The xianxia tale Love Between Fairy and Devil is scorching its way to the top of iQIYI’s viewing charts! This is a good thing, because Esther Yu and Dylan Wang have complex, demanding roles, and they’re handling them adeptly and deserved to be honored for their performance. Come see why this Chinese drama has me hooked, and why I think you should be watching it too.
(I would use the MDL synopsis, but it’s spoilery.) In an ancient battle between the Moon Tribe and the Fairy Kingdom, the Fairy Kingdom’s Goddess of War sacrificed herself to save the Fairy Kingdom and lock away the Moon Supreme, a devil by the name of Dongfang Qingcang. Trapped for 30,000 years in the Fairy Kingdom’s prison tower, Dongfang Qingcang is accidentally released when a naïve fairy named Xiao Lan Hua (Orchid) falls into the tower while trying to protect her first love, Lord Chengheng, the Fairy Kingdom’s God of War. In the process, Qingcang and Orchid also discover they are capable of swapping bodies. The devil and the fairy push and pull as they escape the tower and Qingcang attempts to regain his former position of power, with Orchid alternately helping and hindering his efforts.
HOW IT’S GOING SO FAR
So my first Esther Yu/Yu Shu Xin drama was Moonlight, and I adored it. She excels at playing sweet women with spunk and steel at their core, and I love those kinds of characters. In Love Between Fairy and Devil, she plays Orchid/Xiao Lan Hua, a brand new fairy in the Fairy Kingdom. She’s apprenticed to the keeper of the Books of Destiny, but her master has been wandering the River of Forgetfulness for 1,000 years, so little Orchid has mostly been on her own. She wants to take the immortal test so she can serve in her first love’s palace, but her own destiny has other plans in mind.
Dylan Wang/Wang He Di is THRIVING in the role of Qingcang, brilliantly alternating between playing his devil role and his body-swapped fairy role. Many Cdrama watchers will recognize him from Meteor Garden, where he played Dao Ming Si. His cold demeanor only cracks sometimes, and his ability to dominate a room and yet allow himself to be subdued by a certain little fairy’s demands are both captivating and hilarious in their contrast. He’s absolutely believable and I love watching the transformation.
No romance in this day and age would be complete without a love triangle, and we have Zhang Ling He (Maiden Holmes) filling that role admirably. Lord Changheng of the Fairy Kingdom has been engaged for millennia to a goddess he’s never met, but that doesn’t save him from Orchid’s unwitting charms. He’s often torn between duty and protecting her, but he always puts the kingdom first, as a good second lead should.
I’m being educated in the different types of Chinese fantasies (thanks to my Cdrama Discord peeps, including Liliana, Ar, DramaWin, LearJet, and pettysushieater!), and this falls under xianxia, which apparently is full of tropes and angst and intertwined destinies. I’m loving the energy of this story – it’s a bit like Beauty and the Beast or Hades and Persephone, but with the depth and the twists that only a Chinese drama is capable of. They sound crazy on the surface (seriously, trying to describe this drama to my husband was NUTS), but the story takes itself just seriously enough and makes it all work. Also, there is a DRAGON. Every story is 1000 times better when there’s a dragon in it!
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Oh yes. Absolutely. The chemistry between Orchid and Qingcang is top notch, and the journey they’re on is addicting and watchable. I will add this one caveat: Esther Yu/Yu Shu Xin has an INCREDIBLY high voice, and it takes my ears a hot minute to adjust. But she’s so charismatic and compelling that I get over it very quickly. I don’t know where this story is going, but I don’t care because it’s been wonderful so far. I will absolutely see it through to the end! If you can’t watch it, just watch the opening credits, because they are BEAUTIFUL.
You can find all 36 episodes of Love Between Fairy and Devil on iQIYI and Viki very soon, as it wraps up airing this month.
Until the next searing kiss, I remain –
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi