Title : The Moonlight Palace
Author : Liz Rosenberg
The beautiful font of the book cover really attracted me, that’s why I picked The Moonlight Palace up. Also, I have never read a historical fiction that is based in Southeast Asia and the fact that the book is set in 1920s Singapore, showed its uniqueness already.
Agnes Hussein is the descendant of the last Sultan of Singapore. Being from a royal family doesn’t mean you’re living with wealth. Agnes, together with her grandparents and great uncle had to fight against poverty. The used to be grand Kampong Glam palace was now just an old building infested with leakage. Agnes then decided to help her eccentric royal family and collected her courage to search for opportunity in the outside world.
I find Agnes Hussein to be a very likeable character. Being only 17, she is mature and thankfully free of teenager stereotypes such as being a stubborn or a know-it-all. Me likey! I like the way Rosenberg narrates the story, making it as if Agnes is such a cool girl to hang out with. She’s very naive but I don’t know why I am not annoyed with it.
I also find the writing style to be very soothing and though Agnes is only a 17 year old girl (which makes this book kind of YA-ish), The Moonlight Palace is also very suitable for adult. The description, yes, the description of the old palace and Singapore in general is very graphic. It’s as if I could touch the old palace walls or sit on the ancient chair that would collapse in any minute. Everything is very clear and as a reader, I feel really entertained. Oh, since this is a positive review, it’ll be short and brief, so let me take you to my favorite quote:
“You are too young to be so anxious about the future. The only sure thing in life is change. That is the one thing you may rely upon.”
5 rating for The Moonlight Palace. I strongly recommend this for those of you who are looking for a quick and heartwarming read. If you read mainly YA and want to dive into historical fiction, this book is for you. It’s light and without complex historical fact, yet still meaningful. Now, your turn, have you read any historical novels that is based in Asia?