This is the true story of Wu Zetian, the only reigning empress in Chinese history, who schemed, poisoned and strangled her way to become a living god. Born in the 7th century AD, Wu was the daughter of a lumber merchant. Prophecies predicted that she would become emperor but these were seen as ridiculous when the baby turned out to be a girl. At the age of 13, her beauty led to her selection as a concubine to the 40-year-old Supreme Emperor Taizong. Her family were disappointed, since the emperor already had many wives, but they underestimated Wu's steely determination to succeed. When the emperor fell ill Wu seduced his heir, a move regarded as incestuous. Sent to a convent, she was rescued by the besotted new emperor, and lied and murdered her way through her rivals, until she had the empress executed. Now empress, Wu ruled China from behind the throne after her husband suffered a stroke. Upon his death she poisoned her strong-willed eldest son, and tried to rule through two more malleable sons. Finally she took the throne herself. Acclaimed author Jonathan Clements tells the colourful and dramatic story of China's first and only reigning empress.
Sutton Publishing Ltd
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