Empress Wu Zetian by Laurel A Rockefeller

The Naked Reviewers
3 min readFeb 13, 2020


The most hated woman in Chinese history!

Travel back in time over one thousand years and meet the first and only female emperor of China. Born Wu Zhao and given the reign title “Zetian” just weeks before her death in 705 CE, Empress Wu was the unwanted daughter of Chancellor Wu Shihuo — too bright, too educated, and too politically focused to make a good wife according to contemporary interpretations of the Analects of Confucius.

Married off at age 14 as a low-ranking concubine to Emperor Taizong, Wu’s intelligence, beauty, and charm won her a place as his secretary and protégé, political experience that would empower her to transform the lives of countless billions.

Explore the life of Empress Wu and discover why the world is a vastly different place because she dared what no woman in China before or since ever dreamed of.

Terence Vickers’ (AKA Tinker Publishing) Review: 4.9-Stars

Set in the fifth century this historic novelette gives the reader a brief glimpse of ancient China and it’s ruling class. It is the story of how an ambitious young girl becomes an empress, the first and only woman to rule over China.

Having reviewed some of Laurel’s previous work I trust that the research, which I think must have been quite a challenge, has been done thoroughly, and if I were to take the time to do a thorough check of the facts I am confident I would find no errors.

Technically the book is well prepared and well written with a good flow to the story-line. I found only one glaring error that got past the editing and proofreading stages unnoticed.

A good but short read, it is easily read in one sitting if the reader has a few hours of leisure time to indulge in a bit of entertaining as well as educational ancient history. I could only enjoy it more if it was a full-length novel, and filled with more detail.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 4-Stars

I always love the covers for Laurel’s books. They are well thought out and speak to exactly what you’re going to get when you read the story. Laurel A. Rockefeller is my all-time favorite for books on historical women throughout time. They are well-researched and written with love for the main character.

Empress Wu Zetian is no exception in The Legendary Women of World History Series. This story is just as good as all the other books. Laurel knows what she is doing with the women in her series and gives you a different look into their lives along with the history.

One of my favorite things about Laurel’s books is how she introduces the story and history of the main character. She does them in wonderfully crafted prologues. Empress Wu Zetian does not disappoint. What a fascinating story of a fourteen-year-old girl who was given to the Emperor by her father into his harem as a low-level concubine, one who would never meet the Emperor.

Shortly after her arrival, the Emperor calls for her and makes her his secretary because she is educated, unlike women of the era, and he didn’t trust his advisors. He came to trust her in all things including her opinion on important matters. When Emperor Taizong died, his son became reigning Emperor. Taizong had never touch Wu as his wife, but she did have a lasting love with his son, giving him children. Wu Zetian rose to power over the years, becoming the only woman Emperor to ever rule China.

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