"Randel's gorgeous debut novel seductively pulls back the curtain to reveal the heartbreaking world of...China."—Stephanie Dray, NYT bestselling Author of America's First Daughter
A thrilling work of historical fiction, bringing romance, intrigue, and the unexpected rise of an Empress to intoxicating life under the inscrutable moon.
In Tang Dynasty China, a concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor's attention. Many hope to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest.
Young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the Emperor a gift he can never forget. Mei's intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the Emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive.
In the breakthrough first volume in the Empress of Bright Moon duology, Weina Dai Randel paints a vibrant portrait of the Emperor's Palace—where love, ambition, and loyalty can spell life or death—and the woman who came to rule all of ancient China.
"I absolutely loved The Moon in the Palace... A rare and beautiful treasure."—Elizabeth Chadwick, NYT bestselling author
Winner of RWA RITA® Award 2017
Recommended by Texas Library Association's 2017 Lariat Reading List
One of the Biggest Historical Fiction books of 2016 by Bookbub
One of Washington Independent Reviews of Book's 25 Favorite Books of 2016
A San Francisco Book Festival Honorable Mention