A novel set in China in the 1920s about Siu Sing, the daughter of a Chinese mother and the foreign devil ship’s captain who rescued her from death. Raised until the age of twelve by an elderly Taoist sage who is master of the White Crane and trained as one of his last disciples, she is sold into slavery after he’s assassinated. After spending her teenage years in an opium den, she begins a quest to find Ben Deverill, the father she never knew, and to reclaim her birthright.
This book is split across two women: Li-Xia, who works her way from being the unwanted daughter of a wealthy man’s concubine to the wife of one of the richest Eurasian men in Hong Kong, followed by her daughter – the “Red Lotus” of the title.
Whilst parts of it were good, there was little tension or much to fear from the apparent enemies of women, despite Ben’s apparent wealth and the hatred of mixed marriages etc all around them. Even the tension between Red Lotus and her “enemy” could have been a little stronger. One of her more minor enemies seems easily brought off with money and some implied blackmail, and is never heard from again – all secondary characters seem to easily disappear and be forgotten throughout the book.
The above could give the impression this is a bad book – it’s not, just not a great book.