Series Review: The Dark Lord – An Adventure in Love, Power and Guizhou (Cdrama, 2018)

Review is written and submitted by guest writer Sharon. If you would like to submit a review of any drama, movie, or novels, please contact Kappy.

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The Dark Lord (Ye Tian Zi, 夜天子), was filmed in the burning summer of 2017, extending into the cool and rainy fall. Adapted from a historical novel by Yueguan, the story was transformed into a heart-stirring tornado on screen by the same author.

During the dynasty of Ming, Guizhou Province in the southwestern corner of China was ruled under a tribal system. The rulers in the system were hereditary, and also formally appointed by the royal court. The protagonist, Ye Xiaotian, was originally head of a prison following his father’s foot step. Due to a financial drought in the family, he decided to take a trip of more than a thousand miles to deliver a will of an executed official under his watch, with a promised pay. The moment he stepped out of the capital, the moment he reached the landscape of Guizhou…are the moments that changed his life. The rainy season of Guizhou did not start pouring abruptly, but it gradually turned into a thunderstorm. The storm was so brutal that Ye Xiaotian’s life was barely spared each time. One could also say that he outplayed all his competitors by his wit, his persistence, and most importantly, by his love for Xia Yingying.

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The story is not your usual story about power struggles and undying love. Ye Xiaotian is also not a prince, but a nameless prison head giving up his job to earn quick cash. But after watching the whole series, you will come to understand that the story is about those encounters, the rite of passage. Beautiful or cruel, they change you, shape you, lift you up to another stage of life with no point of return.

The series is not only equipped with the wonderful cast, delicate and sometimes massive props, but also fast-pacing plots and funny lines which drive you right through Ye Xiaotian’s journey.

Xu Haiqiao has done a fascinating job in portraying the protagonist, injecting emotional energy into his performance and into the minds of the audience. The emotions will be so real that they explode in your heart.

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Song Zu’er played the beautiful and innocent Xia Yingying. She is the sweetheart of Ye Xiaotian, also the sweetheart of the whole series.

Liu Guanlin played the arch-enemy of Ye Xiaotian this time. The life transformation also happened on him drastically.

There are also so many veteran actors and actresses, who are, just like what Haiqiao has commented, looking exactly the way their characters should look like.

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The journey of Ye Xiaotian in Guizhou has long been over, but his adventure in Guizhou will not be stopped when the tornado is still elevating its capacity. The series comes to an interim, and one can expect even more intensive plots ahead. But Ye Xiaotian won’t stop his steps even when the tornado is over. When he looked back through the opaque veils of rain of Guizhou, how he started the trip and ended up doing everything just to marry Yingying. Like our lives, they just move on. While we will always remember how we came to be who we are, sometimes we just don’t understand why.

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  1. 2 thoughts on “Series Review: The Dark Lord – An Adventure in Love, Power and Guizhou (Cdrama, 2018)

    Thanks for the review, it definitely makes me want to check out this drama which previously went under my radar. Xu Haiqiao is an actor that intrigues me. He has an interesting face and it’s good to hear he did a good job in this drama. I need to find subs

    • 2 thoughts on “Series Review: The Dark Lord – An Adventure in Love, Power and Guizhou (Cdrama, 2018)

      Hi Jen,

      You can subscribe to the subbing team channel on Facebook:

      They are working on the series now.

      Haiqiao is definitely a capable actor of many facets. For people not following his career closely, they will find it hard to believe all different kinds of roles he has ever played. For example, Feng Jing in Revive, Samo in Detective Samoyeds and Prince Yuan Zhan in Lost Love in Times.


What do you think?