Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

Title: The Moon in the Palace
Author: Weina Dai Randel
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publisher Date: March 1, 2016
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor’s attention. Many paint their faces white and style their hair attractively, hoping to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest. But young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the Emperor a gift he can never forget.

Mei’s intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the Emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive.

The first volume of the Empress of Bright Moon duology paints a vibrant portrait of ancient China—where love, ambition, and loyalty can spell life or death—and the woman who came to rule it all."

My Two Cents:

"The Moon in the Palace" is the story of Mei, a concubine of the Chinese Emperor. This is the first book in a duology that takes readers back to ancient China. When Mei comes to court, she finds herself in stiff competition for the Emperor's affections. She really has no idea what she is doing and the way that she captures his attention is unlike any other concubine. This book explores the gilded court life and Mei's fascinating life at the center of it!

This book is so filled with court intrigue. Mei is at the center of so much in this book. We see when she first arrives at the Palace and how competitive it is with the other concubines. Mei is so happy to have a chance at a better life inside the palace walls that she isn't really aiming to impress the Emperor at first. It seems to be a happy accident that he is so enthralled with her. The author does a great job of showing Mei's growth throughout the book.

You all know that I love historical fiction. I especially love when it takes me to some place I am not familiar with. Ancient China definitely fits the bill. The author does a great job of incorporating a lot of detail in a seamless way to give you a good feeling as to what court life was like under the Chinese emperors. I ate up all of the rich detail! This was a great start to this duology!



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