- Audio CD
- Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited; Unabridged edition (13 Mar. 2009)
- ISBN-10: 1846485541
- ISBN-13: 978-1846485541
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,177,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Last Concubine Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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'Enthralling story that brings alive a distant exotic world' -- WOMAN&HOME, March 08
'Epic romantic drama set at a pivotal point in Japanese history. This fragile world with its rigid hierarchical structures is beautifully portrayed. This is a love story but far more'
-- reFRESHlite, 12 March 2008
'The Last Concubine is an extraordinary novel--richly-imagined and compelling. An amazing achievement.'
-- SANDRA GULLAND, author of Mistress of the Sun and the Josephine B. Trilogy
'a sweeping historical drama...fluently written, and the political events, battles, customs, minutiae of daily life and even the weather have all been meticulously researched to recreate Japan in the 1860s'
-- Literary Review, April 2008
Thoroughly researched, this beautifully descriptive historical saga offers a fascinating insight into the culture of imperial Japan, and will have you hooked from the first page - wonderful
-- MY WEEKLY --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Epic history and romance combine in a passionate, exotic novel featuring the mysterious mistress of the last shogun emperor. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the 1 Star reviews here complain about historical inaccuracy, but obviously these people did not read the book all the way through. Downer writes in the afterword that, while most of the setting is historically accurate, some has been stretched to fit into her story. And she explains which bits have been! She also lists a bibliography at the end for us to do our own further reading.
Japan was a world in itself at the time of the Shogun. This gives us a glimpse of that world.
Sachi grows up in a mountain village rural Japan. Her pale skin and fine features have always set her apart and made her feel different. At the age of eleven, the procession of the Imperial Princess sweeps up her up from her home to the woman's palace at the Imperial capital of Edo, where she is before too long, chosen as the concubine of the young Shogun after he sees and her and is smitten
Deadly female rivalries from people as diverse as Fuyu who was her contemporary when she joined the palace and the powerful mother of the Shogun, the retired one make for distress and danger. But after the death of the young Shogun from what is billed consumption but is certainly poisoning, civil war caused by rebellion by guerrillas from the south and the destruction of the palace at Edo force her to flee the palace, find love with a dashing Samurai, return for a short while to her native village, and discover her true parentage
Many brushes with death at the hands of the southern rebels , bandits and other desperadoes , which she survives in part due to her own skill she develops as a Samurai and a close company of heroes including her close friend the loyal and aristocratic born Taki. The sights , sounds, feeling and smells of the Japan of the time are brought to life from the cherry blossoms of the palace gardens to the stinking rank breath of a degenerate old bandit that tries to rape her unaware of her skill with a knife.
The author uses her knowledge of the Japan of the time to create a romance and adventure, and her love and understanding of Japan shines throughout. I love books with strong and beautiful female leads and really could get under the skin of Sachi and root for her. Highly recommended especially if you like books like Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, A must for all Japanophiles
Most Recent Customer Reviews
' The Last Concubine ' carefully and thoroughly researched and written by Lesley Downer is a Triumph! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Terrific book by someone who knows well about Japan . Recommended!Published 13 months ago by Lily West
Beautifully written tale that illuminates a pivotal part of Japanese history, the waning years of the Shogun era.Published 13 months ago by Laura Colby
A love story set in a culture with no word for 'love', Downer's writing is as beguiling as her grasp of history is crisp and clear. A delightful book!Published 13 months ago by Vic James
Downer is not only entertaining in her writing, but also brings you right into the era with brilliant close up observations. Really recommend this book.Published 13 months ago by Mr. R. A. Pomeroy
After finishing The Last Concubine I came across a (spoiler-filled) video in which Lesley Downer, the author, likens her novel to “a Gone With The Wind set in Japan”. Read morePublished 13 months ago by jodie cook
Sachi, the heroine of Lesley Downer's first novel, is the beautiful, pale-skinned adoptive daughter of a village innkeeper in 1850s rural Japan. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kate Hopkins