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Empress
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Empress

3.6 36
by Shan Sa, Adriana Hunter (Translator), Adriana Hunter (Translator)
 

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Such is the voice of Shan Sa's unforgettable heroine in her latest literary masterpiece, Empress. Empress Wu, one of China's most controversial figures, was its first and only female emperor, who emerged in the seventh century during the great Tang Dynasty and ushered in a golden age. Throughout history, her name has been defamed and her story distorted by

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Empress 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was very captivating and moving, and it is a favorite of mine. Sa is a fantastic author, and shows her talent best in this book with her vivid, imaginative settings and elegant prose. Some of the side characters are easy to forget, but there is a family tree at the beginning that helps to keep them straight. I didn't find this book "disgusting" in the least, apparently unlike some others who have reviewed. It's written from the eyes of another culture and age, and in particular the passage from pages 59-60 was meant to show Gracious Wife's cruelty and abusive nature. Her actions aren't praised in the novel at all. There are other scenes in the book that may seem odd to the Western reader, but understanding it in the context of a different culture is essential. With this in mind, I probably wouldn't suggest it for younger or less mature readers. Overall, a beautiful piece of literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written book! Although I would not recommend it for young or immature readers because of the prose in which it is written, it might be misconstrued as boring and not enough of a "story". But I found it intriguing with such detailed descriptions of the politics, customs, and scenery of that era, as well as Empress Wu's struggle to maintain power in a male dominant arena. Very poetic and an awesome read for history buffs!!
PeachRose More than 1 year ago
A different approach to storytelling. sometimes it was a bit difficult to follow, but helped me visualize the politics and customs of a time that I knew little about. I would recommend it.
Nicola_The_Reader More than 1 year ago
Shan Sa's eloquent writing style-from page one-reveals an exotic and elegant world. The book is a unique and intriguing perspective on the biography of a time faded powerful female figure. While the book is generally hard to follow and the intellectual writing style is hard to decode, I highly recommend it-especially to anyone interested in history.
W-in-CA More than 1 year ago
I've seen a few Chinese dramas and read some short historical accounts of Empress Wu. The author's style of taking the reader through the tumultous years of this unusual woman's life is riveting. I couldn't put the book down. Some of my friends and relatives have preconceived ideas about how power-hungry and ruthless Empress Wu was. It is easy to forget what kind of world she was born into and that a "progressive-thinking" woman was not always tolerated. Women were sometimes treated as nothing more than heir-producing machines and momentary diversions to be used and discarded at the leisure of their masters. Some historians may judge her harshly but I think she deserves an unbiased viewpoint and be given some credit for her ability to survive the political career for as long as she did. Empress Wu has earned her place in history along with other powerful queens: Hatshepsut, Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, to name a few. Her ruthless intrigues and other characteristics do not make her a stellar ruler but she is definitely unforgettable and impressive figure in Chinese history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The plot has a few exciting moments, but overall it moves quite slowly. Too many details (for example, pages of lists of parade participants!) make the book downright tedious at times. The main character is arrogant, and minor characters are poorly developed.
Megan_E More than 1 year ago
AP World History Review- I loved the book. It was an amazing read about Empress Wu. I beleive the book served its purpose in telling about the life and times of Empress Wu. It tells everything about how ahe grew up to how she died. I feel like I know so much more about the Imperial court now.I would recomend this book to anyone who would want to know about how women got into politicl and went againt the standards set to them by men in the early times of human civilaization. Sa is an amazing author and showed what happened so much i felt like i could see it. Over all I thought the book was an amazing read and am kind of sad it is over. The knowledge I have gained through this book is great and i cant wait to learn more about empress Wu.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is undoubtably extreamly complex language but it is readable an the farther you read the more intresting and twisted the scheme evolves into. The author shows a very human like veiw of the characters point of view with deep yet smothered emotional characteristics. Im in high school and find this book deeply compelling. Definetly a must read.
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Very interesting and educational...but bloody!
momoftwinsMM More than 1 year ago
I normally love historical fiction and was excited to read about Empress Wu; however, I was completely disappointed. The writing was too descriptive and almost read like a monotone drone. There was alot of historical detail (normally good), but the characters lacked emotion and there was no climax. Sadly, I was happy once the empress finally died and the story could end.