Genres: Historical Fiction, Cultural
Main themes: Empowering Women, Power
Rating: 5 stars
This rich historical account follows the life of Orchid, a 17 year old Manchu girl from Wuhu who’s been facing severe hardships due to the death of her father. We see that life for Orchid and her family has become increasingly discouraging, and all Orchid wishes for is a chance to better all of their lives. That chance arrives when it’s officially announced that Emperor Hsien Feng is on the lookout for future mates. Being eligible, Orchid puts herself forward and eventually, is selected out of thousands of girls to become one of the Emperor’s 7 wives. The rest of the story tells of Orchid’s journey in the Forbidden City and how eventually, she rises the ranks to become an Empress of China.