More praise...

"A nimble dance of a book!"--Steve Donoghue, Stevereads

We follow this one with The Court of the Lion, written in 1988 by Eleanor Cooney and Daniel Altieri. It’s a whopping thousand-page novel about the 8th Century T’ang dynasty (yep, we’re back in China), and despite its length and requisite enormous cast, it’s a nimble dance of a book, as smart and funny and sharp as any historical fiction you’ll ever read (Cooney and Altieri also collaborated on a much slimmer – and almost equally good – historical novel called Deception, also well worth your time to hunt down and read). The story centers on the revered emperor Hsuan-tsung, a strong and mostly good man surrounded by scheming viziers, power-mad generals, obsequious eunuchs, and beautiful courtesans, and our authors pepper their narrative with the fabled poetry of the era, extracts from the fabled philosophy of the era, and their own easy natural feel for the flow of a scene:

I can’t recommend The Court of the Lion enthusiastically enough – it’s got everything a great big fat historical novel should have, in even greater helpings than most of these dozen books are lucky enough to have.

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08.03 | 09:51

Checking whether the domment replies have been fixed

12.02 | 19:49

I've always held a special pace in my heart for your the "Court of the Li...

18.11 | 00:53

Thank you for the kind words, Mr. Byrnes. It was indeed a shock, ...

14.11 | 14:10

Terrible shocking news. R I P, Mr. Altieri. Condolences to Mrs. Altieri , yo...