Cover Image: The Courtesan

The Courtesan

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Member Reviews

Historical fiction that teaches you from something is the best historical fiction.  Beautiful cover.   Compelling story.
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The premise of the book excited me - young girl sold into essentially sexual slavery, rising to heights of concubine; travels world with diplomat husband; returns to place of childhood.  However, at its conclusion I felt rather deflated - I found the European leg of the novel quite boring and aspects of Sai Jihnagu's story was reflective of the story of the lives other women of the period (Empress Sisi, and Sophie Dorothea - see "Saraband For Dead Lovers").  The chapter dealing with her final journey home was all-together brief and underwhelming.

I found that whilst Sai Jinhau did exist, the circumstances of her life were the stuff of folklore, and even the author admits to taking liberties with the storyline of the novel as much of what is know about the actual Sai Jinhau is never fully known and often contradictory.

Kudos to fleshing out a story but, quite honestly, I would have been happier with a biography of this woman.
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