25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Exotic and magical - complete escapism,
This review is from: The Secrets of Jin-Shei (Paperback)
This was such a fantastic read for me. From the very first page, I was hooked; Alexander's prose is poetical and evocative of a magical place and time.
The story follows a group of young girls, all different in age, as they grow up into adulthood. These girls are all from different social classes and positions in their society; medieval China. However, they are also linked - through jin-shei. Jin-shei is a secret society of women, bound to each other not by blood but by loyalty that makes them sisters of the heart. This special bond may mean that they merely share their secrets in life, their passions, and their upsets, just as any close friends do. However, their loyalty may be tested in harder ways and a favour asked in the name of jin-shei cannot be ignored.
As the girls pass into adulthood and they begin to find their place in the world, this bond begins to be tested as one of their number becomes the Dragon Empress. In her new place of power she lusts after complete control of her state. But the loyalties of her jin-shei sisters is really put to the test when she beigns to lust after the impossible; immortality. Suddenly, their seemingly idyllic world is a place of intrigue, treason, gossip and many dangers. Will the jin-shei group survive?
This book is fantastic for those people who enjoy complete new worlds where they can escape into for a while. There are essences of religion and philosophy, magic (dark and good), love and hate, and tragedy. It is a complex book as it follows quite a few characters. However, all the characters seemed very real to me, each one had personalities which had good and weaker sides. I really enjoyed this book, it is magical. . .