A captivating and beautiful description of the imperial Chinese court, and a tragic story of real events and destinies.
The author wisely starts with the ending, so the tragic way the story evolves does not come as a nasty surprise. Instead I was able to enjoy the amazing beauty of her descriptions.
I would not say China of a century ago comes to life in this novel - for that the author skips too much time and too many explanations - but I feel I learned a lot about the culture and history.
I would have liked more focus on character development, and more attention to the flow of time. Sometimes years would pass, while I thought I was reading about events happening in a few weeks, because of the way the author skips back and forth in time, and gives a lot of attention to explaining some details, and takes other thing too much for granted to mention them at all.
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