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The Eight Banners

By Alan Savage

The first of two books tracing the adventures of a British fortune-hunter in the Chinese Empire of the Manchu Dynasty.

As Lord Macartney’s embassy to the Manchu court sails into the Gulf of Chih-li, Robert Barrington knows the British attempt to establish links with the Chinese empire is doomed to failure. But for Barrington it presents the opportunity to found his own dynasty among the fabulous wealth of the Middle Kingdom.

Abandoned by his compatriots, Barrington begins to build his fortune during one of the most glittering, violent, and decisive episodes of Chinese history: the bloody exploits of the pirate Chen Yi and his beautiful consort; the disaster of the Opium war; and the startling career of a young Manchu girl destined to become the infamous Dowager Empress.

The saga of the Barrington family, set against a tapestry of China, is a brilliant and action-packed story that recreates the splendour and squalor of the eight Manchu tribes who carried their banners against the decaying Ming dynasty. The Eight Banners, which can be read alone or with its sequel novel, The Last Bannerman, is a wonderfully immersive and gripping read that will enthral those with an interest in Imperial China just as much as it will please readers who enjoy a great family saga.

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