Publication Date: 01 Feb 2009
Series or Standalone: Standalone
The Author on the Web:
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
First Line: Sun Bo Tao groaned as his bed dropped to the street with a head-splitting thump.
I first heard about The Concubine by Jade Lee on twitter, I forget who I was chatting with (sorry!) but we were talking about reading books with Asian characters and this was one of the ones brought up. Since it was only around $4 for the ebook I immediately purchased it and read it when I got a moment. The Concubine is a short book and one that’s easy to read in just a couple of hours.
Overall I enjoyed the interactions between the two main characters, Ji Yue and Bo Tao although sometimes the dialogue scenes were a bit laughable. Ji Yue is chosen to bid for the opportunity to be a concubine for the Imperial Emperor only she is tempted by his friend and utter hottie, Bo Tao. I think this reviewer, Dina on Goodreads, sums up many of my thoughts perfectly in her review. (click here to read it)
I enjoyed the history of this book and how it was a romance set someplace other than regency England. I enjoyed “traveling” to Imperial China and learning a little more of that culture, even if it was in a fictionalized way. I also think that there should be more Asians in books because…well…they are hot. Yes, I know that is such a trivial answer but its true, I admit it, I have no shame. lol
But that little side bar really doesn’t say much about the book. As I said above the story wasn’t bad, if a tad unrealistic, but the dialogue just kept taking me out of the story. For examples, check out Dina’s review which I mentioned about. There was some series eye-rolling on my part during some of the descriptions. Especially when it came to the sex scenes where it was just so hard not to laugh. As with Dina, I think this book would have been better off without the sex scenes. They didn’t ruin the book but they were distracting and not in the way that they one would expect a sex scene to distract.
While this might not be a book that I’d recommend strongly its not a bad read if you want something quick to pass the time. But I would recommend it with the proviso that its far from perfect and to read it more for its uncommon setting than for anything else.