pic from audible

Narrated by Richard Mann

Run Time: 1 hr and 5 mins

Genre: nonfic, historical


Wu Zhao is the woman who went from low-level concubine to trusted confident of Emperor Taizong. Got that from the back cover copy. This is a very short history. It was not clear in the story that she was 14 at the time she was married off to the emperor. I think the back cover copy stretches the truth a bit from the presentation in the book. It didn’t seem like she climbed the ladder, the emperor was like “yo, you want to be my trusted confidante and secretary? These other jerks only want power” and she was like “yup.”

Additional Comments:

  • She’s presented in very favorable light here. The account kind of glosses over a few things like her ordering the death of pretty much anybody who didn’t agree with her utopian, very progressive ideals. And stealing power whenever she needed to because she could run the country better than anybody else.
  • Lady’s got grit, gotta give her that.
  • She also behaved exactly like those she fought against, having male concubines of a sort. Excuse: everybody else is doing it. Awesome, there’s who we should hold up as the moral paragon.
  • The reforms she wanted were great. It probably moved the country many leaps and bounds forward, but the greater good theory of excusing bad behavior just doesn’t fly.
  • I haven’t read many of these, but this was the better of the two.
  • The author’s views definitely flavor the telling.
  • The main message is twofold: positions should be given out based on merit not wealth and prestige already inherent to certain families and anything men can do, women can do.
  • I think the point the author is semi-burying under a rug of heaping praises is that power corrupts. Even in the name of doing good, power corrupts.


If you can get around the very heavy-handed slant of setting this woman up for sainthood, it’s a decent story of a strong lady.

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Audiobook Promotions …

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Many of my 50 audible titles are listed on Audiobooks Unleashed.
Whether you’re looking for mystery or suspense or fantasy, I’ve got a title for you. Free codes are probably on audiobooks unleashed.
Normal links go to audible. *The Amazon labeled links are affiliate links. That means I get a very small payment from Amazon if you go through with a purchase.*
Note: Filter by US if you’re looking for those codes as many titles are out.
Ones I think may still have US codes: Reshner’s Royal Ranger, Never Again, Innova, The Golden City Captives, The Holy War, Reclaim the Darklands, Eagle Eyes, Treachery Makes it Tense, Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts, The Dark Side of Science, Ashlynn’s Dreams, Nadia’s Tears, Malia’s Miracles, and Varick’s Quest
There are plenty of UK codes, but not many US ones left.

Redeemer Chronicles (Fantasy)

Awakening – Redeemer Chronicles Book 1, MG fantasy (Amazon) (free codes)
The Holy War – Redeemer Chronicles Book 2, MG fantasy (Amazon) (free codes)
Reclaim the Darklands – Redeemer Chronicles Book 3, MG fantasy (Amazon) (free codes)
River’s Edge Ransom – Prequel to Redeemer Chronicles (Amazon) (email devyaschildren @ gmail.com for free codes)

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Devya’s Children Series Links:

Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – short stories featuring Jillian. (Amazon) (free codes)
The Dark Side of Science – official prequel to Devya’s Children; Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live. (Amazon) (Please email devyaschildren @ gmail.com for free codes)
Ashlynn’s Dreams – Genetically altered Dream Shaper learns her gift. (Amazon) (free codes)
Nadia’s Tears – Jillian tries to awaken her sister, Nadia, from a coma. (Amazon) (free codes)
Malia’s Miracles – Jillian and her siblings try to save a friend’s mother. (Amazon) (free codes)
Varick’s Quest – Jillian and Danielle get kidnapped. Nadia’s also in trouble. (Amazon) (free codes)
More Scifi:
Reshner’s Royal Ranger (epic sci-fi) just made it there. (Amazon) (free codes)

Guardian Angel Files:

Spirit’s Bane – Allister and Mina are training to be Guardians. Satan’s out to get them. (Amazon) (free codes)
Kindred Spirits – Mina’s exiled to Earth. Allister’s stuck in the Heavens. (Amazon) (free codes)

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