What the critics said

Despite the great changes that have taken place over the past centuries, human nature remains unchanged…Williams’ historical novels provide us with a historical perspective on what happens today…They appeal to both Western and Eastern readers.
Zhu Yuan – China Daily

The Book of the Alchemist

In The Book of the Alchemist Adam Williams brings complex history alive. He moves into Dan Brown’s territory of archaeological and religious mystery with an epic sweep and brilliant story-telling of love, war and morality that touches all our lives.
Humphrey Hawksley – BBC World Affairs Correspondent

A thousand years go by in a flash as Williams spins a yarn uniting childhood camaraderie in the 11th century with the violence of the 20th-century civil war. Be prepared to be captivated.

Reading this tale about Spain struggling to reconcile its identities is like opening a beautifully wrapped parcel to find a gift of equal wonder within….The parallels between past and present in this book, and again with reality, will touch the heart of any reader.
Straits Times, Singapore

Captures the imagination from page one…the perfect book for curling up with at the weekend.

A well crafted novel that’s a melting pot of history, religion, culture, idealism and love.
Choice Magazine

A moving portrait of the power of love and friendship
The Good Book Guide

The possibility of harmony between people of different backgrounds and beliefs is presented as a flickering ideal in this historical novel set in the 11th and 20th centuries… insights into love and idealism in all periods of history.
The Sunday Canberra Times

Romp through Spanish history …. Williams handles his material deftly, draws pertinent parallels and builds the tensions in his interlinked tales well.

Epic adventure
Woman and Home

The Arabian Nights transposed to the Spanish Civil War
Editor’s Choice, Historical Novels Review

The Dragon’s Tail

Meticulously recreating the past, Williams’s exploration of the effect of the cultural revolution on the Chinese psyche is gripping …..This is a compelling account of a people’s ability to survive in the face of adversity.
Anna Scott – The Guardian

The Dragon’s Tail is the third in Adam Williams’s wonderful trilogy of historical novels about modern China. Set during the tumultuous period from the 1960s to the 1980s, and narrated from two separate perspectives, one British and one Chinese, the novel epitomizes all of the author’s greatest strengths. First and foremost there is his masterful command of genre, blending a delicious spy story with exactly the right amount of romance. But others can do that too. What makes Williams novels about China truly unique is his highly sophisticated knowledge of modern Chinese history as well as his intimate familiarity with the attitudes and experiences of both British people in China, and Chinese people themselves. The Dragon’s Tail is most special because it ends with what I consider to be, to the best of my knowledge, the best fictional representation ever of the June Fourth 1989 massacre by any author of any nationality. Williams achieves what no Chinese author has been capable of so far. I do not know if he was there at the time, but thanks to him I now know what it must have been like.
Michel Hockx – Professor of Chinese, SOAS, University of London

The Emperor’s Bones

Epic novel…a convoluted crew of warlords, nationalists, communists and debonair English expats awaits…in a story that suggests history is repeated not as farce, but as adventure and romance
Financial Times

This book is poetic and romantic in parts, harrowing and tragic in others. It’s not exactly light, holiday reading, as it requires a hefty amount of concentration, but persevere when the going gets tough and you’ll be richly rewarded.****

THE EMPEROR’S BONES is the new blockbuster from the author of  THE PALACE OF HEAVENLY PLEASURE, which was set in the Boxer Rebellion and was a truly sensational read. The time has moved forward nearly a quarter of a century to 1922, with Communism – both Soviet and Chinese – on the rise, warlordism rampant and a beautiful young nurse being buffeted by perils personal, political, emotional and financial. I’m 100 pages in and I now look forward to every moment of spare time between now and the end of the summer holidays in which to finish it. The author has lived and worked in China and Hong Kong for much of his life, and therefore has an acute ear for convincing dialogue: he has also clearly taken many of the huge range of characters from his own family, who have lived in China since the 19th century. The resulting combination of high politics, low cunning, passionate love-story and sweeping, cinematic Sino-saga will keep me very happy.
Andrew Roberts

Bravo! What a magnificent achievement. I found myself absolutely gripped throughout …I shall be recommending the book highly to everyone I know
Rana Mitter – University Lecturer, Chinese Studies, Oxford University

High drama, political intrigue, mopral quagmires, and a healthy dose of romance are key ingredients for rip-roaring adventure. Adam Williams’ new epic The Emperor’s Bones has the lot
Time Out Beijing

Heart-rending reading … A damn good read
South China Morning Post

THE EMPEROR’S BONES is a swashbuckling novel with the right ingredients for a riveting read, and a movie too …A rollicking, action-packed, lusty tale of adventure. It’s certain to be very successful, and it deserves to be. It would make an excellent film. Anyone who wants many hours of none-too-taxing thrills will enjoy it. But it’s also very well-researched, and readers will receive a painless education in the politics of China in the 1920s while relishing the rolls in the hay, the grand set-pieces, and the rapid movement of characters and events across the landscapes of eastern China.
Taipei Times

The Palace of Heavenly Pleasure

A rattling good read. Full of love and loss and guts and gore and derring-do, this is as good as an adventure story gets…Williams is a master
The Times

An epic historical and romantic story as well as an impressive first novel
Sunday Mirror

A sweeping tale of love, subtlety and courage…Rising passion meets passionate uprising in the far East
Sunday Telegraph

There is a cinematic feel to this novel, as the action shifts from one great set-piece to another

A rollicking monster of a book…As a good yarn and as fascinating political detail, this is a compelling read.
South China Morning Post

James Clavell left a huge gap in Far Eastern epic storytelling … it looks as if he finally has a successor with the appearance of Williams’s novel on the Boxer rebellion of 1900…Williams intermingles romance, peril and murder in the old China and spikes it with emotion and a spirit of adventure… Heavenly pleasure indeed
Publishing News

Intrigue, adventure and romance await, but it is Williams’s vivid knowledge of China and the complexities which lie within the sleeping dragon that make this a worthy read
Straits Times

Story-telling of the epic kind – this 700 page tale about sinners and lovers in 1900’s China will have you gripped

A first-rate story, peopled by passionate, believable characters and rich in historical and political detail
Publishers Weekly

A blockbuster with a difference
Daily Mail