In this exciting novel from USA Today best-selling author Amanda Roberts, the story of the slow march toward the fall of the Qing Dynasty comes to life in vivid detail, revealing a world of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue surrounding the world of empresses, princesses, consorts, and concubines, and the emperors they served.
Born to a family of wealth and privilege, Zhenxiu was trained from a young age to become the wife of a very powerful man, though she prayed it would not be Prince Yizhu, the future Xianfeng Emperor, a man with cruel and salacious appetites. The sudden death of the prince's consort, however, thrusts fifteen-year-old Zhenxiu into the prince's bed and the center of the Qing Court, a court still reeling from the aftershocks of the Opium War.
Zhenxiu finds solace in the friendship of a girl named Lanhua, and she does her best to help her friend rise in the emperor's estimation. When the emperor dies and leaves only Lanhua's five-year-old son as his heir, Zhenxiu finds herself as the de facto ruler of China, a position she was never trained to occupy. As she leans more and more on Lanhua for help, she slowly comes to realize that Lanhua's ambition has no bounds. An ambition that could get them both killed.
The Other Empress is a riveting historical drama that brings to light the story of an empress who stood at the helm of the Qing Dynasty for more than twenty years. An empress overshadowed by the strong presence of the woman who would prove to be her dearest friend—and her most dangerous rival.