My only complaint is that it got too moralistic towards the last couple hundred pages and had killed off its two most interesting characters with over one hundred pages to go. After over one thousand pages of unmitigated bad behavior, to suddenly have the amoral, cruel, and sex-crazed Ximen Qing and his fifth wife, Pan Jinlian get their comeuppance (and Pan Jinlian’s maid, Chunmei, who is actually dies during coitus, so maybe not so bad?) feels tacked on. As if there were some morality police (and there might have been) insisting that there be consequences for being so bad all the time.
But that’s nitpicking. What a ride. You’re dumped straight into a different and interesting milieu and if you’re any kind of person at all, you’ll learn something about medieval Chinese culture.