• The Cold Palace

  • Forbidden City
  • By: Melissa Addey
  • Narrated by: Amelia Fei
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Eighteenth-century China. Ula Nara is a happy 16-year-old, in love and betrothed. But before she can be married, she must attend the Imperial Daughters’ Draft, where concubines are chosen for the Emperor and his family. When she is chosen as a bride to the heir to the throne, Ula Nara must face a lifetime of regret while her sweetheart vows to become a monk. Determined to make her pain worth something, Ula Nara aims for the pinnacle of success: to become Empress. But perhaps being an Empress is not worth as much as she thought, and happiness may lie in the simpler things.

©2019 Melissa Addey (P)2021 Melissa Addey

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This book was so freaking awesome!

I love books about history… Any book. So when I read the summary for the cold Palace I was excited to read it. I am very interested and concubines and consorts (in king and cannot read enough about them. When I started reading this book about little Ulanora, I Felt so bad for her she was 16 and wanted to be patrolled the hot childhood friend Ona, but it can only happen if she wasn’t back at the daughters day celebration. This is when they pick new concerts for the Emperor and his offspring. Ulanora and her mother thought her chances of being picked were slim. They were only picking a few in here hundreds to pick from. So when the emperor mean consort kicked her she was devastated even begging the emperor to change her mind. She would not only never see her family again but could never be married to her one true love. This was only made worse when she made it to the forbidden city only to see that Prince Bow Who is truly in love with his own main consort in that sheet for the rest of her life would have to look on this true love match, while she would never see her true love ever again. She does her best to make a life for herself in the forbidden city. She wasn’t happy as a matter of a fact she was quite the opposite and without the heart those who seemed happy. Well everyone except for her one true friend one it wasn’t until they made another summer trip to the perfect gardens prince balls favorite place, but I realized the book I read called the concert was either a prequel to this book or an addendum. I was so shocked and surprised and must admit very happy that this was an explanation of why Ulanora was so unhappy and wanted to make others that way. Especially Wayne, king and the other concert who’s name I forget. I won’t give anything away just know this book or the book called the consort it’s so good and I highly recommend both of them. I can’t wait to read more by this author I didn’t know why I hadn’t looked for her books before. I absolutely loved every book I have read by her I didn’t even realize I was reading books by the same author until they had the same character. She did such a great job with world building and what felt like genuine drama that would’ve happened in the forbidden city in China in the 1700s. I just love it and can’t recommend it enough the coal palace is such a great book and so worth getting. ak

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The Human Element

SPOILERS AHEAD! Addey excels at finding the human element in historical fiction and in making unfamiliar cultures accessible (unfamiliar to many of her listeners and certainly to this one). It had been a while since I read the rest of The Forbidden City series; I'd honestly forgotten how nasty Ula Nara was to the other characters. I was unpleasantly surprised when the young woman I was rooting for essentially turned into a sadist. But polygamy and the court system broke her, so I was glad when Addy allowed Ula Nara some happiness at the end.

I loved the use of the magpie myth. I grew up in Colorado, where magpies are pretty despised. This is one of the joys of learning about other cultures: having your expectations flipped on their heads. I also enjoyed Addey's Author's Note. And what a pleasure to hear narrator Amelia Fei speaking all those Chinese words with beautiful precision.

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Really enjoyed it!!

Most memorable moment was when Ula-Nara realized that the monk was her true love!

I wondered if she realized that she was actually set free from the gilded cage of the Forbidden City when she was exiled to the "Cold Palace".

Ms. Addey, could you write about other women who were in Qianlong's harem? I also enjoyed your other book The Consorts!

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