As a member of a circus performing group in the Eastern Liang Dynasty, Ye Ningzhi (He Hong Shan) has never given much thought to the events in the imperial palace; the imperial family lived in their world, and she lived in hers. But on the day her circus troupe receives an invitation to perform at the Empress Dowager’s birthday party, all that changes.
Suddenly caught up in the Crown Princess’ (Liu Min) mischievous plans, Ningzhi finds herself being framed for treason. Unable to escape the trap she’s been ensnared in, she’s saved at the last moment by a court advisor and brilliant political strategist, Wei Guang (Jeremy Tsui). Free from danger, Ningzhi puts the whole ordeal behind her and yet, she can’t help but hold a special place in her heart for her gallant savior.
Two years later, Ningzhi returns to the palace as one of the Empress’ (Cao Xi Wen) handmaidens. In such a position, Ningzhi witnesses first-hand, the misconducts of those living in the palace. Choosing to do what’s right, Ningzhi stands up for her fellow servants, refusing to back down in the face of corrupt power.
Proving herself intelligent, courageous, and kind, Ningzhi inadvertently catches the attention of not only the Empress but the Emperor (Wayne Lai) as well. Of course, the imperial couple isn’t the only ones paying attention to this bold new handmaiden. Wei Guang hasn’t forgotten the circus performer he had saved all those years ago.
Reunited at last, Wei Guang and Ningzhi might have a chance to find true happiness but their bliss will have to wait. Caught up in the Crown Princess’ plans to overtake the throne, Wei Guang and Ningzhi must work together to stop the usurper before it’s too late.
A 2019 historical romance drama, “Legend of the Phoenix” is directed by Wei Han Dao.