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Summary

There is no easy path for a woman aspiring to power.

A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the emperor's attention. Many paint their faces white and style their hair attractively, hoping to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest. But young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the emperor a gift he can never forget.

Mei's intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive.

In the breakthrough first volume in the Empress of Bright Moon duology, Weina Dai Randel paints a vibrant portrait of ancient China - where love, ambition, and loyalty can spell life or death - and the woman who came to rule it all.

©2016 Weina Dai Randel (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • S. Becker
  • 02-02-17

Couldn't stand the narrator

Although based on fact, the story was rather melodramatic and at times quite unlikely e.g a concubine managing to have a secret affair with the Emperor's son, roaming around the walled palace day and night without escort and frankly offending the Emperor on numerous occasions but being forgiven every time. Nevertheless, this was an entertaining book that consistently held my attention. What ruined the audio version was the ridiculous narrator, who's tone veered from breathless pleading to juvenile excitement and painful ecstasy. She tried too hard to comvey emotion, and simply ended up sounded stupid.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Foodiewife
  • 28-01-17

One of the most annoying narrations

The narration of this book is one of THE most annoying I have ever listened to. I almost threw in the towel and gave up listening to the book, but I suffered through it. What was wrong with the narration? The narrator's version of a screaming Emperor was to GROWL and ROAR-- as were most of her male voices. It was so annoying that I couldn't stop rolling my eyes. Mei... her voice came across as a whiny little whimp. Okay, granted she was only 13, but her shrieking voice was no picnic to listen to.

For that reason, I had trouble really enjoying the story. Was it historical fiction? Well, that was a stretch. I didn't learn anything that was culturally enlightening... at least not much. The emperor was insufferable with that horrible narration. I hated him, for that alone (though he was quite a jacka$$ anyway).

There's a second book in the series, but I don't think I can stomach the same narrator again. I have listened to hundreds of audio books, and this one was so over-the-top dramatized with endless shrieking...and oh, I lost count of how many times "heart bloomed" or heart was filled, or "heart almost burst".

I seem to be in the minority, as I was totally disappointed.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • RoamingGypsy
  • 09-05-16

Glitches

Great book, but the recording glitched out on two full chapters. Nothing but clicks and static. That is the only reason for 4 stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-04-18

Lots of research done in writing this book.

I was humbled on the rough treatment of lower class. And was surprised the villains thought noting o f the consequences of their actions on others lives -i enjoyed the narrator of this book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • fsutampagirl88
  • 02-04-18

Amazing Book!!!!

I feel in love with the story of Mei and Pheasant! Great narrator and story!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-09-17

Perfect!

A beautiful story with a rich and turbulent plot. the performance is good and smooth, and the story itself is descriptive, wonderful for imaginative trainrides.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Veronica
  • 26-06-17

enjoyable story and performance.

I enjoyed listening to this book. the characters were interesting and the story was well written. the culture was rich, filled with tradition with some unexpected twists.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tara
  • 20-05-17

Great story bad narration

The story was very interesting and gives us a glimpse into ancient china. That being said the narration almost broke my concentration in this story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy Young
  • 03-04-17

Review

This is a good story and the narrator has great command of Chinese pronunciation. But, the intermittent skipping of the audio took away from my experience. I had to manually back up each time to try and understand what I missed

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • carol wagner
  • 21-12-16

Interesting fictional story of 6th century China

What made the experience of listening to The Moon in the Palace the most enjoyable?

I bought both books in this series, then decided to order the audio option. I wish that I had read both instead of ordering the audio. The narration is awful. Too much silly drama where simple telling of the story would have made the historical back ground of the story enjoyable. I found myself skipping thru the yelling and screeching. The overall story held my attention. The story is well written.

What did you like best about this story?

The historical background, the palace intrigue.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emily Woo Zeller?

anyone......without all the drama.

Who was the most memorable character of The Moon in the Palace and why?

mei..........her observations of the intrigue and secrets of palace life.

Any additional comments?

This fictional account has encouraged me to research history of the Tang Dynasty.........