ePUB Jeannie Lin ï Gunpowder Alchemy Kindle ò ï

In 1842 the gunpowder might of China's Qing Dynasty fell to Britain's steam engines Furious the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers eliminating China's best chance of fighting back Since her father's execution eight years ago Jin Soling has kept her family from falling apart With her mother addicted to opium and her younger brother in danger of being sent off to the factories Soling has no choice but to sell off the last of her father's possessions Unwittingly her actions bring her to the attention of the imperial court the same court that betrayed her father The Crown Prince has launched a secret mission to bring together the remnants of the former Ministry of Science To restore her family's name Soling must track down the rebel alchemist who holds the key to powering the imperial fleet Her only ally is a man she's just met the engineer with a mysterious past who was once meant to be her husband


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    A couple of decades back I attended a martial arts tourney for tai chi students at which one of the judges was a woman visiting from China her tiny daughter in tow This was before tai chi became popular and at least in my area I had a thirty mile drive to the studio it was mostly men who studied it So after the tourney because we were two of the few women present I fell into conversation with the female judge Her English was good and she seemed to be glad to describe how she'd come to the sport after she asked how I had Her story was interesting she had been a ballet dancer during the Cultural Revolution she was my age forties at the time and then when she was deemed too old for the stage she turned to martial arts which she had also studiedAmong the things she told me was that women had had their own written language in the old days before Mao and they had also had their own martial arts form specifically used at the imperial palace to guard empresses and their families Then she said she hoped to see women like me studying tai chi because she wanted to be hired to teach here so she could live in the States I was surprised I asked if women didn't have a lot freedom now She laughed at my ignorance but not unkindly seeing how scrupulous the Chinese government had been about news control for decades But here's the amazing thing She said Women only have freedom on the surface And as she spoke her entire body changed drawing in head lowered hands pressed together submissively It was graceful powerful extremely expressive body language depicting the obedient humble female then she threw her head back and looked me in the eyes and said I do not want my daughter growing up like I didOkay shift to the novel I'm supposed to be reviewing I love reading English translations of Chinese novels memoirs etc I especially am on the lookout for Chinese fantasy but there is so little and many of the ones I've found have been written by Western authors who basically put Westerners into or less Eastern clothes and spin stories with Western attitudes with the Chinese aspects a veneer So when I started reading this steampunk fantasy about a Chinese girl of 1843 who has been studying acupuncture under the local doctor and has to try to scrape together a living for her family after the emperor had her father executed I was sucked in because even with the steam elements this heroine rang so trueSoling's inward struggles with the imperial attitudes she has been raised with and with her feelings for the man she was once betrothed to read as fascinating as the story about war rebellion industrial change and the impact of the opium trade The characters are complex as is Soling's situation and the details of daily life vividly depicted The story accelerates to an involving climax and a satisfying end that opens the door for I'm eager for the second volume