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I adored this novel of ancient China in the same way I loved Anita Diamond s The Red Tent, both for the evocative language and the story of a time when lovers and wives were sisters, and jealousies and scheming were rampant Even when women had few rights I would not want to be one of them this story shows its female characters were not powerless, and somehow found the inner strength to improve their lot in life The book has left me thinking about marrying for love vs marrying for influence, and how each affects our lives The Chinese folk wisdom, superstitions, and quotes from The Art of War scattered throughout enriched the story I m eager to read the second book, taking a break only because I don t want it to be over Highly recommend. Before I start this review I want to say that this book, and it s sequel, and the most incredible and stunning books of this kind that I have ever read They tell a story I didn t know and had never heard of and that made reading these books a sheer joy and ultimate pleasure.The book tells the beginning of the life of Empress Wu, during the Tang Dynasty, when she first joins the palace women under the name of Mei and begins a life she could never have dreamed of and would maybe have horrified her if she d been told what her life had in store for her What a terribly intriguing life she led if this book is to be believed too intriguing and dangerous to boot To live in the way Mei does is heartbreaking to read, never knowing which way things will go for you, will you be accepted and loved or shunned and hated Seems like a terrible way to live but Mei does it with calm aplomb, knowing what she wants without any real clue how to get there without sheer luck Mei is a curiously fascinating girl woman and one that I really wanting to learn about so when the sequel appeared on my radar it was a must read as I felt I needed to know what happened next in her life and where her love affair with the enigmatic Pheasant would progress next The romantic side of this book doesn t overshadow the underlying story at all and lies peacefully with the rest of Mei s tale.This book is so very detailed and I put my hands up to the author for bringing such incredible detail and depth to the story The characters are all very deep, intense and credibly realistic, they evoke love and hatred within the reader in equal amounts which is the way a reader needs the character to be to keep the book interesting and evocative The evolution of the character over the course of the book is also wonderfully constructed giving each one extra depth and making each of them even the remarkable The world building is also perfectly done, the vibe for the time is brilliant and the descriptive work on the scenery and architecture is also well crafted and evokes the images in detail within your mind s eye which only adds to the overall feel of the book The pacing within the story is also well done with the perfect ebb and flow that keep the story evolving in the way that keeps you hooked and makes the book almost impossible to put down, which I suffered from seeing as I read the book in just two sittings myself.In all seriousness if you enjoy historical fiction and are intrigued by Asian culture then this book is one to consider as it truly is a scenic and evocative tale full of beautiful elements structured into one of the most stunning tales I have ever read, as is the sequel It s definitely worth trying in my opinion as this is a sensational air of books that deserve every accolade they receive. A Guerreira da Lua BrilhanteNa China de tempos imemoriais, numa sociedade onde a mulher pouco mais fazia que procriar, nasceu uma crian a encantadora uma menina de rosto perfeito, que brilhava com a intensidade da Lua.Reza a hist ria que um monge profetizara que tal beleza reinaria sobre os homens Estava escrito que Mei a menina que encarnara a beleza da Lua seria Imperatriz, e n o haveria nenhuma antes, nem outra depois Mei nascera num meio privilegiado O pai era governador e vivia com a fam lia numa casa palaciana com jardim e numerosos criados Mei era uma menina rica, amada, mimada e a preferida do pai Contudo, essa inf ncia paradis aca cedo lhe foi roubada O pai pereceu subitamente, v tima de acidente, deixando vago um cargo que n o poderia ser preenchido pela m e, por ela ou pelas irm s, pois governar era apan gio dos homens.Assim, foram simplesmente chutadas para a rua Despojada de toda a riqueza, de todos os bens materiais que num pice se esfumaram, Mei agarrara se ao nico bem que ainda possu a e era seu por direito aquele que albergava dentro de si e clamava por emergir a profecia do monge.Mei era uma guerreira determinada, e no dia da morte do pai colara se ao destino que lhe fora profetizado, pois nada mais lhe restava A sua vida parecia ter acabado, quando afinal apenas come ara Mei, esta personagem feminina de for a carism tica, existiu mesmo, e o seu feito arrebatador ter sido a nica mulher a reinar sobre a China digno de todas as estrelas poss veis, pois mulheres dessa estirpe n o abundam por a , n o I loved this book to pieces All my favorite things romance, intrigue, and rich, vivid historical detail And a glimpse of the complicated hierarchy of power in the imperial palace It reminded me of the Hong Kong serials I watched about Empress Wu and Princess Taiping when I was young happy sigh 4 stars It was great I loved it.Prior to reading this, I did not know that much about China s 7th century dynasty history, or anything of Empress Wu The history revealed in the novel was fascinating and led me down numerous rabbit holes with Google searches and Wikipedia The author s writing style was enjoyable and I look forward to reading the rest of her series Favorite Quote To grow up was also to give up, and to build the future was to dissolve the past.First Sentence The day my future was foretold, I was just five years old. 3.75 stars Imperial China, courtesans, political intrigue, poisoning, double crossings, secret alliances, beheading, rebellions, jade and jewels, silkworms,prophecies, romance and destiny. But I understood it now Somehow, sometime in our lives, we all needed to find a path through the clouds of our destinies and walk down, Alone I knew now love and destiny were two wild horses that could not be curbed They galloped in different directions and ran down different paths where streams of desire and hope would not converge To follow one was to betray the other To make one happy was to break the other s heart Yet I supposed that was part of life, a lesson we had to learn To grow up was to give up, and to build the future was to dissolve the past.The only thing we could do was hope for the best, to believe that the horse we chose would find us a safe destination How gorgeous is that cover Honestly, even if the book hadn t been about Wu Zetian, I would have picked up this book based on the cover alone.But thankfully the book is also very good I really enjoyed the story that Randel told here She did a great job of creating the character of Wu Zetian, especially the young woman we don t really know much about Wu is often portrayed as a villainess in history, but here, she is a sympathetic protagonist Randel did a great job humanizing the character of Wu.She also did a good job of taking us inside Tang Dynasty China, an era I don t know a lot about I usually focus on Qing Dynasty China While this is a work of fiction, it is clear a lot of research went into her descriptions and it was interesting to see what life was like inside the palace at that time.Unfortunately, the book is part of a two book set, and I haven t read the second one yet I m dying to know what happens from Wu s point of view I mean, I know from history the basic outline of events, but reading about this from a first person perspective will be very interesting My suspicion is that Randel actually wrote one book, but it was too long so the publisher divided it into two I really can t wait to get my hands on the second half I didn t know anything about the history of 7th century China but was intrigued from the beginning with Mei and her story The author successfully transported me there and for two days I found it difficult to come back I was intrigued by the emperor and by the complex political atmosphere of the palace as well as the fierce competition among the women and girls wanting to be the Most Adored of the Emperor, as they fall in and out of favor by deceit and lies The hierarchy of concubines, the promise of a better life , of being closer to the Emperor and perhaps bearing him son , breeds deceit and schemes to move others out of the way, conspiracies and bribery There are lovely descriptions of the palace , the royal attire and so much without going overboard in this fast paced story of the power struggles among the women of the court and the politics of the palace Watching Mei move closer and further away from the Emperor and then closer again, I read these 400 pages pretty quickly In a QA at the end of the book, Weina Dai Randel tells how she wanted to write about Chinese women who succeeded in controlling their destinies , so she chose to write about Empress Wu and began in this book with her early life She has done extensive research for years even reading ancient Chinese texts I m very much looking forward to the second book , The Empress of Bright Moon Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and NetGalley. `READ KINDLE ⇵ The Moon in the Palace ⇲ No Pal Cio Da China Imperial, Uma Concubina Aprende Rapidamente As V Rias T Cnicas Para Conquistar O Cora O Do Imperador, O Nico Acima De Todos Pintar A Cara De Branco, Desenhar Um Sinal De Beleza, Fazer Penteados Elaborados Mei Convocada Aos Anos Para A Corte Do Pal Cio Na China Imperial, Uma Honra Que Resgatar A Sua Fam Lia, Outrora Nobre E Influente, Da Mis RiaPor M, Ela Rapidamente Descobre Que Para Se Aproximar Do Imperador E Conquistar O Seu Cora O Ter De Ultrapassar Obst Culos Perigosos Como Desconhece A Arte Da Sedu O, No Dia Do Anivers Rio Do Imperador, Mei Oferece Lhe Um Presente Singular Uma Adivinha Por M, Quando Lhe Parecia Que Estava Em Posi O De Seduzir O Homem Mais Poderoso Da China, Mei Apaixona Se Por Fais O, O Filho Mais Novo Do Imperador Contudo, Uma Tentativa De Assassinato Ao Imperador Provoca Uma Luta Terr Vel Pelo Poder Na Corte Imperial E Mei Ter De Se Servir Das Suas Excelentes Capacidades De Intelig Ncia, Sabedoria E Engenho Para Escapar E Salvar O Amor Da Sua VidaBaseando Se Em Factos Reais, Weina Dei Randel Pinta De Forma Not Vel O Quadro Da China Antiga, Em Particular Da Corte Imperial, Em Que O Amor, A Ambi O, A Intriga E Os Jogos De Poder Podem Determinar A Vida Ou A Morte