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Hardcover Green Dragon White Tiger Book

ISBN: 0025876007

ISBN13: 9780025876002

Green Dragon White Tiger

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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2 ratings

I should have read this sooner...

I'd actually had this novel recommended to me by several reliable sources before but had only gotten around to reading recently it because I'd never really been into reading fiction set in Asia. Lately though, I needed a change and this seemed perfect. Still I had my worries. All the fiction I'd read about China had seemed impossibly foreign to me-I just couldn't relate to it. The culture was too different; the way the books were written was too different. But in this book I found a good compromise, a story about Asian history told in a western fashion. And it is fantastic. "Green Dragon, White Tiger" tells the story of Black Jade, a Chinese girl who is of the minor nobility who lived in the 7th century. When she was very young, around 2, an astrologer made a prediction that she would be the first woman to rule the empire of China as empress in her own right. Her father was an influential general in helping the current emperor win his throne and is good friends with the ruler. When the emperor comes to visit he is enchanted by the beauty of 13 year old Jade and makes arrangements for her to come and be his concubine when she is older. The death of her father and the subsequent mistreatment of Jade at the hands of her half-brothers pushes this date up some years. Soon she is the emperor's favorite concubine, not only for her beauty, but her keen political brain. When he dies he asks her to advise his unsure son and help him rule. Eventually she marries the son and becomes empress. What I liked best was that Jade never really schemes to be in power-she is genuinely a hard worker who understands the problems of government and applies her self to fix them. As for becoming the favorite concubine of two emperors-the first was true love, the second was not really her choice at all. She was likeable, never a power hunger scheming, behind the scenes type, which some many women-in-power in historical fiction turn out to be. Like I said, this book tells the story almost from a western viewpoint. The dialog, terms of use, general language and just the common feel of things comes off as rather, well, western. I was also surprised by the amount of freedom Jade and the other concubines seemed to have in the imperial harem (they could even have young men in under certain circumstances) and some things, like the wedding ceremony, were almost identical to that of middle ages Europe (especially the bedding of the bride.) I don't know if that's because there really were that many similarities between the east and the west or because the author wanted this book to be approachable to people like me and made it familiar feeling for them. I did get the sense this was well researched though and it was certainly very well written. I loved this book. Highly recommended. Five stars. I liked this so much I bought all the author's other books,

Green Dragon, White Tiger

This is a fascinating (and fictional) account of the greatest Chinese Emperess~ Empress Wu. Ms.Motley has done a superb job in her research and portrayal of the times. There is little written about this incredible Empress who held the Mandate of Heaven as no other Emperor ever did. I highly recomend it!
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