She Who Became the Sun

hardcover, 416 pages

Published July 19, 2021 by Tor Books.


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3 stars (3 reviews)

To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything

Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in a bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy.

"I refuse to be nothing..."

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness...

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family's eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family's clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it …

1 edition

too many sour notes despite wanting them to succeed

3 stars

Historical drama of struggle and battles and intrigue and a gender-complicated cast vying for their place in the world and power... hints of fantastical and fanatical possibilities to come, but this was slow and violent for me.

avatar for joachim

rated it

4 stars