Thursday, October 27, 2016

THREADS OF SILK by Amanda Roberts

When I was a child, I thought my destiny was to live and die on the banks of the Xiangjiang River as my family had done for generations. 

I never imagined that my life would lead me to the Forbidden City and the court of China’s last Empress. Born in the middle of nowhere, Yaqian, a little embroidery girl from Hunan Province, finds her way to the imperial court, a place of intrigue, desire, and treachery. From the bed of an Emperor, the heart of a Prince, and the right side of an Empress, Yaqian weaves her way through the most turbulent decades of China’s history and witnesses the fall of the Qing Dynasty. Fans of Amy Tan, Lisa See, Anchee Min, and Pearl S. Buck are sure to love this debut novel by Amanda Roberts. This richly descriptive and painstakingly researched novel brings the opulence of the Qing Court to life as Yaqian and Empress Cixi's lives intertwine over six decades. 


From it's beautiful cover and compelling title, this is a lovey book. It's a biographical historical about China's Empress Cixi. It was a time of immense change and cultural divisions as the Western world with its new world ways was creeping into China's culture. The tale is not directly about Empress Cixi; rather, it is told through the point of view of a very poor, but talented child whose embroidery skills drew the attention of the Emperor. Thus the child was brought to the Forbidden City where she grew to womanhood.

Fraught with intrigue, espionage, and politics, Yaqian must maneuver through the danger to survive. And survive she does. Through wit and wisdom, honesty and loyalty, she earns the trust of the Empress.

A lovely, well researched story regarding China's political history and the beautiful skill of making silk and the lush silk embroidery. Love, relationships, perseverence, and courage are all themes woven into a fabulous tale. 

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