Xianggu is sold into slavery to work on a floating brothel, her virginity bought by the highest bidder. Determined to rise above her poverty and lowly status, she learns the business from the madam. But a violent midnight pirate raid destroys her ambitions. Kidnapped by the powerful pirate boss, Xianggu embarks on a journey that demands beauty, brains, and brawn. Yet she must do more than learn to wield a sword, sail a ship, and swim across the bay if she hopes to survive. She must prove her worth to the Red Flag fleet.
The winds never blow in the same direction and tragedy forces Xianggu to make a risky decision that changes not only her life but the lives of thousands of pirates. Surrounded by jealous men, devious women, ancient prejudices, and the Qing navy, Xianggu battles to save her empire, her family, and her own heart.
In 18th century China, when men made and enforced the rules, the Dragon Lady lived by her own.