I picked up this manhua with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised with it.
At first glance, Scarlet Palace seems pretty ordinary, as there is nothing unique about its premise. However, as the story progresses, the story becomes more and more engaging. A lot of things are a mystery, and just when you think you had all the characters figured out, you realize you’re wrong. You will be left baffled and hungry for more chapters.
Unlike most shoujo manga, the characters here (except for the female lead) are not completely good or evil; you don't know what their real intentions are and don't even know whom to root for. At the beginning, I was hoping that the main character would end up with this one guy, but after chapter 16, I had a change of heart and wanted her to end up with another character. It rarely happens to me and I find it quite refreshing.
Delicate artwork. My only complaint is that two of the characters look so alike; it’s not easy to tell them apart if you’re just skimming.
Scarlet Palace is one of the most unpredictable shoujo stories I've read. Though not exactly one of the best, it is very exciting to read. And if you are a fan of Sauinkoku Monogatari, this one might be for you, too.