Lloyd Lofthouse, Author of The Concubine Saga- On Tour

By Ruth on June 7, 2012 in book, historical fiction, review
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Publisher: Three Clover Press
Category: Historical Fiction
Tour Dates: June, 2012
Available in Print and Kindle, 621 Pages
No Westerner has ever achieved Robert Hart’s status and level of power in China. Driven by a passion for his adopted country, Hart became the “godfather of China’s modernism”, inspector general of China’s Customs Service, and the builder of China’s railroads, postal and telegraph systems and schools.
However, his first real love is Ayaou, a young concubine. Sterling Seagrave, in Dragon Lady, calls her Hart’s sleep-in dictionary and says she was wise beyond her years.
Soon after arriving in China in 1854, Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Christian upbringing and almost break him emotionally. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese. He also finds himself thrust into the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion, the bloodiest rebellion in human history, where he makes enemies of men such as the American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier.
During his early years in China, Robert experiences a range of emotion from bliss to despair. Like Damascus steel, he learns to be both hard and flexible, which forges his character into the great man he becomes.
In time, an ancient empire will rely on him to survive, and he will become the only foreigner the Emperor of China trusts.
Full of humanity, passion, and moral honesty, The Concubine Saga is the deeply intimate story of Hart’s loyalty and love for his adopted land and the woman who captured his heart.
“My Splendid Concubine” was the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
In the sequel, “Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine”, he was the only foreigner the Emperor of China trusted.
Both novels have come together as one in “The Concubine Saga”.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is indeed one of the longest books I have read in a long time, but it is also one of the best-researched books I have ever read–at least, in regard to historical fiction. It is actually two books in one, but i can guarantee you that the time you invest in reading this unbelievable book will worthwhile.

I know virtually nothing of China’s history, and Robert Hart is a character I have never heard of before the reading of this book.  I was fascinated and horrified from the beginning as the author described China of the 1800’s.  There was honestly never a dull moment in this book, and I was so pleased to find that the historical accuracy was amazing.  I appreciate the research that the author did–he explained this at the beginning of the book–and I was even more pleased to discover that what I was reading was verifiable by several outside sources.

The detail in this book is fascinating.  There were times I wondered if the author was being too detailed, but I decided that I would not care about things nor understand things as well had he not included each and every detail.  I also appreciated the non-judgmental attitude with which the author wrote.  I would have struggled to remain objective, but it is clear that the author wrote with objectivity and with heart–a rare combination.

I felt that this book helped me to understand why the Chinese (and Asians in general) are so resistant to the gospel.  Why would the Chinese want a God who wanted to control their country, take their resources, rape their women, and addict them to opium?  Robert Hart did more for the people of China than any of these so-called missionaries.

Was I offended during the reading of the book?  There were a few words I would not use, and sometimes the bedroom scenes were hot and heavy, but I found that none of this took away from my enjoyment of the book.  The violence is descriptive but necessary.  And just about the time you think that everything is calm again, tragedy strikes yet again.

This is a book I would recommend to lovers of historical fiction.  It has a little bit of something for everyone:  danger, romance, and even emotion.  It is a read that requires a significant investment in time, but i feel it is well worth it.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are 100 percent mine, and I was not financially compensated.


View all my reviews


About Lloyd Lofthouse:
Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart [combined in this single volume], which earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2008 London Book Festival, 2009 San Francisco Book Festival, 2009 Hollywood Book Festival, 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival, 2009 Nashville Book Festival and was a finalist in historical fiction for the National Best Books 2010 Awards. Lloyd Lofthouse grew up in Southern California, served in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Marine and lives near San Francisco with his wife and family with a second home in Shanghai, China.

In cooperation with this tour, the author has a very special giveaway.  Here is the information.

Leave an approved comment on one or more Blog posts found at Lloyd Lofthouse.org or iLook China.net
between May 30, 2012 and June 30, 2012
during “The Concubine Saga” Web Tour
and automatically be entered into a drawing
to win a limited edition, signed and numbered hard-cover copy of the novel.
(NOTE: only one limited-edition, hard-cover copy is available to give away)



If you wish to follow the entire tour, check it out here  


Look out for a guest post and a giveaway tomorrow right here on my blog!



And if you would like to purchase your own copy, follow this link.

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2 Comments

  1. Teddy Rose June 8, 2012 Reply

    Thanks so much for taking part in the tour. I’m so glad you loved the book as much as I did.

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