She Who Became the Sun
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An absorbing historical fantasy, She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan reimagines the rise to power of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor.
‘This audacious, brilliant debut is a vivid, original reimagining . . . immersive storytelling at its finest’ – Daily Mail
‘Magnificent in every way. War, desire, vengeance, politics – Shelley Parker-Chan has perfectly measured each ingredient’ – Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree
‘A thoroughly engrossing read with a fabulous, tragic-trickster protagonist’ – Megan Campisi, author of Sin Eater
‘A dazzling new world of fate, war, love and betrayal’ – Zen Cho, author of Black Water Sister
In a famine-stricken village on a dusty plain, a seer shows two children their fates. For a family’s eighth-born son, there’s greatness. For the second daughter, nothing.
In 1345, China lies restless under harsh Mongol rule. And when a bandit raid wipes out their home, the two children must somehow survive. Zhu Chongba despairs and gives in. But the girl resolves to overcome her destiny. So she takes her dead brother’s identity and begins her journey. Can Zhu escape what’s written in the stars, as rebellion sweeps the land? Or can she claim her brother’s greatness – and rise as high as she can dream?
This is a glorious tale of love, loss, betrayal and triumph by a powerful new voice.
‘As brilliant as Circe . . . a deft and dazzling triumph’ – Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne
‘Epic, tragic and gorgeous’ – Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
She Who Became the Sun is a reimagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
She Who Became the Sun is epic, tragic, and gorgeous. It will wreck you, and you will be grateful — Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January A thoroughly engrossing read with a fabulous, tragic-trickster protagonist. The exploration of gender and personhood was totally absorbing . . . I’ve been waiting for a book like this — Megan Campisi, author of Sin Eater Epic, sublime and emotionally devastating, She Who Became the Sun is as brilliant as Circe, and a deft and dazzling triumph — Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne Parker-Chan unrolls the painted scroll of her epic tale with the control of a master storyteller, revealing a dazzling new world of fate, war, love and betrayal — Zen Cho, author of Black Water Sister A gripping tale of rise to power, fate, betrayals and the bloody beginnings and endings of dynasties. Heartbreaking, stirring, haunting — Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings Evocative and heart-rending, Parker-Chan’s debut is a poetic masterpiece about war, love and identity — S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass Magnificent in every way. War, desire, vengeance, politics – Shelley Parker-Chan has perfectly measured each ingredient of this queer historical epic. Glinting with bright rays of wit and tenderness, yet unafraid to delve into the deep shadows of human ambition, She Who Became the Sun, like Zhu, is unquestionably destined for greatness — Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree Stunning, powerful and complex — Anna Stephens, author of Godblind She Who Became the Sun is an intense and sweeping epic that blurs the lines between rebellion and revenge, between fate and ambition, exposing the inherent violence of gendered ideologies and the traumas they create in ourselves and the world — Tessa Gratton, author of The Queens of Innis Lear Zhu is a hero unlike any other – her propulsive desire to survive at any cost powers a glorious novel that encompasses grand betrayal, love, loss and triumph. An unforgettable debut — A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name A cinematic tour de force that feels classic and yet utterly fresh — C. S. Pacat, author of Captive Prince Instantly enthralling. Zhu is canny, charming, and ruthless as she claims her own fate in a richly detailed world, challenging dynasties and gender in the process — Malinda Lo, author of Legend This audacious, brilliant debut is a vivid, original reimagining . . . Peopled by flawed, fearless characters and with a dramatically violent storyline, this is immersive storytelling at its finest — Daily Mail
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