This book presents a portrait of a concubine to the Chinese emperor in the nineteenth century. It describes society and its rituals inside The Forbidden City in great detail so that it comes to life as a place of great beauty and oppressive formality. Based on true life, Empress Orchid develops from a young naive girl into a woman with power who tries to hold a faltering country together. You will be hooked by this book if you are fascinated by other cultures and historical periods.
I ventured a glance at the Son of Heaven. Emperor Hsien Feng lookeed younger than I had imagined.