"With extraordinarily evocative details, moments of disarming poignancy . . ."


                     Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Historical Novel Society

"This book was thoroughly researched, but, like all good historical fiction, it was smoothly integrated into the framework of the story.  It was well formatted, with various Chinese texts which were quoted throughout the book bolded for easy identification. These quotes, combined with breathtaking setting details, and elaborate religious ceremonies, brought 15th-century China vividly to life."                                                                               

Praise for Journey of the North Star


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"This meticulously researched historical novel brings to life the Chinese court of Chu Ti, the Yong Le Emperor, who reigned from 1403-1424. After the Yong Le Emperor’s death, Ma Yun, a humble eunuch who faithfully served the emperor, is asked to compose an account of the Yong Le’s reign. After a brief, heartbreaking portion where Ma Yun writes about his youth and early days at the palace, the remainder of the novel is Ma Yun’s chronicle of Yong Le, occasionally dotted with dictations from a secret memoir the emperor was working on before he died. With extraordinarily evocative details, moments of disarming poignancy, and an overall verisimilitude that suggests this might really be the found work of a devoted courtier."                                                                                



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This fascinating historical novel brings to life the Chinese court of Zhu Di, the Yong Le Emperor, who reigned from 1403-1424 and made China a world power.


The story is narrated by the fictional eunuch Ma Yun, who served in the emperor's court. Replete with military campaigns, religious ceremonies, and the philosophical foundation that informs the Emperor's decisions through times good and bad, Journey of the North Star will appeal to readers interested in Eastern religions, history, philosophy, and the political outlook that still influences China today. 


"With extraordinarily evocative details, moments of disarming poignancy, and an overall verisimilitude that suggests this might really be the found work of a devoted courtier.” 

                                         Publishers Weekly






Journey of the North Star

by Douglas Penick