I enjoyed Ma’s first book in the series, Heiress Apparently, and was SO intrigued about this sequel. Then I heard that not only is it historical fiction about her mother’s story, but also that’s dual timeline. And then I was totally hooked. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
In Heiress Apparently, Gemma Huang’s big acting break led her to Beijing, where she uncovered an incredible family secret. This second novel in the Daughters of the Dynasty series delves further into Gemma’s complex and storied legacy, moving back one generation to tell the story of Gemma’s mother, Lei, as she finds love against the backdrop of 1980s China and the Tiananmen Square protests and makes a difficult decision that forever alters the course of her life
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Her Rebel Highness is a historical fiction bookworm’s dream come true. Not only does it have a timeline in 1980’s China, but also in the Tang dynasty. Ma weaves these stories together in both obvious and subtle ways. I loved how Her Rebel Highness gave me even more insight into Gemma’s mother, Lei. To the family secrets and conflict that lead to the events in the first book. But both of these stories examine difficult choices. Whether it be to speak out against our family, or to choose a different path than what our family wants.
It’s a story about individual choice. Connected by a common thread – art and mystery – the main characters in Her Rebel Highness must decide how much their dreams are worth to them. How much they are willing to sacrifice. Her Rebel Highness examines people we may love, who we may not ever see the same way again. About a world where people suffer and risk so much to speak the truth, to fight for what is right. And how we can surround ourselves with collateral damage and necessary consequences, but which end up just being complicity.
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For fans of historical fiction, this is a must read because you get two time periods in one book! Ma also explores what we will sacrifice for legacy. They are not only obviously linked through the art and Gemma’s story, but also through a variety of subtle ways. I enjoyed Her Rebel Highness immensely and the insight into Lei’s character was an added surprise! Find Her Rebel Highness on Goodeads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.