This book took me a lot of time to read. Mainly because of the depth of it, and how almost every sentence was meant to be deep and dramatic. I really enjoyed a literary novel despite it being the first time I have written this.
Being an account of the first and only woman Emperor of China, I really enjoyed it such as all the lush and beautiful details. Or even the account of Wu’s life and a different portrait of her than the usual. And managing to keep an account of all the historical details and accuracy.
I didn’t really think Wu Zetian caused the dynasty to fall, but rather made it even more successful than before. And that I did connect with her on this level as someone that had to do what she needed. Such as her many decisions they were in the name of the dynasty and the people, and she was truly a good sovereign. Even if she has questionable decisions, mistakes but I feel as though Heavenlight is a more rounded person.
She has her faults and her strengths. And that she makes decisions that can hurt. As for her various relationships and lovers, I did rather believed it so. That Emperor Eternal Ancestor didn’t have her serve Jim sexually but only Emperor Lordly Forbearer or Little Phoenix. I rather liked this accurate portrayal of her that she wasn’t some perfect Mary Sue*cough cough Empress of China* but rather a Machiavellian and she felt so.
She was forced to do many terrible things, but neither did she forget it. I always felt as though that she was forced to and felt remorseful but never overly so. And all her actions were quite justified given what she was facing and what she needed to do. And her situation as well.
Given this is based on one of the most controversial historical figure in China, her grave till this day has no words engraved on it. But I enjoyed the portrayal that she was not as bad as some painted her to be but never as pure or innocent either.
The best part was actually the ending, where she looked on as a spirit and observing what happens after. Be it the account of the Tang Dynasty to even later dynasties. And that she made the Tang one of the mosf prosperous dynasties in China and when it was at its peak. Given what I know, I really don’t know another time where it was a prosperous in the Tang and unsure how to compare it to the so-called best times to live(rule of Wen and Jing of Han) but I loved this account and story thay was told.
I would definitely recommend this if you enjoy a story that has a lot of history and even historical accuracy. And a very poetic and literary writing style.
Rating: 5 out of 5