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THE LOTUS PALACE
Genre: Historical Romance, Continental Locales
Lin has a reputation for crafting wonderfully adventurous love stories set in ancient China, brimming with atmosphere, customs, language and history without missing a deeply emotional love story at the core. Lin’s talents lie in her prose, which emulates the language of the era yet speaks to modern readers. With her book’s three-dimensional characters, political intrigue and heated sensuality, Lin proves that, quite simply, she is an exceptional storyteller.
Within the Pingkang li, the pleasure district, scholars and imperial officials hobnob with well-trained courtesans. Yue-ying knows her place as maid to highly coveted courtesan Mingyu — until one of Mingyu’s suitors, Bai Huang, begins paying attention to her. Bai Huang appears to be a wastrel scholar, more interested in women and gambling than in passing his exams. Yue-ying discovers he is far more than that when they are thrown together after a courtesan’s murder. The mystery lures them into dark and dangerous places in the Pingkang li and beyond. Yue-ying’s resolve to forget love is tested as Bai Huang’s seduction draws her into his arms. Yue-ying knows she can never be more than a concubine, but Bai Huang refuses to let her go. (HQN, Sep., 380 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed By: Kathe Robin
Published: September 2013