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Lord of Formosa Paperback – April 26, 2018
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"This gripping novel dramatizes one of the most fascinating events of world history: the conquest of the Dutch colony of Taiwan by Chinese warlord Zheng Chenggong. Bergvelt's vivid prose tells a taut story through the eyes of well-drawn characters based closely on real historical figures. A delightful book, and one that provides an excellent entrée into an important period of history."
--Tonio Andrade, author of Lost Colony and The Gunpowder Age
- Item Weight : 1.54 pounds
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1788691393
- ISBN-13 : 978-1788691390
- Publisher : Camphor Press Ltd (April 26, 2018)
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.07 x 9 inches
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Koxinga’s father was a powerful merchant (and depending on who was asked, a pirate) with hundreds of ships. The son came of age in the father’s service, and was the obvious heir apparent to his father’s merchant empire. When the Manchu (Qing) invaded from the north, father and son initially chose to support the Ming emperor, and were rewarded with great honors, titles, and power, as well as a mandate to resist the invasion. Later, Koxinga’s father, believing the cause lost, comes to believe that a timely defection would preserve what he had built, and switches sides. Koxinga himself, however, stays local to the Ming, and breaks with his father over the betrayal, continuing to fight the Manchu.
Meanwhile, the Dutch (as the VOC), having been denied mainland trading posts by the Ming, were told that their presence would be tolerated if they chose to establish their trading post in Taiwan. The VOC proceeded, unexpectedly, to take essentially the entire island, and for a time prospered at the expense of the native inhabitants. Koxinga and his father insert themselves as the exclusive intermediaries between the Dutch and the mainland traders. Meanwhile, Koxinga, believing a prophesy he heard as a child predicting that he would one day rule an island kingdom, comes to believe that this is Taiwan, and eventually invades in an attempt to kick out the Dutch. An epic struggle follows.
This is an extremely interesting piece of history as well as a great novel that never really slows down. All of the history is well-researched (with a substantial list of references at the end of the book) and all the basics are true. Highly recommended.
The dialogues in the book bring the characters alive. It's interesting that the author chose to write about the part of world and history that few people talk about or know much about, which makes it all more fascinating.
Top reviews from other countries
That's why I loved this book. And also because I never knew, that Formosa was once in hands of the Dutch in their famous 'Golden Age'. I am Dutch myself and I knew about Macao ( about the same age and in hands of the Portuguese I even read a historical novel about Macao for my school examens ), but I can't remember anything about Formosa in my history classes.
So I certainly can recommend this book to all the people like me who like to read historical novels, because the story and people discribed (here we have to do of course with the imagination of the author) are not boring at all, what can happen sometimes when the events have been real.