Mei, now a part of the Inner Court, watches as the Emperor Taizhong dies. With Pheasant by her side, Mei is looking forward to her future. But Mei is sent to an outpost monastary as the former emperor's concubine, where she lives in poverty. Once again summoned to the Inner Court, Mei is happy to be back at Pheasant's side. But life will be hard, as Phesant's first wife refuses to allow Mei any happiness. The two women fight for the future- of their children, their happiness and of China.
The action in the second book of this duology really picks up. Mei really shines in this one as a powerful wife and mother. I really enjoyed her relationship with the Princess, but I wish that Pheasant could have been a stronger force. Some of the scenes in this book are tough to read; be prepared for heartbreak. I did like how Weina re-imagined the way history has portrayed Mei, especially in one poignant scene. This series was one of my favorite reads!