She Who Became the Sun
To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything
“I refuse to be nothing…”
In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two ...more
Win a Copy of This Book
Format: Print book
Giveaway ends in:
Availability: 50 copies available, 5181 people requesting
Giveaway dates: Apr 19 - May 10, 2021
Countries available: U.S. and Canada
ARC provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.
She Who Became the Sun has the bravery to pitch itself as The Song of Achilles meets Mulan and actually live up to it.
If you’re active on bookish social media, you should know that She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is one of the two most hyped books published by Tor Books this year; the other one being The Blacktongue Thie ...more
This was pitched as Mulan meets The Song of Achilles, and it was that and so much more. A glorious epic in every sense of the word. Fate is a tricky thing, and after hearing a fortune teller give reference to her brother's destiny for greatness, the girl expects to hear very much the same. However, her own destiny is revealed to be just that: nothing. While her brother is fated to rise up and leave his mark upon the world, she is expected to fade from view, unremembered. Starving and ...more
this is more similar to ‘the poppy war.’ its a dark, brutal, unforgiving tale about characters who will do whatever they can in order the achieve what they believe is their fate.
there is no soft, wholesome love in these pages. there are antiheroes who use people and connections in order to serve their purp ...more
This is the queer epic fantasy we all needed.
Before reading, I didn’t know what exactly to expect with “Mulan meets The Song of Achilles” but it is just that, while being so painfully aware of it’s own setting that reminds me more of The Poppy War with its brutal nature. Accompanied by a unique perspective, charming yet complex cast, lyrical prose, and immersive writing style that hits all the right emotions.
— overall thoughts: 4.5 —
⇢ content warni ...more
A historical retelling that follows a lowly girl as she steals her brother's name and illustrious fate to rise from peasant to monk to military commander (and in the sequel, emperor), it is a book that shines with Zhu's desire for the fate of greatness.
full rtc to come when it's not 2am.
(will say I'm not entirely sold on t ...more
History, gay romance, ambition, war, backstabbing and dead people everywhere 💀
This book was so elaborate, so complex, with exceptional historical representation and I’m shocked this is a debut. The talent™!
The choice of putting these characters with contrasting personalities together was also very smart: I mean, a prince loved by everyone and a broody introverted general? That’s an easy win. A cold-hearted sarcastic resolute monk and a kind altruistic maternal woman? No need to say more ...more
Rating is not final and I need to think more about this one!
So you wanna tell me that this is Mulan (One of my favorite animated movies)
Meets The Song of Achilles (One of my favorite books)
ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. ...more
“Desire is the cause of all suffering. All Zhu had ever desired was to live. Now she felt the pure strength of that desire inside her, as inseparable as her breath or qi, and knew she would suffer from it. She couldn’t even begin to imagine the awful magnitude of the suffering that would be required to achieve greatness in the chaotic, violent world outside.”
While I can see why She Who Became the Sun has drawn comparisons to Mulan (we have Zhu ‘posing’ as a man), The S ...more
SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN is a book about gender identity (amongst other things). While the two genderqueer protagonists reflect aspects of my own experiences of genderqueerness, this doesn't mean these perspectives are necessarily affirming to any other LGBTQIA+ identifying persons. Please read the warnings if you're concerned, and take care of yourselves.
Most violence occurs offscreen, and the level of depicted bl ...more
Because! uh! WOAHHHHHH.
- In this reimagining of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty, this story follows a girl, who is destined for nothingness, who takes her brother's destiny of greatness, and her ascension and rise to power.
- This book is... heavy, in the way that if you love heavy and intense books, you'll love this. If you love detailed historical ...more
The characters themselves are complicated and messy, driven by their desires to achieve their ends despite the pain it causes themselves and others. It's fair to say they're nearly all terrible people doing terrible things, but Parker-Chan manages to make you not just root f ...more
Set in the 1350s Ancient China, SWBTS is a genderqueer reimagining of the life of Zhu YuanZhang, the rebel leader who helped bring an end to the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty, and later on established the Min ...more
In the meantime, my favorite things about this book are:
➽ Genderqueer protagonists with incredibly nuanced explorations of their identity
➽ A cold-as-ice general yearning for the prince he serves
➽ War tactics aplenty
➽ Protagonist who starts out genuinely wanti ...more
She Who Became the Sun is a stunning debut filled with charming characters, a fantastic and visceral historical setting with a fantastical twist and complex nuanced politics. We follow 4 main characters:
Zhu – Zhu is such a delightful character to follow, she strikes the perfect balance of cheeky, driven and resourceful. She is also very interesting study on gender, I believe she is non-binary, the author uses she/her pronouns when narrating but Zhu often refers to herself as he and ha ...more
she who became the sun is a masterfully crafted reimagining of the rise of the rebel leader—and the founding emperor of the ming dynasty—zhu yuanzhang to power in 14th century china. the story follows two captivating and prominent characters on opposite sides of the spectrum. although this book is based on historical events and figures, the author’s creativity in creating a whole new unique world is stamped upon every page.
it may not come as a surprise to some that ...more
Rep: Chinese/Mongolian cast, genderqueer sapphic MC, genderqueer gay MC, wlw side character, mlm side character
I’m so full of feelings right now! This book just blew me away and I barely have the words to capture its beauty but I’m going to do my best.
She Who Became the Sun is a historical epic s ...more
As I turned the final page of this book, I wondered to myself how I was possibly going to put into words my love for this novel. She Who Became the Sun is a politically driven alternate history about the rise of the first emperor of the Ming dynasty. It features some of the most morally gray characters I have ever read in literature, of which their actions and relationships had me constantly turning the page. It is a bold voice for the LGBTQ+ community. Absolute p ...more