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The Empress of Bright Moon

(Empress of Bright Moon #2)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,786 ratings  ·  224 reviews
In the captivating sequel to The Moon in the Palace, Mei must protect her people from a murderous empress

The second book in this stunning duology, The Empress of Bright Moon follows Mei as she struggles for power within the Emperor's palace, risking her life to dethrone the murderous Empress and establish herself as the new female ruler of China.

After Mei's lover, Pheasant
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is important that I review these two books together as the full story of Empress Wu cannot be told without them being read one after the other.

There is no other way to describe these two books, but to say they are sensational. Truly, I cannot stop raving about them.

In Book 1, The Moon in the Palace, we are introduced to a young, intelligent young woman named Mei from humble beginnings who is swept into the emperor's court as a concubine. There she must weave her way through a a maze of trea
Unlike the first in the series, my interest simply kept fading until I simply had to put the book down. Same characters but darker palace intrigue and hopeless outcomes, or constant manipulation and outmaneuvering evil forces. Maybe if I'd had both to read one right the other, an enthusiastic momentum would have helped. Writing ok but not as strong as first in series. ...more
Aug 22, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

Booklist, Starred Review: "The author’s talent for dramatic, well-timed dialogue, and portrayal of women’s friendships and emotions—especially dislike, jealousy, and fear—intensifies the reader’s understanding of palace intrigue."

Library Journal, Starred Review: "A must-read for fans of historical fiction set in ancient China, this novel offers a compelling look at a woman’s unprecedented rise to power and a fresh take on the often vilified Empress Wu."
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Empress of the Bright Moon, is the sequel to Moon in the Palace It is the continuing story of Mei, who eventually becomes the only female ruler in China.
This book is beautifully written just as the first book was,but I felt it dragged in parts.
It is an engaging story that tells the cultural history of China.
There is plenty of intrigue and drama as Mei struggles to become Empress Wu.
I liked very much Weina Dai Randel explains in the end of the book what is true and where she became creative.
Kathy Chung
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The is the second book to Empress of Bright Moon duology and I must say it had exceeded my expectations. i have read many series which book 1 was terrific and the subsequent ones are just moderate. Am glad to say that this is not one of them.

what i love about this second book is the way the author look at things that happened to Mei(Empress Wu) after the death of Emperor Taizhong. It's unlike what many fiction /non fiction authors wrote about her and yet the story woven here is believable. Thing
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The Empress of Bright Moon" is the second book in a duology. This is the continuing story of Mei, a concubine who rises up to be the new potential empress in ancient China. In this book, Mei is now more confident in her skills and power. When her lover becomes the new Emperor, Mei knows that she must force her way to the top any way that she can. She knows that she will be better for Pheasant than any other women, including his current wife.

Like I said, this is the second book in a duology. De
*Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
Wowser, this book is truly exceptional and a fine, fine finale to the story of Mei (Empress Wu) that was begun in beautifully crafted The Moon In The Palace set during the Tang Dynasty.

Mei's story began in the first book as she fought to gain herself a place with the Emperor, while being in love with his son Pheasant. She saw the rise and fall of many, both rich and poor, royal and not while rising and falling herself, over and over again. Now Mei has reached a point in her life, with the death
Kona Kauai
Jun 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Horrible. Can't understand any reviews that give this more than 2 stars. By page 99, I wanted to give up because I was so tired of the endless stereotypes of the good (childbearing fertile beautiful poor desirable) concubine Mei and the bad (barren fat ugly bipolar rich mean) empress wife. I had thought that Fifty Shades of Gray was the worst book ever written until I read this. Predictable boring plot. ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel is about loss, choices, forgiveness, and redemption. It is about a woman who is trying to cope with loss. This novel is very heart-wrenching and is an emotional, poignant, and raw read. Full review you can find on my blog: ...more
Monica Hills
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really good historical fiction about the only female ruler of China. This was the second book in the series and it was just as good as the first. If you love historical fiction you need to read these two books about ancient China's one and only female ruler! ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book 2 in the series continues the amazing story of Mei, a concubine in the Emperor's Palace in 7th century China.

Upon the death of the Emperor, Mei thinks her dreams of great power may come true. After all, she is now free, and her lover has been proclaimed the new Emperor. Everything is falling into place, or so she thinks.

However, her lover's chief wife has it in for Mei and makes her life a living hell. Mei, however, is not easily frightened and will not cower to her in her quest to have the
Sheila Randel
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This novel, the sequel to "Moon in the Palace" is riveting, well written and very enjoyable! Weina's in depth research makes this novel realistic, with the reader able to visualize each scene, person and place described.

I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical novels!

Talk Supe
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Riveting & stirring read. The royal court of Imperial China is just as bloody, ruthless, & calculating as its European counterparts if not more. Mei, or Empress Wu's life and ascent to the throne is full of intrigue, death, yet inspiring nonetheless. ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)

A decent if somewhat shortchanged ending to WDR's version of Empress Wu/Wu Zetian.

This covers the years of Emperor Gaozong’s early reign, his path to power over the regent and his wife Empress Wang. TEOBM is kinder to Mei/Wu than most historians/writers have been in the centuries after her reign. Weina Dai Randel affords Mei the benefit of doubt and attributes some of worst alleged deeds to others, chiefly Wujin and Wang.

However, as promising as the series has been I am admittedly disappo
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good conclusion to the story of the only female emperor of China. The first book is The Moon in the Palace, which I highly recommend.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rated-5
I want to read more about Empress Wu.
Anna 'Bookbuyer'
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2011-2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ariana Fae
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE EMPRESS OF BRIGHT MOON by Weina Dai Randel is the sequel to The Moon in the Palace. The second book had been in my to be read pile for quite a while and for some reason never got to it. I’m one of the people who can’t watch a movie if two minutes have played, and I hate to read a book’s sequel with remembering the first one. So I sat down to binge read both books this weekend. I enjoyed reading The Moon in the Palace as much as the first time and found Randel’s story telling skills wonderful ...more
Angela M
3.5 stars if I could .

This sequel to The Moon in the Palace depicting the royal court in ancient China focuses on the strong women who influenced the times and in particular , Wu Mei , whose story is "based on a true historical figure , the one and only female ruler in China, Wu Zetian , also known as Empress Wu." Royal advisers pitted against each other for their own gain , to retain power and influence , concubines and other women in the court jockeying for position to be close to the Emperor
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Palace and court intrigue. Love. Hate. Trust. Betrayal. Revenge. Forgiveness. War. Peace. Exile. Freedom. This book has all these attributes and more. The Empress of Bright Moon follows up The Moon in the Palace and concludes the story of Mei, who will become Empress Wu. The second novel is even better than the first one, which I described as hard to put down. The Empress of Bright Moon drew me in with its continual twists and turns, especially with regard to Mei's relationship with Pheasant, th ...more
Martha Harris
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to The Moon in the Palace. As much as I liked the first novel, I liked this one even more. I knew little about the Tang dynasty Chinese history, so I believe I was educated about a fascinating era, as well as provided with a "good read"! I appreciated the details, such as about the characters' clothing, food, music, court customs, and other cultural elements, which add vibrancy to the novel. It is obvious that the author spent a great deal of time delving into hi ...more
nikkia neil
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and netgalley for this ARC.

Even better than the first in series. Beautiful and emotional
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Not amazing, but not terrible!

This second of two volumes finishes the story of Wu Mei, a palace lady who eventually became Empress of China. Sparely told, the story takes the reader through the violence and intrigue of the court, to the final triumphs and tragedies. Recommended.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
A disappointment after the first book. I had been eagerly looking forward to this book after reading the first part of the duology. Although the first book wasn't exactly a constant page-turner, I was still intrigued enough to follow Mei and learn how she would deal with life now that it seemed she and Pheasant could be together and happy. Maybe.
Again we are treated to a tale of court intrigue and drama in historical China. Mei must navigate her relationship with Pheasant, his new duties as the
Ugh so where do I even begin?

The "good characters" - the ones we're supposed to like - are weak and are a whole lot of talk, but little action. Yeah Pheasant, you can say you're going to do this and that, but when the time comes, do you?! NO!!! Same with you, Mei! And not only are these characters weak, they are absolutely STUPID!!! Seriously, I feel bad for the commoners that monarchs are born into their positions. Monarchs should have to pass strict tests that determine if they are qualified
Renae Hinchey
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Weina Dai Randel’s “The Empress of Bright Moon” is the sequel to “The Moon in the Palace.” It is the continuing story of Mei, a concubine who through many struggles and tribulations climbs to power as Empress Wu. The story takes place during the mid 600’s AD. She was a woman who defied a male dominated society by challenging and succeeding where only men had ruled.

I enjoyed the sequel more than the first book, although there was not as much historical content about court life in the palace. Howe
Wu Zetian, like many female rulers across history, does not have a good reputation. Weina Dai Randel attempts to "correct" that reputation here in The Empress of Bright Moon, but unfortunately, the book suffered for it. Rather than a scheming, bloodthirsty harlot, Empress Wu becomes a passive Mary Sue. Bad things happen to her, and her Evil Rival ruins her life countless times, but through it all Wu remains Good and Pure and Wise.

And while that might be good work toward helping Wu save face, it
Adria Cimino
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! A beautiful piece of literature with so much meaning, and at the same time so much action that kept me turning the pages and wanting to find out what happens next. Fascinating to get this behind-the-scenes look at the lives of an emperor and empress, especially an empress who brought so much to China. The author skillfully constructed multi-faceted characters who I loved (and some I loved to hate!) in this book that will remain in my mind for a very long time. Bravo!
Adrienne Baugh Donahue
Skip it, even if you read the first book. It doesn't have enough bright notes to be a rewarding saga- just atrocity after atrocity. ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awhile back, I read a book called Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel. It felt like I was watching one of my historical Asian dramas, and I was happy to discover that the story was based off of a real historical figure. Not only is it based off of a historical figure, the main character was the first female Empress of China! I really enjoyed the first novel so I knew I had to read the sequel and find out what happened to her.

I'm going to begin my review by saying that this is not a book you c
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Weina Dai Randel is the award-winning author of two historical novels, The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon, historical novel series about Empress Wu (Wu Zetian), China's only female emperor. The Moon in the Palace won the RWA RITA® Award in 2017, was nominated by Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Historical Fiction, nominated by RT Book Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Histor ...more

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Empress of Bright Moon (2 books)
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