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The Ascent to Godhood

(Tensorate #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  968 ratings  ·  153 reviews
The Protector is dead.

For fifty years, the Protector ruled, reshaping her country in her image and driving her enemies to the corners of the map. For half a century the world turned around her as she built her armies, trained her Tensors, and grasped at the reins of fate itself. Now she is dead. Her followers will quiver, her enemies rejoice.

But in one tavern, deep in rebe
Paperback, 122 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by
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Skye Walker Yes, the four stories work best when read together. This final volume relies heavily on events and world-building set up in the first three as the pow…moreYes, the four stories work best when read together. This final volume relies heavily on events and world-building set up in the first three as the powerful ending to the entire series. Though a series may be daunting, they are all novellas so they may actually surprise you with how short each one is!(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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The Ascent to Godhood is about the relationship between Hekate, the series' villainess, and Lady Han, a courtesan-turned-revolutionary. It follows how the two met, the times they spent together, and how the relationship fell apart - so, yes, it's basically an f/f villain romance, with delicious intrigue in the background.

The Tensorate is a series of novellas written in unusual formats, some of which worked for me more than others, and when I heard that The Ascent to Godhood was to be a transcrip
K.J. Charles
Oct 14, 2019 added it
Shelves: f-f, fantasy
Another tremendous story in this terrific alt-Chineseish fantasy universe. This one gives us the backstory of series villains Lady Han and the Protector who ruled the Tensorate world for decades. Which is fantastic: I love a villain narrative to fill in the other side. It's a dark love story with no happy ending, told as an old woman's reminiscence in a bar. Immersive, beautifully described (probably not the place to start the story even if, technically, it's mostly a prequel). And once again a ...more
Omg. This book is perfect, this series is perfect, I love everything about this SO MUCH.
Wow! This series keeps blowing me away. Each book is written in a completely different style and voice, so they all have a really distinct feel to them. And to my mind, each book in this series has been better than the one before it (although comparing them is tricky because of how different they are. It may be that this world is just growing on me as I become more familiar with it).

This one is narrated entirely as a tipsy/drunken ramble of reminiscences by Lady Han, previously known as a bit o
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
the covers for this series are always gorgeous and this is about sapphic lovers to enemies!!! definitely my favorite so far.
Shaun Hutchinson
This continues to be a wonderful series.
When I finished The Descent of Monsters, I assumed this book would be a continuation of that storyline and I didn’t even bother reading the blurb. But this one turned out to be something very different and unexpected.

I’ve read someone describe this book as a drunken monologue and that’s just perfect. It’s very conversational but we only get to hear one side of the dialogue, however that didn’t take away from the story at all. I quite liked this style of storytelling. And the best part, this is a
Dawn C
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-kindle
A short but interesting continuation of the Tensorate universe. I love how Yang manages to renew their writing by every novella. It keeps them feeling refreshingly new.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And now for some back story. Hekate’s rise to be the Protector is intertwined with Lady Han’s life story. I can’t resist a cantankerous old lady narrator, so Ascent sucked me right in, but didn’t quite sustain my delight in the final act - I was as interested in Han as in Hekate, and frustrated not to get more detail on her life as a Machinist.

3.5 stars

Full review
Divine Anas
OH MY DEAR LERD. This was the shortest novella of the series but it was by far my favorite because it tied id not all, most of the loose ends of the series. THIS WAS A FCKING DELIGHT TO READ. I'll be writing full reviews soon of this series! Definitely a fave now plus that cover is so gorgeous???
"Even you, my precious peony. Even you will turn against me when the time is right."

TW: suicide, rape, pedophilia, death of a child

Actual rating: 3.5 ⭐️

This was definitely an impressive short story! Mainly because it was a villain f/f romance and the actions and power-moves these two ladies orchestrated together were just spectacular.
I really liked Lady Han and Hekate. They were both cunning and resourceful, ambitious and heartless. My kind of characters, basically.

I also liked the writing sty
Actual review: 4.75

"Would she even shed any tears over my death? Or would she triumphantly say, I was right, and then go on with her life?

No. If I was to die, I would give her hell before I did."

The Ascent to Godhood is the fourth and final book in the Tensorate series and it’s by far my favourite.

The Tale of Lady Han

Yes, yes, yes! This is exactly what I wanted from the Tensorate series. I wanted character journeys, thrilling political intrigue, and more than anything, I wanted a proper story
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual JY Yang blows me away with their wildly different narrative styles, unique plots and richly drawn, three dimensional characters. I read this latest (last?) installment in the Tensorate series in one sitting, staying up late because I couldn’t put it down. It’s a perfect companion to the other three books and fills in some important gaps in the history. Definitely worth the read if you’ve enjoyed the previous books and I very much hope that they continue to explore this world in the futu ...more
Would she even shed any tears over my death? Or would she triumphantly say, I was right, and then go on with her life?
No. If I was to die, I would give her hell before I did.

Actual rating: 3.5★

I think this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me. Had I not read this book before a supposed-to-be-happening-but-then-got-cancelled exam I think I couldn’t really bring myself to dive back into this world as much as I would have liked.

Set after the protector’s death, The Ascent to Godhood is the lovers/alli
Gail (The Knight Reader)
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love a good villain backstory, so I particularly enjoyed this look into The Protector’s life. The second-person voice did not bother me at all, and I like that I had to use some brain cells to figure out who the narrator was talking to. Connecting the dots between The DESCENT of Monsters and The ASCENT of Godhood was particularly rewarding. The unresolved political tension did not perturb me enough to lower the rating, and maybe I’m handing out a generous grade for sentimentality. Nonetheless, ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think these just keep getting better! I love this series so much! I can't wait for more. Definitely an auto buy author for me.
Elle Maruska
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again I'm legit blown away by how GOOD ALL OF THESE NOVELLAS ARE LIKE OMG.

I said this in a review of The Descent of Monsters but Yang has this absolutely amazing ability to take a series and make each book sound like a completely different genre: epic fantasy, action-packed adventure, hardboiled noir, and now this latest addition--a deeply introspective character-driven tragic love story. Yet despite these various styles of storytelling, the books all fit together perfectly, giving us a mil
Diana Green
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqa, fantasy
This is certainly well-written and engaging, even if the plot and ending are far from happy. I especially appreciate the world-building in this series. J.Y. Yang has an incredible imagination and writes intense, unique stories. I might wish for a few more "feel-good" elements, but that's just a matter of personal taste.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, fantasy
This is a sentimental 4 ⭐. If I look at it more objectively it ought to be more of a 3-3.5. It's Lady Han's story told in a conversational 1st person that occasionally switches to 2nd when she addresses an unidentified audience. There aren't as many memorable, high impact lines or scenes in comparison to previous entries, with one of the most pivotal plot points handled in about a paragraph.

But I enjoyed it so much 😄. I am 100% invested in this series such that a life told over several drinks is
can i still call it my favourite series of all time even if i rated all four books 4 stars? i think so.

this is a fantasy/political drama series set in a chinese inspired world. 'tensors' are people who practice 'slackcraft' and can manipulate the slack (it's like an another dimension similar to space i think) and with it they can control metals, plants, water and air (few can control time too). and commons cannot do any of it, so tensions between the two groups is always on a high. the prote
Tsana Dolichva
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Ascent to Godhood by JY Yang is the fourth novella in the Tensorate series. It tells its own story, but it does contain sort of spoilers for some of the earlier novellas, especially The Descent of Monsters, I think (they have all blurred a little in my memory). I suspect some of the worldbuilding set up in earlier books helps a bit with getting your bearings in this novella, but it's not essential.

Told as a one-sided conversation in a bar, this is the kind of story that grabs you with its un
Emma Cathryne
Once again, Yang has twisted my expectations to provide a fascinating continuation of their series. Their experimental work has proved the most fascinating so far: I was drawn in by the first two novellas, and captured by the third and fourth.

This novella follows Lady Han, the mysterious leader of the machinist movement and once lover and confidant of the villainous Protector herself. The story unspools itself in a discursive drunken bar monologue, setting a unique tone from the start. I though
My favorite in a strong series. The cover art is as glorious as the rest. The story - well it’s brilliantly told because you can see how it could have been a 600 page novel. And popular that way. But better this way. Honed and sharpened.

Let’s face it, we’ve all read the 600 page fantasy novel with a young empress and her assassin coming of age. We don’t need to take the meandering path. It’s a seat of the pants story as an old woman’s reminiscence in a bar one evening. More exciting, and you ge
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five stars because I adore this series and the way JY Yang makes every novella a unique snapshot of the world they invented. They are an incredibly versatile and talented writer.
As with the last book, I crave more. More of characters like Akeha, Mokoya, Thennjay and Rider. I hope this is not the last novella in the series. I'd like to see at least one more sequel, as The Ascent to Godhood is pretty much a prequel apart from the event that leads to Lady Han telling her story.

One minor gripe: To
actual rating: 3.5

This book is about Mokoya and Akeha's mother before she was [whatever her title is, I forget it right now] and is told from the point of view of a woman who was her servant and lover for most of her life. It was definitely an interesting look at a character we had only seen from afar before but unfortunately this was the shortest book yet in the series I think it did suffer a bit because of that. Still an interesting series though. It is unfortunate that I fell so hard for Akeh
Lois Young
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WHOA!!! Not the way I thought this series would end this way! In short, this novella completed and the series, in which everything came together in a full circle: motives and behaviors were explained, and the foundation(s) of an Empire brought its denizens together under the same purpose. Anyone who enjoys historical political fiction and/or silkpunk needs to read this book and this series.

My review of the complete series is forthcoming!
Review to be posted at Fantasy Literature.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was one of my favourites in the series. The story of the Protector from someone who both loves and hates her and the journey between the two.
So I admit, I wasn't wild about the first two books in the series. But books three and four totally make up for that and I can't wait to see what Yang will come up with next!
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this might well be my favourite novella in the series
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JY Yang is the author of the Tensorate series of novellas from Tor.Com Publishing (The Red Threads of Fortune, The Black Tides of Heaven, and two more slated for 2018 and 2019). Their short fiction has been published in over a dozen venues, including Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and Strange Horizons.

In previous incarnations, they have been a molecular biologist; a writer for animati

Other books in the series

Tensorate (4 books)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate, #1)
  • The Red Threads of Fortune (Tensorate #2)
  • The Descent of Monsters (Tensorate, #3)

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