This book cost £1.99 on eBay, and there was free shipping. I couldn’t help it.
Yes, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
More importantly, I’m very excited to get stuck into this story. I haven’t read anything by Su Tong before but I have heard good things, and this particular story looks to be right up my alley.
From the celebrated author of Raise the Red Lantern comes a spellbinding novel about life in the imperial court of a child emperor.
In this chilling yet enormously entertaining tale by acclaimed Chinese writer Su Tong, a pampered and naïve 14-year-old prince finds himself, suddenly and unexpectedly, named Emperor and placed in the position of lord and ruler over an entire nation. A boy of few talents and limited interests, he soon grows drunk on his own power and learns to wield an iron fist in dealing with subjects inside and outside the palace. Narrated in retrospect by the ex-Emperor, this is a mesmerizing story of cruelty and decadence, of concubines and eunuchs, of lethal imperial rivalries and royal court intrigue.
(Description from amazon.co.uk)
Courtly intrigue? Check. Cruelty and decadence? Check. Unexpected, naïve ruler? Check! I am currently working on a project with some friends where the main antagonist, at fourteen, funnily enough, seizes power and declares himself, in essence, the new emperor – on the very day the senators were to announce the implementation of long-awaited elections. So if I wasn’t excited to read this before I started this project, I’m especially excited to read it now. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, and I always love learning more about the country I called home for five years!