- File Size: 1475 KB
- Print Length: 350 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (June 6, 2013)
- Publication Date: June 6, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D8T4QB4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,839,208 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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City of Jade Kindle Edition
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|Length: 350 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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The setting of this book was simply outstanding. The deep knowledge the author has of this time period and area of the world literally shines out form this novel. I can say that I learnt a lot from this book but sadly I found the love story itself quite dull – and I actually felt quite guilty for that. I felt that I should love it, because of the amount of work the author has obviously put into the research – but I just couldn’t help that I didn’t and my marks reflect that.
I did love reading about their journey, and I feel the author very deftly described the wonders of the cities and towns through which they traveled, mostly through the eyes of Gallienus - these descriptions engaged all of my senses, and it was this aspect of the novel that ultimately made it an enjoyable read for me.
This was an extraordinarily well-researched novel. The settings were vivid and interesting. I even looked up some of the places on Google Earth to learn more about them. The secondary characters were well done, but the main characters were not as real to me as I would have liked. They didn't seem to be dealing with any internal struggle other than the incidental difficulties of life on the road. The plot was thin - more of a travelogue than a story. There was no overarching conflict. The lovers never quarreled. The dialogue was often mundane. The main character left his home and his family on a whim, without even saying good-bye, to travel to the other side of the continent to live forever. It just didn't seem genuine to me. There was no emotional resonance. I understand that it wasn't that kind of novel - it was focused more on history than story. That seems a lost opportunity--it could have done both.
This book made me want to visit all the places on the journey with its excellent descriptions of life in the ancient middle and far east. This was really a travelogue for two lovers with a sequence of stories told over the time of a journey. The romance was introduced very quickly, almost instalove, and it showed that the prologue had been written as a short story before the rest of the book. This sat uncomfortably with me. The characters were not as well drawn as the setting; nobody impressed themselves upon me, and conversation was undertaken in a slightly formal style, even between the lovers. There was some failure in ‘show not tell’ eg the negative aspects of Stephanos’ character were suddenly presented, rather than built over time.
Alexandretta is the port city the two reach where they hear rumours of tensions in Antioch; another crusade may be approaching. Bandits attack in the desert, and Saracens stride through the streets of Baghdad. The city of Nishapur is decorated with turquoise, and Byzantine glass and ivory-bound prayer books are sold in markets. The world is vast, but all nations meet on the Silk Road.
I found that this is not so much a series of adventures, as a travelogue full of detail and atmosphere. The two men become ever more supportive of each other and of their hidden relationship, with Misahuen becoming stronger in lands near his own culture and Galienus becoming self-conscious of his fairer skin and hair. Shaoxing the CITY OF JADE is just one of the major Chinese cities at this time, and the two friends want to live in peace but find that there is work for warriors wherever they go. I did not get a great sense of drama from the story, so that is why I did not give it more stars, but it is well written.