I really liked the love line in this drama. However, their love is so firmly tied to the greed for power. Basically, the king is worried about the political environment and hopes that it would be stable when his son, the crown prince, inherits it after his death. The king's brother Suyang is the father of our female main character. He is the bad guy in this drama because of his want of power. His biggest rival is Kim Jong Seo, who is the father of our male main character. Se-Ryung is our female main character, she is a very care-free girl and is doted by her father. She has a kind heart and wants to try to ride the horse, to find a good memory to hold on to when she gets married and has to stay in the house. She was supposedly engaged to Seung Yoo, the son of Kim Jong Seo. However, Kim Jong Seo was wary of Suyang and suspicious of his motives.
Se Ryung is friends with the princess named Kyung Hee, since they are technically cousins since their fathers are brothers. The princess is very gorgeous and is a very strong character, willing to sacrifice herself to ensure stability for her father, the king, and for the crown prince. Seung Yoo was supposed to be the new lecturer for the princess. The princess didn't like the lectures and so she always found a way to get rid of the teachers by using her beauty. The princess didn't want to attend the lecture and so Se Ryung suggested to go in her place saying that Seung Yoo is supposedly her future husband and she wants to take a look at him herself. That was how they meet. They trade places for a day and the Se Ryung's first impression of Seung Yoo was not good. She found him pompous and also was shocked to see that he came into the palace with a lipstick mark on his neck. He didn't know about the lipstick because he was asleep when a gisaeng who liked him, kissed him there.
Afterwards, Se Ryung attended the lectures for the princess. Se Ryung and Seung Yoo got closer when he found her outside the palace on a horse. He asked why she came out of the palace and she continued to lie, because faking the identity as a princess can be punishable by death. They begin to connect through those meetings and got to know each other better. Then the two began to fall in love. The king heard of Suyang's scheming and decided to cut off all his ties by making his daughter marry Seung Yoo. The problem with that was Se Ryung still thought that Seung Yoo was going to be her future husband and continued to fall deeper and deeper in love. Seung Yoo, still believing Se Ryung was the princess, allows himself to fall deeper in love once he heard of his engagement to the princess. However, he soon finds out that Se Ryung isn't the princess when the princess herself reveals it. The princess had to reveal it for she was supposed to be engaged to Seung Yoo after the engagement between Se Ryung and Seung Yoo was refused. They made up another lie saying that Se Ryung was simply a palace maid and was sent to some other place.
Seung Yoo and Se Ryung met again. They started courting each other and were in love with each other. The entire time though, Seung Yoo thought Se Ryung was a palace maid and even thought of marrying her disregarding the class divide. Suyang was starting to plot against Kim Jong Seo. Su Yang also finds Se Ryung a new match, the magistrate, Myun, who was also friends with Seung Yoo. Due to Suyang's plotting against Jong Seo, Seung Yoo did not marry the princess either. Instead the princess married Seung Yoo's friend. The princess was extremely cold to the poor man and the guy continued to love her whole-heartedly and respect her. He continued to try to prove to be a good man and overtime, even though he started off being the most immature among the three friends, he became really mature as the drama progresses. However, I really admired the personality of the princess. In the end, she full heartedly loved her husband and was willing to even go on her knees to beg to let him live. He managed to survive but he sure went through a lot of pain due to Suyang. However, once again, the couple is threatened and what came to be of this couple, I will leave you viewers to watch for yourself. Let's just say, tears shall be shed.
Throughout the drama, you get frustrated, you just want to make Se Ryung reveal who she is to Seung Yoo. But she doesn't....and in the meantime, she is also very harsh to Myun causing him to even turn against Seung Yoo as a rival. When she heard her father was planning to murder Seung Yoo and his household. She tries to stop it but gets locked up by her mother. Using her own blood, she writes a letter to Seung Yoo to get him out of the house to save his life. In the end, he finds out who she is and her identity. He refused to be with her from then on because he felt that he was betrayed by his best friend (the magistrate) and also used by her. He managed to survive but was injured and left to die. He begins to feel hate toward Suyang and his entire family. He didn't know how hard Se Ryung tried to keep him from being executed by her father, even risking her own life so that he can live. Her father keeps on promising to keep him alive and Se Ryung never saw the dark side of her father. Her father even purposely said that they were banned to another island but then thought of something else, like the ship sinking on the way there, to hide the fact that he would not give up killing Seung Yoo.
Seung Yoo returns, after being declared as dead, and he is ready to get revenge. His main goal is to kill Suyang and also his entire family. By doing so, he kidnaps Se Ryung. Se Ryung, finding out her love was still alive, willingly allows herself to be handled roughly and kidnapped. When her father comes to save her, he is wearing an armor underneath his clothes. The father doesn't know who the kidnapper is, no one does but Se Ryung, because Seung Yoo had his face covered. So even when Seung Yoo fired an arrow at Suyang, he was still fine. However, the magistrate and his army was also there, hiding. When he shoots an arrow at Seung Yoo, Se Ryung quickly uses her body to block the arrow and then Seung Yoo managed to escape. She wanted him to live.
After much more obstacles, the two finally managed to get together. Se Ryung cut a bit of her hair in front of her father, representing cutting ties between them. However, by the ending, because Seung Yoo was captured later on, he was beaten and so in the end he was blind. Both taken as dead, with the help of Se Ryung's mother, they are sent out. Se Ryung and Seung Yoo had a happy ending though. They were poor but lived happy lives. This was truly a story like Romeo and Juliet. However the characters were a lot stronger with a lot more intense moments.
Great drama but I don't think I liked how they made him blind at the end. I wanted an actual happy ending after all the chaotic events they had to go through. It just didn't seem fair to make him blind and without a reason.