You've reached a page on, a site dedicated to some of my hobbies including: Astronomy, Historical Fiction, and Web Site Design. Since the layout of this site is based on CSS, the site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards; however, it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Historical Novels

Friends and Family

Old links in need of updating. Removed for now.

Court of the Lion

by Eleanor Cooney and Daniel Altieri

The Back Cover

In a Magnificent age of exotic splendor and blackest treachery, the sun set on the mighty T'ang Dynasty.

In the 8th Century, the great Emperor Hsuan-tsung arose from the flames of chaos and terror to rule the majesty that was China - a vast and mysterious domain of witches, artists, concubines, poets, and assassins. But by the year A.D. 738, tragedy upon tragedy had unhinged the beloved Son of Heaven, setting loose the jackals in the Court of the Lion: Li Lin-fu, the evil Chief Minister, discreetly gaining power through intrigue and murder...An Lu-shan, the sadistic barbarian general, who played the royal buffoon while plotting his master's downfall... Yang Kuei-fei, the beautiful Precious Consort, whose hunger for decadent erotic pleasures could destroy a dynasty. And the fate of the T'ang throne rested in the hands of one trusted advisor: the eunuch Kao Li-shih - he who had sacrificed his manhood to become the second most important man in Imperial China... and would sacrifice his life to save a glorious kingdom.

Back to the Top

The Location

Back to the Top

The Timeline

The following timeline is provided to help put The Court of the Lion into perspective. Although the underlying story in The Court of the Lion is the famous An Lu-Shan rebellion, The Court of the Lion is much much more than just a "war" story. It is a story of the people's lives in the years before the rebellion, covering the period from 738 to 757 AD.

   1766 - 1122 BC  Shang Dynasty
                   First documented era of ancient China.
   1122 -  221 BC  Chou Dynasty
                   First use of the title 'Son of Heaven' and the
                   phrase 'mandate from heaven' implying a king's
                   right to rule.        
    221 -  206 BC  Ch'in Empire
                   First actual empire and first use of the title
                   'Emperor' to distinguish the ruler of the unified
    202BC- 220 AD  Han Empire                   
    220 -  581     Period of Disunity
    581 -  618     Sui Dynasty
                   China once again united after over 300 years of
                   disunity.  The Sui Dynasty was short lived, but
                   by once again uniting China, it served as the
                   foundation on which the later T'ang Dynasty could
    618 -  907     T'ang Dynasty
                   A time of expansion, poetry, and general peace.
                   An Lu-shan rebellion (755 AD)
    960 - 1279     Sung Dynasty
   1297 - 1368     Yuan Dynasty
                   Mongols rule China.
   1368 - 1644     Ming Dynasty
                   Restoration of Chinese rule in China.
   1644 - 1911     Ching Dynasty
                   Manchurian rule of China.
   1912 - 1949     Republic of China
Back to the Top


My Comments

This was one of my favorite books because the characters seemed so real. The central historical event in The Court of the Lion was the An Lu-shan rebellion and the events leading up to it, but the event takes back seat to the characters who are very richly developed in their day to day lives.  This is not to say the story is dull.  Far from it.  The story is grabbing from beginning to end, but it is the characters and the quality of writing that make this an incredible book. I highly recommend it if you are looking for more than just a historical war story. 

The only difficulty with this novel was getting used to the names. Fortunately there is an excellent pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book. It took awhile, but I eventually got used to the names and it made the book that much more enjoyable.

Comments from Others

Back to the Top


If you have read Court of the Lion and would like to have your comments included on this page, please send me your comments through feedback.