Date: 01 May, 1993 — used only — Book
Charles Carrington wants to travel to China, the Forbidden Kingdom, where foreigners have been unable to penetrate for the better part of a century. His talks with the British government have led him to Gandahara, a small country high in the Himalayas where he is to get a guide. That guide is Tamai, a woman with powerful - and mostly uncontrolled - magic, because the magic of Gadahara depends upon having children as an anchor, and Tamai is barren.
The trip to China is complicated by many things, including the fact that Lord Charles is very leery of "letting" a woman go into danger, and the fact that he doesn't believe in yush, the Mongolian demons barely held in check by the power of the Red Hat sect. Tamai has to pose as a slave, something that is very difficult for a proud warrior. And everything is complicated by the fact that no English are allowed to enter the Forbidden Kingdom, and those who are caught are put to death...
Margaret Ball is a writer whose books are lighthearted and fun to read, even with the undertone of abuse she puts in. (In this book, Tamai develops a protective relationship with Shahi, a young dancing slave who has spent most of her life being abused.) Perhaps it is because in her books, when someone is hurt, they are usually saved, and the abuser usually gets a satisfying comeuppance.