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My Life as Emperor
Opening with a child` ascension to the throne of the Xie Empire, Su Tong`s latest novel is a historical tour de force. Charting courtly life, he vividly evokes many characters - the concubines, eunuchs, advisers and protectors - but it is the portrait and narration of the tale by the child emperor, a boy of few talents who is suddenly thrust into a position of power, which is most compelling. Constantly facing a threat from the two step-brothers who covet his position, and unsure of the intentions of his mysterious grandmother, Lady Huangfu, his rule is characterised by fear, incompetence and his own unchecked cruelty.