Empress Orchid (Empress Orchid #1)
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.
Orchid is a young woman who moved from Wuhu with her family and father's body to Peking. Living in destitution, her best chance...more
"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...more
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 peng...more
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...more
The book starts out with straightforward honesty that made me cringe a little, chronicling the horrors she has to go through in order to get to her position: like Orchid's revulsion at marrying her retarded cousin, Bottle, the embarrassing inspection done by the...more
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...more
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 its...more
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...more
It was very, very frustrating to read about Nuharoo from Orchid's perspective, though. For someone who was supposedly trained in the court, she was mindbogglingly ignorant of how the political winds shift and sway.
But man, royalty the whole world 'round do some weird ass shit:
When Orchid was being examined...more
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...more
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 fee...more
And guess what I found out after reading the book: this novel, and it's sequel, are controversial because Empress Orchid was a "classic villainess of Chinese History" which is far from how Anch...more
nel libro l'autrice ci fa scorgere il punto di vista di Cixi, cè la fa conoscere prima coe una ragazzina appartenente ad una famiglia povera ma di nobili origini che pur di evitare un matrimonio sbagliato fa le selezioni per diventare una delle moglio dell'imperatore Xiang-Fen.
ottenuto il titolo di im...more
The book is written in first person, which always makes me dubious when writing about a historical person. Who can ever know what was going on in someone's mind? Especially someone as complex as Cixi. I...more
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Author: An Chee Min
Novel ini menceritakan tentang kisah hidup seorang gadis Manchu yang bernama Anggrek Yehonala yang pada kemudian hari akan menjadi Permaisuri Cina yang sangat terkenal.
Awal cerita dimulai dengan cerita kematian ayah Yehonala yang sebelumnya merupakan Gubernur propinsi Wuhu. Meninggalnya sang ayah membuat Anggrek beserta Ibu dan kedua adiknya berada dalam kemiskinan. Keluarganya kemudian melakukan perjalanan yang panjang ke temp...more
I had higher hopes for this book and left mostly disappointed. The auth...more
Kisah ini terjadi di Kota Terlarang, cerita tentang seorang selir muda yang kelak di kemudian hari menjadi kaisar wanita terakhir di China dan tercatat dalam sejarah sebagai perempuan yang paling lama berkuasa di sana. Tzu Hsi yang cantik, dipanggil Anggrek, seorang gadis desa yang memperoleh kekuasaan lewat kepintarannya, rayuan, pembunuhan, dan intrik-intrik politik. Anggrek berperan melebihi sang kaisar se...more
Min, author of the acclaimed Becoming Madame Mao, which fictionalized the life of a woman demonized in history books, again melds exhaustive historical and political research with expertly articulated characters in Empress Orchid. Critics praised the novel's linguistic dexterity (once in the U.S., Min had to learn English in six months or face deportation) and revelatory insights into the lives of women possessing few rights. Too many characters and events muddle the plot, and the style wavers f...more