top of page

Alison McBain

The New Empire

A young prince fights for survival when he is sold into slavery and shipped across the Pacific Ocean, by author Alison McBain

The New Empire tells the story of Jiangxi, the son of a Chinese emperor who is sold into slavery by his older brother, following his fathers’ death. Jiangxi is shipped across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of North America, where he is bought by Onas, an elder and spiritual leader of the Haudenosaunee and Mutsun Native American tribes. Jiangxi becomes Onas’s personal, household slave, and unlike other slaves, Jiangxi has some, albeit limited, freedoms. He is able to spend time exploring his environment, where he meets other enslaved Chinese people, working in the corn fields. One day, he meets a young, enslaved girl and helps her escape, by sailing her up the river in a boat he found and repaired. Onas suspects Jiangxi’s involvement in the girl’s disappearance, and expels him from the house. Jiangxi is forced to work in the fields and live in the squalid and cramped longhouses. After twelve months, Jiangxi returns to Onas’s home, where he promises to obey his owner, but secretly hatches a plan to free other Chinese slaves. Over the next few years, Jiangxi slowly rebuilds Onas’s trust, and Onas repays him by giving him his freedom and making him his apprentice. But Jiangxi is conflicted, and torn between his loyalty to the man who liberated him, and the promise he made to his enslaved country people.

The New Empire by author Alison McBain is a captivating and mesmerizing alternative history novel, set in the west coast of North America in the eighteenth century. The book provides an interesting perspective on what might have happened, had the Chinese been the first to settle in North America. Told from the perspective of a young boy, born to an Emperor and sold into slavery, as he comes of age and fights for survival in a new world. Despite his own predicament, Jiangxi defies the authorities and risks his freedom, and his own life, to help others. The book shows the horrors and brutality of slavery, so prevalent throughout human history, but also the power of individual acts of resistance and defiance, which can change the world.

Thoroughly researched, with a gripping and believable plot, rich characters and excellent world building, this book will appeal to readers who enjoy alternative history novels.

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: A captivating and mesmerizing alternative history novel, beautifully written by Alison McBain. Highly recommended.

bottom of page