Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Moon in the Palace

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel 

  • Print Length: 400 pages  
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (March 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B017HX12WC

There is no easy path for a woman aspiring to power
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.
In the breakthrough first volume in the Empress of Bright Moon duology, Weina Dai Randel 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.


Mei - She begins the book as a child, and by the end of it, she has blossomed into a courageous, captivating woman who stays true to her heart, and her loyalties take her beyond her own expectations. She was truly mesmerizing.

Pheasant - His gentleness, and kindheartedness circled my heart like a ray of sunshine. He's a man of honor and distinction. I look forward to reading more about him in the next novel.

The other characters were very well developed. Some I loved, and others I loved to hate, all making for a sensational read. 

It is the first book that I have read that takes place in China. A while back I watched a documentary about The Forbidden City, which sparked my interest in China's traditional past, and then when searching for my next book to read, The Moon in the Palace enticed me with its beautiful cover. I am so thankful it did, because this is, by far, the best book I have read all year. No lie.

The emperor in this book makes Henry VIII look like a saint. The intricate details within the pages are woven together so eloquently. It amazed me to find such deep seeded deceit, and harsh betrayals among the palace walls. I was completely consumed from the very first page. It took me two and a half days to read, and this is a long book. I didn't want to put it down. 

The ending caught me a little off guard though, as I expected something a little more gratifying, but it ended the way it did because the next book will pick up where it left off. I will be thrilled to get my hands on a copy of the remainder of the story. 

There was a lot of action, and the plot was well paced. There is a lot of philosophy, and meaning to be taken from the book. There wasn't a lot of romance, but just enough to warm my heart. It's kind of hard to get caught up in a romantic relationship with an emperor breathing down your neck. I do hope the next has a little more love sprinkled through the pages though. I'm a romantic at heart.

The author is brilliant and writes like she was born to. I hope she writes many more books, as I can see her becoming a favorite, without question.  

This book was given as an advanced copy to review by NetGalley, my review is written with honesty and without any ties to the author. I did not receive any monetary gain from doing so.

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