We read them all so you don’t have to! Or, to be exact, I’ve been on a historical fantasy romance binge for some time, and this is the outcome. Today we’ll be going through series focusing on the second chance- turning back time trope. While far from a definitive list, since the genre is flooded with so much copypasta, hopefully it will at least help you navigate it! Using a very sophisticated rating system of 😰 to 😍, let’s see the what we have!
Summary: They called her the Iron Widow. When her husband died, he left her to manage not only his vast holdings but also his four children. Young and inexperienced, Shuri nonetheless tried her best to raise them, despite their bitter attitude towards her. She is finally free to live her own life as her eldest son marries… only to find herself murdered by bandits and mysteriously reset to seven years past — the night of her husband’s funeral. Can Shuri find happiness with this second chance at a new destiny?
Status: Ongoing – 109 chapters
I was very concerned there was gonna be some disturbing reverse harem with the stepsons but thankfully, this is not that kind of series. Horay for familial relationships and love. The only bad thing I can say about this incredible series is that it’s only halfway done, based on where the story is currectly at. I may have shed actual tears while reading this. Shuri is one of my favourite main characters in a webtoon ever, hands down. Also, the art is stunning!
Summary: After her lowly mother married a count, Aria enjoyed a life full of luxury while harassing her gentle stepsister Mielle. Several years later, Aria is about to be executed when Mielle reveals that she wickedly tricked her all along and led her to this fate. Just as Aria desparately wishes she could change her fate, she sees a curious hourglass that takes her back into the past. With the power of the hourglass is on her side, can Aria take everything from Mielle and take revenge, or will her actions change the past in ways she couldn’t have imagined?
Status: Complete – 104 + 21 special chapters
It’s cliché and it’s not the deepest storyline or characterization, but it’s a fan fave for a reason. Original storyline Aria was mainly stupid, not exactly innocent or nice, but hardly worthy of her fate; Returned Aria wises up, and this time she does become the villainess (at least for Mielle) to get her revenge. It’s memorable and fun, and definitely worth a read.
Summary: Artezia Rosan’s happiness was dependent on ensuring the success of her brother. As a master manipulator and schemer, she became his most valuable ally in seizing the empire’s throne. That’s exactly why her brother’s betrayal cut so deeply when Artezia was imprisoned as punishment for all of her crimes. Soon after being rescued by Grand Duke Cedric Ebron, she vows to help him overthrow the cruel new emperor by sacrificing her own life with forbidden magic. Now waking up several years earlier back in time, she will forsake her own family to help Cedric at all costs.
Status: Ongoing – 163 chapters
We could do a whole other feature with just “villainess” series, seeing as this is *the* trope all the cool kids are writing about now apparently, but if you need a definitive villainess, it’s Tia, hands down. She actually was a villain, for starters, and while she was tossed aside like a pawn, she was one of the main players. If you only have space for one villainess drama in your reading list, this is it.
Summary: When Lithera transmigrated into a romance fantasy novel, she did everything she was supposed to. Fought the dragon, saved the world, married the walking red flag prince, became empress… Only to be murdered by said prince after she divorced him. Now, thrown back to the start, she has a chance to do things very differently. For, she’s marrying the beastly Nothern Duke this time.
Status: Ongoing – 94 chapters
Nothing typical about this! Northern Duke, check, time reset, check, fickle god, check. But this series takes the tropes and either subverts them in truly surprising ways, or it straight up throws them out the window. Couple goals with good communication? Truth bombs? It’s all here. You can find our full review here. A true pleasure to read.
Summary: Elena Blaise grew up as a count’s daughter in a royalist household backing Crown Prince Carlisle. After his assination, the new King Paveluc annihilates House Blaise overnight. As the sole survivor, Elena trains as a knight to avenge her family, but when she finally faces off with Paveluc 20 years later, a deadly blow not only knocks her unconscious but also catapults her into the past! Waking up one year before the fall of House Blaise, she decides to change her family’s fate this time around.
Status: Completed – 100 chapters
What can I say about Elena the knight… No, seriously, I’m asking. The series was ok to pass the time, but extremely forgettable and does not particularly manage to stand out in the veritable sea of similar content. Not a bad read, but if you’re being really picky, skip this one.
Summary: In school, Haneul and Dahae did not exactly get along… Years later, they meet when their siblings announce their wedding. But tragedy strikes, and the newlyweds are killed in a traffic accident. While arguing about how they could have prevented this, Haneul and Dahae suddenly find themselves back in high school. With only each other and a diary to rely on, will they be able to save their siblings?
Status: Complete – 75 chapters
Verdict: 😊 It’s cute, it’s short, the art is pretty and the relationships don’t feel forced. Worth giving a shot!
Beware the Brothers
Summary: Also known as “Harley takes the house“. Harley (or Hari, depending on which translation you find) thought that marriage would be her ticket out of the Ernst household and away from the family’s three sons, aka her perpetual tormenters. But on the eve of her wedding, she’s transported back in time 20 years to a youth she’d hoped to forget. As long as she’s getting a second chance, Harley’s determined to stand up to her bullies. But what began as retaliation quickly turns into reconciliation as both Harley and the Ernst brothers come to understand each other’s pain.
Beware… this webtoon. It’s okay to read if you’re really needing a romance drama fix as a completed series that’s not too long, but I cannot get past the choice of male lead.
And there you have it folks. Let us know if you’ve read these and what you thought in the comments!