China

A
The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan

During the unstable Period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties in China (484 AD by the Western calendar), Hua Mulan’s much-awaited duel with her family’s rival is called off because both Mulan and her opponent, Yuan Kai, have been called up to a different fight. The emperor anticipates an inv ...

C
A Girl Divided

I absolutely adore historical novels that center around the Second World War, but I will admit to being the tiniest bit tired of all the books set in either Europe or America. So when I saw that A Girl Divided took place in China, I was eager to read it, thinking it would give me a different perspec ...

B+
Severance

Severance is the hotly anticipated end of days tale by newbie author Ling Ma. It’s a provocative look at the future which shows the dangers of getting caught in a meaningless present and being obsessed with a sentimental view of the past. This story shifts back and forth in time between chapter ...

B+
The Golden Hairpin

There are a lot of historical mysteries on the market these days, but not so many set in ancient China. And of those, how many, in English, were originally written by a Chinese author for a Chinese audience? The Golden Hairpin by Qinghan CeCe, originally written in 2015 and translated into English j ...

B-
My Beautiful Enemy

So, here’s where I make my confession that this is my first book by Ms. Thomas. It’s a literary crime that it took me this long to pick up one of her spellbinding stories, but I’m paying my penance by devouring her back catalogue, I promise. Regarding this work, while I really liked a lot of p ...

C
The Liar's Dice

I don’t think The Liar’s Dice enhances Gambled Away. The slow pace, the setting, and ambiguous ending struck a discordant note with me and for me, it is the least successful novella in the anthology. A murder and the ensuing search for the killer drives the plot and unfortunately, Ms. Lin sacrif ...

B-
A Dance With Danger

I've really enjoyed previous Jeannie Lin books, but A Dance With Danger felt to me like a Tang Dynasty version of wallpaper regencies. Don’t get me wrong; I’d still take it over most other categories, and even over some longer, more detailed works. But on the whole, the book was not what I’d h ...

C+
My Beautiful Enemy

I have to state upfront, that I’m a Sherry Thomas fangirl of immense proportions. I’ve loved each and every one of her books (including her recent YA titles) and take delight in her skillful storytelling, her wonderful prose, the complexity of her characterisations, the angst and ultimately, the ...

A-
My Beautiful Enemy

When one reads a lot and in a specific genre, after a while, there is seems to be a sameness about books that makes one almost indistinguishable from another. So when I picked up Sherry Thomas’ My Beautiful Enemy, I immediately knew this book was out of the ordinary. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden ...

D
The Undertaking of Lily Chen

Let’s brainstorm reasons you could forgive a hero who spends most of the book planning to murder the heroine. 1) The hero is a time traveler and knows the heroine will murder someone else. 2) There is a hostage. 3) The heroine is Hitler in drag. In The Undertaking of Lily Chen, the hero is suppose ...