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After enjoying The Alienist and Angel of Darkness so much, I was looking forward to this story. Sadly, it was as dry a read as I have seen in a long time. Nonfiction always runs the risk of being a list of names and facts, and this is what it seemed to me. Unfortunately, the author also failed research other characters completely, including the mis-information promulgated by Edmund Backhouse, an acknowledged albeit highly imaginative forger, who accused the Empress Dowager Tz'u-Hsi of murder, of fiscal fiscal improprieties, and lewd behavior with members of her court and guard. (Sterling Seagrave did a much more thorough job of researching the Empress Dowager' life and circumstances surrounding her rule.) I don't think I could be persuaded to read another non-fiction book by Mr. Carr.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
The book is, (as any discerning-reader will expect of its author), superb! I want more!