I found this piece of historical fiction very engaging, and the characters, surprisingly sympathetic, despite the disturbing tone at some points. It is easy to forget that although privileged and already powerful, Agnes is still a young girl thrown into a foreign culture with expectations thrust upon her. While forced to make unenviable and at times abhorrent decisions she is also trying to find what is most important to her while dealing with shocking and very real situations.
The pacing in this story I found particularly excellent where the narrative is told from the point of view of two protagonists and bounces back and forth between them depending on the proximity of one to the other.
With detailed settings, well defined characters and dialogue as sharp and sometimes as violent as the battle scenes, The Empress is tale that will appeal to mature readers with a love for historical fiction, adventure and intrigue.
Title: The empress
Author: Meg Clothier
Recommended by James W, Sir Edmund Hillary Library Papakura
James W enjoys working in the library, but wanted to be a Galaxy Ranger when he was little. A fan of pro-wrasslin' he often wonders if wishing to one day shake Bret 'the hitman' Hart's hand trumps wishing for world peace.