The Woman who Built an Empire

The stakes of this game were high, particularly for the empresses, consorts, and concubines who served the emperors and whose fate depended on the succession of their son. This is why so many “unofficial histories” (and the telenovelas inspired by them) often revolve around the intrigue of the Inner Palaces.  

One of the most famous imperial mothers was the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, born Bumbutai of the Borjigit Clan in 1613, who is the heroine of Alice Poon’s new novel, The Green Phoenix.