on 18 May 2011
A trilling adventure of mystery and intrigue built around meticulously researched history of the period. This is a historical novel of the fall of T'ang Dynasty in the 8th century CE. Focuses on intrigue and plotting, murder and the waning fortunes of the various luminaries of the period in Imperial China of the time. Absorbing, thrilling and at times strongly erotic-it captures the many faceted life of ancient China. We follow the evil machination of Lin Lin-fu the Prime Minister to the weak Emperor Minghuang, whose reign of terror is opposed by Kao Li-Shih, the Emperor's Chief Eunuch. Also playing his part in this puzzle is the ruthless and vulgar barbarian general from the north, An Lu Shi and the fascinating consourt to the Emperor, Lady Wu.
It is a captivating read and toure de force into the colourful, fascinating and sometimes violent world of 8th century Imperial China.
on 11 October 2010
This novel is quite well written and wonderfully historically accurate, but I found that because none of the main characters are very likeable that it palled. There is no hero, and though it is an interesting period, this means that it's like reading a fictionalised history, rather than the best historical fiction which uses the historical period as a backdrop for an entertaining story. So all credit to the authors, but I didn't enjoy reading it.