18th century China. Lady Qing has spent the past seven years languishing inside the high red walls of the Forbidden City. Classed as an Honoured Lady, a lowly ranked concubine, Qing is neglected by the Emperor, passed over for more ambitious women. But when a new concubine, Lady Ying, arrives, Qing’s world is turned upside down. As the highest position at court becomes available and every woman fights for status, Qing finds love for the first time in her life… if Lady Ula Nara, the most ambitious woman at court, will allow her a taste of happiness.
If you loved Memoirs of a Geisha and enjoy books by Anchee Min, Lisa See and Pearl S. Buck, then the Forbidden City series is for you. Based on real women in 18th century China who became concubines to emperors of the Qing dynasty and spent their lives in the Forbidden City, this is historical fiction at its most intriguing, gripping and romantic.
I had trouble reviewing this, because I was desperately looking for something I could nitpick on. I didn’t find it. It is well researched. It is beautifully written. It stands out because it is the story of courtly games from (the viewpoint of) those who are the victim of them: the pieces, not the power players, and it makes those pieces all too human. A beautifully told and excellently researched tale of relationships and romance in the 18th-century Chinese court. Flawless… BookAngel
Five star reviews from Amazon readersAn enchanting love story but so much more.Beautifully written and wonderfully descriptive.Instantly and seamlessly transported me to a foreign land, century, and culture.A lovely story about love.I was not able to put it down, finishing two hours later.A delight!
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About author Melissa AddeyYou can read about me and my books (and get a free novella) on my website, MelissaAddey.com. I mainly write historical fiction, focusing on the Forbidden City in China’s 18th century (now complete) and Morocco in the 11th century (completing soon). Next up, Ancient Rome! I’m in the final year of my Creative Writing PhD and was the 2016 Leverhulme Trust Writer in Residence at the British Library. In 2019 I won the Page to Podcast competition as well as the Novel London award.