Title: Empress Wu: Rise
Genre: Fiction /Historical Fiction
First published: 2018
Edition: Paperback, published in 2018 by Peachill Publishing
One Machiavellian courtesan rose above the rules and became the most powerful ruler in the world.
Set in China in the first century, this novel is a fictionalised account of Empress Wu. I know little about China and this novel gave me a fascinating glimpse into its past.
I really enjoyed this novel. In a way it resembles its heroine. It always feels somewhat distant and calculated, but perhaps therein lies its strength. It never becomes overly emotional, but tells a story clearly and precisely. At times it suggests Wu’s wrongdoing, but never says it explicitly. You may not quite trust this cunning woman, but you cannot help but admire her strength and determination.
The novel does feel a little cold and clinical, which I did struggle with a little at times, but considering this novel was written by a collective of authors, it feels cohesive and well executed. I am definitely interested reading more of Peachill’s historical fiction.
5 out of 7 stars.