Chronicle of Life is about a palace maid named Lin Lang who captures the attention of the Emperor. But when Lin Lang was a child, she witnessed her family being brutally murdered, and it turns out the Emperor was responsible. After the attack, Lin Lang encounters the Emperor, but is unaware of who he is. They rescue each other and grow close, but she later ends up with amnesia and doesn’t remember him.
The Emperor’s loyal subject and friend Rong Ruo took care of Lin Lang during this time, and he eventually fell in love with her. As Lin Lang grows closer to the Emperor in the present, her tragic past threatens to come between all of them.
Lin Lang (Zheng Schuang) is that kind soul who always puts others before her. Because of her relationship with the Emperor she is constantly persecuted from all angles. She is blamed for things she didn’t do and even has many threats against her life. But she is so forgiving of everyone, and she accepts it and looks for the best in people. Selfless to a fault.
The Emperor (Lau Hawick) is such a sweet guy! Right from the beginning he is so nice and lovable. He also never holds back in showing his love for Lin Lang, even amidst her constant protests. This guy is adorable, and he was so great to have as a lead. Although I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the awful hair in Chinese historicals, lol.
The Emperor and Lin Lang are such a beautiful couple. They go through so much heartbreak because it seems that the world is completely against them being together. But when they have a chance to just be with each and enjoy each other’s company, their adorable love shines bright. Their relationship is a mix between lighthearted fun and tragedy. It was definitely an interesting journey to go on with them.
I really enjoyed the story of the evil eunuch, Chang Qing (Zhang Edward). At first, he’s your classic villain whose sole purpose in life is to get revenge on the Emperor for the death of his family. And for the most part, he stays that way.
But the latter third of the drama really develops his character. When he draws the affections of one of the maids, Yi Chu, things begin to change. She is his complete opposite: pure, innocent, naive, and kind. At first, he his annoyed by her, but eventually he finds himself developing feelings for her in return.
While he continues with his plans, he finds himself worried for her and what her involvement with him could do to her. This relationship of opposites was something I really enjoyed, and my heart broke for them as I knew their finding happiness would be quite a challenge.
Rong Ruo (Zhang Vin) is Lin Lang’s childhood friend, and he loves her dearly. He protects her however he can no matter the cost. Their relationship was very interesting to watch play out.
Rong Ruo is also the Emperor’s closest friend, so when the Emperor takes a liking to Lin Lang, Rong Ruo must deal with his conflicting loyalties to the Emperor and his feelings for her.
Everything about how this drama was filmed is absolutely gorgeous. This was a drama where I just found myself constantly in awe of what I was seeing. There were just so many rich, beautiful colors in all of the sets and costumes as well as such stunning outdoor shots with lush green hills, flowers, and multi-colored blossom trees. I just loved looking at each and every scene. Chronicle of Life also has a lot of beautiful music to really add to the setting.
I adored the funny interactions between our main couple in the beginning of the drama. Before Lin Lang knows he is the Emperor, the two bicker a lot, and many times she even feels annoyed with him. It was so much fun, and I loved it!
The middle stretch of the drama does get a tad repetitive with Lin Lang constantly being persecuted, almost dying, and needing to be rescued repeatedly. But there were a lot of positive elements during this time between our couple as well as the thickening revenge story, so I was never bored.
The latter third then really picks back up with the emotions of everyone running high as evil plans come to a head and secrets are revealed. I was fully invested and involved in the story all the way through.
ENDING SPOILERS BELOW
The Emperor and Lin Lang really go through a lot during the drama. Everyone always seemed to be against them, and their love just seemed completely ill-fated. The ending was absolutely heartbreaking.
After losing Rong Ruo and her brother, the Emperor and Lin Lang are forced to live out their lives separately, never seeing each other. One of the final scenes depicts the two lovers residing in the palace but separated by a wall as they longingly reach out for each other. It was so beautiful and tragic.
Chronicle of Life was a feast for the senses in many ways. It was filled with so much beauty and felt so rich and full. I loved the Emperor and Lin Lang so much and could never get enough of their love story. It is definitely a beautifully tragic story that left a lasting impression.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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