[Webtoon] Undercover Empress

We’re back with a new Webtoon feature, and this week we’re reading ‘Undercover Empress‘ by soom and HanMint. Also known as ‘Irregular Empress’, this is a fantasy romance drama ready to sweep you off your feet! I’m honestly amazed that anything managed to divert and capture my attention while I’ve been living and breath in ‘Jack Jeanne‘ since its release day; It’s a trestament to how good this webtoon is, really.

Undercover Empress

When Estella was born, her father mysteriously registered the birth of a twin as well, a boy named Austin. Growing up, she picked up her father’s technique and legacy in swordfighting. Now, Estella Arthur enjoys a lazy life earning a knight’s wage under the persona of her fake twin brother Austin. After witnessing a murder in the forest, her life is about to change for ever. The crown prince of the Alphenstine Empire comes offering piles of gold, all the cake she can eat, and a guaranteed divorce after five years in return for her hand in marriage, even she finds it hard to say no.

Well, it’s not quite as charmed as that; He’s asking Austin to pretend to be Estella, so he can protect him as he tries to ascend the throne. Now she must dodge assassinations and a witches’ plot on top of avoiding anyone learning her true identity as a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be an empress.

The verdict

Yes, you read that right, we have a girl pretending to be a guy who’s pretending to be a girl. Thanks, brain; sorry, brain. Genderbending shenannigans abound, clearly, not to say anything about the prince’s choice of disguises…

But all that aside, Estella is such a brilliant heroine. She does not lose sight of who she is, she makes decisions carefully and is not merely pulled around by the different forces at play; Be it the prince, the queen, or her friends, she is nobody’s pawn, even when they seek to use her as one.

I had my concerns about the choice of male lead at the start, but as we find out more about the story and character’s backgrounds, they were put to rest. Cleor is a coplex and intriguing character, who clearly hides a lot under his smiling face.

The art is pretty and colorful, and, without spoiling anything, I want to say that I loved the way the witch plot was expanded and resolved. It was more than I could have hoped for, and beautifully written. On that note, I should mention, Undercover Empress is already completed. So you can binge your heart out!

If these tropes get your gears turning, don’t skip this one! It’s a solid read for any romance fan.

Avid manga fan, language nerd, RPG-gamer and coffee addict, I accidentally wandered into K-pop fandom in 2009 and stuck around to share the love ^_^