The Dragon and the Pearl

Written by Jeannie Lin
Review by Nanette Donohue

Ling Suyin is the former consort of China’s August Emperor, but she retired from the court upon the emperor’s death. She now lives in quiet seclusion, away from the intrigues and scheming of the new emperor’s court – or so she believes. When military governor and legendary warrior Li Tao appears at Suyin’s doorstep, warning her that her life is in danger, Suyin cannot believe it. Li Tao forces her from her home against her will and escorts her to his home, where she lives as a virtual prisoner.

Suyin didn’t capture the eyes and the imagination of the August Emperor with her looks alone – she’s a savvy, intelligent woman who has a way with people, and she quickly begins to unravel Li Tao’s quirks and troubles. A flirtation ensues, quickly heating up into a grand passion. As the two begin to fall in love, their secrets are revealed, and both have darkness in their pasts that could jeopardize their future together.

Though the love story was enjoyable, I can’t say I learned very much about the politics or culture of 8th-century Tang Dynasty China from this book. It’s basically a wallpaper historical romance, and though the wallpaper is very pretty and unique, I was hoping for a little more depth.