December 16, 2023 – Posted in: Last King of Shang

If you’re reading our Last King of Shang series, you’ve probably noticed that Book 1 does not have poems at the beginning of each chapter, but Books 2 and 3 do. That’s our fault. When we wrote the first book, we just focused on retelling the story. But as we got deeper into the project, we decided that the poems were an important part of the story, so we included them in Books 2 and 3.

Now, in order to make things consistent, we’ve now gone back and added them to Book 1.

Turns out that “adding poems” is a lot more work than it sounds like. The original poems were written five hundred years ago, and have lots of obscure literary and historical references. They also use vocabulary that’s way outside the HSK4 word list that we try to use. So to make the poems comprehensible to our loyal readers, we have rewritten them to use simpler language. This means we’ve had to substantially rewrite and simplify most of the poems. But if you really want to read the originals, they are included at the end of each book. We encourage you to try your hand at translating them yourself!

If you’ve already purchased Book 1 and would like an updated version that has the poems included, please email us at Tell us that you’d like to read the updated copy, and please include some evidence that you actually bought the book (a receipt from Amazon, or a photo of you holding the book). We will send you a free ebook version, in either PDF or EPUB format, your choice.

This offer is only good through the end of January 2024.

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Vocabulary lists for Last King of Shang series »