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Book Review/Giveaway: In The Forbidden City. Ends Nov 15th

In the Forbidden City


In The Forbidden City by Chiu Kwong-chiu, Nancy S. Steinhardt (Editor), Ben Wang (Goodreads Author) (Translator) 


Serving as the seat of imperial power for six centuries, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous and enigmatic landmarks. Accompanied by a mischievous cat, readers will tour this colossal architectural structure, discovering the secrets hidden inside the palace walls. They will encounter the people who have walked through its halls and gardens, including emperors, empresses, and rebel leaders, and hear exciting tales about the power struggles and intrigues of everyday life.

This large format book conveys the grandeur of the Forbidden City through highly detailed line drawings of its buildings, gardens, and courtyards with numerous fold-out spreads. Each page is populated by a large variety of characters and peppered with entertaining anecdotes. Every book includes a plastic magnifying glass for looking at the drawings more closely.

Age: 9 +

Cost: $14.96 on


  • Series: We All Live in the Forbidden City
  • Hardcover: 52 pages
  • Publisher: China Institute in America; First Edition,First,Hardcover with Jacket edition (October 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989377601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989377607


My Review: The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. In The Forbidden City, learn about the 16 Emperors during the Ming Dynasty. For almost 600 years, the Forbidden City was home to the Chinese emperor. It also contained a stupendous amount of masterpieces and rare treasures, which were handled down from generation to generation.

It is interesting to know that an emperor was considered the Son of Heaven and the Forbidden City, as the focal point of the emperor’s rule, was where heaven met earth.

Travel through time as the book unfolds the history of the Forbidden City. How some of the emperors became wealthy and powerful, how the empire suffered a slow decline crippled by invasions from foreign countries. Take a tour through the Meridian Gate; The Year Ten Thousand Envoys came to pay tribute (The Gate of Supreme Harmony), Hall of Mental Cultivation, the North Gate of the Forbidden City and many more.

Also, learn about the important woman of China, Empress Dowager Cixi. She was a powerful and charismatic woman who unofficially but effectively controlled the Manchu Qing dynasty in China for 47 years, from 1861 when Emperor Xianfeng passed away and her son became Emperor Tongzhi she was promoted to Empress Dowager. With her son too young to rule, she successfully orchestrates a coup over powerful ministres and was appointed co-regent and now could attend to the affairs of the state with her son. She died in 1908.

The book also gives detailed pencil outline drawings of the Forbidden City, including the buildings, gardens, courtyards and more with symmetrical layouts. I really enjoyed reading the book and I hope you will too.



FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Rebekah Epstein in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.



About the Author: Chiu Kwong-chiu is an artist, designer, and professor who explores Chinese traditional visual arts and adopts groundbreaking methods to interpret and promote Chinese art and culture. He founded the CnC Design and Cultural Studies Workshop in Hong Kong, where he provides guidance and leadership in the research, interpretation, and promotion of traditional and contemporary design and Chinese culture.

Ben Wang (translator) is a senior lecturer in humanities at China Institute, an instructor of Chinese at the United Nations, and guest lecturer at numerous prestigious academic and cultural institutions.


Giveaway Rules


There will be 1 winner  

This Giveaway is Open to the USA Only!

Winner will be selected by

Giveaway Ends Nov 15th, 2014

Comments like these would be deleted – Great contest, please enter me, Love to win this! This is so cute!

Mandatory: Leave a comment about the review below. Leaving a helpful comment relating to this book would be appreciated and valid to the giveaway.

Giveaway Guidelines and Disclaimer  

Winners are selected via Random and notified by email. You have 48 hours to respond;

If no response, the prize is forfeited and an alternate winner is chosen.

This Giveaway Has Ended

Winner is #2 – Mary Ann Linder

October 22, 2014 - Posted by | Book Review, Free Giveaways | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. We have heard of the Forbidden City but do not know much about it. The drawings look amazing & so detailed. This looks like a great ‘coffee-table’ book for the grandchildren to enjoy.

    Comment by tmy56 | October 22, 2014 | Reply

  2. Not only will the grandchildren learn from this, but so will I,

    Comment by Mary Ann Linder | October 22, 2014 | Reply

  3. What an interesting concept this book is, it will help children and young readers understand what the Forbidden City was and what life was like, I think that it is another way to expose children and readers to other customs and beliefs, thank you for having so many different books to open our children and grandchildrens minds.

    Comment by Dorothy Teel | November 4, 2014 | Reply

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