Skip to Main Content


About The Book

Richard Elegant pens a grand tale of intrigue in nineteenth-century China where imperial rule is crumbling as the Opium Wars and Taping Rebellion rage in the second novel of the New York Times bestselling Imperial China trilogy.

Loyalty is put to a cruel test on the streets of Shanghai, where Jewish silk merchant Saul Heleevie tries to save his long-time Chinese business partner from a false accusation of abomination in relation to his mother’s suicide and the brutal and corrupt penal system seeking to punish him.

Meanwhile in the imperial palace, love and deception entwine as the “Virtuous Concubine” Yehenala contrives to bear the opium-eating, syphilitic emperor’s only son in an effort to lay the foundation for her elevation to the pinnacle power in China as the formidable empress dowager.

This compelling saga of nineteenth-century China is filled with “intricate shuttlecock diplomacy, ceremonial battle action, family saga romance—all polished to an entertaining high gloss” (Kirkus Reviews).

About The Author

Robert Elegant was born in New York City in 1928. Elegant earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and after voluntary service in the US Army, he went on to study Japanese and advance Chinese at Yale and Columbia. In 1953, he ventured to Asia as a Pulitzer traveling fellow and became one of the youngest American reporters covering the Korean War. A recipient of several major press awards, Elegant’s books have been widely translated and many have become bestsellers.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 1, 2002)
  • Length: 528 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743237802

Browse Related Books

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images