Împărăteasa

Împărăteasa❰Ebook❯ ➠ Împărăteasa Author Shan Sa – Oaklandjobs.co.uk La inceput de secol VII, in familia guvernatorului de provincie Wu se naste un copil harazit unui nume plin de speranta Lumina Insa Lumina este, in ciuda nadejdilor familiei sale, o fetita Inca de mic La inceput de secol VII, in familia guvernatorului de provincie Wu se naste un copil harazit unui nume plin de speranta Lumina Insa Lumina este, in ciuda nadejdilor familiei sale, o fetita Inca de mica ea anunta un destin aparte la un an, dintre toate obiectele asezate in jurul sau, ignora podoabele si maruntisurile femeiesti si alege o jucarie rece ca gheata sabia tatalui sau Si va fi sortita sa imblinzeasca un imperiu, fiindca va deveni imparateasa a Chinei, unica femeie numita Imparat Sacru al celui mai intins imperiu de sub cer Avind in centru un personaj fascinant, a carui istorie a fost rastalmacita secole de a rindul, Imparateasa lui Shan Sa dezvaluie o poveste in care se impletesc suferinta, razboiul, prosperitatea, maretia si intelepciunea unei vieti extraordinare is day. A few reasons why I recommend this book The tale of the one and only female emperor in the history of China A Machiavellian heroine who is determined to create her own destiny, against all odds The forbidden romance between a young crown prince and one of his royal father s widows The gorgeous backdrop of the Tang Dynasty, when the imperial China was at her peak Deadly power struggle within both the harem and the court The complicated family saga of both the Royal Family and the Wu clan, t A few reasons why I recommend this book The tale of the one and only female emperor in the history of China A Machiavellian heroine who is determined to create her own destiny, against all odds The forbidden romance between a young crown prince and one of his royal father s widows The gorgeous backdrop of the Tang Dynasty, when the imperial China was at her peak Deadly power struggle within both the harem and the court The complicated family saga of both the Royal Family and the Wu clan, the heroine s family An epic drama involving emperor and his wives, lords and ladies, ministers and nobles, filling with power play and schemes, gossips and scandals, crime and passion, sex and violence and murder.Characters description Emperor Lordly Forebear deceased The first emperor of Tang Dynasty, who overthrew the previous Sui Dynasty with the help of his sons and daughter.Emperor Eternal Ancestor second emperor of Tang, Heavenlight Wu s first husband and father of Little Phoenix and the other princes He is widely considered as one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history and a military genius, who secured his throne after he assassinated his two brothers and 10 nephews in a coup.Emperor Lordly Ancestor Little Phoenix The third emperor of Tang and Heavenlight s second husband As a prince, no one had expected him to inherit the crown but power struggle within both the royal family and the court eventually put him onto a position he hadn t fully been prepared for He has always been traditionally viewed as a weak willed and pathetic ruler However, a closer look would reveal him as, although not as successful as his father, still a capable politician of his own right, before illness affected his health and performance.Heavenlight Wu Empress Wu better known as Wu Zetain in Chinese pop culture and folklore, an orphaned girl from the rural Wu clan, she first served as a low ranking concubine in Emperor Eternal Ancestor s harem, later she was forced to become a nun after the Emperor s death, but through determination and a few twists of fate, she managed to return to the harem as the new Emperor s favorite, which set off a series of chain reactions throughout the empire.Gentleness granddaughter of a minister whom was executed for suggesting the Emperor to dethrone Empress Wu As a girl she was brought to the palace as a slave, her wide knowledge and talents on poetry and literature made the Empress promote her to become her secretary Her position as one of the Empress s most trusted servants helped her to gain influence in the palace and state affairs as well Princess Of Eternal Peace Moon Empress Wu s youngest and favored child, one of the most powerful princesses in the history of China She was a skillful player in the power game before and after her mother s death, and rather scandalously, she was also known for having shared young male lovers with her mother.A brief outline of Empress Wu s life She was a fatherless girl who left her homeland for the gorgeous but dangerous Palace She failed to gain her first husband s favor but caught the eyes of her stepson She had gone from being a widow, a nun and then the new Emperor s chief wife For decades she ruled an empire through her husband and later her sons before she finally crowned herself then ruled for nearly twodecades Historians condemned her for being an evil woman who controlled her emperor husband like puppet and murdered her way up to the top However, she ruled and maintained an empire for much longer than many male emperors had ever managed to, though at the same time she exiled, terrorized and executed countless people for getting in her way including her kinmens and children Intelligent, strong willed, disciplined, ambitious, ruthless and for many times downright cruel, Empress Wu was, borrowing my GR friend Jocelyn s words, one heck of a lady.To be honest, I cannot tell how much of my enjoyment with this book is because of Miss Sa s talent as an author, and how much of it is because of the charm of her source materials the extraordinary life of Empress Wu Her story has always been well known throughout the history of China, her dramatic raise to power, her romance with her second husband, her cruelty, her reign as the one and only female emperor and even her scandalous affairs with her male lovers, all of them are, hand down, stuffs of legend.However, good source materials still needs to be crafted by skillful hands for it to shine And theI read Empress, theI can see the author s effort and her talent does shine through her writing.Miss Sa mentioned, in an interview at the back of the book, she did three years of research for this book and it took her twoyears to finish writing it and it does show Not only I found the accuracy in this book amazing and impressive, I am also impressed by Miss Sa s ability to weave different events through generations and different historical figures life stories together in such a neat, effective manner Truth be told, I think the beginning part of the story is the most gripping and the young Heavenlight Wu is a lot easier to be empathized with than her older self Even Miss Sa mentioned she empathizes with Heavenlight Wu for she had gone through the same shock and suffering Wu must have gone through as a rural girl who went alone from her home village to the empire s capital, like Sa had once experienced moving from the post Cultural Revolution China to Paris.Like many other famous and powerful women in history, Empress Wu s life is controversial, and I also appreciate the author s methods of handling the controversies and mysteries of Wu s life although I don t always agree with her conclusions , such as The facts, mysteries and fictions in Empress Wu s life, and how the author handled them 1 Fact Empress Wu s origin name is unknown, so her name isn t Heavenlight like Miss Sa had claimed After she went to the palace, her first husband bestowed her the name Wu Mei , which means Wu the Pretty One , after she ascended to the throne, she renamed herself Wu Heavenlight , which actually means sun and moon in the Sky, at the same time in Chinese Although Heavenlight is very likely not Empress Wu s origin name, but I do think it is an awesome translation for the name of the book s heroine 2 Mystery no 1 a lot of people tend to believe view spoiler Wu Mei killed her infant daughter in order to frame Empress Wang the Emperor s then chief wife, for the murder Well, I am one of those people who think she really did that although in this book the author seems to think she didn t do that Still, logically speaking, Wu Mei did have a lotreason to frame Empress Wang for murder than the Empress had motive to kill the infant out of jealousy hide spoiler 3 Mystery no 2 Did Empress Wu ordered her oldest son to be killed when he became too independent, or did the young crown prince die of nature cause I found it difficult to think a mother would kill her oldest son like thisbut given Empress Wu s personality and the history of the Tang s royal family a lot, I mean a lot of execution and assassination had gone on within this family , I think the chance is 50 50 4 Fictions Did Empress Wu simply murder her way up to the top and corrupt her second husband with sex and lies No Although she did kill quite a large number of people but it took a lotthan cruelty and murder for her to establish herself as a close political alliance to her second husband and manage to stay in power for decades, and this book would show you how 5 Mystery no 3 Did Empress Wu view spoiler kill both her older sister and niece, both of whom her husband s unofficial mistresses That is hard to tell, really But I like how Miss Sa handled this mystery in her book turns out the older sister was the real mother of Wu s second son and then the woman died out of grief Still, Wu killed her niece to keep her husband in line hide spoiler I truly appreciate this part of the story 6 Did Heavenlight Wu had sexual relationship with her first husband Or did she serve himlike a maidservant and a secretary Miss Sa seems to think Wu didn t serve him sexually but historians do not seem to think so 7 However, I am a bit disappointed that Ms Sa entirely ignores the fact that Heavenlight s mother had an incestuous relationship with one of her grandsons son of her first born daughter at old age Shocking isn t it But this relationship is so infamous that it gets recorded in the history book of Tang Last but not least, the translation is gorgeous too I learnt that Ms Sa first wrote this novel in French and the text was later translated into English, and gosh the translation must be one of the best I ve seen so far.Famous quotes In our time women can demonstrate prowess in a thousand ways Long ago the great Princess Sun of Ping fought for her father, the August Sovereign At her funeral, His Majesty called for the trumpets and drums to be sounded, an honor reserved for men My dear, from this day you must dress her as a boy Give her an education worthy of her own determination Mother and Little Sister wept To console them, I pronounced these words that had been tumbling round my heart for days My position at the Palace is our one opportunity Have confidence in my destiny Do not weep The role of Empress became a full time occupation As to the intriguing Tang Dynasty, here are some photos from The Assassin 2015 , a movie loosely based on a Tang s legend link link link Similar books The Queen Of the South, by Arturo P rez ReverteThe Twentieth Wife, by Indu SundaresanAnother book about Empress Wu s life, to balance things out a bit Lady Wu, by Lin YuTangA well written non fictional series about Tang Dynasy and the ruling of Empress Wu and her husband in Chinese The Shadow Emperor , 6 book of the seriesThe Reign of the Celestial Queen , 7 book of the seriesThe Empress of Ages , 8 book of the series I ve a penchant for literature written with an eye on the grander scale of things Most probably it comes with my preoccupation with critiquing the canon, albeit through far less flimsy bases than prose and universality and all that invisible hand jazz In return for paying attention to fields that are not required for the common range of English history, politics, decolonization, gender dichotomy, all that fun stuff people like to pretend are subsidiary instead of the power generators of unque I ve a penchant for literature written with an eye on the grander scale of things Most probably it comes with my preoccupation with critiquing the canon, albeit through far less flimsy bases than prose and universality and all that invisible hand jazz In return for paying attention to fields that are not required for the common range of English history, politics, decolonization, gender dichotomy, all that fun stuff people like to pretend are subsidiary instead of the power generators of unquestioned classical status , I get a continuum An angry, muddled, and heckling continuum, by way of the present forever desiring to never pick apart the past, but knowledge is power Of course, absolute power corrupts absolutely, but you can complain about my biases when white men make up less than ten percent of the population of various prizes, as befits their portion of the demographic If you actually want to achieve something, your target is not me.In the vein of Imperial Woman and Memoirs of Hadrian we have a work that is closer than either in terms of the physiognomy of author and authored The prose is to my taste, the world is to my wonder, and the life lived in close sensory detail and alienated moral grounds utterly befits the saying that the past is a foreign country Up until the end point of the narrative, we reside in the head of one who survives via cunning, fertility, lust, health, strategy, bloodthirstiness, and every recourse of a dynastic body and soul One runs, and builds, and improves, and kills, until finally immortality begs the question of the empire one has built what tools will you leave behind once you are dead What have you left to the rulers, what have you left to the populace, and how will the latter mourn when the former have thrown each other to the wolves.Beware this is is historical fiction of the Chinese variety whose subject is a woman of infamous degree Those who do not indulge in historical fact with great pleasure, you may be bored by the ritual regulation and political machination and all that comes with the narrative that rules anempire Those who indulge to a great degree, you may be miffed by a smoothing here, a sentimentalizing there, for massacres and incest there was to a great degree Bear in mind, however, that each and every fact has been touched with gynephobic malice If you want a culprit for nonfictional debacles, there re your men Outside of that, there is the matter of a sexuality touching on a far broader space of field than the young man and the young woman, lesbian pedophilia and female dominated gerontophilia being two of thesensational breeds of intercourse Even farther, there is the realpolitik of the first millennium CE which put both my favorite families, the Tudors and the Borgias, to shame To shift tousual literary matters, carrying all that across is the prose For those of the French linguistic persuasion, the original text is available While curious as to how that would go, I am satisfied enough with my Anglo transfiguration to pass on making an effort.Finally, there is the ending, one of those out of body frames that attempts to draw a holism out of a past power speaking to an impermanent present Enad with contextual awareness that I am, the last bit bumped this up that last half star Those of theobjective temperament you re missing out This book was lushly written, with a meticulous eye for detail, but it was little impersonal and distant for me Although the twisted politics were interesting, I wasn t engaged at all with any of the characters It was a bit like being underwater, hearing a conversation from another room.There was actually far too much detail about certain ceremonies I started thinking about the paraodic detail in The Princess Bride while I was reading and not enough information on the people involved I di This book was lushly written, with a meticulous eye for detail, but it was little impersonal and distant for me Although the twisted politics were interesting, I wasn t engaged at all with any of the characters It was a bit like being underwater, hearing a conversation from another room.There was actually far too much detail about certain ceremonies I started thinking about the paraodic detail in The Princess Bride while I was reading and not enough information on the people involved I didn t really have a sense of personality about anyone.There is also the fact that I have serious issues with the idea that one person can have what amounts to divine power, that a ruler could order anyone in her kingdom to commit suicide , and her subjects would do it I found myself reacting very badly to the depictions of the court ranking system, and how those of low rank were treated as if they existed only to serve.I understand it s a period piece and that those depictions were quite likely accurate, but it s one of those things that makes me very grateful I didn t live in that time and place There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel.Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies of There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel.Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies of Planet Bimbotron, you have to cross a gauntlet of pretentiousness known as the Literature Section, filled with proper works of Lih trah chuh On one trip through this minefield of horrors, I happened to notice a book by Anne Rice, I think it was Interview with a Vampire In the Literature section So apparently if you want to read Heinlein books you have to trudge to the Genre Ghetto, but if you want to read about bisexual mulatto vampires sucking each other blood, you perv on Bourbon Street, the Literature section is for you.So I was naturally perturbed, and I started wondering what was so gosh darn special about these silly lihtrahchuh books anyway How could they compete with Heinlein, Norton, Clarke, Lee, Asimov So I decided I would try for once to actually read Literature But I wasn t willing to actually move or look around too much, so I was limited to whatever was in arm s reach of Anne Rice.The snazzy cover immediately drew me towards Empress Cute asian girl on cover check Written by a woman from communist china check who emmigrated to France big check to make paintings check of weird indistinct monochrome blobs check The book was original written in French humongous check and was historical fiction about the first female Empress of China.Huh That actually sounded interesting So I grabbed the book, tucked it under my meaty arm and headed off After finishing a genre book or two, I finally turned to Empress with a little trepidation This was no ordinary reading No, this was a serious meeting from the ambassador of Planet Literary Snob.The book definitely has poetic prose, but it doesn t gush as much as say, a Stephen King book where it takes ten pages to describe someone opening a door The writing style, even translated from another language, is quite beautiful, which I suppose is an important part of literature.Now the narrative and characterization, the parts that matter most in Spaceman Gort Land I personally found the characters quite emotive, while some people found them dry I liked it The plot moved along at a good pace, and focused on courtly intrigue in the Gynaceum of the Chinese Emperor Very sumptious, lots of focus on gowns and decoration and the pageantry of it all and scheming schemers.One thing I found sort of dare I say precious Is it sexist of me to call a female writer from China France precious It probably is Oh well The Empress described is the ONLY female empress China has ever had An AMAZING amount of people around her vanish and die in ways that are very convenient to her pursuit of power, and the author does a tremendous tapdancing act to try to pretend she had little if nothing to do with it All the good things, she did, all the bad things, George Bush did apparently I find this um highly doubtful You don t wind up as the only female Empress of China by a weird twist of fate, you get there over the dead bodies of the men and women less ambitious and careful than you.So I m not sure how realistic it was, but I very much enjoyed the book even if it was a bit naive at times Even though there were no robots, flying death pygmies, demon sorcerers, alien invaders, orbimbotronians, I dare I say it Enjoyed the book Enough that I keep an eye out for other books by this author.So I would say the Ambassador from Planet Literature did a good job of representing for her people.TLDR If you like courtly intrigue, enjoy Chinese culture, and don t mind books without robots or demons, this is something you would enjoy This book took on a whole new take of Chinese History It portrayed an important historical figure in a personal and never before seen way Empress Wu was the first woman emperor to ever take the throne It was traditionally carried on by heirs of the previous emperor, but during the Tang Dynasty, the emperor lacked the capability to successfully control the nation without the help of Wu Ze Tian the empress And when the emperor passes away, the only person that the nation could be entrusted t This book took on a whole new take of Chinese History It portrayed an important historical figure in a personal and never before seen way Empress Wu was the first woman emperor to ever take the throne It was traditionally carried on by heirs of the previous emperor, but during the Tang Dynasty, the emperor lacked the capability to successfully control the nation without the help of Wu Ze Tian the empress And when the emperor passes away, the only person that the nation could be entrusted to was Empress Wu Throughout the book, the readers can see the difficulty within a woman s life and the life of the three thousand wives that the emperor has The tales of the forbidden city, the secret rivalry between the wives in trying to gain the emperor s love, and the secret affairs that Empress Wu has after her husbands death This book goes in depth with the relationships between the royalty and how all men within the government strive for power and try to do everything they can to become close to the empress This story entails the life of one of the most interesting figures in Chinese history through an intimate level and the raging battles and passionate lovers of the Tang Dynasty that not many people have heard of My carriage was already traveling through eternity I was tiny, alone, and naked I was moving toward, a god, and an empire There s something deeply compelling about someone s rise from obscurity to power, be they evil or good, especially if the obscurity is great and the power is immense When that rise to power involves a woman who raises herself to a position no woman was ever meant to hold, well, count me in.This is a fictionalized account of a piece of, apparently often neglected, Chinese My carriage was already traveling through eternity I was tiny, alone, and naked I was moving toward, a god, and an empire There s something deeply compelling about someone s rise from obscurity to power, be they evil or good, especially if the obscurity is great and the power is immense When that rise to power involves a woman who raises herself to a position no woman was ever meant to hold, well, count me in.This is a fictionalized account of a piece of, apparently often neglected, Chinese history Empress Wu It s a beautiful novel, told in lush and evocative prose a prose that is at times a little too poetic and removed from the people it talks about, although very fitting for the type of story it tells It s a truly grand and compelling look at Empress Wu, or Heavenlight s, journey inside the walls of the Forbidden City, as lover to concubines and emperors, as mother of a nation, as an Empress destined to lead her people to prosperity and glory Shan Sa tells the story with conviction and power, easily portraying the intricate and delicate web the court of any Emperor or Empress is made of, how one false step or moment of distraction can mean your downfall and humiliation To place oneself on such a seat of power, to rule a nation, means to adopt a style of swift brutality, whether it be just or not Empress Wu s life, her real life, is of course obscured by the passing of time, as well as attempts at covering up her reign and, obviously, the misogyny of historians, past or present It s not something I know a lot about, however, so I ll talk about this specific book instead But a lot of the things we do know about her life are shrouded in mystery or ambiguity And the style, the way it was told, added to the sense that you we re all merely riding on the wings of history, that this life is but a moment of eternity, as well as a moment that will last eternally And Sa s constant juxtaposition of death and immortality, of private and public, is necessary and wonderfully done Nonetheless, any historical figure with this much power, commanding such a nation and ruling it with such an iron fist, deserves a book such as this My one wish, and the reason I could never quite get it to 5 stars, is that the prose, despite being beautiful and perfectly fitting, often obscured the character of Empress Wu I never at any point felt I knew what sort of person she was, what she believed in, what toll it took on her to do the things she had to do, to protect herself, her nation and her family I understand this might have been a conscious choice As we know very little of Empress Wu or what she was really like, designing her character based on what scraps we have might have felt dishonest or maybe it s to signal that she defies characterization That she slipped into and out of roles, depending on the situation Or maybe it s a style and something was lost in translation Sadly it made me feel detached from her and her story I felt as if I was looking at it from afar, and less like I was in the middle of it, because so often the emotions were subdued Empress Wu felt very little like a real person to me, with real emotions and dreams, and that I regret, but perhaps it was necessary It s entirely a question of personal taste, I think And it did add to the sweeping, consuming feeling of it, as if you were inside a poem, an ancient poem telling the story of things ling forgotten It was beautiful, but in a detached way The somewhat shallow or rather ambiguous characterization of Empress Wu, and most other characters too, was as I ve said a perfect fit for the grandeur, the massive scale of her reign and the superficiality of the court, how everyone hides behind fake pleasantries, and masks, while they plot your downfall, that this novel had to portray And Empress is majestic, splendid, lush, relentless and beautiful in all the ways you d expect it to be An excellent fictional look at a neglected, but fantastic piece of history, and a wonderful way to get swept away by the winds of history It s a stunning work You should read it What an awful book I am so disappointed, because I read The Girl Who Played Go a few years ago and thought that was fantastic.The writing in this book is just far too lush and overwrought It feels like the author put so much effort into crafting each dramatic sentence that she forgot to put in any kind of plot or sympathetic characters Granted, the main character was a pretty horrific person in her lifetime, so Shan Sa didn t have much to work with there as far as making her likeable But the What an awful book I am so disappointed, because I read The Girl Who Played Go a few years ago and thought that was fantastic.The writing in this book is just far too lush and overwrought It feels like the author put so much effort into crafting each dramatic sentence that she forgot to put in any kind of plot or sympathetic characters Granted, the main character was a pretty horrific person in her lifetime, so Shan Sa didn t have much to work with there as far as making her likeable But the writing makes her seem completely flat and emotionless.Overall, I think there was just too much going on in this book It probably would have been much better if the book had either been much shorter and focused on just one period of the Heavenlight s life, or much longer to really take time to explore the different events.Other things I found annoying A character would just show up and be referred to as my friend of 30 years or something And yet we have never heard of her before A few times the narrator would refer after the fact to some really shocking and pivotal sounding event It would be discussed for a paragraph or two and then never mentioned again.So many things seemed inconsistent to me For example, on one page the narrator mentioned that the emperor was having sex with young virgins, both boys and girls, because doctors advised it would help his health And then just a few pages later, she mentions that the doctors had forbidden the emperor to have sex at all Huh There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies o There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies of Planet Bimbotron, you have to cross a gauntlet of pretentiousness known as the Literature Section, filled with proper works of Lih trah chuh On one trip through this minefield of horrors, I happened to notice a book by Anne Rice, I think it was Interview with a Vampire In the Literature section So apparently if you want to read Heinlein books you have to trudge to the Genre Ghetto, but if you want to read about bisexual mulatto vampires sucking each other blood, you perv on Bourbon Street, the Literature section is for you So I was naturally perturbed, and I started wondering what was so gosh darn special about these silly lihtrahchuh books anyway How could they compete with Heinlein, Norton, Clarke, Lee, Asimov So I decided I would try for once to actually read Literature But I wasn t willing to actually move or look around too much, so I was limited to whatever was in arm s reach of Anne Rice The snazzy cover immediately drew me towards Empress Cute asian girl on cover check Written by a woman from communist china check who emmigrated to France big check to make paintings check of weird indistinct monochrome blobs check The book was original written in French humongous check and was historical fiction about the first female Empress of China Huh That actually sounded interesting So I grabbed the book, tucked it under my meaty arm and headed off After finishing a genre book or two, I finally turned to Empress with a little trepidation This was no ordinary reading No, this was a serious meeting from the ambassador of Planet Literary Snob The book definitely has poetic prose, but it doesn t gush as much as say, a Stephen King book where it takes ten pages to describe someone opening a door The writing style, even translated from another language, is quite beautiful, which I suppose is an important part of literature Now the narrative and characterization, the parts that matter most in Spaceman Gort Land I personally found the characters quite emotive, while some people found them dry I liked it The plot moved along at a good pace, and focused on courtly intrigue in the Gynaceum of the Chinese Emperor Very sumptious, lots of focus on gowns and decoration and the pageantry of it all and scheming schemers.One thing I found sort of dare I say precious Is it sexist of me to call a female writer from China France precious It probably is Oh well The Empress described is the ONLY female empress China has ever had An AMAZING amount of people around her vanish and die in ways that are very convenient to her pursuit of power, and the author does a tremendous tapdancing act to try to pretend she had little if nothing to do with it All the good things, she did, all the bad things, George Bush did apparently I find this um highly doubtful You don t wind up as the only female Empress of China by a weird twist of fate, you get there over the dead bodies of the men and women less ambitious and careful than you.So I m not sure how realistic it was, but I very much enjoyed the book even if it was a bit naive at times Even though there were no robots, flying death pygmies, demon sorcerers, alien invaders, orbimbotronians, I dare I say it Enjoyed the book Enough that I keep an eye out for other books by this author So I would say the Ambassador from Planet Literature did a good job of representing for her people TLDR If you like courtly intrigue, enjoy Chinese culture, and don t mind books without robots or demons, this is something you would enjoy The Empress is a poetic tale that gives one an in depth look into the life of Empress Wu The ruthless tactics used on the throne may shock one, but the author constructs the novel so that one understands the culture of the time This book can get tedious at times with detail, but the overall story is strong and a person interested in Chinese history will enjoy the vivid descriptions It was a good book I don t feel much moved but I always enjoy anything with strong female characters.

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    This guide aims to show you how to download ea anunta un destin aparte la un an, dintre toate obiectele asezate in jurul sau, ignora podoabele si maruntisurile femeiesti si alege o jucarie rece ca gheata sabia tatalui sau Si va fi sortita sa imblinzeasca un imperiu, fiindca va deveni imparateasa a Chinei, unica femeie numita Imparat Sacru al celui mai intins imperiu de sub cer Avind in centru un personaj fascinant, a carui istorie a fost rastalmacita secole de a rindul, Imparateasa lui Shan Sa dezvaluie o poveste in care se impletesc suferinta, razboiul, prosperitatea, maretia si intelepciunea unei vieti extraordinare is day. A few reasons why I recommend this book The tale of the one and only female emperor in the history of China A Machiavellian heroine who is determined to create her own destiny, against all odds The forbidden romance between a young crown prince and one of his royal father s widows The gorgeous backdrop of the Tang Dynasty, when the imperial China was at her peak Deadly power struggle within both the harem and the court The complicated family saga of both the Royal Family and the Wu clan, t A few reasons why I recommend this book The tale of the one and only female emperor in the history of China A Machiavellian heroine who is determined to create her own destiny, against all odds The forbidden romance between a young crown prince and one of his royal father s widows The gorgeous backdrop of the Tang Dynasty, when the imperial China was at her peak Deadly power struggle within both the harem and the court The complicated family saga of both the Royal Family and the Wu clan, the heroine s family An epic drama involving emperor and his wives, lords and ladies, ministers and nobles, filling with power play and schemes, gossips and scandals, crime and passion, sex and violence and murder.Characters description Emperor Lordly Forebear deceased The first emperor of Tang Dynasty, who overthrew the previous Sui Dynasty with the help of his sons and daughter.Emperor Eternal Ancestor second emperor of Tang, Heavenlight Wu s first husband and father of Little Phoenix and the other princes He is widely considered as one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history and a military genius, who secured his throne after he assassinated his two brothers and 10 nephews in a coup.Emperor Lordly Ancestor Little Phoenix The third emperor of Tang and Heavenlight s second husband As a prince, no one had expected him to inherit the crown but power struggle within both the royal family and the court eventually put him onto a position he hadn t fully been prepared for He has always been traditionally viewed as a weak willed and pathetic ruler However, a closer look would reveal him as, although not as successful as his father, still a capable politician of his own right, before illness affected his health and performance.Heavenlight Wu Empress Wu better known as Wu Zetain in Chinese pop culture and folklore, an orphaned girl from the rural Wu clan, she first served as a low ranking concubine in Emperor Eternal Ancestor s harem, later she was forced to become a nun after the Emperor s death, but through determination and a few twists of fate, she managed to return to the harem as the new Emperor s favorite, which set off a series of chain reactions throughout the empire.Gentleness granddaughter of a minister whom was executed for suggesting the Emperor to dethrone Empress Wu As a girl she was brought to the palace as a slave, her wide knowledge and talents on poetry and literature made the Empress promote her to become her secretary Her position as one of the Empress s most trusted servants helped her to gain influence in the palace and state affairs as well Princess Of Eternal Peace Moon Empress Wu s youngest and favored child, one of the most powerful princesses in the history of China She was a skillful player in the power game before and after her mother s death, and rather scandalously, she was also known for having shared young male lovers with her mother.A brief outline of Empress Wu s life She was a fatherless girl who left her homeland for the gorgeous but dangerous Palace She failed to gain her first husband s favor but caught the eyes of her stepson She had gone from being a widow, a nun and then the new Emperor s chief wife For decades she ruled an empire through her husband and later her sons before she finally crowned herself then ruled for nearly twodecades Historians condemned her for being an evil woman who controlled her emperor husband like puppet and murdered her way up to the top However, she ruled and maintained an empire for much longer than many male emperors had ever managed to, though at the same time she exiled, terrorized and executed countless people for getting in her way including her kinmens and children Intelligent, strong willed, disciplined, ambitious, ruthless and for many times downright cruel, Empress Wu was, borrowing my GR friend Jocelyn s words, one heck of a lady.To be honest, I cannot tell how much of my enjoyment with this book is because of Miss Sa s talent as an author, and how much of it is because of the charm of her source materials the extraordinary life of Empress Wu Her story has always been well known throughout the history of China, her dramatic raise to power, her romance with her second husband, her cruelty, her reign as the one and only female emperor and even her scandalous affairs with her male lovers, all of them are, hand down, stuffs of legend.However, good source materials still needs to be crafted by skillful hands for it to shine And theI read Empress, theI can see the author s effort and her talent does shine through her writing.Miss Sa mentioned, in an interview at the back of the book, she did three years of research for this book and it took her twoyears to finish writing it and it does show Not only I found the accuracy in this book amazing and impressive, I am also impressed by Miss Sa s ability to weave different events through generations and different historical figures life stories together in such a neat, effective manner Truth be told, I think the beginning part of the story is the most gripping and the young Heavenlight Wu is a lot easier to be empathized with than her older self Even Miss Sa mentioned she empathizes with Heavenlight Wu for she had gone through the same shock and suffering Wu must have gone through as a rural girl who went alone from her home village to the empire s capital, like Sa had once experienced moving from the post Cultural Revolution China to Paris.Like many other famous and powerful women in history, Empress Wu s life is controversial, and I also appreciate the author s methods of handling the controversies and mysteries of Wu s life although I don t always agree with her conclusions , such as The facts, mysteries and fictions in Empress Wu s life, and how the author handled them 1 Fact Empress Wu s origin name is unknown, so her name isn t Heavenlight like Miss Sa had claimed After she went to the palace, her first husband bestowed her the name Wu Mei , which means Wu the Pretty One , after she ascended to the throne, she renamed herself Wu Heavenlight , which actually means sun and moon in the Sky, at the same time in Chinese Although Heavenlight is very likely not Empress Wu s origin name, but I do think it is an awesome translation for the name of the book s heroine 2 Mystery no 1 a lot of people tend to believe view spoiler Wu Mei killed her infant daughter in order to frame Empress Wang the Emperor s then chief wife, for the murder Well, I am one of those people who think she really did that although in this book the author seems to think she didn t do that Still, logically speaking, Wu Mei did have a lotreason to frame Empress Wang for murder than the Empress had motive to kill the infant out of jealousy hide spoiler 3 Mystery no 2 Did Empress Wu ordered her oldest son to be killed when he became too independent, or did the young crown prince die of nature cause I found it difficult to think a mother would kill her oldest son like thisbut given Empress Wu s personality and the history of the Tang s royal family a lot, I mean a lot of execution and assassination had gone on within this family , I think the chance is 50 50 4 Fictions Did Empress Wu simply murder her way up to the top and corrupt her second husband with sex and lies No Although she did kill quite a large number of people but it took a lotthan cruelty and murder for her to establish herself as a close political alliance to her second husband and manage to stay in power for decades, and this book would show you how 5 Mystery no 3 Did Empress Wu view spoiler kill both her older sister and niece, both of whom her husband s unofficial mistresses That is hard to tell, really But I like how Miss Sa handled this mystery in her book turns out the older sister was the real mother of Wu s second son and then the woman died out of grief Still, Wu killed her niece to keep her husband in line hide spoiler I truly appreciate this part of the story 6 Did Heavenlight Wu had sexual relationship with her first husband Or did she serve himlike a maidservant and a secretary Miss Sa seems to think Wu didn t serve him sexually but historians do not seem to think so 7 However, I am a bit disappointed that Ms Sa entirely ignores the fact that Heavenlight s mother had an incestuous relationship with one of her grandsons son of her first born daughter at old age Shocking isn t it But this relationship is so infamous that it gets recorded in the history book of Tang Last but not least, the translation is gorgeous too I learnt that Ms Sa first wrote this novel in French and the text was later translated into English, and gosh the translation must be one of the best I ve seen so far.Famous quotes In our time women can demonstrate prowess in a thousand ways Long ago the great Princess Sun of Ping fought for her father, the August Sovereign At her funeral, His Majesty called for the trumpets and drums to be sounded, an honor reserved for men My dear, from this day you must dress her as a boy Give her an education worthy of her own determination Mother and Little Sister wept To console them, I pronounced these words that had been tumbling round my heart for days My position at the Palace is our one opportunity Have confidence in my destiny Do not weep The role of Empress became a full time occupation As to the intriguing Tang Dynasty, here are some photos from The Assassin 2015 , a movie loosely based on a Tang s legend link link link Similar books The Queen Of the South, by Arturo P rez ReverteThe Twentieth Wife, by Indu SundaresanAnother book about Empress Wu s life, to balance things out a bit Lady Wu, by Lin YuTangA well written non fictional series about Tang Dynasy and the ruling of Empress Wu and her husband in Chinese The Shadow Emperor , 6 book of the seriesThe Reign of the Celestial Queen , 7 book of the seriesThe Empress of Ages , 8 book of the series I ve a penchant for literature written with an eye on the grander scale of things Most probably it comes with my preoccupation with critiquing the canon, albeit through far less flimsy bases than prose and universality and all that invisible hand jazz In return for paying attention to fields that are not required for the common range of English history, politics, decolonization, gender dichotomy, all that fun stuff people like to pretend are subsidiary instead of the power generators of unque I ve a penchant for literature written with an eye on the grander scale of things Most probably it comes with my preoccupation with critiquing the canon, albeit through far less flimsy bases than prose and universality and all that invisible hand jazz In return for paying attention to fields that are not required for the common range of English history, politics, decolonization, gender dichotomy, all that fun stuff people like to pretend are subsidiary instead of the power generators of unquestioned classical status , I get a continuum An angry, muddled, and heckling continuum, by way of the present forever desiring to never pick apart the past, but knowledge is power Of course, absolute power corrupts absolutely, but you can complain about my biases when white men make up less than ten percent of the population of various prizes, as befits their portion of the demographic If you actually want to achieve something, your target is not me.In the vein of Imperial Woman and Memoirs of Hadrian we have a work that is closer than either in terms of the physiognomy of author and authored The prose is to my taste, the world is to my wonder, and the life lived in close sensory detail and alienated moral grounds utterly befits the saying that the past is a foreign country Up until the end point of the narrative, we reside in the head of one who survives via cunning, fertility, lust, health, strategy, bloodthirstiness, and every recourse of a dynastic body and soul One runs, and builds, and improves, and kills, until finally immortality begs the question of the empire one has built what tools will you leave behind once you are dead What have you left to the rulers, what have you left to the populace, and how will the latter mourn when the former have thrown each other to the wolves.Beware this is is historical fiction of the Chinese variety whose subject is a woman of infamous degree Those who do not indulge in historical fact with great pleasure, you may be bored by the ritual regulation and political machination and all that comes with the narrative that rules anempire Those who indulge to a great degree, you may be miffed by a smoothing here, a sentimentalizing there, for massacres and incest there was to a great degree Bear in mind, however, that each and every fact has been touched with gynephobic malice If you want a culprit for nonfictional debacles, there re your men Outside of that, there is the matter of a sexuality touching on a far broader space of field than the young man and the young woman, lesbian pedophilia and female dominated gerontophilia being two of thesensational breeds of intercourse Even farther, there is the realpolitik of the first millennium CE which put both my favorite families, the Tudors and the Borgias, to shame To shift tousual literary matters, carrying all that across is the prose For those of the French linguistic persuasion, the original text is available While curious as to how that would go, I am satisfied enough with my Anglo transfiguration to pass on making an effort.Finally, there is the ending, one of those out of body frames that attempts to draw a holism out of a past power speaking to an impermanent present Enad with contextual awareness that I am, the last bit bumped this up that last half star Those of theobjective temperament you re missing out This book was lushly written, with a meticulous eye for detail, but it was little impersonal and distant for me Although the twisted politics were interesting, I wasn t engaged at all with any of the characters It was a bit like being underwater, hearing a conversation from another room.There was actually far too much detail about certain ceremonies I started thinking about the paraodic detail in The Princess Bride while I was reading and not enough information on the people involved I di This book was lushly written, with a meticulous eye for detail, but it was little impersonal and distant for me Although the twisted politics were interesting, I wasn t engaged at all with any of the characters It was a bit like being underwater, hearing a conversation from another room.There was actually far too much detail about certain ceremonies I started thinking about the paraodic detail in The Princess Bride while I was reading and not enough information on the people involved I didn t really have a sense of personality about anyone.There is also the fact that I have serious issues with the idea that one person can have what amounts to divine power, that a ruler could order anyone in her kingdom to commit suicide , and her subjects would do it I found myself reacting very badly to the depictions of the court ranking system, and how those of low rank were treated as if they existed only to serve.I understand it s a period piece and that those depictions were quite likely accurate, but it s one of those things that makes me very grateful I didn t live in that time and place There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel.Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies of There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel.Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies of Planet Bimbotron, you have to cross a gauntlet of pretentiousness known as the Literature Section, filled with proper works of Lih trah chuh On one trip through this minefield of horrors, I happened to notice a book by Anne Rice, I think it was Interview with a Vampire In the Literature section So apparently if you want to read Heinlein books you have to trudge to the Genre Ghetto, but if you want to read about bisexual mulatto vampires sucking each other blood, you perv on Bourbon Street, the Literature section is for you.So I was naturally perturbed, and I started wondering what was so gosh darn special about these silly lihtrahchuh books anyway How could they compete with Heinlein, Norton, Clarke, Lee, Asimov So I decided I would try for once to actually read Literature But I wasn t willing to actually move or look around too much, so I was limited to whatever was in arm s reach of Anne Rice.The snazzy cover immediately drew me towards Empress Cute asian girl on cover check Written by a woman from communist china check who emmigrated to France big check to make paintings check of weird indistinct monochrome blobs check The book was original written in French humongous check and was historical fiction about the first female Empress of China.Huh That actually sounded interesting So I grabbed the book, tucked it under my meaty arm and headed off After finishing a genre book or two, I finally turned to Empress with a little trepidation This was no ordinary reading No, this was a serious meeting from the ambassador of Planet Literary Snob.The book definitely has poetic prose, but it doesn t gush as much as say, a Stephen King book where it takes ten pages to describe someone opening a door The writing style, even translated from another language, is quite beautiful, which I suppose is an important part of literature.Now the narrative and characterization, the parts that matter most in Spaceman Gort Land I personally found the characters quite emotive, while some people found them dry I liked it The plot moved along at a good pace, and focused on courtly intrigue in the Gynaceum of the Chinese Emperor Very sumptious, lots of focus on gowns and decoration and the pageantry of it all and scheming schemers.One thing I found sort of dare I say precious Is it sexist of me to call a female writer from China France precious It probably is Oh well The Empress described is the ONLY female empress China has ever had An AMAZING amount of people around her vanish and die in ways that are very convenient to her pursuit of power, and the author does a tremendous tapdancing act to try to pretend she had little if nothing to do with it All the good things, she did, all the bad things, George Bush did apparently I find this um highly doubtful You don t wind up as the only female Empress of China by a weird twist of fate, you get there over the dead bodies of the men and women less ambitious and careful than you.So I m not sure how realistic it was, but I very much enjoyed the book even if it was a bit naive at times Even though there were no robots, flying death pygmies, demon sorcerers, alien invaders, orbimbotronians, I dare I say it Enjoyed the book Enough that I keep an eye out for other books by this author.So I would say the Ambassador from Planet Literature did a good job of representing for her people.TLDR If you like courtly intrigue, enjoy Chinese culture, and don t mind books without robots or demons, this is something you would enjoy This book took on a whole new take of Chinese History It portrayed an important historical figure in a personal and never before seen way Empress Wu was the first woman emperor to ever take the throne It was traditionally carried on by heirs of the previous emperor, but during the Tang Dynasty, the emperor lacked the capability to successfully control the nation without the help of Wu Ze Tian the empress And when the emperor passes away, the only person that the nation could be entrusted t This book took on a whole new take of Chinese History It portrayed an important historical figure in a personal and never before seen way Empress Wu was the first woman emperor to ever take the throne It was traditionally carried on by heirs of the previous emperor, but during the Tang Dynasty, the emperor lacked the capability to successfully control the nation without the help of Wu Ze Tian the empress And when the emperor passes away, the only person that the nation could be entrusted to was Empress Wu Throughout the book, the readers can see the difficulty within a woman s life and the life of the three thousand wives that the emperor has The tales of the forbidden city, the secret rivalry between the wives in trying to gain the emperor s love, and the secret affairs that Empress Wu has after her husbands death This book goes in depth with the relationships between the royalty and how all men within the government strive for power and try to do everything they can to become close to the empress This story entails the life of one of the most interesting figures in Chinese history through an intimate level and the raging battles and passionate lovers of the Tang Dynasty that not many people have heard of My carriage was already traveling through eternity I was tiny, alone, and naked I was moving toward, a god, and an empire There s something deeply compelling about someone s rise from obscurity to power, be they evil or good, especially if the obscurity is great and the power is immense When that rise to power involves a woman who raises herself to a position no woman was ever meant to hold, well, count me in.This is a fictionalized account of a piece of, apparently often neglected, Chinese My carriage was already traveling through eternity I was tiny, alone, and naked I was moving toward, a god, and an empire There s something deeply compelling about someone s rise from obscurity to power, be they evil or good, especially if the obscurity is great and the power is immense When that rise to power involves a woman who raises herself to a position no woman was ever meant to hold, well, count me in.This is a fictionalized account of a piece of, apparently often neglected, Chinese history Empress Wu It s a beautiful novel, told in lush and evocative prose a prose that is at times a little too poetic and removed from the people it talks about, although very fitting for the type of story it tells It s a truly grand and compelling look at Empress Wu, or Heavenlight s, journey inside the walls of the Forbidden City, as lover to concubines and emperors, as mother of a nation, as an Empress destined to lead her people to prosperity and glory Shan Sa tells the story with conviction and power, easily portraying the intricate and delicate web the court of any Emperor or Empress is made of, how one false step or moment of distraction can mean your downfall and humiliation To place oneself on such a seat of power, to rule a nation, means to adopt a style of swift brutality, whether it be just or not Empress Wu s life, her real life, is of course obscured by the passing of time, as well as attempts at covering up her reign and, obviously, the misogyny of historians, past or present It s not something I know a lot about, however, so I ll talk about this specific book instead But a lot of the things we do know about her life are shrouded in mystery or ambiguity And the style, the way it was told, added to the sense that you we re all merely riding on the wings of history, that this life is but a moment of eternity, as well as a moment that will last eternally And Sa s constant juxtaposition of death and immortality, of private and public, is necessary and wonderfully done Nonetheless, any historical figure with this much power, commanding such a nation and ruling it with such an iron fist, deserves a book such as this My one wish, and the reason I could never quite get it to 5 stars, is that the prose, despite being beautiful and perfectly fitting, often obscured the character of Empress Wu I never at any point felt I knew what sort of person she was, what she believed in, what toll it took on her to do the things she had to do, to protect herself, her nation and her family I understand this might have been a conscious choice As we know very little of Empress Wu or what she was really like, designing her character based on what scraps we have might have felt dishonest or maybe it s to signal that she defies characterization That she slipped into and out of roles, depending on the situation Or maybe it s a style and something was lost in translation Sadly it made me feel detached from her and her story I felt as if I was looking at it from afar, and less like I was in the middle of it, because so often the emotions were subdued Empress Wu felt very little like a real person to me, with real emotions and dreams, and that I regret, but perhaps it was necessary It s entirely a question of personal taste, I think And it did add to the sweeping, consuming feeling of it, as if you were inside a poem, an ancient poem telling the story of things ling forgotten It was beautiful, but in a detached way The somewhat shallow or rather ambiguous characterization of Empress Wu, and most other characters too, was as I ve said a perfect fit for the grandeur, the massive scale of her reign and the superficiality of the court, how everyone hides behind fake pleasantries, and masks, while they plot your downfall, that this novel had to portray And Empress is majestic, splendid, lush, relentless and beautiful in all the ways you d expect it to be An excellent fictional look at a neglected, but fantastic piece of history, and a wonderful way to get swept away by the winds of history It s a stunning work You should read it What an awful book I am so disappointed, because I read The Girl Who Played Go a few years ago and thought that was fantastic.The writing in this book is just far too lush and overwrought It feels like the author put so much effort into crafting each dramatic sentence that she forgot to put in any kind of plot or sympathetic characters Granted, the main character was a pretty horrific person in her lifetime, so Shan Sa didn t have much to work with there as far as making her likeable But the What an awful book I am so disappointed, because I read The Girl Who Played Go a few years ago and thought that was fantastic.The writing in this book is just far too lush and overwrought It feels like the author put so much effort into crafting each dramatic sentence that she forgot to put in any kind of plot or sympathetic characters Granted, the main character was a pretty horrific person in her lifetime, so Shan Sa didn t have much to work with there as far as making her likeable But the writing makes her seem completely flat and emotionless.Overall, I think there was just too much going on in this book It probably would have been much better if the book had either been much shorter and focused on just one period of the Heavenlight s life, or much longer to really take time to explore the different events.Other things I found annoying A character would just show up and be referred to as my friend of 30 years or something And yet we have never heard of her before A few times the narrator would refer after the fact to some really shocking and pivotal sounding event It would be discussed for a paragraph or two and then never mentioned again.So many things seemed inconsistent to me For example, on one page the narrator mentioned that the emperor was having sex with young virgins, both boys and girls, because doctors advised it would help his health And then just a few pages later, she mentions that the doctors had forbidden the emperor to have sex at all Huh There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies o There s a story behind my reading this book I am, by habit a reader of genre fiction which means stories about Spaceman Gort and the Flying Death Pygmies of Planet Bimbotron and things like that At the Barnes and Noble I typically shop for books at, the Spaceman Gort section is crammed far into the back, covered in cobwebs, and filled with a droning voice that tells you how ashamed you should be for reading this drivel Perhaps I exaggerate.On the way to Spaceman Gort and the lovely ladies of Planet Bimbotron, you have to cross a gauntlet of pretentiousness known as the Literature Section, filled with proper works of Lih trah chuh On one trip through this minefield of horrors, I happened to notice a book by Anne Rice, I think it was Interview with a Vampire In the Literature section So apparently if you want to read Heinlein books you have to trudge to the Genre Ghetto, but if you want to read about bisexual mulatto vampires sucking each other blood, you perv on Bourbon Street, the Literature section is for you So I was naturally perturbed, and I started wondering what was so gosh darn special about these silly lihtrahchuh books anyway How could they compete with Heinlein, Norton, Clarke, Lee, Asimov So I decided I would try for once to actually read Literature But I wasn t willing to actually move or look around too much, so I was limited to whatever was in arm s reach of Anne Rice The snazzy cover immediately drew me towards Empress Cute asian girl on cover check Written by a woman from communist china check who emmigrated to France big check to make paintings check of weird indistinct monochrome blobs check The book was original written in French humongous check and was historical fiction about the first female Empress of China Huh That actually sounded interesting So I grabbed the book, tucked it under my meaty arm and headed off After finishing a genre book or two, I finally turned to Empress with a little trepidation This was no ordinary reading No, this was a serious meeting from the ambassador of Planet Literary Snob The book definitely has poetic prose, but it doesn t gush as much as say, a Stephen King book where it takes ten pages to describe someone opening a door The writing style, even translated from another language, is quite beautiful, which I suppose is an important part of literature Now the narrative and characterization, the parts that matter most in Spaceman Gort Land I personally found the characters quite emotive, while some people found them dry I liked it The plot moved along at a good pace, and focused on courtly intrigue in the Gynaceum of the Chinese Emperor Very sumptious, lots of focus on gowns and decoration and the pageantry of it all and scheming schemers.One thing I found sort of dare I say precious Is it sexist of me to call a female writer from China France precious It probably is Oh well The Empress described is the ONLY female empress China has ever had An AMAZING amount of people around her vanish and die in ways that are very convenient to her pursuit of power, and the author does a tremendous tapdancing act to try to pretend she had little if nothing to do with it All the good things, she did, all the bad things, George Bush did apparently I find this um highly doubtful You don t wind up as the only female Empress of China by a weird twist of fate, you get there over the dead bodies of the men and women less ambitious and careful than you.So I m not sure how realistic it was, but I very much enjoyed the book even if it was a bit naive at times Even though there were no robots, flying death pygmies, demon sorcerers, alien invaders, orbimbotronians, I dare I say it Enjoyed the book Enough that I keep an eye out for other books by this author So I would say the Ambassador from Planet Literature did a good job of representing for her people TLDR If you like courtly intrigue, enjoy Chinese culture, and don t mind books without robots or demons, this is something you would enjoy The Empress is a poetic tale that gives one an in depth look into the life of Empress Wu The ruthless tactics used on the throne may shock one, but the author constructs the novel so that one understands the culture of the time This book can get tedious at times with detail, but the overall story is strong and a person interested in Chinese history will enjoy the vivid descriptions It was a good book I don t feel much moved but I always enjoy anything with strong female characters. 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  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • Împărăteasa
  • Shan Sa
  • Romanian
  • 17 December 2018
  • 9734649000