Webtoon, Reviews

The First Night with the Duke Review: A Sweet and Troublesome Tale

Discover the love story between an extra and a male lead and why you should read this webtoon.

the first night with the duke webtoon cover
Image: Webtoon
By: Amy MouaFeb 23, 2024, 2:23 AM

The First Night with the Duke

the first night with the duke webtoon cover

Writer: Adapted by Teava, Orig Work by Hwang DoTol

Artist: MSG

Publisher: Webtoon

Release Date: November 15, 2020

Format: Webtoon

This is a delightful tale about an extra and male lead of a romance novel falling in love. This comical fantasy romance is bound to give you giggles and butterflies.

“The First Night with the Duke” is a widely read webtoon with 103 episodes you can binge. Although there is a slightly controversial issue around how the plot is set up with the duke, I’m one of the many readers who finished the webtoon until its heartwarming conclusion. Despite the controversy, I found myself liking the webtoon for its charming characters and lighthearted storytelling. Read on to learn why I think “The First Night with the Duke” is a worthy read.

the first night with the duke - duke & princessImage: Webtoon


An average college student wakes up as Ripley, the daughter of a count in a romance novel. Upon learning she is merely an extra in the story, she decides to enjoy her carefree but luxurious life as the novel’s plot unfolds before her. In her eyes, the male lead will simply fall in love with the female lead, and they’ll eventually marry. Then, once the story ends, Ripley will return…right? 

If only things were that simple. The plot’s storyline drastically changes when Ripley sleeps with the male lead. Duke Zeronis, known to be cold and murderous, is strangely sweet to Ripley and wants her hand in marriage. She soon falls in love and eventually must decide between following the course of the original plot or her heart.

the first night with the Duke webtoon - daughter of countImage: Webtoon


As a fan of isekai stories, especially Western-inspired historical romances, picking up this webtoon to read was a no-brainer. I devoured “The First Night with the Duke” from start to finish. I was drawn in by its cute art style and cheerful color scheme. It feels like you’re flipping through the pages of a children’s storybook with an anime style but with more mature content. The softness of the art fits perfectly with the webtoon’s tone, as it tells a lighthearted love story more than anything else. There are also a lot of comedic moments that made me laugh, like the humorous facial expressions the characters make throughout the story. 

As much as I love its take on isekai tropes, the characters of “The First Night with the Duke” are what make the story such an enticing read. First, we have Ripley, the webtoon’s carefree and kind protagonist you can’t help but root for. Then there’s Etoile, the protagonist of the novel and Ripley’s best friend in the story. I find their dynamic refreshing for the genre because of how genuine their bond is as opposed to the typical rival tropes.

Then finally, and definitely not least, there’s Duke Zeronis, Ripley’s prince charming and easily the webtoon’s most controversial character. He initially comes off as threatening and abusive over Ripley, but the story slowly reveals the meaning behind his image of being a“murderous character” with a “cold demeanor.” While Ripley’s constant rejection of Zeronis’ unrelenting pursuit of her affection may make him seem awful, you quickly learn how he is a character who’s simply hopelessly lovestruck but struggles with communicating his true feelings. That intriguing dynamic makes the relationship between Ripley and Zeronis feel unique and captivating. The webtoon always subtly shows how, despite the duke’s many empty threats and harsh words, it’s Ripley who has the upper hand between them. It is evident every time the duke rushes to Ripley when she needs help. The artist does a great job expressing the genuine and soft emotions on the duke’s face when he reacts to Ripley and her antics. By the story’s end, you get a great feel for their love despite the rocky and problematic start to their relationship.

the first night with the Duke webtoon - girl is doomedImage: Webtoon

Speaking more about Ripley, she makes for a very compelling main character. Despite the plot holes here and there, she’s often shown as a bold and strong-minded character. She’s strong-willed almost to a fault in how she’ll take on challenges on her own. Ironically, those moments of boldness are when we see she’s at her most vulnerable. Then, it takes the helping hand of the charming and lovestruck duke to help lighten the burden she puts on her shoulders. But just because she sometimes gets rescued by a handsome man, it doesn’t mean the strength of her character gets diminished. The webtoon is great at showing how the relationship ultimately helps both Ripley and Zeronis grow despite their flaws.

Final Thoughts

Overall, “The First Night with the Duke” is a great webtoon that grows well beyond its problematic beginning. By the end of its run of 103 episodes, the webtoon completes a sweet story about falling in love and accepting love. From the beautiful art, loveable characters, witty humor, and heart-warming moments, there’s plenty to love about this webtoon when you read it from start to finish.

Why You Should Read The First Night with the Duke

  • The art is cute and charming.
  • It’s a lighthearted read.
  • It’s complete and bingeable with Daily Pass on WEBTOON.
TAGGED: Naver Webtoon, Webtoon
Free Comic Book Day Register