The Emperor’s Tomb


The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why?

That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date—one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn.

The Phoenix’s Perspective

I have read a few books in the Cotton Malone series before and enjoyed them.  The Emperor’s Tomb did not disappoint.

As with all his novels, history is at the heart of the story. However, Steve Berry always finds a way to give the reader all the historical knowledge without making the reader feel overwhelmed or bored. All of the interesting historical facts in this novel are woven into the conversations between the characters or through short “memory” scenes.

Also helping the reader is the fact that Berry wrote the book in short chapters. Not only does it allow the reader to get all the information in short bursts, but it also makes the reader want to keep reading (just until the next chapter – well that was short so just until the next one – and repeat!).

The storyline was also jam packed with action. There was never a dull moment for more than 2-3 pages. Every chapter was full of plotting, planning and even double/triple crossing the people around you.  As the reader, you find yourself unsure of the intentions of all the characters, except Cotton and Cassiopeia, until about the last 20-30 pages of the book.  It’s a story that keeps you guessing as to what is really happening, why is it happening and who is really involved.

Would I add it to the Library?

When you combine the reader-centered writing style with an action packed storyline, you have a book anyone would enjoy reading.


Genre: Fiction – Thriller (Espionage)
ISBN: 9780345505507
Rating: good 

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