Lord of Formosa by Joyce Bergvelt
A limp start, but pretty strong finish for this exiting book about the Ming loyalist, pirate, and military commander, who was responsible for pushing the Dutch out of Formosa.
The author was really good at illustrating the inner politics of the VOC, Dutch trading company, in Batvia and in Taiwan. She wasn't as good about bringing the story in China to life. The story really sagged until Koxinga came into the scene. The childhood of Koxinga's father, Zheng Zhilong was pretty boring.
There is precious little detail to build 17th century world for you. I have read many, many books about the history of Imperial China, and Taiwan, so I have the background knowledge to enjoy this book. I'm not sure how much somebody with sparse knowledge of China & Taiwan would enjoy this book.
I really, really wanted to love this book, but if you want to learn about how the Dutch were expelled from Taiwan, you should read the book, “Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China's First Great Victory Over the West” by Tonio Andrade. That's not to say this book isn't well researched, but at times it just felt like a novelization of a history book.
Rating: ★★★★ Book #47 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge