Monday, 14 May 2012

My review of The Weeping Empress

Chiyo is a happily married woman with a young daughter. Somehow or other she finds herself plucked from her secure happy life and thrust into a world of violence and death—in her pyjamas! Well it is a fantasy!

 In this strange new world indicative of Japan…a country that I find fascinating; Chiyo struggles to survive with the help of two powerful men Muhjah and Senka.

I have to say I struggled to relate to Chiyo. To me her change from a vulnerable, frightened and confused woman was rather rapid. At first she’s lying on the grass wondering what’s happened to her. The next, she’s slashing and killing the soldiers who are trying to capture her, along with the people of the village that she finds herself in. As the story progresses it’s a feast of blood and gore, all of which quickly awakens Chiyo’s hidden beast. Which to me didn’t seem that well hidden; in fact it was pretty close to the surface. Maybe that’s why I struggled to relate to her. I would have liked to see a little more of her feminine side.

I suppose I should ask myself, how would I react if I found myself in Chiyo’s terrifying situation? In all honesty, I don’t know, I probably wouldn’t have survived.

My feelings towards Chiyo were ambivalent. However, I found her two warrior friends Senka and Muhjah fascinating, especially Senka. As I continued to read the book I grew to like him more and more!!

I would have liked the emperor to have had a bigger role in the story. His cruelty didn’t really come across, not until he had Chiyo tortured. Even then I didn’t hate him as much as I would have liked, considering he was the driving force for the trio’s hatred and violence.

Nevertheless, I have to say; I found the book intriguing and couldn’t wait to pick it up and read more, which is a credit to the authors writing prowess. Some of the language in the book is quite beautiful.  

If there is a sequel I will certainly buy it.

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