«Gu Family Book» review avatar
Yohan Yuki Xie
 | | 2 minutes read

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구가의 서》 / 《Gu Family Book》 is a K-drama starring Lee Seung Gi as “Choi Kang Chi” and Bae Suzy as “Dam Yeo Wool”. The series aired from 2013-04-08 to 2013-06-25 with a total of 24 episodes with 1 hour and 5 minutes running time each. The series tells the love story of a half-human / half-mythical-creature and a lord’s daughter as they fight for their feelings in a world afraid of mythical creatures.

High emotional impact. Amazing cast. Great music! A story we can always watch.


Choi Kang Chi is a half-human and half-mythical-creature who was adopted by the lord of the Hundred Years Inn. He was the son of Gu Wol Ryung, the guardian spirit of Jiri Mountain, and the human Yoon Seo Hwa.

Dam Yeo Wool is a martial arts master and daughter of the leader of a secret organization protecting the region. She was sent to the Hundred Years Inn to observe and protect its lord.

They met at the Hundred Years Inn, the most popular inn in the region, and fell in love with each other despite Choi Kang Chi being a half-human. When their world turned into chaos, it is up to Choi Kang Chi to put it back into order; and up to Dam Yeo Wool to ensure that Choi Kang Chi’s half-mythical-creature side does not get the best of him.


There are two stories in this series, the first is the political rivalry; and the second is the relationship between the main leads.

The political rivalry story was well-written. There were always fresh “content” (if we can call it that) in every episode. They avoided repeating the same plot or reusing what was already “solved” in the previous episodes, while maintaining the overarching plot.

The story between Kang Chi Choi and Yeo Wool Dam was more than perfect. I loved how they did not dive into romantic scenes and dating game, otherwise it would’ve ruined the whole show. They carefully built-up the expectation and tension between the characters and perfectly used the intense emotions they captured from the audience at the right time, at the right moment.

The finale episode (ep. 24) was beyond perfection. While writing this review, I can still feel the impact and weight of this episode. Anyone can easily feel the emotions of both characters and the dialogues were realistic, what most people would say if they’re in the shoes of either of the characters.

Gu Family Book (2013) Bae Suzy as Dam Yeo Wool (left); Lee Seung Gi as Choi Kang Chi (right)

Gu Family Book (2013)

Bae Suzy as Dam Yeo Wool (left); Lee Seung Gi as Choi Kang Chi (right)

The work shown above is Copyrighted to Samhwa Networks.


Everyone successfully brought to life the characters they played. The seriousness, the anger, the laughter, and craziness were also reflected on their faces. Superb acting!

The main leads captured the hearts of the audience which made it easy to feel their characters, to think like their characters, to be their characters. The way they gave life to their characters was natural, we can feel their humanity.

Special mention to Suzy, if I am not mistaken this was only her third Main role in a TV series, the delivery of her lines and they way she showed us her character’s personality was at a veteran actor level. It wasn’t perfect, similar with Seung Gi, there were a few scenes which were awkward or maybe forced but both of them quickly recovered (even in the same scene).


The best music/OST. Perfect timing, at the right place, at the right scene, at the right time. The songs were also memorable and easy to listen to. They also did not forget to lower down the background music a second or two before a dialogue, something often forgotten in many other shows.


It was clear they gave a very good budget for this show. The texture and colours of their costumes and props were awesome on the screen. It helped in bringing-in the audience to live in the world of “Gu Family Book”.


Highly recommended. 20 out of 10 stars. Very high in the re-watch list.

Great job!

Official trailer

[Eng Sub] Gu Family Book Trailer [HD]

«Gu Family Book» trailer

The work shown above is Copyrighted to Samhwa Networks.


・ Cover image: The cover image used in this article is Copyrighted to Samhwa Networks.

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Yohan Yuki Xieㆍ사요한・謝雪矢·ᜌᜓᜃᜒIf this is not the end of oblivion, then I shall live everyday as if my life were to end this very day.

The YOOki Chronicles

The YOOki Chronicles is Yohan Yuki Xie’s return into casual and personal blogging. The name “YOOki” is a mash-up of the acronym of YourOnly.One and my nickname ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki・雪矢).

Interestingly, according to Chinese legend, (YOO) is an ancient Chinese surname. The ancestors of the surname were closely linked with the ancient sage-king named Yu Shun. In Korea, the (YU) lineage traces to the Xia, Han, and Joseon dynasties. Holders of the surname Yu or Yoo had a reputation for charity and diligence.1

It is also the word for “willow” or the “willow tree” which means graceful or slender; and a tree growing near a body of water which provide continuous nourishment and resources for everyone. It can also mean to exist, an oil (anointment(?)), and simply as “U” (you).

The Hanzi (ki) character means to record, be disciplined, provide order. While the Hangeul equivalent, (ki), means energy, spirit, a banner, and a period of time; and is also a suffix used to make a gerund or an infinitive.

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