Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - The Russian Concubine

The Russian Concubine
The Russian Concubine
Author: Kate Furnivall
A sweeping novel set in war-torn 1928 China, with a star-crossed love story at its center. In a city full of thieves and Communists, danger and death, spirited young Lydia Ivanova has lived a hard life. Always looking over her shoulder, the sixteen-year-old must steal to feed herself and her mother, Valentina, who numbered among the Russian eli...  more »
Info icon
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $16.00
Buy New (Paperback): $12.79 (save 20%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $8.89+1 PBS book credit Help icon(save 44%)
ISBN-13: 9780425215586
ISBN-10: 042521558X
Publication Date: 6/27/2007
Pages: 528
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 175 ratings
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

afritt avatar reviewed The Russian Concubine on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
this book was poignant and beautifully written. It brought tears to my eyes to see the purity of love between two people so young, yet so scarred by life already. was left WIDE OPEN for a sequel! I am waiting to see!
Terelyn avatar reviewed The Russian Concubine on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
While the title is very misleading (the main character may be Russian, but at no time is she anyone's concubine), it's a very good story. Coming of age for a young woman in an international settlement, in the beginning of Communist China. So, it not only deals with her personal conflicts, but the social/political situation as well. It is well-balanced so that part isn't overwhelming to the main part of the story.
farfella68 avatar reviewed The Russian Concubine on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I am confused about the title of this book. This book is about 17 year old Lydia who falls in love with Chang. Lydia lives in a whites-only part of a Russian town. Chang is a Chinese communist that is wanted by the police. Chang gets severely injured, and Lydia nurses him back to health. They fall in love, however, they both know that they cannot be together without the danger of being killed. I thought the book was a little difficult to read. I thought that it kind of rambled on and on. If you like historical fiction with a little romance, then this book is for you.
jessielabraxas avatar reviewed The Russian Concubine on
Helpful Score: 2
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I started to get to know the characters more, I found myself sucked in. To be honest, I was expecting this book to be more sexy and less story. I was dead wrong. This is more a historical fiction and character study than a romance. It does have some romance, but the setting in time and the events surrounding the romance take center stage. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a dash of romance featuring a strong female lead.
shukween avatar reviewed The Russian Concubine on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a good read in the Gabaldon tradition; well developed characters, believeable in their settings. I especially enjoyed the unusual time period and locale that is the setting for this novel--pre-Communist revolutionary China in 1928, against the background of expat White Russians who fled from the 1917 revolution in Russia and are now in the midst of the same fever in China.
Read All 23 Book Reviews of "The Russian Concubine"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

23dollars avatar reviewed The Russian Concubine on + 432 more book reviews
After savoring THE JEWEL OF ST. PETERSBURG a couple of weeks ago, I just had to get my hands on this sequel! I wasn't disappointed, but I must say that I didn't enjoy THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE quite as much. The setting was no less tumultuous, due to the revolutionary times, but for me Junchow, China just wasn't quite as intoxicating as St. Petersburg, Russia; and young Lydia Ivanova wasn't nearly as enchanting as her mother Valentina had been at the same age.

However, I did still get caught up in the lives of Lydia and Chang, and their intense love story! And despite their being a few Harlequin-over-the-top spots, I truly felt their deep love and devotion for one another.

Though many of her actions and motivations were understandable, I didn't like what the loss of Jens did to Valentina. In Junchow, she is merely a shadow of the woman we came to know and love in St. Petersburg.

Lydia was quite annoying at times, but she was also a typical hot-headed, know-it-all teenager in love.

Theo the schoolmaster was the other lead character, and although he was quite complex, he wasn't necessarily all that likable. I don't mind leaving him and his life behind in Junchow.

I continue to praise Kate Furnivall's wonderful ability to bring the reader right into the time and place. The characters pop out of the pages and take on three dimensions in her action-packed writing style. And I do look forward to reading the final book in the trilogy, THE GIRL FROM JUNCHOW!

(And I agree with other reviewers about the title, THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE doesn't seem to make any sense at all.)
reviewed The Russian Concubine on + 22 more book reviews
Very good and informative book about the time period in Russia and China. It was an easy read; the plot was thick with action, subtleties and mystery. I am looking forward to reading more of this author! Lizardclaw
reviewed The Russian Concubine on + 4 more book reviews
Interesting book and a relatively quick read. The history of China was informative but not sure how detailed the research was by the author. Enjoyed the all the charactors and the way the book ended I can only hope there is a secule.