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The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse

Thursday, June 14, 2012
No Westerner has ever achieved Robert Hart's status and level of power in China. Driven by a passion for his adopted country, Hart became the "godfather of China's modernism," inspector general of China's Customs Service, and the builder of China's railroads, postal and telegraph systems and schools. However, his first real love is Ayaou, a young concubine. Sterling Seagrave, in Dragon Lady, calls her Hart's sleep-in dictionary and says she was wise beyond her years. Soon after arriving in China in 1854, Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Christian upbringing and almost break him emotionally. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese. He also finds himself thrust into the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion, the bloodiest rebellion in human history, where he makes enemies of men such as the American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier. During his early years in China, Robert experiences a range of emotion from bliss to despair. Like Damascus steel, he learns to be both hard and flexible, which forges his character into the great man he becomes. Full of humanity, passion, and moral honesty, The Concubine Saga is the deeply intimate story of Hart's loyalty and love for his adopted land and the woman who captured his heart. Historical fiction potboiler, yes. But where The Concubine Saga truly shines is its thought-provoking passages on relationships, attitudes and cultural differences. The heated dialogue between Hart and Ayaou will especially touch a nerve for any westerner who has ever lived and loved in China…" Thomas Carter, photojournalist and author of "China: Portrait of a People"

Goodreads Summary

The Concubine Saga contains the two novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine.  These books tell the story of Robert Hart, the man who pulled China from isolation and into the world.  This book is not just history, however.  Intrigue, violence, and romance fill the pages of The Concubine Saga.  It is difficult for a reader to be bored, even if there is not constant physical action, the book itself is fast-paced.

    These novels could be enjoyed by most people.  Although historical, Lofthouse wrote The Concubine Saga for all readers.  Anyone interested in history would love these books and learn from them.  The Goodreads summary provides a good description of the events of the book.  I previously believed that I was relatively informed about the events that transpired during Hart’s time in China, but now realize that I was wrong.  This book is more entertaining and informative than most any history lesson.  Historically accurate and interesting, this book earns five out of five stars.  

5 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*   

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. China setting? This might be interesting...

  1. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you loved the book!

  1. TayteH said...:

    Sounds kindan scary. But good. :D

  1. This kind of reminds me of "Memoirs of a Geisha" (yes I know, wrong country...but still!) with the Asian cultural influences, but darker. Seems pretty amazing...

  1. marybelle said...:

    I've actually read a bit about this book around & about. It looks wonderful.

  1. Suz Reads said...:

    This sounds like such an interesting book! I like historical books and this one sounds like a very readable, enjoyable one! Thanks for the info!

  1. I am not big on historical reads but the intrigue, violence, and romance you mention sound good! Great review! :)

  1. I loved Memoirs of a Geisha and that just was a beautiful setting and story.This sounds like I would love it also. Thanks for the review...I had not heard of this series at all and now I have something new and interesting to add to my reading list.

  1. Evie said...:

    Great review, Kristin! :) Glad to hear you enjoyed this book so much! I have never heard about it before, but you got me very curious ;)

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful review with us, Krystal and Kristin! :)

  1. Sounds Interesting, thanks!

  1. There needs to be more Asian-culture inspired books! As half korean, I don't think there are enough. LOL. Glad to know you loved this one. I'll have to check it out. :D

  1. I'll be honest I do not know much about this. It might be an interesting read and I would learn something as well. Thanks for the post.

  1. Heather said...:

    Sounds like a very good read. So much about China that i don't know, I feel I'd be learning something on almost every page.

  1. Lili said...:

    I feel so bad saying this, but I have never really read an Asian-cultured inspired book. Looking back on it now, it's as if Asians rarely pop up in books unless they're side characters. The last book that I read with an Asian in it had the narrator constantly refer to him as "Asian-looking" and it really angered me.

  1. deasuluna said...:

    I have no idea why but I love books set anywhere in Asia, though China has a special place in my heart. It does matter if they are non-fiction or fiction. This looks like a great read, I just might have to go pick it up at the library. Thanks for the great review.

  1. Great review. Had never heard of this series before and not really sure still how I feel about it but I will be looking into the books for sure!!