Book Clubs

You may find The Moon in the Palace enjoyable, if you like:

 The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2)The Joy Luck ClubGeishagood earth_

Pictures of a book club meeting:


Who was Empress Wu?

A portrait of wu_zetian_empress_of_china1

Empress Wu, also known as Wu Zetian, was the one and only female who ruled China. A controversial historical figure, she was forced to leave home and serve Emperor Taizong in the palace at the age of thirteen, banished to a nunnery at the age of twenty-three, came to power at the age of twenty-nine, and ruled the country in her own name at the age of sixty-five.

For a unique woman like Empress Wu, it’s a surprise to many people that her memorial tablet was left blank. Was that intentional? Was that an oversight? Here’s the epitaph I wrote upon request and was broadcast on Good Morning Texas.

GMT Epitaph

“I absolutely loved Weina Dai Randel’s The Moon in the Palace, which is a truly immersive experience and a rare and beautiful treasure.” — Elizabeth Chadwick, New York Times bestselling author

“This (The Moon in the Palace) is a page turner that will transport you in time and place.” — Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America’s First Daughter

“THE EMPRESS OF BRIGHT MOON is one of the most beautifully written, impeccably researched and well-constructed historical fiction novels released this year.” — BookReporter

Where to buy:


Schedule a book club meeting

Weina is happy to meet in person with book clubs in the Dallas Fort-Worth area. For book clubs in other cities, Weina can meet via Skype or phone. Send her an email to [email protected] with questions and reserve a date!

Having a book club meeting and need a recipe? 

I came across this recipe of savory-asian-meatballs-recipe at a book club and loved the meatballs. It’ll be great to go with Asian salad!


Discussion Questions (a complete list of questions is also available upon request. Send requests here.)

1. How much do you know about the palace women in ancient China before you read this novel? In what ways do you think the palace women in China were similar to those in Europe? In what ways they were different?

2. The novel opens with the monk’s prediction of Mei’s destiny. What do you think of Mei’s and Mei’s father’s reaction to the prediction? How would you define the concept of destiny?

3. Discuss the theme of deception. How does the Emperor deceive the kingdom? How does Jewel deceive the Emperor and the other women? How will you relate this to Sun Tzu’s comment that “All warfare is based on the deception,” which Mei was instructed to learn?

4. Discuss the many facades of love in the novel, and how it manifests itself in the following characters: Mei, Pheasant, Jewel, Emperor Taizong, Taizi, and the Noble Lady.