From a master of the historical novel, Empress Orchid sweeps readers
into the heart of the Forbidden City to tell the fascinating story of a
young concubine who becomes China's last empress. Min introduces the
beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid, and weaves an epic of a country girl who
seized power through seduction, murder, and endless intrigue. When China is
threatened by enemies, she alone seems capable of holding the country
In this "absorbing companion piece to her novel Becoming Madame Mao"
(New York Times), readers and reading groups will once again be
transported by Min's lavish evocation of the Forbidden City in its last days
of imperial glory and by her brilliant portrait of a flawed yet utterly
compelling woman who survived, and ultimately dominated, a male world.
San Francisco Chronicle - Irene Wanner
Min's efforts to do justice to both imaginative fiction and accurate history become strained. A huge cast of characters races through these pages, and keeping track of who's who, much less whose side they're on, grows difficult.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Repps Hudson
Min was aided greatly by her ability to read Chinese documents and to obtain records that outlined the basics of 19th-century court life. Writing in her second language of English, Min handles the development of this novel very smoothly and with dialogue that usually seems apt for court life.
Evocative, but underpowered in simple narrative.
At times her writing is textbook-flat, and she sometimes loses track of her teeming cast of characters. But readers will be enthralled by the gorgeously woven cultural tapestry and the psychologically astute portrait of the empress - a talented girl from the provinces who married (way) up.
Library Journal - Edward Cone
This imaginative work should be welcome in all public libraries with a taste for history and the exotic.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
In her second powerful and brilliantly conceived fictionalized portrait of a strong and controversial woman intrinsic to Chinese culture, Min continues to fulfill her mission to tell the truth about her homeland, particularly China's long tradition of demonizing women.
The Guardian - Julia Lovell
Min keeps the melodrama under control with plenty of mind-improving history, while spicing up the stolid period detail with a few touches of romantic historical schlock: the evil, moneygrubbing uncle intent on marrying his beautiful niece off to his idiot opium-addict son, the will-they-won't-they sexual tension between Cixi and her bodyguard, Yung Lu.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...