Thursday, June 11, 2009

#BookReview: Empress Orchid - Anchee Min

Anchee Min's Empress Orchid gives the reader a glimpse into the life of an ordinary girl picked to become one of the seven wives of Emperor Hsien Feng in 1852. Though initially picked because of her beauty, and forgotten by the emperor after the newness wears off, Orchid becomes the emperor's most important wife because of her ability to comprehend official documents when the emperor cannot.

This book follows Orchid's rise to power through her son, while serving as his advisor when the emperor becomes sick. With her faithful eunuch, Antehai at her side, Orchid deals with betrayal by her brother-in-law and the upcoming battle with the British. Orchid truly triumphs in a story that's rarely told from the female point of view of the Forbidden City.

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