Heavenly Songbird Camilla is the top nightclub singer in Shanghai, adopted as a child by a Chinese mobster, Wang, and meticulously trained to destroy Master Lung, a rival Flying Dragon mob leader. The first step of her purpose has been achieved, sleeping with Lung and carefully pretending she worships him. But Camilla fears another female could replace her precious status in a heartbeat, and most of the novel concerns her plot to block a talented magician and newspaper reporter from stealing the coveted position Camilla has worked so hard to gain. What is the ancient key to success over one’s enemies? Feel nothing toward anyone or any situation; clarity of thought and action will follow.
However, Camilla has no way to handle the attraction of Lung’s son, Jinying, who has obsessively fallen in love with Camilla, and Lung’s bodyguard, who dare not act on his obvious infatuation. While Camilla’s actions are planned according to her studies of The Art of War and other classical Chinese philosophical books, events still jettison her into a world of betrayal, attempted assassinations, trickery, manipulation, and ostentatious lifestyles that are natural for our regal-appearing characters.
Extensive, sensual descriptions depict the beautiful culture of Shanghai architecture, dress, music, food, and art which the reader wants to experience. Finally, a violent ending will reshape every character, including the heroine the reader is rooting for throughout the entire novel. Aside from too much repetition, this is a nicely crafted historical novel.