Title: Under The Oak Tree
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Drama
Release Date: 2020
Author: Kim Soo-ji & Namu
Upload Status: Season 1 Complete
TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of abuse (emotional and physical).
Synopsis: “A flawless love story of the flawed. Stuttering lady Maximilian is forced into a marriage with Sir Riftan, but he leaves on a campaign after their wedding night. 3 years later, he triumphantly returns, ready to cherish her. As life with her husband finally begins, she only has one question — does she deserve this love and happiness?” (From: Baka-Updates Manga).
This was one of the manhwa that I just kept on seeing advertised basically on all social media platforms for me. As you all know, I am a sucker for romance so seeing a story like this pop up on EVERY SINGLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM I’M ON absolutely made me curious about it—even more so when I found out that this was historical fantasy. The art itself is absolutely stunning and it really is a page-turner.
However, what Max (the protagonist of this manhwa) goes through in the beginning, which is also repeated throughout the rest of the first season, is rather triggering. She grew up feeling unloved and constantly feeling like she doesn’t deserve any good things given to her. Her father—the king—as well as the servants within the castle disregarded her as a burden and even compared her endlessly to her older sister. The one thing that they constantly criticized her for was her stutter (which is a touchy topic for me as well since I also had to force myself to control mine to a certain degree). They even tried their best to convince Riftan (the male lead) to divorce her (by making him think that she was with another man) and marry someone else—someone who they thought was “worth” being with. Of course, that doesn’t happen and Riftan takes her away so they can live together…3 years after they got married. Thing is, Max stayed in her castle and neither of them had seen each other since their wedding night. Max was convinced by her father that Riftan would divorce her for another princess…which is absolutely cruel in every sense of the word.
As soon as Max starts to live with Riftan, she begins to have so many experiences and even starts to smile every now and then. She starts to feel loved—especially by Riftan. He treats her like a queen and every single moment they’re together is absolutely adorable. The only problem is, she is so traumatized by her life in her home castle, that she constantly thinks everyone thinks the worst of her and is even scared to let Riftan know about how she was treated back then. The one time she actually opens herself up about her past (even though she doesn’t really go into detail) is within the last chapter where she comments on how the one thing she hates the most is herself. The shocked expression on Riftan’s face upon hearing that is absolutely heartbreaking.
A lot does happen within this first season, however, it is mostly focused on the romance aspect in order for the audience to get to know and get used to the characters before the major drama starts. You see a taste of it in certain times of the first season. I’m very curious as to what will happen in the future. This means that I will certainly be reviewing this manhwa when more seasons come out (maybe it’s going to be 2–3 seasons? I’m not entirely sure). However, if you do want many cute/steamy scenes or just love romance altogether, this manhwa is definitely for you.
With that being said, I give the first season of Under The Oak Tree 5 paws out of 5 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾. I loved everything that this season had to offer. The author gives you the chance to watch the protagonist grow quite a bit throughout this season and lets you enjoy every single romantic (and steamy) moment between Max and Riftan. I really do recommend this to people; however, where I read it, I did need to pay to read (though I think the original novel can be found online so you can read either/or and still enjoy the story). That’s it for today. Thank you all so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone! Nya! 🐾