Saturday, October 29, 2011
Book Review of #1 White Tigress by Jade Lee
Author: Jade Lee
Part of a Series: Tigress Sextet. Sequels: Hungry Tigress, Cornered Tigress, Burning Tigress, Desperate Tigress, Tempted Tigress
Type of book: Adult, China, Asian male/white female relationship, 1857-1897
Year it was published: 2005
The Dragon: the Chinese symbol of maleness, virility, power.
The Tiger: feminity, fortune, desire.
Two symbols. Two people. One all-consuming passion.
Englishwoman Lydia Smith sailed to the Orient seeking her fiance. She found treachery instead. In seedy Shanghai, she was drugged, sold, and made a slave to a dark-eyed dragon of a man. But while her captor purchased her body, was that what he truly sought? He demanded not her virginity but her yin-the essence of her ecstasy-and there seemed no choice ubt to consent. What harm, Lydia wondered, was there in allowing him to pleasure her, to teach her, until she could flee?
It was the danger-and reward-of taking the first step on a journey to heaven, and her feet were already on the path to becoming a radiant and joyous...White Tigress.
The characters are well rounded and they do change throughout the course of the novel. One example is Cheng Ru Shan has a point of view that women are inferior to men, and thus they are happy staying cooped up and doing little. However, while being with Lydia, he eventually changes his mind about his beliefs towards women, in particular white women. Lydia becomes more assertive and eventually helps Ru Shan out, even willing to become a Second Wife and do nothing but design just so his duties will be eased.
Basically one of the themes is that love comes when one leasts expects it, and that women are needed to be treated with respect.
This is written in third person point of view from both Ru Shan and Lydia. The book makes it clear whose point of view you are reading. It is also interesting to watch the characters interact and misunderstand one another. I would guess that I would have liked more time spent between epilogue and the last chapter of the book. Also, what I liked about the series are the links to other books. For example, the brothel and the captain, along with the half Chinese-half white man that Lydia has met, will be revealed in Tempted Tigress.
Children of mixed races have their own set of rules. As the daughter of a Shanghai native and a staunch Indiana Hoosier, Jade Lee struggled to find her own identity somewhere between America and China. Her search took her to Regency England, where the formality of culture hid a secret sensuality that fascinated her. But Devil's Bargain was just the beginning. That same search adds a mystical element in her Tigress series beginning with White Tigress. In those books, Jade delves into the hidden sensuality of the Dragon/Tigress sect in pre-revolutionary China.
Jade is a USA Today Bestseller, 5 time PRISM award winner, Romantic Times Reviewers Choice winner (and 4 time nominee), and a state racquetball champion! Sheï¿½s been a RITA finalist twice, 6 time RT KISS award winner, and the recipient of multiple glorious racquetball bruises and injuries. But her favorite accolade comes from reader emails. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful emails! I couldn't do it without you!
At home, her husband and two daughters try to ignore her stacks of Zen sexual texts. Instead, they brag about her award-winning humor pseudonym, Katherine Greyle. (From freshfiction.com)
The 1857-1895 are actually an exchange of letters between Ru Shan's mother, Mei Lan and her friend Li Hua. What I liked about the novel are descriptions of China, as well as its culture and life, the Chinese male characters are both bad and good. But while reading this book, I felt that the author wasn't really in touch with the Chinese men. I would guess that they were awkward for her to write about. There is a fantasy element to this book, and for some odd reason I am tempted to ask if Chinese really do fortune telling through people's bodies or is that a plot device she used? The defects though are balanced out by vivid descriptions and emotions of Ru Shan and Lydia.
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)