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Publisher's Summary

The critically acclaimed author, Anchee Min, paints a fresh portrait of the last Chinese empress in this brilliantly fictionalized tale set during the waning days of the empire. Seventeen-year-old Orchid belongs to an aristocratic family that has fallen on hard times. Unexpectedly, she is chosen as one of the emperor's lesser concubines. Within the Forbidden City are thousands of women hoping to bear the emperor a son and become his empress. Orchid, determined and resourceful, schemes her way into the royal bed and seduces the emperor. But as the opium trade erodes the might of the Ch'ing dynasty, Orchid find herself at the center of a crumbling nation.
A colorful depiction of one of history's least understood women, The Empress Orchid is another enthralling masterpiece for Anchee Min.
©2004 Anchee Min
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Critic Reviews

"Powerful and brilliantly conceived....[An] insightful, magnetic, and quietly revolutionary resurrection of a remarkable woman." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Stacey on 04-15-04

Empress Orchid

This is a great story. Some people have complained that the narrator was reading too slowly and pausing for too long. I think that they overlooked the fact that the story was from the perspective of an old Empress Orchid recounting the story of her youth and the slower reading and pauses fit in with that scenario. This was a very interesting audio book.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Loretta on 03-09-04

Great Insight

I couldn't put this book down. I loved learning about the Manchu religious philosphies and way of life. I always wondered why the Chinese didn't act as quickly as Westerners during times of war and now I know about their beliefs and customs that influenced their decisions. Very good read and I am looking forward to the next 2 volumes. HURRY UP ANCHEE MINN!!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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