A sweeping epic set in medieval China. A group of women, the Jin-Shei sisterhood, form a uniquely powerful circle that transcends class and social custom.
Their bond? A declaration of loyalty that transcends all other vows, even those with the gods; their own secret language, passed from mother to daughter; the knowledge that some of them will have to pay the ultimate sacrifice to enable others to fulfill their destiny.
Among the sisterhood we meet run are the Emperor's sister, a street-beggar, a trainee warrior in the Emperor's Guard, an apprentice healer, an artist and the traveller-girl, illegitimate daughter of an emperor and seen as a threat to the throne. As one of them becomes Dragon Empress, her determination to hold power against the temple sages and marauding forces from other kingdoms drags the sisterhood into a dangerous world of court intrigue, plot and counterplot. Only one of them remains true to all the vows made to the dying Princess Empress at the very beginning and can rescue them.
An amazing and unusual novel, based on some historical fact, full of drama, adventure and conflict. It's about kinship and a society of women, of mysticism, jealousy, fate, destiny.