- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted February 23, 2009
Nigel Cawthorne does a satisfactory job in depicting the rise and fall of Wu Chao, the only woman who became a reigning empress in the history of the Middle Kingdom. Cawthorne sometimes loses his audience by giving too much detail during his telling of side stories. The readability of "Daughter of Heaven" would definitely benefit from the reproduction of select family trees for the different imperial dynasties such as the Sui and the T'ang. The presence of multiple concubines who bore children to different emperors does not make it easy for the audience to keep track of who is who around Wu Chao. The appendix called "Dramatis personae" is of limited use to readers who are not very familiar with the history of Imperial China. Furthermore, the only map of China that is reproduced at the beginning of Cawthorne's book is so general that it is close to useless. High-level maps of Chinese cities such as Chang'an and Luonyang would definitely help readers better appreciate the topographies of these cities. A picture is often worth 1,000 words. To summarize, "Daughter of Heaven" runs the risk of alienating a wide audience due to a sub-optimal use of maps and graphs and the presence of too many detours of limited value in the narrative.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.