Dragon Wind Rising
It is Peking in 1900. Lea Stafford, a fledgling correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, is in China at the time of the Boxer uprising when hatred and rebellion are raging across the country against the ‘foreign devils’. By the fourth page she has met the hero, a mysterious westerner named Michael Attwood, who is in secret negotiations with the Dowager empress in Peking. Lea gets caught up in the middle of it all and barely survives a massacre at a mission station only to find that she is trapped in the British Legation by the Boxers. The book ends in carnage as the walls of the Tartar City are stormed. It is only in the final pages, after keeping you gripping the edge of your seat, that her happiness comes to fruition. This is an easy book to read, narrated in part by Lea and partly by a Chinese scribe who gives you the Chinese side of the action; it is only at the end that the purpose of the scribe’s narration is realized. This is a novel about treachery and malice, but also the way a female has to survive in China in a world dominated by men. The excitement builds up from the first page. Very enjoyable.