The Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander

January 10, 2011
By Anonymous

In a mythical Chinese kingdom eight girls accept the joys and responsibilities of Jin-Shei; the poet, Tai. The warrior Xaforn. Khalian the scolahar and sage Nhia. Tammary, the gypsy girl. Yuet the healer, Qiaan the imperial guards daughter, and the Empress Lindan of the Dragon Empress era. When the little princess Antian dies, she request from her Jin-Shei, Tai, to take care of her sister who has become the Empress. Through this Jin-Shei bond and many others will the Empress kill them all in her search for immortality?

Right before Antian dies, on the ground of the imperial garden she says to Tai: “Take care of her,” Antian said, almost too soft for Tai to hear. “Take care... of my sister” (85). Antian dies by an earthquake that takes down the impearl palace, as her last request she asks her Jin-Shei to take care of her sister, Lindan, who is now the ruler of the Empire. The secrets of Jin-Shei used friendship as the theme of the book, to be more specific the author used an ancient Chinese tradition between women called Jin-Shei. These bonds will help the eight Jin-Shei sisters defeat the immortal Lihui who will do anything to take the empire from Liudan. The author uses character development through out her story, meaning that the characters who were introduced in the beginning matured and grew through life’s experience through out the story.

This book is for young adults because of graphic scenes. The Secrets of Jin-Shei is elegantly written, with lots of details and twists. It gets a little ‘freaky’ at one point, but overall the book is fast paced and keeps you guessing until the end. Alma Alexander could be compared to Roots because both have long descriptions also the characters in both book changes frequently.

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