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The Ascent to Godhood

(Tensorate #4)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,977 ratings  ·  347 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 Tor.com
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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 4.02  · 
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 ·  1,977 ratings  ·  347 reviews

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Kai Spellmeier
Apr 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, queer
A tremendous finale to a spectacular series. I can't properly express how much I loved this last instalment. It's my favourite by far and the more I think about it the better it gets. This cannot be the last we've seen of this world. I need more. This is only the beginning. Someone please answer my prayers. ...more
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.
Dec 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a way to finish out the year!

This whole series has been incredibly innovative, with different style and tone each novella. This time around we are sitting down with a woman who is just a little bit tipsy, telling us her life story (2nd person pov), so it has by far the most casual voice of the series. This woman takes us on her journey from rural peasant girl with nothing, to elite training as a courtesan, to a rise to power alongside (and in the bed) of a powerful woman in a court full of
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.
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
The perfect finale to "The Tensorate Series" is a heart-breaking story of love and betrayal, narrated by the infamous Lady Han, leader of the Machinist movement. Of course, she wasn't always Lady Han, and the person who would elevate her to power would also one day become her greatest foe...

This story of rags to riches, drunklenly told by the great Lady to someone sent to her by Chuwan Sarima, finally gives us the story of how Hekate, the harsh Protector most of this series has orbited around, c
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
This was the shortest of the four novellas and did not leave the biggest impression. I appreciated the character work, but wanted more plot in this one. While not the strongest of the four works, I would still be interested to read more stories set in this world. 

Disclaimer I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of the Tensorate series bindup edition.
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 F
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
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??? ...more
"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
Sep 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
Hmm I liked the style of this one. But the ending the series overall was a bit lackluster. I was sad this one doesn't really focus on Akeha, Mokoya or Rider. :( ...more
Andrea McDowell
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spec fic publishers have, over the last ten years, finally realized that fantasy novels do not need to be about straight white dudes of humble origins being force-fed a narrative of their own exceptional greatness on a frog-march to defeating ultimate evil/their "destiny," and one of the best outcomes of that epiphany is this wonderful fantasy series, a gender-bending set of novellas set in an Asian country with an utterly original magic system and society, and the psychologically most realistic ...more
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love this world and this series SO MUCH. It just keeps getting better and better and more and more inventive with narrative styles and voices. I have read so many recent works in the silkpunk vein, and they are not created equal. Very few come close to how vivid and refreshing this series and world is. I am always blown away by the choice of POV and narrative style for each installment, that tackles a very specific occurrence in the world and shows you such a wide and thrilling view of what's ...more
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
Nov 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy_2021
4.5 stars

one of my favorite novellas till date! i love villains i love tragedy i love evil gay people<3
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
Gail (The Knight Reader)
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. ...more
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
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
James Hynes
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful conclusion to a series I've really grown to love. Good to see Yang is moving onto a new series and I can't wait to pick it up, but I hope they one day return to Akeha, Mokoya and the gang. ...more
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this might well be my favourite novella in the series
Oct 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It’s been years and years since I finished a book in one day. This book is that good.
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
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Neon Yang, formerly J.Y. Yang, is a Singaporean writer of English-language speculative fiction. Yang is non-binary and queer, and uses they/them pronouns.

Yang has written a series of "silkpunk" novellas, and has published short fiction since 2012. Their novella The Black Tides of Heaven was nominated for the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella, the 2018 Kitschies Golden Tentacle and the 2018 Hugo A

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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