This fictional chronicle of the transition between the Sui and Tang dynasties in ancient China dwells on the minutiae of the court, producing a lackluster narrative. While there is some promise of excitement in the early struggles between the Li family (who eventually take power as the Tang) and the Sui forces, the description of these battles is supplanted by the details of daily life in the imperial Tang court. The pages are full of the quotidian edicts of the second Tang emperor, Li Shimin, many followed by reversals as advised by Wei Zheng and other counselors who continually recommend leniency and frugality. In addition there are some modern phrases in the dialogue ("I'll go 50-50 with you") that ring false in the historical context. The few maps included give this the feel of a dry historical text rather than a vibrant work of fiction. While overall this may be an accurate portrayal of imperial court life, it makes for rather dull reading.
New Taipei City
Citation for published book
Xiong, Victor Cunrui. Heavenly Khan : A Biography of Emperor Tang Taizong (Li Shimin) : A Historical Novel / Victor Cunrui Xiong. 2014. Print.
Xiong, Victor Cunrui, "Heavenly Khan" (2014). All Books and Monographs by WMU Authors. 390.