Empress Orchid

  • by Anchee Min
  • Narrated by Alexandra O'Karma
  • 17 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Stacey "Stacey"

Orchid Ennui

The last empress of China was a fascinating person and a great leader. This book has little history and is mostly an account of court etiquette. I was bored most of the time. The reader has an interesting voice but a bad habit of swallowing hard every few minutes. So, if you want to learn more about the Forbidden City and the extravagant court life of the Chinese emporers, this may interest you. Otherwise, check out some real history books.
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- Louise

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-12-2004
  • Publisher: Recorded Books