10 February 2017

THE FRAGRANT CONCUBINE by Melissa Addey




Amazon UK £3.83 £9.99
Amazon US $4.73 $14.99
Amazon CA $ n.a/$19.76

Adventure / Romance / Thriller
1760
China

The Emperor conquers Altishahr, a Muslim country to the west of his empire and summons a local woman from his new dominion to come to the Forbidden City as his concubine. Meanwhile in the market of Kashgar a girl named Hidligh is kidnapped by Iparhan, a woman scarred by the Emperor’s conquest of her homeland and bent on vengeance. Iparhan offers her a deal: Hidligh will become the Emperor’s concubine, living a life of luxury. In return she will act as Iparhan’s spy.
But when Hidligh arrives in the Forbidden City, she enters a frightening new world. Every word she utters may expose her as an imposter. Iparhan is watching from the shadows, waiting to exact her revenge on the Emperor. The Empress is jealous of her new rival. And when Hidligh finally meets the Emperor, she finds herself falling in love…

Even the back cover blurb is breath taking for this wonderful novel. The detail is superb; read this book and you will be there smelling the smells, hearing the sounds, watching as each scene unfolds.

The slightly staccato writing style is cleverly used in places to move the story on, invoking the urgency of the plot while not interrupting the intimacy we feel for the heroine, who is occasionally a little naïve in her thoughts and actions, but this makes her real, human, and utterly believable. As is the story and the drama throughout, be it for the scheme of revenge, the pain, the love, the betrayals or the loyalties. 

A moving, fascinating and highly enjoyable tale. Highly recommended.

© Helen Hollick



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