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on 30 August 2012
Many years ago my wife bought this book, tried and did not like it so gave it to me to try.

My main love is SciFi so I was a bit unsure but quickly found myself immersed in the plot and characters and was fascinated by the historical setting of this wonderful novel; the book got lost and my wife wanted to try and read it so was delighted to finally be able to get it.

Have once again really enjoyed it (as has my wife this time), the blending of "real" history with ficitional characters and their experiences has been done beautifully and the writing style and descriptions are fantastic; it is slow burn and no high drama just fanatstic story telling with reality as the backdrop.
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on 10 September 2006
Superbly-written, atmospheric, believable characters and plot, fair, - this book is everything a historical novel should be.
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on 14 July 2016
Over 700 pages of unadulterated drivel and utter nonsense. Disjointed and verbose in the extreme this has to be the worst book I have ever read. The dialogue is difficult to follow, written in a style I would think inauthentic for early nineteenth century China/Macao/ Hong Kong where the "story" is supposedly set. A huge disappointment from an author whose previous books were quite readable.
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