15-word review: Chinese warlord and infamous courtesan to the former Emperor rusticate among the bamboo. Love blossoms.
Ling Suyin used to be one of the now-deceased Emperor’s favourite consorts. Known for her beauty, grace, and arts of seduction, she now lives far away from the court, quite happy with her retirement. As a former concubine to the Emperor, Ling Suyin is supposed to remain loyal to him to her dying day, something that makes her feel rather lonely. One day, Li Tao, one of the former emperor’s most ruthless warlords shows up on her doorstep with a detachment of soldiers. He claims she’s in danger, and he’s taking her away for her own safety. He’s not taking no for an answer, and soon Ling Suyin finds herself on his large estate, hidden far into the bamboo forest, his honoured “guest”, whether she wants to be or not.
Li Tao has heard rumours that someone may be on their way to assassinate Ling Suyin, yet being a wary and paranoid man, he’s also not ruling out the possibility that this rumour has been started specifically to get him into contact with the beautiful woman, so she can influence him and manipulate him on behalf on some unknown patron. He tries to remain unaffected by her grace and beauty, but as he spends more time with her, he also sees how kind and down-to-earth she is. Both of them came from poor backgrounds and rose to unbelievable positions within the court of the emperor, and now they may have a common enemy.
As always, full review on my blog.