Mandarin➵ [Read] ➯ Mandarin By Robert S. Elegant ✤ – From the Taiping Rebellion to the torching of the Imperial palaces by Western hordesAt the heart of this passionate saga of 19th century China are the love stories of two extraordinary women swept int From the Taiping Rebellion to the torching of the Imperial palaces by Western hordesAt the heart of this passionate saga of th century China are the love stories of two extraordinary women swept into the flames of warFRONAH Daughter of a rich Jewish Chinese merchant she rebelled against her heritage and plunged into the sinful dangerous pleasures of European ShanghaiYENEHALA Out of thousands of the Emperor's concubines she alone would bear him a son heir to China's vast fortunes and its bloody intrigues Out of the smoking ruins of war she alone would lead her beloved China to a glorious new destinyCompleting the trilogy begun in Dynasty and Manchu this family saga unfolds as an epic tale of love war and ambition. I didn't realise this was the third in a trilogy but I am not sure my interest would have taken me to book three if I had read the firstThis is uite a challenging book unless you have an ear for Chinese names which I don't I struggled to remember who was who in the Chinese element of the story and to make matters worse the same people often had about three different names which I really began to lose interest inOne story is the MandarinManchu story where YEenhala the concubine who managed to give the sickly overweight opium addicted and finally syphilitic emperor a sonShe is a clever calculating and knows by giving the emperor a son she has ensured her place in the dynasty as the future emperor's mother Her son becomes emperor and realistically she is the power behind the throne She is cunning and not beyond killing off enemies to get her wayMeanwhile the parallel story in set in Shanghai and is based around a Jewish family of merchants who have set up a company called Haleevie and Lee The company is a partnership between the Jewish Saul Haleevie and one Asik LeeWhen Asik Lee is arrested for supposedly causing his mother's suicide through his partnership with Saul the two families become entwinedSaul adopts the two sons and despite being Chinese they become Jewish so have two names Asik's concubine Laylu also comes to live with the Haleevie'sThe Haleevie's one daughter Frona leads an exciting double life enjoying the parties of the gentiles and being the obedient daughter at homeShe is married off to her parent's choice of partner who turns out to be less than a perfect choice but does supply Frona with a son so much of his indiscretion is forgivenThe two stories become entwined as wars continue between the Taiping rebellion and the Manchus and different foreign nations joining in and changing sides from time to time It all became very complicated to follow the ins and outs of the politics and who was fighting whomI was seriously thinking of giving up about half way through as it really did become a bit laborious and I was not that interested in the battles and intriguesI did persevere as I hate giving up on things but I can't say it is a book I would rush to recommend unless you really are interested in Chinese history as a lot of the book is based on thatOther than the rather deep and to me boring Chinese history the story is a love story You could say two love stories as Yenehala loved the emperor Frona has several loves in the book some rather unwise and then it is kind of obvious in a typical way who she ends up withUnless Chinese history fascinates you and Chinese culture names and so are something you can pick up easily I would say don't bother It is well written but to me too laborious and wordy Too much detail about the Opium dens the intrigue in the Emperor's court and beyond and the geography of China I don't have firmly fixed in my head so I was constantly referring to the map on the inside coverInteresting in some way but far too long in my opinion but I am glad I didn't give up I can't say I am much better informed about the Chinese period of history in uestion because I began to speed read through those parts This novel traces the lives of two Shanghai silk merchants and their families and a concubine who manipulates the corrupt emperor into having his first child by her during the Taiping Rebellion of the mid 19th century I've had this book forever tried reading it twice found it ponderous but finally finished and enjoyed it I have photocopied the first 25 pages I hope I like the beginning as much as I've anticipated reading this book Before purchasing The Toronto Reference library has the only available library copy in Stacks as a reference copy that can't be checked out I will have to get back to you on it I honestly lost interest and started reading something else

Hardcover  ñ Mandarin PDF/EPUB ¼
  • Hardcover
  • 527 pages
  • Mandarin
  • Robert S. Elegant
  • English
  • 12 June 2014
  • 9780671451738