Monday, February 25, 2013

Journey of the North Star by Douglas Penick


This fascinating historical novel brings to life the Chinese court of Zhu Di, the Yong Le Emperor, who reigned from 1403-1424 and made China a world power. The story is narrated by the fictional eunuch Ma Yun, who served in the emperor's court. Replete with military campaigns, religious ceremonies and the philosophical foundation that informs the Emperor's decisions through times good and bad, Journey of the North Star will appeal to readers interested in Eastern religions, history, philosophy and the political outlook that still influences China today.

Set in early fifteenth-century China, and narrated by a eunuch, this novel delves into the colorful world of the long-ago dynasty of Emperor Yong Le. Rich and sumptuous, one cannot help but feel for the loyal eunuch who had no life of his own other than to serve his master.

Douglas Penick successfully transports the reader into the Forbidden City and the rich court. This comes as no surprise due to the fact the author has spent much of his life teaching and studying Asian culture. Authentic, compelling, and honestly told, this is a novel written with great insight and detail. A most enjoyable historical tale. Definitely recommended to anyone interested in ancient China.