Empress Orchid

Empress Orchid The setting is China s Forbidden City in the last days of its imperial glory a vast complex of palaces and gardens run by thousands of eunuchs and encircled by a wall in the center of Peking In this

  • Title: Empress Orchid
  • Author: Anchee Min
  • ISBN: 9780547347202
  • Page: 388
  • Format: ebook
  • The setting is China s Forbidden City in the last days of its imperial glory, a vast complex of palaces and gardens run by thousands of eunuchs and encircled by a wall in the center of Peking In this highly ordered place tradition bound, ruled by strict etiquette, rife with political and erotic tension the Emperor, the Son of Heaven, performs two duties he must rThe setting is China s Forbidden City in the last days of its imperial glory, a vast complex of palaces and gardens run by thousands of eunuchs and encircled by a wall in the center of Peking In this highly ordered place tradition bound, ruled by strict etiquette, rife with political and erotic tension the Emperor, the Son of Heaven, performs two duties he must rule the court and conceive an heir To achieve the latter, tradition provides a stupendous hierarchy of hundreds of wives and concubines It is as a minor concubine that the beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid as a girl, enters the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen.It is not a good time to enter the city The Ch ing Dynasty in 1852 has lost its vitality, and the court has become an insular, xenophobic place A few short decades earlier, China lost the Opium Wars, and it has done little since to strengthen its defenses or improve diplomatic ties Instead, the inner circle has turned further inward, naively confident that its troubles are past and the glory of China will keep the barbarians the outsiders at bay.Within the walls of the Forbidden City the consequences of a misstep are deadly As one of hundreds of women vying for the attention of the Emperor, Orchid soon discovers that she must take matters into her own hands After training herself in the art of pleasing a man, she bribes her way into the royal bedchamber and seduces the monarch A grand love affair ensues the Emperor is a troubled man, but their love is passionate and genuine Orchid has the great good fortune to bear him a son Elevated to the rank of Empress, she still must struggle to maintain her position and the right to raise her own child With the death of the Emperor comes a palace coup that ultimately thrusts Orchid into power, although only as regent until her son s maturity Now she must rule China as its walls tumble around her, and she alone seems capable of holding the country together.This is an epic story firmly in the mold of Anchee Min s Becoming Madame Mao Like that best selling historical novel, the heroine of Empress Orchid comes down to us with a diabolical reputation a woman who seized power through sexual seduction, murder, and endless intrigue But reality tells a different story Based on copious research, this is a vivid portrait of a flawed yet utterly compelling woman who survived in a male world, a woman whose main struggle was not to hold on to power but to her own humanity Richly detailed and completely gripping, Empress Orchid is a novel of high drama and lyricism and the first volume of a trilogy about the life of one of the most important women in history.

    Empress Orchid Anchee Min Books Empress Orchid Anchee Min on FREE shipping on qualifying offers From a master of the historical novel, Empress Orchid sweeps readers into the heart of the Forbidden City to tell the fascinating story of a young concubine who becomes China s last empress. Empress Orchid Empress Orchid, by Anchee Min Empress Orchid started off pretty strong Orchid, like Mehrunissa from The Twentieth Wife, is a poor girl who miraculously rises to be the emperor s wife but unlike Mehrunissa, is not a goody goody Mary Sue heroine. Empress Orchid by Anchee Min, Paperback Barnes Noble Empress Orchid begins Anchee Min s two part story of the life of the remarkable th Chinese dowager empress, Tzu Hsi, also known as Lady Yehonala and Empress Orchid. EMPRESS ORCHID Publishers Weekly Forecast Empress Orchid does for th century China what Becoming Madame Mao did for the People s Republic and stands a good chance of matching the latter s success. Reader s Guide for Empress Orchid published by Houghton We hope the following questions will stimulate discussion for reading groups and provide a deeper understanding of Empress Orchid for every reader Orchid s character is based on Tzu Hsi, China s longest reigning female ruler and its last empress.

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    1 thought on “Empress Orchid”

    1. “A man who does not like power will suffer from its cruelty.”----Shan SaAnchee Min, a Chinese author, has penned an enlightening tale about the last empress of China in her book called, Empress Orchid that revolves around a young concubine of the last emperor of the forbidden city where the young lady is caught in the race against an heir to the king in order to rise above her mistress status, but once she becomes the empress, she gets tangled up in the war of jealously, rage, ugly politics, [...]

    2. I can't say exactly whether this book is a work of fiction or a biography. It tells the story of Ci Xi, China's Last Empress (the one who arranged the ascend of China's Last Emperor, Pu Yi) in her own voice. Ci Xi has always been portrayed as a ruthless, evil woman with insatiable thirst for power and, in this book, she's described as a simple and sensuous woman who wants the best for her husband, a mother who wants her son to have what's rightfully his, and a I-don't-know-what who wants the bes [...]

    3. After my negative review of The Twentieth Wife A Novel, Mintzi recommended The Last Empress as a superior alternative and I thought I might as well read the prequel first. "Empress Orchid" started off pretty strong -- Orchid, like Mehrunissa from "The Twentieth Wife," is a poor girl who miraculously rises to be the emperor's wife but unlike Mehrunissa, is not a goody-goody Mary Sue heroine. Chosen from among thousands of young women as the emperor's fourth concubine, Orchid discovers that palace [...]

    4. Odlična, odlična, odlična knjiga! Stroga pravila i običaji carske Kine i jedna žena koja se od siromaštva do carice probila isključivo pomoću svoje pameti i dosjetljivosti. Spletke, ubojstva, enusi, carske priležnice i slom carske Kine, sve ispričano kroz oči carice Orhideje. Njezini strahovi, ljubav i osjećaji i razmišljanja opisani su jednako sjajno i istančano kao i velike carske povorke ili detalji na noktima ili haljinama.

    5. Bullet Review:This was a lot of fun to read. I'm always interested in new cultures and new time periods, so this was perfect for me. I loved Orchid; she's the independent, strong-willed female protagonist we're always promised and never get. There were some dry sections, along with a lot of narration and not so much action, but I still enjoyed this heartily.Full review:Orchid is a young woman who moved from Wuhu with her family and father's body to Peking. Living in destitution, her best chance [...]

    6. I read this book several years ago, and I thought it was about time for a re-read, especially since I remembered it as being a good read. What I found interesting was the differences from how I remembered it. It was shorter than I recalled, and more brutal and heart-wrenching.What I enjoy the most about Empress Orchid, and Anchee Min’s writing in general, is her skill at description. She knows how to turn a phrase in an interesting and quirky way that grabs the attention and at the same time f [...]

    7. I enjoyed this story. It's the first time I've read author, Anchee Min, and I think she crafted an interesting look at China in the mid 1800's. The Forbidden City where the Emperor and his wives, concubines and eunuchs lived has always been of interest to me. I like stories about palace intrigues and this was a good one. I will read the sequel and other books I can find by the author. I picked it up on a whim as I was looking for a different book on the shelves of my library and my intuition was [...]

    8. I really wanted to love this book. I loved the author's autobiography (RED AZELEA) and her novel (KATHERINE)about a foreign English teacher in China, so I expected EMPRESS ORCHID to bring together her amazing talent for prose narrative in English, enhanced with her first-hand research of Chinese sources, to bring to life the mis-judged history of Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi. [return][return]I anticipated some embellishments, but the total re-creation of Tzu Hsi as "Orchid", into a kind of modern wo [...]

    9. The story of the Dowager Empress of China. It is mostly on her first few years as a concubine, with very little about the final years of the empire (but that's covered in The Last Empress). Nevertheless, very good at capturing the atmosphere and political intrigue. The story continues in The Last Empress (/review/show/).

    10. The book follows the story of Tzu Hsi (known as Orchid) who enters the Forbidden City as one of the Emperors concubines at the age of seventeen. Over time she seduces the Emperor and bears his son, which means an immediate rise in rank to 2nd Empress (1st Empress is Nuharoo). We see her struggle to keep the Emperor's interest whilst battling with Nuharoo to be allowed to raise her child herself (normal custom is for the first Empress to take over). When the Emperor dies, and names Orchid's son a [...]

    11. Ši knyga pilna lygiagrečių istorijų ir emocijų,manau autorė atliko puikų darbą taip sustiprindama pagrindinės veikėjos piešiamą paveikslą. Kas man iš karto patiko: nors imperatorius turėjo daug žmonų ir sugulovių,Orchidėja nusprendė palikti pėdsaką istorijoje ir negyventi eilinio, pilko ir nežymaus imperatoriaus sugulovės gyvenimo. Knyga pilna svarbių detalių, kurios padeda susidaryti aiškų ir neapsakomą vaizdą į to meto gyvenimo būdą, Uždraustojo miesto aplink [...]

    12. This book intrigued me because of the summary I read on the inside flap, how this person seduced the emperor. It was even more appealing that this was basically a documentary of a person’s life. It provided a nice reprieve from the modern Chinese novels that I had been reading recently. I liked learning about the imperial court life by learning about the culture and the politics. It made me appreciate it more, and realize what a great loss the country suffered when Communism eventually made it [...]

    13. Vrlo detaljna prica o djelicu kineske povijesti, obicajima i politickim previranjima. Knjiga je vrlo dobro pisana, malo predetaljna mozda. Zapravo mi se nije svidjela kineska kultura i obicaji jer su zene stavljane u zadnji red (zapravo koja je razlika u to doba bila u drugim kulturama?), a ono sto je najvaznije nisu mi se svidjeli obicaji kolji su toliko praznovjerni i ponizavajuci da je strasno. Kakvo je to klanjanje caru da se celom udara u pod dok se ne raskrvari, mozda dobije i potres mozga [...]

    14. The first grown-up movie (a movie with subtitles, adult themes, and not based on a comic book or video game) I ever saw was The Last Emperor. I saw it pre-high school. I can't remember why I wanted to see it. I can remember really wanting to see it and loving it. I still love it. So it should be no surprise that the first Anchee Min book I pick up is this one.At this point, I should let you know that I know very little about Chinese history so I cannot judge this book on its historical accuracy [...]

    15. Drama cinta dan kekuasaan selir muda Kaisar Hsien Feng Indah, menawan, dan penuh intrik.Tzu Hsi Yehonala, atau yang dalam bahasa Cina berarti anggrek adalah seorang Maharani, terlebih dia kaisar wanita yang paling lama berkuasa di Cina. Tapi Anggrek tidak mencapai posisi itu dengan mudah. Dia yang dulu hanyalah gadis desa, berhasil mendapatkan kekuasaan lewat rayuan, intrik politik, dan kecerdasan luar biasa.Anggrek dulu hanyalah gadis berumur 17 tahun dari klan Yehonala, salah satu klan penguas [...]

    16. Anggrek (Tzu Hsi) adalah anak Hui Cheng Yehonala, mantan taotai (Gubernur) di sebuah kota kecil beranama Wuhu, di Propinsi Anhwei, propinsi termiskin di Cina.Masa kecilnya tidak pernah mudah.Terutama setelah ayahnya dipecat Kaisar Tao Kang karena tidak mampu menahan pemberontakan petani yang putus asa karena kemarau panjang.Ayahnya mati dirundung malu.Bahkan demi memakamkan ayahnya di kota kelahirannya, Peking, mereka meninggalkan Wuhu tanpa harta sedikitpun.Di Peking, Anggrek mendengar tentang [...]

    17. I didn't enjoy this book as much as "Becoming Madame Mao" and "Red Azalea," and would be more apt to award it 3 and a half stars if that rating were available.Regardless, the book depicts a fascinating time in Chinese history. Imperial China, deeply rooted in ritual and tradition, comes alive in Min's novel about the last Empress of China, Tzu Hsi. I enjoy rags to riches stories, but this one comes at a cost. Imperial life is lavish, yet stifling. The Forbidden City is a place of danger and intr [...]

    18. KUMSKI BOOK CLUB READING CHALLENGE 2017 - 11(a book set in Asia, a book about a historical event, a book by a female writer)Iskreno, ne mogu se odlučiti je li mi se knjiga svidjela ili nije. Bilo mi je par divnih dijelova i Orhideja mi se svidjela jer je jaka žena koja je ustrajala unatoč svim nesrećama koje je doživjela.Ono što mi se nije svidjelo i što me strašno uzrujavalo kroz cijelu knjigu bili su opisi kineskih običaja i tradicija. Sve jedna glupost za drugom. Ideja da car može i [...]

    19. Empress Orchid is the first book in a duology which follows Orchid Yehonala, or better known as Empress Dowager Cixi. In this first book we see her life as a young and poor Manchu girl, and how she decides to compete to become one of the Emperor's wives.I really enjoyed this historical novel. I don't think I've ever read one set in China, and I know absolutely nothing about Chinese history and culture, so everything about this story was new and unexpected to me. The dangers Orchid has to face, a [...]

    20. Empress Orchid was one of those books which left me in the state of oblivion. To put it simply, the book wasn't impactful at all and simply forgettable. This book tells the beginnings of Ci Xi, known here affectionately as Orchid. Because Orchid is the protagonist, Empress Orchid does boarder on being too one sided and opinionated.For example, Orchid's 'rival', Nuharoo, is often depicted as childlike and less intelligent. She is, by Orchid's account a woman of leisure who is petty and resorts to [...]

    21. So my friend set up a book group at the end of last year and I'm now part of a real-world, actual in-person book group - rather than various online ones that I've tried and found unsatisfying. This was our first pick (selection process is made by everyone putting a choice into a hat and then one being picked out). Historical fiction is a new area for me really, and I'm not sure this was the best book to start with. There are many things good and interesting about the book, but it didn't click fo [...]

    22. I had high expectations for this book after hearing so much about it on GoodReads. It sort of fell short of those expectations though. I give it 3 ½ stars, which is not bad but I thought it was going to be a 4 to 5 star book. The story itself was very good and it certainly started very well. Orchid is a very likeable character and because of her humble beginnings and barriers she has to battle you can’t help but like her. As woman living during the Ch’ing Dynasty in 1852 Orchid has many hur [...]

    23. The author, Amchee Min, was born in Shanghai and came of age in China during the Cultural Revolution, and still visits there regularly. Being able to read Chinese, Min was able to extensively research her period using primary sources. I therefore trusted her depiction of late Ching dynasty China is fairly accurate. This novel is told as the first person account of China's infamous "Dowager Empress," Tzu Hsi aka Red Orchid, who came to the Forbidden City as one of the Emperor's brides when she wa [...]

    24. This is a fictionalized account of Empress Tsu His (known as Orchid) who was the power behind the throne of the Ch'ing Dynasty in the 19th century. According to the author the characters are base on real people and the events kept closed to the events in history. The decrees and poems were translated from the original documents:In the 1850's European incursions and peasant rebellions were already undermining the Dynasty. At the same time Orchid born in to poverty came to the Forbidden City to be [...]

    25. Well, this was kind of fun, except that I don't really believe in this version of Cixi. Why is that the authors of historical fiction are afraid to show their heroes as scheming, cunning, ruthless people they were, and end up excusing and sanitizing them? I doubt Cixi was this goody-goody girl in her youth; I don't want to say she must have been evil or anything of the sort, but she must have been cleverer and more entertaining than that.I liked the details of the court life, and the relationshi [...]

    26. The story of Empress Orchid should have been riveting. A life of intrique in dramatic times, novelised by an author who lived through turbulent political times herself. However I found it a very dull read. It's as if Min has pulled together a whole load of historical facts, with a little novelisation. The book does a good job of letting us into the world of obscene luxury and waste, the dullness of waiting, the fear of rejection, and undoubtedly Orchid was a remarkable woman who used the resourc [...]

    27. This book is filled with drama, intrique, loyalty, corruption, forbidden love and mystery. The Forbidden City is a totally different world for the book's heroine, Orchid, who becomes one of the Emperor's wives at the age of 17. Ms. Min has written a spellbinding novel, with colorful and interesting characters, rich detail and a vivid, interesting history of China, complete with details on customs, rituals and distictions between the Manchu's and the Chinese. Orchid and her eunech, An-te-hai will [...]

    28. 4.5 Devoured, and followed with the companion The Last Empress . Engaging, detailed, literate, and intelligent: what one wishes for in the best of historical fiction these days. A soap opera plot is unnecessary when the narrative is so full. Min's personal history in China no doubt contributed immensely to the gravitas of the Empress 'voice' and the attention to physical detail, from weather to plants blooming in the appropriate months ( a shame how often an author throws in the name of a flower [...]

    29. This is the fictionalized story of the last empress of China, a very interesting insight into the life of the imperial court towards the end of the Qing dynasty. A world apart within the walls of the Forbidden City, dominated by the fight for power and influence.

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