Author: Kiana Sim
Reviewed by: Sabrina
The land of China is under the rule of Emperor K'ang-his. As an upright and efficient leader, he favors his fourth son, Yin-chen, a young man of upstanding character, over his corrupt heir apparent, Yin-jeng, who brings nothing but trouble to the family. The latest is an attempt by Yin-jeng on the life of Opal Moon, a teenage orphan girl whom Yin-chen rescues with the aid of his chamberlain.
Captivated by Opal Moon's beauty, he takes her under his care and presents her as a boy to ensure her safety as his ward. But the pretense cannot suppress their feelings and they eventually give in to their hearts' desires, setting off a course of events they could not have foreseen.
I am reviewing this book as a member of Dorrance Publishing Co. review team.
I have to admit that this book was a slow read for me which I know is strange since it's not a long book per se but let me explain why.
The Author Kiana Sim is so very talented and no doubt did her research in writing this book. The descriptions of China and that time period is amazing and I had no problem picturing everything as it happened.
This book no doubt covers just about every emotion that a reader could possibly feel and the author delivers on every note....love, hate, sadness, happiness, distress, even disgust.
I have to admit that this was one of the first times I've actually really read something that deals with Chinese culture and I say that with a little shame since I like to pride myself on being a very diverse reader. The history I read was intensive and so very informative. Opal Moon's plight as an orphan girl immediately draws me into the story. Heir apparent Yin Chen is likable from the start just from the fact that he plays hero of the day by taking in Opal Moon and hiding her in boy's clothing.
Yin Chen falls in love with Opal Moon and she returns the feelings but not without reservations as her religious beliefs will not allow her love to be shared in the same category that his beliefs fall into. She finally succombs to his advances and an intense love affair blooms but not without a series of events that end up surprising you and even shocking you on every turn.
My favorite character in this book has to be Lui-ta because in my opinion he makes the ultimate sacrifices for Opal Moon. His love is pure and real.
In saying that, the reason this book was a slow read was due to the graphic detail involved in a lot of the book. The Author for sure knew what she was doing in her descriptive detail as it's very easy to vision each scene as if being transported into the pages of the story, which is exactly why there were times where I had to put the book down here and there.
Yin-Jeng's character was revolting in every sense of the word. His evil nature is nothing short of sickening in nature. His sexual interest in young boys turned my stomach so much so that there were certain scenes I have to admit were hard for me to swallow. I even admit to skipping a couple of the scenes in order to save from feeling sick and nauseous. I'm a sensitive reader in the aspect that when I pick up a book, I like to feel as if I am those characters. I like my imagination to run wild and for those moments of reading, I am transported from this reality into another. It was hard for me due to that aspect not to think of my own young son and my stomach just could not take those scenes well.
I had a hard time accepting the events that Lui-ta had to undergo as well. I even found myself yelling at the book at the unfairness he had to undergo.
All in all, this book is a good read for those that enjoy a book that will take you on an emotional roller coaster. A book that will take you into Chinese culture. A book that will make you think and even scream at times. Kudos to the Author for a distinct and interesting writing style.
Reviewed by: Sabrina (Co-Partner of Color the Pages)
Links to Opal Moon