song Yun), the young daughter of a lowly concubine in the Luo Family who married up and became the legal wife of Xu Ling Yi (acted by Wallace Chung) and the much- admired Madam of the Yong Ping Duke Manor through her wits and kindness.

Suitable for Viewers who enjoy Palace-Feud Like Schemings

I’m up till ep 15 now, and so far the episodes and storyline is pretty much focused on woman’s stuff like how the lower-born Shiyi Niang strategised and escaped being married to a crook and continuously triumphed against fellow concubines in the Yong Ping Duke Manor who are coveting her Madam position.

I watched The Sword and The Brocade without any idea what the story is about and with zero expectations as I’m not a fan of the leads either. And hence I was really pleasantly surprised at what an enjoyable entertaining watch it is.

It is quite reminiscent of those palace feud dramas that I like, as it focuses a lot on the schemings among women as concubines in the same family fight to win the affection of Xu Ling Yi and take down Shiyi Niang who somehow received the coveted position of the legal wife in spite of her lowly status.


One reason why The Sword and The Brocade is quite delightful to watch is because the female protaganist Shiyi Niang is a smart woman who does not accept being bullied and continuously outsmart other devlish conniving women who are out to get her.

This actually reminds me a little of Wei Ying Luo in The Story of Yanxi Palace ,however I find Shiyi Niang more likeable and realistic than Wei Ying Luo (could be due to me favouring the actress Tan Song Yun to Wu Jin Yan).

Cute Love scenes Between Male and female Leads

As a viewer, I find Tan Song Yun extremely incompatible with Wallace Chung due to their difference in physical appearance.

Tan Song Yun is very young and babyish looking. (so much as that I don’t even think she has the feminine womanly charm, more like a cute teenager) Whereas Wallace Chung is obviously quite mature looking ; he is older too. But I guess, it is actually in line with the storyline as Shiyi Niang is supposed to be way younger than Xu Lingyi.

However as the story progresses, I am able to overlook the incompatibility in looks as there is quite a bit of development in the love scenes between Shiyi Niang and Xu Lingyi, making the deepening of their relationship more believable.

In fact it is quite cute when we see the normally stoic Xi Lingyi starting to find himself caring about his ‘rude’ wife Shiyi Niang who is completely immune to him. And Shiyi Niang looking like a deer caught in headlights when she suddenly notices herself standing close to him etc.

(Sidetrack: Wallace Chung’s rendition of the role and his expressions and appearance kind of remind me of Mark Zhao in Eternal Love, Ten Miles of Peach Blossom. Let me know if you feel the same way!)

Fast-Paced with No Loopholes

The Sword and The Brocade is a fast-paced drama that is very easy to watch, and before I knew it, I binge-watched 15 episodes over the weekend. (guess I have no life)

Sometimes, it is a pity when some dramas have some loopholes here and there that make the viewing process quite disjointed and confusing, however such is not the case for The Sword and The Brocade. Every strand of the story has been tying very well together.

Highly Recommended: A Must-watch for Period Drama Lovers

The Sword and the Brocade is totally an unexpected surprise for me and I’m enjoying it very much so far. Please give it a watch if you haven’t already, and let me know what you think!