I could go into how much I love and read historical fiction, and it is often the genre I review the most and read most often, but you know this by now. I am not sure what it is, but I love it. Also if you are new to my blog, then you will soon discover that a quarter of what I read/review is historical fiction; I have no shame. But I admit fully that when it comes to historical fiction, I tend to veer away from anything Asian history related. I do not know what it is because I think it due to the fact I do know much about it and tend to just have the lack of appeal when it comes to books like that. However, I took a leap of faith and agreed to read Melissa Addey’s book The Fragrant Concubine for a review. Since agreeing to a reading this book, I am doubting myself when it comes to books with Asian influence and background and why I haven’t read more of them!
“China, 1760. The Emperor conquers Altishahr, a Muslim country to the west of his empire and summons a local woman from his new dominion to come to the Forbidden City as his concubine. Meanwhile in the market of Kashgar a girl named Hidligh is kidnapped by Iparhan, a woman scarred by the Emperor’s conquest of her homeland and bent on vengeance. Iparhan offers her a deal: Hidligh will become the Emperor’s concubine, living a life of luxury. In return she will act as Iparhan’s spy. But when Hidligh arrives in the Forbidden City, she enters a frightening new world. Every word she utters may expose her as an imposter. Iparhan is watching from the shadows, waiting to exact her revenge on the Emperor. The Empress is jealous of her new rival. And when Hidligh finally meets the Emperor, she finds herself falling in love…” – The Fragrant Concubine
This book was intoxicating, and was hard to put down. I could not put it down and when I had to, I was eager to get back into the story to see what would become of Hidligh. From page one, Melissa has the ability to capture her audience and keep them there till the book is over. She has the extraordinary capability to bring about a story based on factual events and giving it a life of its own. She is a writer who does historical fiction well by keeping the facts of the real events of history intact and allow a story to be molded around those events. Melissa is a natural story teller who brings an exotic creativity to an era of history that not many people know or read about. I took one Asian History class in University, and it was not nearly as exciting as this book. The story bends and flows like a natural river that sweeps in and out of the deeps of your imagination. Her work is astounding without straying too far from the historical events taken place in her books. Melissa obviously has done her homework when it came to writing this book, and it is beautifully shown throughout her book. On top of it all, do not get me started on her writing style which is impeccable and graceful. The way she writes changes with what character is speaking which is not only extremely difficult and hard to pull off, but she does it so well that it seems effortless. She is able to write and the reader has the ability to picture the character’s voice in their head as they go along in the story. I have read very few authors who have the ability to change character views but change their writing along with it. Melissa can do no wrong.
So if you need a good, no wait I need a better word… a fantastic, incredible historical fiction to keep you warm during the cold winter months then pick up The Fragrant Concubine. It has a little bit of everything for any reader; romance (check), suspense (check), murder plot (check), secret Identities (check), and of course a great story backed by true events (double check), this book is the perfect addition for your hot cocoa drinking session by the tree. I loved Melissa’s writing style and character development. I look forward to reading more books from her, and I really hope she plans to write more! Melissa I would be more than happy to review any book that you throw my way, and I do not recommend that to a lot of authors but I would happily read yours anytime!
What is everyone reading? What is the genre you go to the most out of any others? Leave a comment below with thoughts or suggestions!
The Fragrant Concubine can be purchased on Amazon or any other book retailer. The Fragrant Concubine
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Reading!
Disclaimer: I was sent The Fragrant Concubine for free from Melissa Addey for an honest review. This review is of my own work, and I did not copy or refer to any other reviewers/writers/bloggers for this post. All content provided on “A Comfy Chair” is for informational purposes only. I make no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. I will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
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One thought on “The Fragrant Concubine by Melissa Addey; a Review”
This is exactly the sort of read that I like. I will add it to my TBR and let you know when I get to it. It is a pleasure to meet another historical fiction fan. Currently I am reading Their Eyes Were Watching God. It is a fabulous read thus far, but it is a bit time consuming with how slow I have to read it. It is written in the slang of the people and time.
Thanks for your review.