Gu Family Book Korean Drama Review

Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Lee Seung Gi and Suzy

Gu Family Book is a historical fantasy about a half human/half gumiho named Choi Kang Chi (Lee Seung Gi). Kang Chi’s mother, Seo Hwa (Lee Yeon Hee), was a human and his father, Wol Ryung (Choi Ji Hyuk), was a gumiho. Their tragic love story ended with Kang Chi being raised by another family, unaware of his true nature.

Kang Chi eventually falls for a girl named Yeo Woo (Suzy) and discovers his true identity.  He then struggles to hold on to his humanity in the midst of the turmoil that befalls his family.

Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Choi Jin Hyuk  Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Lee Yeon Hee

I love pretty much everything about Gu Family Book.  I loved the fantasy element and the romance as well as the classic struggle of battling your true nature to become a good person and protect those that you love. This is one of my favorite roles of Lee Seung Gi, and he just really brings to life the many different sides of Kang Chi’s character.

The first couple episodes focus on Kang Chi’s parents, Wol Ryung and Seo Hwa.  Their love story ended tragically, and we are then sent into the present where Kang Chi is now a young man.

Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Lee Seung Gi

Kang Chi is a good-natured and somewhat troublesome young man, but he is loved by most of his adopted family. Up until this point, he wore a magic bracelet that suppressed his true self.


Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Lee Yoo Bi  Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Yoo Yeon Seok

His world is turned upside down when is father Lord Park is killed, his love interest Chung Jo (Lee Yu Bi) is sold to a gisaeng house, and the rest of his family is thrown in jail.  Kang Chi’s brother Tae Seo (Yoo Yeon Seuk) is also eventually brain washed to believe that Kang Chi is the cause of his father’s death and seeks to kill him. Lots of craziness!

Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Lee Sung Jae

This all happens because of our villain Jo Gwan Woong (Lee Sung Jae) who has been causing trouble since Kang Chi’s parent’s time. He has pretty much no redeeming qualities.

Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Lee Seung Gi  Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Suzy

Eventually, Kang Chi’s magic bracelet is cut off, thus revealing his true nature.  Yeo Wool had several encounters with Kang Chi before she witnessed the downfall of his family, and she quickly decided she wants to help Kang Chi lean to control his powers.  But she had been warned by a prophecy that she was fated to die if she stayed by Kang Chi’s side.  Despite this, she chooses to be with him.

Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Choi Jin Hyuk

Wol Ryung eventually reappears halfway through the drama, and he is now a demon who seeks to kill.  Kang Chi struggles to connect with his father while protecting those he loves. It was a complex relationship for sure.

Gu Family Book had such a grand feel to it overall.  I loved the family connections and the complexity of the story.  Watching Kang Chi struggle to control his powers and longing to become human was also very emotional.  We then had a beautiful love story between him and one special girl, Yeo Wool, who was willing to risk it all to help Kang Chi.

Gu Family Book Korean Drama - Lee Seung Gi and Suzy Kiss

The drama was fast paced with new story developments constantly happening.  Our characters were also interesting and complex.  And the whole story just felt magical.  If you are new to the historical  genre, it’s a good drama to start with.  I absolutely love Gu Family Book and would recommend it to everyone.

My Rating:10/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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18 Responses to Gu Family Book Korean Drama Review

  1. joybran says:

    I also gave this drama a 10/10 because I loved everything about it. Strangely enough, what I remember most about it now is how much I loved Choi Jin Hyuk as Wol Ryung. I never loved him as much in anything else. I HAVE adored Lee Seung Gi as much in other dramas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Gu Family Book was the first time I had seen Choi Jin Hyuk too, and I really loved him it. It was a really long time before I saw him again. Fated to Love I think was next. And I did love him in that. He was like the definition of a perfect doting second lead, lol. Luckily, I was still rooting for Jang Hyuk though.

      But I too have loved Lee Seung Gi in everything I have seen him. He’s my number two fav actor. I’m ready for him to get discharged and do a drama! It’s been way too long since You’re All Surrounded 🙂


  2. kwenzqoatl says:

    Ill give this a chance. The story sounds interesting but I had a friend who said the ending was dissapointing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It really is a very interesting story with a lot to like 🙂 I hope you like it. As for the ending, it is one of those that most people were disappointed with. It’s the kind that sort of wraps things up and then suddenly adds something new and leaves it open. I wasn’t particularly bothered by it, but then again, I’m super laid back when it comes to bad endings, lol. I loved the rest of the drama, so I was pretty well satisfied 🙂


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  5. Sylvia Casarez says:

    This was a great, moving, intense, love story. Gosh love the 2 main actors…playing father & son in it. It’s amazing how when u find ur 1 true luv ur destin to meet again….no matter how many yrs yrs dwn the line it’ll be. What makes it so much more applying is that ur luv actually waits for her. It’s incredible. Must watch..most watched. It’s a 10+++

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Completely agree with everything you said! This is one of my all time favorite historicals, and I loved everything about it. Romance, drama, intensity, fantasy. So much to enjoy. It really is a must watch drama 🙂


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  7. Fred says:

    Well, I have too much to say about this drama. LOL

    First of all, that ending made me smile. I did not see that ending coming (which is something I like compared to the rather predictable ones). Though this reincarnation storyline is getting a bit overused in Kdramas (Goblin, Arang, Legend of the Blue Sea, even Gumiho), it is understandable since it is part of Korean culture.

    Another thing about the ending was that it was a bit too short. I would have wanted to see them happy. Still okay overall. Although in a way it is still painful since they were not happy during the ancient period. 422 years? Damn that’s too long.

    I like the drama overall. The story was complex and I like it when the director/writer is able to create a lot of different mini-stories and make them all get intertwined to create a grand overall story. Much like Game of Thrones (only reached Season 3 or 4 so I cannot say much about the recent ones). This is the first drama with an ancient setting that I really liked. I got bored with Sungkyunkwan Scandal while Arang and the Magistrate felt average (even if it was Shin Min Ah).

    The cinematography in the first two episodes is so BAD-ass (sarcasm) LOL. It made me cringe. But I just let it go haha.

    I like Bae Suzy in general but I realized something about her acting. The first time I saw her act was in Uncontrollably Fond (side note: damn Kim Woo Bin has cancer IRL; I’m a fan since he is dating Shin Min Ah haha). I had comments about her acting then but I just let it go since it was the first time I saw her. But then this is now the second time and I have the same comment so here goes: her acting is okay but not superb. She cannot bring out these raw emotions (happiness, sadness, pain, anger, love, etc.). Though I do not claim to be an expert, I observe people’s body and facial language (especially the eyes). Bae Suzy’s body and facial language seems unable to make me feel the emotions I should be feeling. But maybe that’s just me.

    Another side note: I noticed the piggy-back thing in this drama. I thought, “OMG even in a historical drama they have this piggy-back thing”. Though I have nothing against it, I do not seem to get the appeal. Then two days ago I read an article about traditional weddings around the world. Apparently in a traditional Korean wedding the man will piggy-back her newly wed wife around the table (?) as a symbol of him being a dependable husband. So there. I will be very proud if you say that you heard that from me first. LOL.

    I think I still had a lot of comments while watching the drama but I may have already forgotten since this drama was so long. I can’t believe I was never bored with a 24-episode drama set in the ancient era. HAHA

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, well, I think it’s good to have lots to say about a drama 🙂 So you didn’t mind the ending. I didn’t mind it either. A lot of people hated it though! But I’m usually pretty laid back with endings, and I actually thought this one was fine. I must say I do love the reincarnation story lines though. I prefer it when it’s a bigger part of the story though rather than just thrown in at the end.

      But yes, I agree with you. The story for Gu Family Book is nice and complex with many characters that each have their own story. It was all put together very well. And it’s wonderful that you enjoyed it even being a bit longer and a historical. Yay! This was my second historical drama several years back and I absolutely loved it! I love historicals in gerneral, but it’s been hard for them to live up to Gu Family Book.

      I think you’re pretty spot on about Suzy. She gets a lot of hate for her acting, but I really like her. She just has a certain charm that I find appealing. But having said that, I also don’t think she is a very deep actor and doesn’t really pull you in. She has improved over the years, but I guess it just depends how each person reacts to her.

      Haha, I must say I had not heard about the history of piggy-backing in Korea. I like the little trope, and now I know why they do it. I heard it from you first! 🙂


  8. bae nita says:

    I love Lee seung GI

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Snow Flower says:

    I find the idea of brainwashed Yoo Yeon Seok strangely appealing, so I may give this drama a try…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, it was definitely interesting 🙂 This is a very flawed drama (completely different from something like Nokdu Flower), but it just checked the right boxes for me, and I loved it 🙂


  10. Snow Flower says:

    This was a very enjoyable watch! I liked almost everything. I wish the ending were a little different- the story could have ended happily in the past.
    Overall, a fairytale full of magic, a perfect story for the inner child in us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Woohoo! So happy you enjoyed this one so much too 🙂 Yes, it really is a lovely and magical fairy tale that just creates a special feeling overall.

      Yeah, the ending was a little iffy. I remember when I first watched it, I really wished they would do a season 2 set in the modern day to continue the story. Then Lee Seung Gi signed on for You’re All Surrounded, and I felt like that should be the season 2 since it was a detective drama! hehe I’m quite happy with just the one season though now 🙂


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