Drama ReviewChinese Action Drama ReviewsFighting For Love Drama Review

"The story of Fighting For Love drama may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it can be very entertaining."

Fighting For Love Drama Review

  • Drama Title: Fighting For Love
  • Also Known For: 阿麦从军, Soldier A Mai, A Mai Joins the Army, A Mai Joins The Military, A Mai Cong Jun, Huang Ye Ka Fei Guan
  • Director: Jacob Cheung, Tian Shao Bo
  • Screenwriter: Yang Hong Wei, Liu Cheng Long
  • Genres: Action, Romance, Historical
  • Cast: Zhang Tian Ai, Zhang Hao Wei, Wang Rui Chang, Gao Ge
  • Episodes: 36
  • Date of Release: January 31, 2024
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Where to Watch: iQiyi
  • Adapted from the novel: “A Mai Cong Jun” by Xian Cheng

Fighting For Love is a great drama that I recently discovered. Although it may not be as well-known as Wu Lei’s new drama, Amidst a Snowstorm Of Love, I couldn’t stop watching it. This is truly a miracle for me, a romance junkie, as I usually prefer to watch swoon-worthy scenes rather than action-packed ones. I am sure you are all curious why a romance enthusiast like myself would praise an action drama like this. So, enough with the chit-chat. Let’s get down to business. Happy reading!

Fighting For Love Synopsis

A Mai is the first female general in the Nanxia kingdom. She was born a noble girl. After her family was exterminated, young A Mai hid her identity and disguised herself as a man. For years, A Mai had been searching for Chen Qi, her adoptive brother who killed her parents. She tries every possible means to find him. She learned from an intelligence master that Chen Qi is now a Marshal in the Beimo Army.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - A Mai
Fighting For Love Drama Review – A Mai

Meanwhile, through a series of coincidences, A Mai meets Shang Yi Zhi. The young master from Marquis Dingnan’s mansion who was carefree and spoiled. Shang Yi Zhi found himself in a dire situations because the Emperor secretly wanted him dead. A Mai helped him escape from several dangerous situations. They grew closer when fate brought them together again during the war.

A Mai joined the military as an infantry soldier when Shang Yi Zhi took over his late father’s position as the general of the Qingzhou Army. A Mai’s exceptional talents in warfare quickly gained recognition from others. She assisted Shang Yi Zhi, who faced many difficulties in leading an army and accomplishing great deeds.

On the battlefield, A Mai repeatedly clashed with Chang Yu Qing, a cold and ruthless general from the Beimo Army. When talented individuals recognize each other, they develop mutual understanding and respect. However, faced with the brutality of war, A Mai had to learn to let go of her personal grudges and dedicate her life to fighting for her country.

Fighting For Love Drama Review

Fighting for Love is an iQiyi exclusive action drama that follows the story of a girl named A Mai. My first impression of this drama can be described in one or two phrases: Hua Mulan and Oh My General! A Mai’s story is similar to that of Hua Mulan, as both disguised themselves as men to train in a military camp. I also thought this drama tell a story of a brave female general and a delicate male lead, similar to the drama Oh My General!

While surfing the internet, I noticed that many people criticized this drama. However, I disagree with their opinions as I found Fighting For Love quite entertaining. Yes, the title was misleading. But then again, it could be that we all misinterpret it. The LOVE word in the title could be referring to the country or the people instead of a specific person. I only realized this at the end of the drama.

The show’s plot was slow and boring at first, but it gradually built up and allowed me to understand the personalities of the main characters. The use of a slow pace was actually an advantage in this drama. I got to understand why A Mai who grew up with a hard life in the capital still had a sense of patriotism in her bones. And also why Shang Yi Zhi was good at pretending to be a wastrel in his life.

To be honest, I was led to this drama by the title as well. As a romance junkie, I am constantly looking for sweet and swoon-worthy scenes in Cdramaland. However, as the story progressed, I totally forgot about this misleading title. I found myself engrossed in this action and adventure drama.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - poster 5

The production quality is also excellent. We at least have many scenes where many people were involved in a war/battle scenes. I was particular about this kind of scene because of my recent disappointment in Sword and Fairy drama‘s final battle scene.

Story-wise, Fighting For Love might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The story starts light but becomes intense towards the end with schemes behind schemes that make it hard to fathom the motives of those involved. It is unclear whether they acted for the sake of the country or their own glory. Perhaps they had noble intentions at first, but as time went by, these intentions eroded.

Fighting For Love has an open ending, making it unclear whether it is happy or sad. There are also unexpected deaths, and although the ending may not be entirely satisfying, A Mai is at least happy. You can read about it in Fighting For Love ending explained post.

Does this drama have any romance? There is a romance between A Mai and Shang Yi Zhi, including kissing scenes. However, it may not be considered a romance drama. Despite the chemistry between A Mai and Shang Yi Zhi, their relationship is more like a bromance.

A Mai’s character is very masculine. Even though she is dressed in women’s clothing, she does not appear feminine. I had high hopes for A Mai and Chang Yu Qing’s relationship, but it seems impossible because both of them prioritize their country above all else.

After watching this military drama, I noticed distinct differences between the military and royalty/nobility. Fighting For Love highlights these differences. Military personnel have simple characters, are straightforward about right and wrong, and value loyalty, friendship, and human relations. It was heartwarming to see how A Mai got along with her fellow soldiers.

Meanwhile, the royalty and noble families were full of schemes and enjoyed manipulating people. Their plots were quite scary, and people could die for small reasons. The most frightening part was when the harem members set each other up. Although the ladies were pretty and delicate, their hearts were full of thorns.

I enjoyed Fighting For Love not only because of its good story flow, but also because there were some comedies here and there, not much, but I laughed. Unlike Different Princess drama, which tries to be comedic but fails to be funny.

Fighting for Love only has one female lead, A Mai, and there were three male leads, Shang Yi Zhi, Chang Yu Qing, and Tang Shou Yi. A Mai’s character is well-developed, with relatable flaws such as impulsiveness and emotional vulnerability. I don’t like overpowered characters. So, I was relieved that A Mai was just an ordinary person.

Although I was skeptical about her ability to pass other scrutiny over her disguise as a man for years. However, if Tang Shao Yi could guess her identity without seeing her shoulders (unlike Shang Yi Zhi and Chang Yu Qing), then there would be more people who recognized her but kept it a secret.

Besides Go Princess Go!, Zhang Tian Ai, or known as Crystal Zhang also acted in Martial Universe and Sword Snow Stride drama. Her portrayal of A Mai in Fighting For Love is very good. Her chiseled face, straight nose, and sharp eyes perfectly captured the A Mai’s masculinity. I could not imagine another actress who was better than her.

Among the male leads, my favorites are Chang Yu Qing and Tang Shao Yi. I like Chang Yu Qing for his cold beauty and Tang Shao Yi for his simplicity and friendly demeanor. From the beginning, I never liked Shang Yi Zhi, the first male lead, because he seemed to have too many flaws. He is an immature person who relies on others.

Although he holds great power and a heavy burden, Shang Yi Zhi needs to set his priorities straight. His ignorance and indecisive nature cloud his mind. Most of the time, Shang Yi Zhi was guided by A Mai, Xu Jing, Princess Shenghua, and other people around him. He appeared so love-struck that it might have killed him if no one had reminded him.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - poster 2

Shang Yi Zhi’s naivety and gentle nature could make you fall in love with him instantly, but his selfishness would cause you to discard him just as quickly. He was not a main character that would gain your love and attention.

Zhang Hao Wei portrayed the character flawlessly, effectively conveying the emotions of a spoiled young master and indecisive general. Well, with all his experience in Cdramaland, he did not let us down. If you want to see more of his acting, check out Who Rules the World drama, Nirvana in Fire Season 2: The Wind Blows in Chang Lin, Ode to Joy, Destined, and the newest one, Like a Flowing River Season 3. Zhang Hao Wei still has plenty of TBA dramas on the shelf as the main and supporting roles. He is indeed a busy actor.

Unlike Shang Yi Zhi, Chan Yu Qing, the second male lead, and Tang Shao Yi, the third male lead, were quite lovable because they were not as cunning and deep as Shang Yi Zhi. Chang Yu Qing might be an enemy, but he is a righteous person who holds his principles in his heart. I admire his character for that. The sight of him polishing his spears was an unforgettable scene. And when he smiles, I feel like my heart trembles a little bit.

Wang Rui Chang is young, but he already has an impressive filmography. He began his acting career in 2016 and has since appeared in several popular dramas, including The Eternal Love, In a Class of Her Own, and The Long Ballad drama. He has also acted in the youth drama A River Runs Through It. However, I prefer him in costume dramas.

The third male lead, Tang Shao Yi, is a simple man. He was skilled in devising strategy and known for his bravery, kindness, and friendly attitude. Tang Shao Yi was unquestionably patriotic and loyal to his friends. His character deserves our TLC. I also enjoy seeing him interact with A Mai.

This is my first time watching Gao Ge in a drama. I used to watch his dramas The Heart and Operation: Special Warfare, but I dropped them after a few episodes. Therefore, I did not have much of an impression of him. However, he did a good job as Tang Shao Yi. Gao Ge was able to convey his emotions very well.

In this drama, Qu Jing, the Emperor’s character, gives us an example that being at the top of the world does not mean that you have all the happiness in the world. On the contrary, it was quite desolate. The Emperor did not have many servants around him. He only has his personal eunuch, the head of the imperial guard, and Prime Minister Lin around him. Don’t ask me about the Empress and the harem. They seemed to be nonexistent.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - poster 3

Qu Jing is unlike any other emperor. He did not dress up like them and was often seen wearing his inner garments (actually it’s more like pajamas and a kimono). His hair was always disheveled, and it made me wonder if he ever cleaned his bed because it looked like a mess.😂

I admired Yin Zhu Sheng’s acting as the Emperor. He is a seasoned actor who often appears in action or wuxia dramas such as The Longest Day in Chang’an, Heroes, and The Wind Blows From Longxi. He also could be seen in A Dream of Splendor drama as Gao Hu. In this drama, he did a very good job portraying a paranoid emperor.

Fighting For Love was directed by Jacob Cheung and Tian Shao Bo, both seasoned directors. Jacob Cheung, with 36 years of experience in the industry, has worked as an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer, and has won several awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. Tian Shao Bo also has an impressive filmography. You may recognize some of his work, such as To Ship Someone and Hello Mr. Gu. With two experienced directors collaborating on one project, no wonder that this drama was well produced.

Fighting For Love is a novel adaptation The author of A Mai Cong Jun is Xian Cheng known as Sun Ying Ying, and is a web novelist who is also the original creator of Go Princess, Go! and The Princess and the Werewolf drama. The female lead in Go Princess Go! is Zhang Tian Ai, the same actress who played A Mai. Therefore if you feel some similarities between Zhang Peng Peng and A Mai, I feel you!😁

The Cinematography

Fighting For Love takes us on a long journey with A Mai. She starts in Shengdu, then moves to Yinbao, Qinzhou, and finally settles down in the border town of Jingyang City. Although she mainly stays in the barracks, we can also see other places such as the forest, cave, and even the palace. I enjoy stories with multiple settings because they are less boring and more engaging.

You also could see how this drama was perfectly made from the detailed set and costumes. Fighting For Love is a visually artistic drama. For example, A Mai was walking in a blue robe and armor, surrounded by palace guards in red robes and armor. They pointed their spears at her, creating a circular wall that followed her movement. The scene was picturesque. Additionally, the Emperor’s bedroom had seven doors that opened and closed in an orderly manner.

The camera movement in this drama is perfect. I love to see A Mai’s robe moving beautifully when the camera rolls from the side and the video is played in slow-motion. The directors used various camera shots to convey the emotions and atmosphere of the scene. In the last episode, wide shots were used to emphasize the Emperor’s loneliness, while close-up shots highlighted A Mai’s emotions and distress as she mourned her loved ones.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - poster 4

The makeup department did an excellent job in this drama. All the makeup looks natural, with no overly red lips or unnatural eyebrows. I especially appreciate how they used a darker shade for A Mai’s complexion, which made her look more masculine. Additionally, her hair was meticulously arranged as well. It is rare to see a drama where natural makeup is pulled off flawlessly, but Fighting For Love succeeded in this aspect.

I am giving a high rating to this drama mainly because of its visual and cinematographic aspects. However, I did not judge a drama solely based on its visuals. The main role of a drama is to tell a story. If the story is bad, no matter how good the visuals are, I would not enjoy watching it.

The Characters

A Mai/Mai Sui/Han Mai Sui (played by Zhang Tian Ai)

Han Mai Sui, also known as A Mai, is the only daughter of Duke Shengguo, Han Huai Cheng, and his legitimate wife. She was raised by loving parents who recognized her talent in warfare and taught her martial arts. Duke Shengguo always said that he would make her the first female general in Nanxia Kingdom.

When A Mai was young, Duke Shengguo adopted an orphan named Chen Qi. Chen Qi and A Mai quickly formed a strong sibling bond. However, everything changed on a rainy night when A Mai witnessed Chen Qi stabbing her father. That night, Chen Qi and a group of Beimo people attacked her home causing her to lose both of her parents.

A Mai is a smart, decisive, strong, and resilient person. She grew up on the streets after her parents’ death. A Mai has lived a hard life and this has made her a very calculating person. To keep herself safe, she has had to pretend to be a man for years. Although she has delicate features, A Mai is able to convincingly disguise herself as a man, fooling everyone into thinking she is just a pretty boy. She has a good temper and is well-liked by those around her, but her stubborn, impulsive, and emotional nature often gets her into trouble.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - A Mai/Mai Sui/Han Mai Sui (played by Zhang Tian Ai)
Fighting For Love Drama Review – A Mai/Mai Sui/Han Mai Sui (played by Zhang Tian Ai)

A Mai has been holding a grudge against her adoptive brother Chen Qi for years. She had been waiting for an opportunity to go to Beimo to find him. Aside from wanting revenge, A Mai also wanted to know the reason why Chen Qi killed her parents, who had cared for and loved him for years.

Shang Yi Zhi (played by Zhang Hao Wei)

Just like A Mai, Shang Yi Zhi also had a secret identity. All these years, he believed that he was the only son of Marquis Dingnan. However, when Marquis Dingnan is dying, he tells him that Shang Yi Zhi’s real identity is Qu Huan, the son of the late Crown Prince Qu Xian. His mother is one of the crown prince’s concubines.

Qu Huan’s entire family was wiped out by Qu Jing, the brother of the Crown Prince, who then became Emperor. Qu Huan escaped, and since then Marquis Dingnan has been hiding Qu Huan as his illegitimate son, Shang Yi Zhi. Marquis Dingnan’s wife, Princess Shenghua, is Qu Huan’s aunt. She did not have any child, so she treats and loves Shang Yi Zhi as her own son.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - Shang Yi Zhi (played Zhang Hao Wei)
Fighting For Love Drama Review – Shang Yi Zhi (played Zhang Hao Wei)

Because the situation in Shengdu is unstable, Princess Shenghua made Shang Yi Zhi learn self-defense from martial arts masters. Knowing that the emperor was a suspicious person, she let Shang Yi Zhi grow up as a spoiled rich brat who spent most of his time in the Emerald Pavilion, a famous brothel in the city.

However, it was just a cover. The masters that Princess Shenghua arranged for Shang Yi Zhi were disguised themselves as the owner of the brothel, Chunniang, and her famous dancers, Hongluan and Shuilian.

Shan Yi Zhi is a gentle, kind, and outgoing person. He could be described as intelligent, but a bit slow in thinking. He is immature, indecisive, emotional, and inexperienced.

Shang Yi Zhi is used to living as a carefree young man who loves the frenetic life of a big city. However, Princess Shenghua was very careful to let him live a free life, but was strict enough to prevent him from becoming a womanizer. A Mai is his first love, and the way he loved her was a bit clumsy, obsessive, and (sorry to say) stupid.

Can you see how much I hate this guy?😅

Chang Yu Qing (played by Wang Rui Chang)

Chang Yu Qing, the renowned war genius, comes from the Kingdom of Beimo. He is a young general from the powerful Chang family and served under Chen Qi. Often seen in his white robes and riding his white horse, he appears cold and ruthless. However, in spite of his appearance, Chang Yu Qing is not a cruel general. He strictly forbids his soldiers from harming innocent civilians when conquering a city. Chang Yu Qing punished soldiers who disobeyed his orders.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - Chang Yu Qing (played by Wang Rui Chang)
Fighting For Love Drama Review – Chang Yu Qing (played by Wang Rui Chang)

As a war general, Chang Yu Qing is a smart and calculating strategist who can read his enemy’s mind well. These abilities make him a strong contender against his superior, Marshall Chen Qi, who happens to be A Mai’s adoptive brother. Chang Yu Qing had a tense relationship with Chen Qi due to a power clash between the Changs and Chen Qi, who was supported by the Empress Dowager of Beimo.

In private, Chang Yu Qing was an affectionate person who cared deeply for his brother Cui Yan and would do anything to protect him. Although Chang Yu Qing and Cui Yan were not related by blood, they had a close and strong sibling bond. Chang Yu Qing fell in love with A Mai after she saved him when he fell off the cliff. Whenever Chang Yu Qing saw A Mai, his eyes shone like stars.

Tang Shao Yi (played by Gao Ge)

Tang Shao Yi is A Mai’s sworn brother. He is a kind, friendly and simple person. He was born a soldier and has the qualities of a good leader. Tang Shao Yi used to be a small commandant of Yinbao City. Tang Shao Yi met A Mai when Chang Yu Qing’s army invaded the city to capture a weapon master named Li Erniu.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - Tang Shao Yi (played by Gao Ge)
Fighting For Love Drama Review – Tang Shao Yi (played by Gao Ge)

Tang Shao Yi had long suspected that A Mai was a girl, but he ignored it to show his respect for her talent and kindness. When they met again at Qingzhou, Tang Shao Yi and A Mai immediately resumed their friendship and they have always had each other’s backs.

Chen Qi (played by Sun Shao Long)

Chen Qi was adopted by Duke Shengguo after becoming an orphan. He is intelligent, kind, and skilled in martial arts. He had a good relationship with A Mai and always took good care of her like a real sibling. Currently, Chen Qi is a marshal who leads the Beimo Army. He rose from commoner to general and held a deep grudge against the noble Chang family.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - Chen Qi (played Sun Shao Long)
Fighting For Love Drama Review – Chen Qi (played Sun Shao Long)

Chen Qi’s feelings towards A Mai were vague. Despite killing her parents, Chen Qi still kept a feather necklace given to him by A Mai years ago.

Qu Jing, the Emperor of Nanxia (played by Yin Zhu Sheng)

Qu Jing is a fatuous, crazy, and paranoid person. He snatched the position of Crown Prince by killing his own brother, Qu Xian. After learning that a boy from the Crown Prince’s mansion had escaped, Qu Jing began searching for a specific boy born in the 37th year of Emperor Yongxi’s reign. If he finds someone born in that year, a killing order will be sent afterward. Unfortunately, many young men were killed simply because they were born in that year.

Fighting For Love Drama Review - Qu Jing, the Emperor of Nanxia (played Yin Zhu Sheng)
Fighting For Love Drama Review – Qu Jing, the Emperor of Nanxia (played Yin Zhu Sheng)

Qu Jing ruled as Emperor of Nanxia with an iron hand, making killing an easy matter for him. He was also responsible for the death of his brother-in-law, Shang Wei, who happened to be Shang Yi Zhi’s adoptive father. Qu Jing did it because he feared Shang Wei’s military power. The Emperor did not have many people around him. He was only served by his trusted eunuch, and the only person who dared to get close to him was Prime Minister Lin.

The Conclusion

Fighting For Love is a good drama that may be overlooked by many people. The story may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you take a closer look and are patient with the pace (and endure the ending), Fighting For Love can be very entertaining for the weekend. If you still cannot find any enjoyment in it, I suggest skipping the episodes and only watching the ones with Wang Rui Chang. Chang Yu Qing’s cold beauty is an essential aspect of Fighting For Love.

That is my review of Fighting For Love drama. I hope it helps you decide whether to watch or ditch it. I’ll see you in another drama review post. Thank you for joining us. Goodbye!

Iya Moyya
Iya Moyya
"A Chinese drama and movie lover for the past 5 years. I contemplate everything, everyday" - Do you like my writing? You can support me by clicking this donation link: Buy Me A Coffee ☕️, thank you!


  1. i dont know. I just cant ship the A Mai-Shang YiZhi love story. The way they botched SYZ’s character compared to the novel, made me view both of them as siblings instead, or even sworn brothers, because SYZ seemed much too childish against A Mai who is very matured and street-smart. Theyre like big sis and little bro. I went ‘Eeeek!” everytime they kissed. Gross. And I hated how they changed the whole narrative from A Mai’s story of the novel to SYZ’s story instead. I think the novel’s relationship of A Mai and CYQ is much more interesting than her with SYZ, especially when SYZ fades into the background towards the middle of the novel.


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"The story of Fighting For Love drama may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it can be very entertaining."Fighting For Love Drama Review
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