Thursday, February 16, 2012
By: Anchee Min
Rating <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Summary: From a master of the historical novel, Empress Orchid sweeps readers into the heart of the Forbidden City to tell the fascinating story of a young concubine who becomes China’s last empress. Min introduces the beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid, and weaves an epic of a country girl who seized power through seduction, murder, and endless intrigue. When China is threatened by enemies, she alone seems capable of holding the country together.
Review: Empress Orchid takes the reader into the Forbidden City of China in the last days of it's ruling class. It follow's the life of a young country girl who becomes first a concubine to the Emperor then goes on to produce his only son, and will eventually become China's last ruling empress. While reading the book the reader will go through many heartbreaks. triumphs, and suspenseful moments with Orchid that make the book hard to put down.
In the spirit of books like Memoirs of a Geisha, or Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Empress Orchid will transport the reader into a completely different time and culture, and provide an escape from everyday reality. While there are references to what will happen to some characters early on in the book, the characters are not one dimensional, and it is easy to identify with them even a hundred and fifty plus years later, this is not a book that you'll finish and put on a book shelf and forget.