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Onyx Books 1988 0451400615 / 9780451400611 Paperback Very Good 
Fearful of uttering such treason, a seventh century astrologer predicts tha t the second daughter of General Wu will one day ascend the Dragon Throne t o rule China. Hot-tempered and intelligent, Black Jade's spirit and luminou s beauty attract the eye of Shin-Min, the reigning Son of Heaven, and she j oins his court as a concubine. At his death, Pheasant, the weak-willed son who succeeds, takes his father's favorite concubine as his own, until her g rowing influence persuades him to make her empress, despite the objections of many in the court. Ambitious, sensual and on occasion wantonly cruel, Bl ack Jade expertly plays on Pheasant's uncertainty, gathering the reins of g overnment in her own capable hands. His death and the brief, unlucky reigns of four sons are branching paths that lead to a single destiny. A bejewele d struggle for power, this first novel is modeled on the life of the histor ical Empress Wu. The lively air that energizes the early chapters is gradua lly lost, but Motley does draw a sumptuous portrait of passion and pomp in an exotic milieu. 
Price: 400.00 JPY
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