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Empress Orchid Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The storyline centres around Orchid, a young Chinese girl in the 1800's who is chosen as one of the Emperor's Concubines and becomes one of the most powerful women in Chinese history. It follows her life from enterting into her marriage and gives you a real insight into the Forbidden City and life as a concubine.
This is an extremely enjoyable read which is written in an easy to follow style. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author has written it, her style is fresh and keeps your attention constantly.
The character of Orchid and that of her head Eunuch are both interesting and very likeable characters. The voice of Orchid is truthful and entertaining with a hint of every emotion possible. There are tearful moments and laugh out loud snippets.
I would recommend this book happily, and would have given it 5 stars but for the fact i felt the ending was a little frustrating. The author finished on what she believes to be a high note and a good ending, but part of her writing style is to tell you parts of the future throughout the book in a casual manner (for example from the beginning Orchid tells us about being the most powerful woman in China by becoming the Empress, you dont have to read past the first chapter to see she will survive through all death threats etc in the book). However at the end i felt that a few of these casually mentioned parts of the story were not finished off and i found that frustrating. I really needed to know more! Its almost like there was going to be a second part, you were left really wanting more.
I am a big fan of Memoirs of a Geisha and Geisha of Gion, and although a totally different subject manner, i found this book equally fascinating.
The plot is excellent, gaving the reader insight into the life of china with emperors, thousnds of concubines, the colonialist rampage, corruption, the whole system and values of the people...
Through Annchee Mins writing you really associate with Orchid, how she comes from nothing to becoming a wife of the Emperor of China. But once attinting this highly sought after position she realises her life is now within a golden cage, lined with flawless diamons! Every step she treads must be with upmost caution as she could get her head chopped off or worse. With her prowess Orchid competes with five other wives and thousnds of concubines to gain attention from her Husband. The story continues with the downfall of china, the opium wars, and seizing or Hong Kong. Can Empress Orchid keep her head on her shoulders (literally), produce an heir to the throne, battle with the other wives and eunuchs.
I can't recommend this book enough, it is a MUST READ!!
I think one of the underlying problems is that Min did not develop certain aspects of the story well enough. The plot seemed to jump from one situation to the next with little or no explicit progression. For example, I think the collapse of China around Orchid was not developed well enough - that part of the story seemed rushed and slightly forgotten, it just seemed to appear from the page when you least suspectd it. It could have been a fascinating and heart-rending description of a forgotten world and how it met it's demise, with comparisons of how life was and then what it became, yet I don't think this is what Min did. Likewise, she did not truly develop Orchid's longing for another man. Until the very end of the book, I don't think she concentrated on it enough - again it could have been a fabulous opportunity for a stark contrast between Orchid's feelings of obligation and her heart's desire opposing this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is brilliant. Whilst written as a story in the first person nonetheless the historical facts are all there. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Annie Forsyth
What an amazing book. Beautifully written and brought the characters to life. Now reading the second book! Definitely recommend. An incredible lady from that time.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fascinating book - It is amazing how tied up with superstition, protocol, manners and 'tradition' a long standing dynasty can become - the way the court women are treated, how... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great story giving a detailed look at China before communism.so many sects and tribes and loads of grandeur in the forbidden city with so much poverty in the countryside. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
A book chosen by a fellow member of my book group. I really enjoyed it and felt that it was a page turner. Obviously a novel based on fact but very disappointed with the ending. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Well written story that covered a very interesting period of history. The characters were vivid. The book gave a glimpse in to a forbidden world of intriguePublished 10 months ago by Holly