Queen: Love and War is about a woman (Jin Se Yeon) who only wants to become queen to discover the truth about her twin sister’s murder. To uncover the mystery, she gets involved in an elaborate plot to fool the King (Kim Min Kyu) and compete against the other women in the selection process to be queen.
Jin Se Yeon plays Kang Eun Bo. She is cunning and street smart which works in her favor after she is devastated by the murder of her twin sister and seeks revenge. She has a long road ahead though as she battles to become queen, get close to the king, and find the truth.
Kim Min Kyu is King Lee Kyung. He is a kind man who was also hurt by the loss of Eun Bo’s sister. He too is trying to find the culprit, and little does he know that Eun Bo is plotting against him.
We then have Prince Lee Jae Hwa (Do Sang Woo) who ends up in the middle of a power struggle for throne. Next is Wal (Lee Shi Eon) who runs an investigation agency along with Eun Bo.
I’ve been craving a new historical for a while, so Queen: Love and War seemed like a good choice. It was a solid drama overall that I mostly enjoyed. I wouldn’t put it in the exceptional category, but it has a steady pace that slowly builds and gets better as it goes.
A mystery is set up in the beginning as we have a murder attempt on the King as well as the murder of the Queen. The plot slowly peels back the layers as we learn more about those involved as well as their ultimate goal.
There are plenty of people with an agenda in this story. Some are full on baddies while others are morally grey. I liked that we had both men and women vying for power in their own ways while still being interconnected.
I also really enjoyed Eun Bo as a character. She was smart and able to adapt to situations around her. We end up with Eun Bo taking part in the selection process to become Queen with many other women.
Things are difficult in the palace where everyone seems to want to cause her trouble. There are a variety of ladies with some who are nice and others who are plotting Eun Bo’s demise. She handles it well though, and this is where we see her shine in her abilities.
It was also nice to see Kim Min Kyu in a lead role as the king. Poor Lee Kyung is a tortured soul who is misunderstood by Eun Bo. He struggles with the loss of his love as well as suddenly beginning to have prophetic dreams which really take a toll on him.
He’s also unaware of Eun Bo’s true intentions. He and Eun Bo who have the same goal but start off not working together. She questions his motives and doesn’t trust him for a long while, but she does slowly begin to see he is a good man.
Of course, she hasn’t been honest with him, so when she begins to fall in love, her secrets stand in the way of their happiness. The romance in the drama was an interesting one because it was a bit complicated. It’s slow to build because of a lot of factors, but I enjoyed seeing it play out.
Kyung initially fell for Eun Bo when they were children but were separated. He thought he found her as an adult during the first queen selection, but it turned out to be Eun Bo’s twin sister who was separated from. Since he never knew her name, her sister was able to pretend to be Eun Bo. So Kyung was happily in love with who he thought was Eun Bo.
But when the Queen was murdered, circumstances led Eun Bo to eventually step in and pretend to be her twin sister saying she hadn’t really died. So the irony comes in that he was originally in love with Eun Bo and still loves her now but thinks that she is her twin sister. Talk about a problem!
END OF SPOILERS
This couple faces a lot of challenges in their relationship from all of the scheming baddies as well as meddling family. Even the heavens seem to be against them. But they had such a lovely relationship with so much dedication to each other. As a bonus, there are quite a few very lovey-dovey moments as well as some surprisingly good kisses which aren’t too common in historicals.
The drama also features a pretty great soundtrack. The ballads were excellent at drawing out emotion as well as leaving an impact for those ending cliffhangers. The background music was also beautiful and really transported me into the story. Combine this with the beautiful costumes and sets, and we had a very well dressed drama.
Overall, Queen: Love and War was a great watch. I like when a drama is able to build the story up all the way through and consistently raise the stakes. We got an interesting power struggle, lots of scheming, as well as lovely romance. It was a solid drama that I enjoyed.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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