When a Chinese peasant girl is chosen as a concubine to Li Hung, Chief Customs Officer for the bustling port of Canton, her parents tell her it is a great hour - but the seedy reality is far from hourable. After an incident with a lecherous British trader she is sent away and is injured during the voyage when a British man-o'-war fires at the junk in which she is travelling. Second Lieutenant Kerw Keats, a Royal Marine from the man-o'-war, boards the junk and, moved by the plight of the fragile young girl, makes arrangements to take her to a mission hospital in Hong Kong where their romance blossoms. However, a love affair between a British officer and a Chinese peasant girl is unthinkable in 1857, and when Kerw becomes inextricably involved in the vicious war being waged by the Chinese Taiping rebels it seems their love is doomed. From the author of Chase the Wind and Though the Heavens May Fall this beautifully told saga is majestically woven around the lives of two people, discovering unexpected feelings in unfamiliar territory.
E.V. Thompson was born in London, After spending nine years in the Royal Navy, he served as a Vice Squad policeman in Bristol, became an investigator for British Overseas Airways (during which time he was seconded to the Hong Kong Police Narcotics Bureau), then headed Rhodesia's Department of Civil Aviation Security Section. While in Rhodesia, he published over two hundred short stories before moving back to England to become a full-time award-winning writer. His first novel, Chase the Wind, the opening book in the Retallick saga, won the Best Historical Novel Award, and since then more than thirty novels have won him thousands of admirers around the world. In 2011 E.V. Thompson was awarded an MBE for services to literature and to the Cornish community.