Stealing Dragon Exchanging Phoenix

Reviewed by: hkopinions

December 31, 2007

Rating: three-point-five

Zhang Ting as Qian Qian
Vincent Jiao as Long Khang Er
Niu Li as Qin Cai Qing
Niu Qing Feng as Shi Shu Cai
Fu Yi Wei as Empress Dowager
Liu Chang Chun as Long Tian Xiao


When I first started watching this series, I was very hesitant that it will be similar to Princess Pearl I-II. Luckily, the series differed enough in the plot as to not make me stop watching this series. This series is about a princess who is exchanged at birth with a boy. The mother wanted an heir to the throne and gave up her daughter. The boy later becomes emperor and her daughter grows up in a prostitution place. The emperor falls in love with the princess but the mother stops them because she wants him to marry her supposed daughter. Overall, the series is quite hilarious although it had many unnecessary scenes.

What about the story (Spoilers!)

The current emperor is waiting anxiously for the birth of his new baby. Everyone in the kingdoms wants a boy because the emperor has many daughters already but not a son. The mother is Fu Yi Wei and she gives birth to a baby girl. Some masked men break in and try to steal the baby but is unsuccessful. One of these men steals the princess and threatens her life. His name is Long Tian Xiao. He later jumps in the water and flees. Afraid that she would lose her chance to become empress and also that China needs an heir, Fu Yi Wei and her eunuch, Liu Jin (Zhang Hui Zhong) tricks an official's wife who had recently gave birth to a baby boy. The babies are exchanged and the kingdom rejoices. Before the exchange, Fu Yi Wei weeps over her daughter and bit her arm. She also promises that she would make up for this by making her the future empress. Meanwhile, the official wife realizes this but can't do anything about it. The official, Lin Jin Gui (Zheng Qiang) and his wife take the princess away in a carriage.

The wife is very bitter about this whole incident and tells her maid to abandon the baby at the largest prostitution house in the city. The maid takes the baby to Hundred Flower Tower. Feeling sorry for the baby, she also bit the other arm of the baby and leaves her there. The princess is taken in by the madam Jin Hua and given the name of Qian Qian. Everyone there loves her and so Qian Qian has 99 other mothers. Eighteen years later, Qian Qian grows up to be a clever and mischievous girl, but everyone loves her. One day she gets into a fight with Qin Cai Qing, the daughter of a new official, over some cloth. Cai Qing defeats Qian Qian. Meanwhile, Cai Qing's future husband, Shi Shu Cai, arrives to marry her. He is turned away because he is wimpy and weak.

The emperor had just passed away and so gambling/prostitution/bright colors were prohibited. Qian Qian's mother changes her prostitution house into an inn/restaurant. Shi Shu Cai becomes the unfortunate guest to stay there. Meanwhile, the prince, Long Khang Er, and his eunuch are traveling to see the outside world. The prince is very playful and mischievous. He had stolen Long Tian Xiao's flag and impersonated him. Everyone fears Long Tian Xiao because he is the most powerful martial artist. All the clans also bow down to him. The prince uses the flag to help stop a battle between some clans. Qian Qian sees this and decides to follow the prince. Qian Qian and the prince start fighting but Qian Qian can't beat him. Qian Qian starts crying and talks about her unfortunate life. The prince feels sorry for her and comforts her, but this was one of Qian Qian's tricks. She kicks him hard and he falls face down.

At home, business is going very bad. Qian Qian's mother decides to wed her off in an auction for money. Many people show up for this, including Cai Qing and her maid (they are dressed as guys but everyone recognizes them as girls). Everyone tries to auction for Qian Qian because she is beautiful. The prince decides to help and offers a very high price. Everyone fears him because of Long Tian Xiao's flag. The prince wins the auction but upsets the prior highest bidder. The guy goes and reports to Cai Qing's father, Zhong Yu, that there is a thief in the city. Meanwhile, the prince was to marry Qian Qian but Qian Qian didn't want to because she didn't like him. Some guards arrest the prince and brought him to trial. Qian Qian's mother lied to Zhong Yu that Qian Qian was his daughter from her to save Qian Qian. Zhong Yu denied it but Qian Qian was very eager to accept this.

The prince was imprisoned but he used the flag to get special treatment in jail. He later escapes. Meanwhile, the real Long Tian Xiao shows up and everyone is confused on who is the real one. Qian Qian and her mother try to get into Zhong Yu's house and take their place. Cai Qing wants to marry someone with good fighting skills and they hold a contest. Shi Shu Cai couldn't beat anyone. The prince wanted to have some fun so joined the contest and won. During the contest, the emperor's brother tried to kill the prince. Luckily he escaped. He was forced to wed Cai Qing but he didn't want to. Cai Qing and Qian Qian both slapped him for trying to marry both of them. The prince ends up not marrying either. The Empress Dowager wants to wed Lin Jia Rong (Xiang Nu) to her son. Lin Jia Rong is the daughter of the prince's real family. However, Lin Fu Ren stole Lin Jia Rong from someone else to replace as the princess. The Empress Dowager always thought the Lin Jia Rong was her real daughter and constantly spent time with her. To hide the truth, Lin Jia Rong also had a bite mark on one arm because Lin Fu Ren thought the real princess had only one bite mark.

The prince returns to the palace to become emperor. Meanwhile, Qin Zhong Yu is framed and was ordered to be executed. Later he gets rescued. Qian Qian decides to travel to the capital to find someone to save her supposed father. She gets hired as a washwoman in the palace. While Qian Qian was taking some things to the Empress Dowager's chamber, she dropped the plate. Qian Qian started to crawl on the floor to pick them up and the Empress Dowager shows up. Immediately the Empress Dowager falls in love with Qian Qian because she was so innocent. Qian Qian gets promoted although she is a girl. She tries to ask the Empress Dowager for help but the Empress Dowager hates politics and didn't want to be involved. Qian Qian also fought with Lin Jia Rong and constantly gets into trouble. One day, Lin Jia Rong accused Qian Qian of stealing her things. She was ordered to be hit in front of the Empress Dowager. The Emperor Long Khang Er realizes that Qian Qian is framed and helps her.

Qian Qian brings Cai Qing and her mother into the palace also. One day they were playing pass when the ball got stuck in the tree. Qian Qian climbs up the tree but falls. The emperor catches her in mid air but accidentally kisses her. After the kiss they start spitting and thought that it was gross but later realize they like each other. Qian Qian thinks Long Khang Er is a small official in the palace. Long Khang Er treats the entire family very nicely and gives special treatment for Cai Qing's dad while he is in prison. While in the palace, Long Tian Xiao fights Liu Jin. He is hurt badly but Qian Qian helps him. He teaches her some moves. They start liking each other, although he is at least twice her age. The Empress Dowager realizes that her son likes Qian Qian. She asks Qian Qian but Qian Qian misunderstood the question.

Qian Qian didn't know that Long Khang Er was the emperor and so got into trouble. Se accidentally pushes the Empress Dowager into the pool. The Empress Dowager orders Qian Qian to leave forever. Qin Zhong Yu is declared innocent but he puts Qian Qian and her mother on trial. Qian Qian realizes that it was all a lie and that she has no parents. Qian Qian set out to find her real parents. Long Khang Er helps Qian Qian find her parents. They pretend that they are rich and Qian Qian is going to inherit a lot of money from her adopted father impersonated by Long Khang Er. They ask everyone what Qian Qian has on both arms. Everyone lies and Qian Qian realizes that this task was impossible. She and Long Khang Er ask a lady, who was the maid who bit Qian Qian in the other arm, about a piece of fabric found on Qian Qian when she was abandoned. The woman recognizes Qian Qian but refuses to tell the truth.

Meanwhile, Liu Jin is killing off the emperor's real family. Long Tian Xiao rescues them. Long Tian Xiao thinks that Lin Jia Rong is the princess. He feels sorry for kidnapping the princess and trying to kill her. He also forces Long Khang Er to marry her. Qian Qian pretends she is pregnant with Long Khang Er's child so he didn't have to marry Lin Jia Rong. Lin Jia Rong also pretends that she is pregnant. When the examinations came up, everyone wanted to enroll, even Cai Qing. Long Khang Er wanted to test his skills too and they unearth a cheating system. Students carve words on rice to cheat on the test. Cai Qing, Shi Shu Cai, and Long Khang Er score in the top three. This is when everyone realizes that Long Khang Er is the emperor. Everyone is really happy except Qian Qian. Qian Qian didn't get anything. This is when Long Khang Er declares his love for her and asks her to marry him. Qian Qian accepts but later realizes what Long Khang Er is doing is stupid. He couldn't possibly marry a commoner.

Long Khang Er wants to run away with Qian Qian. On the night of their departure, Qian Qian tells Long Khang Er that she doesn't love him and leaves. Long Khang Er is heartbroken. Lin Jia Rong is very jealous and tries to kill Qian Qian. They struggle and Lin Jia Rong falls on her own knife. The only witness is the emperor's real mother. She hates Qian Qian and tells the Empress Dowager that Qian Qian killed Lin Jia Rong. The Empress Dowager is very angry because she believes Qian Qian killed her real daughter. She hits Qian Qian. Qian Qian faints. The Empress Dowager notices that Qian Qian has two bite marks on her arms. She gets confused and goes to pray in the temple. The maid realizes what is happening and goes to the temple. She tells the Empress Dowager the truth. The Empress Dowager is very angry. She tries to order the emperor's real mother to testify for Qian Qian but she refuses.

Qian Qian learns the truth about her parents. Long Tian Xiao tries to rescue Qian Qian but she refuses to leave. The late emperor's brother and Liu Jin then capture Qian Qian. They team up to take over the throne because there is no heir. The truth of Long Khang Er's birth is now known. Qian Qian is held captive to take over the throne. Long Khang Er also learns the truth and is very sad. He almost gets stabbed but is saved by his real mother. She dies. Long Tian Xiao fights Liu Jin. They both get hurt and die. Finally everything is settled. Long Khang Er continues to be emperor. Qian Qian is about to marry him. Shi Shu Cai was taught kung fu by Long Tian Xiao and now is very powerful. Cai Qing and Shi Shu Cai get married. Qian Qian asks Long Khang Er for a gift. The gift is for him to build a home for all her mothers, 100 in all. The Empress Dowager faints at Qian Qian's request. The End.

***the order of events may be misplaced***

Zhang Ting

She did a great job as Qian Qian. She was really funny and had great chemistry with Vincent. There are many scenes worth watching over. One memorable scene is when she falls off a tree and Vincent's catches her. They kiss on the way down.

Vincent Jiao

Vincent also did a good job as the emperor. However, I couldn't see Vincent as 18 years old. He looked a lot older. One memorable scene is when Qian Qian was being hit for stealing. Vincent didn't want Qian Qian to see that he was the emperor so he kept jumping over the Empress Dowager.

Best supporting actor

Liu Chang Chun as Long Tian Xiao

Best supporting actress

Niu Li as Qin Cai Qing

Best villain portrayal

Zhang Hui Zhong as Liu Jin

Worst character portrayal
Song Dan Dan as Qian Qian's adopted mother
Niu Qing Feng as Shi Shu Cai
Liu Fang as Lin Fu Ren

Scenery, costumes, plot

The scenery was good. I don't have any bad comments about that. The costumes were okay too. The plot is a little similar to "Princess Pearl". There were many boring scenes that could be left out. Liu Fang was horrible. Every scene that she was in, caused me to grab the remote to fast forward it. In the end, I felt sorry for Long Tian Xiao. He really liked Qian Qian, although he is too old for her. Niu Qing Feng's character was also very dull. I hate how he stuttered and just made me hate his character. It was a little weird seeing him with high kung fu skills at the end. Hopefully the sequel has a better script to it.

Watch it or forget it

It is a good series to watch although there were so many miscasts. There were also many characters that I felt should have been left out just for sheer entertainment. Many scenes were long and boring. Overall, the series was entertaining to watch.

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