Red Blossom in Snow by Jeannie Lin EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Jeannie Lin
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available for Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
Tang Dynasty China, 850 A.D.
Song Yi wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the Pingkang li. She
wasn’t the most musically gifted, nor known for being the most
captivating hostess. One didn’t have to be famous to make a living in the
pleasure quarter. In fact, being so well-known, so infamous could be a great
Such had happened to clever Li Jilan who composed poetry that received
great praise until one set of lines was deemed subversive. She was sent to the
executioner for treason. Captivating Mingyu had a circle of powerful
admirers who ended up dragging her into their dangerous schemes.
To survive in Pingkang, one didn’t have to be most or best. One simply
had to have a compelling narrative. A story that was intriguing enough.
Alluring enough. Provocative enough. And possess just enough ability to not
slip into obscurity.
Song Yi had never wanted to attract a crowd of admirers. She had no
need for dashing young men to fight over her, to die for her, to declare their
never-ending love for her. She just needed a few steady and dependable
patrons who liked her enough.
Steady and dependable was what they called Magistrate Li Chen. For a
time, Song Yi had fancied that he liked her enough. But then he had
disappeared, his favor collapsing like the waves, as they say.
She hadn’t seen or heard from Li Chen for months until this very night at
Director Guan’s banquet, when she learned that an undemanding patron
carried his own kind of curse.
The banquet was in its second hour and the half-moon had hidden behind
a blanket of clouds. The only trace of it was a ghostly light behind the gray.
With no moon visible to gaze upon, it should have been acceptable to close
the doors so the three of them weren’t freezing, but no one paid musicians so
much thought. They were merely hired entertainers. Not bonded or enslaved,
but not much higher in status.
Song Yi’s fingers were stiff from the cold, but she plucked out a dancing
melody on the strings of the guzheng nevertheless. Her courtesan-sister Pearl
accompanied her with a softly penetrating counter-melody on the flute while
Little Sparrow struggled to keep up on the erhu. Every time the girl tried to
draw her bow smoothly over the strings, her shivering would interrupt the
flow of the sound, creating a warble that Song Yi hoped the scholars in
attendance would overlook.
The fashionable silk robes they wore to perform only made matters
worse. The bureaucrats gathered warmly beside lit braziers and glowing
lanterns within the banquet room while Song Yi felt the evening breeze
through every thin layer of her robe.
Their three melodies wove around one another in a final circling dance
before fading at the song’s end. A voice cut into the silence. Their host, the
illustrious Director Guan, was making a formal welcome and announcement.
“Oh good, poetry recitation,” Pearl whispered with glee. “We can get a