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Publisher's Summary

When a novice French diplomat arrives in Korea for an audience with the Emperor, he is enraptured by the Joseon Dynasty's magnificent culture. But all fades away when he sees Yi Jin perform the delicate traditional Dance of the Spring Oriole. Although well aware that women of the court belong to the palace, the young diplomat confesses his love to the Emperor and gains permission for Yi Jin to accompany him back to France.

A world away in Belle Epoque Paris, Yi Jin lives a free, independent life away from the gilded cage of the court and begins translating and publishing Joseon literature into French with another Korean student. But even in this new world, great sorrow awaits her, and Yi Jin's grieving and suffering is only amplified by homesickness. But her homecoming ends up being an unhappy one. Betrayal, jealousy, and intrigue abound, culminating with the tragic assassination of the last Joseon empress....

©2018 Kyung-Sook Shin (P)2018 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about The Court Dancer

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful yet Tragic

Rosa Escoda voice is absolutely divine, she has an absolute way of drawing in your attention. Her pronouncication of the Korean words were perfect. The story is beautiful yet tragic. I cried at the end 😭 I've recommended it to all my friends.

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Review before returning.

The narrator, story and characters caused me a dull headache from beginning to end. I kept hoping for something good, something hopeful, just something other than misery.

I didn't enjoy the narrator's accent at all. Also, she butchered the Korean names and words.

It seemed written to be a tear jerking, tragic K-drama: scenes revisited, travel to Paris, Chosun era costumes, etc.

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Moving tale of sorrowful times past

Excellent historical novel by Shin Kyung-sook. What a marvelous character she created with Yi Jin, the beyond beautiful, intelligent, and talented court dancer. I identified with the French diplomat, Victor. Jin mesmerized all she came across with her grace. But to be with her would involve sacrifice. This would not be a Korean story without "han," the deep, abiding sorrow that lives in Koreans, at least the older generations, because of its tortured history. With Jin, it was never a question of "if," but "when," and I'll leave it at that.