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Unconquerable Sun

(The Sun Chronicles #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,393 ratings  ·  318 reviews

Princess Sun has finally come of age.

Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy task. The legendary queen-marshal did what everyone thought impossible: expel the invaders and build Chaonia into a magnificent republic, one to be respected—and feared.

But the cutthroat ambassador corps and conniv
Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,393 ratings  ·  318 reviews

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May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Military sci-fi/space-opera readers
ARC provided by the publishers—Tor Books & Head of Zeus—in exchange for an honest review.

It’s quite outrageous that it took me this long to finally read Kate Elliott’s book for the very first time.

I’ve heard many good things about Kate Elliott’s books. Black Wolves, Crossroads, Spiritwalker, and recently Crown of Stars (despite this being the oldest out of the series I mentioned) are series that I’ve seen occasionally in social media. But for whatever reasons, I just haven’t gotten around to the
Skymarks (Rainy)
if yall gon write genderbend alex the great yall better write genderbend hepaestion too 👀👀👀
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
could Tor stop trying to take all my money? For like just one day? That'd be great.

Well it appears TOR heard me because WTF is that cover?

Actual review
Well...wasn't everything I was hoping for. I found myself pretty bored for the last half of the book.
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

If you like epic sci-fi with political intrigue, an interesting cast of characters, and plenty of action, then I would definitely recommend checking out Unconquerable Sun. This is pitched as a gender-flipped Alexander the Great, and halfway through the book I did a little reading on his life. It's interesting to see how this takes key events and characters from real history and puts them in a completely different setting.

Princess Sun wants nothing more than her mother's
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
Unconquerable Sun hooked me on the premise of a genderbent Alexander the Great. And with further research, Kate Elliot confirmed that it was sapphic. Amd while the sapphic elements were there, they took the backseat to a character who one, isn’t the Alexander the Great equivalency, Sun, and two, is a complete mess of a bi/pansexual stereotype. While the plot kept me reading, the characters, the worldbuilding, and the clunky writing really made me wish that I hadn’t. But sometimes you persevere s ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I've heard this referred to as "gender-bending Alexander the Great in space" and that might be true. Court intrigue, warring families and factions that control vast planetary systems, budding romances and older political romances, characters who struggle between destiny and desire; military conquest and quantum space travel. I also had to look up some words for this one, like oleaginous.

In a discussion in the Sword and Laser group, I mentioned that in some ways this could be in the same univers
Peter Tillman
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peter by: Linda Nagata & Martha Wells
I thought I'd kept some notes on this one before I abandoned it, not quite halfway in. If I did, I can't find them. The novel isn't "real" SF space-opera, but rather Star Trek™-like furniture for a succession battle over who will be the next Emperor/Empress of everything. It's pretty well-written, but I lost interest after awhile. It sat on the shelf until my library copy came due, and I'm writing this note just to say: it wasn't for me. The advertised "Gender-swapped Alexander the Great" busine ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars! If "Gender-swapped Alexander the Great in space" isn't the best concept for a book ever, then it's pretty high up there, so I've been eagerly anticipating this book this since I first heard about. I was super excited when I won a copy in a giveaway from Tor and I'm glad to say it did not disappoint! It's a space opera that just FEELS large, full of fascinating, diverse characters, wild futuristic cultures (there are people with four arms! and others with glowing skin!) and plenty of d ...more
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I'll be honest, "gender-swapped Alexander the Great retelling set in space" was all I needed to know about Unconquerable Sun -- it immediately got added to the "most anticipated books of the year" list. Having only read, but absolutely adored, one book by Kate Elliott before, I knew she'd be able to pull of a book with such an epic scope.

Unconquerable Sun is an ambitious start to an epic new sc
I don't know what hour of the #Readathon it is now, I got sidetracked by a last minute social distancing visit. But I finally finished this book, which I loved! One of my fav reads of 2020. An incredibly intricate, deftly weaved space opera with a majority queer cast. Action-packed and fascinating women characters who are not made likable or palatable. Very cool world-building too! Oh yeah this is a gender-swapped retelling of Alexander the Great. More later, gotta keep reading! ...more
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"It rises out of the sea like the huge cables of a giant suspension bridge have gotten loose and are lashing this way and that, cutting through wind and waves. Each cable is a living neck, bronze and glossy, and each neck ends in a vast horned head. Their jaws aren't quite big enough to bite our boats in half, but if even one of the necks slams down full force onto our boat it will crush and sink us."

Kate Elliott, pen name for Alis A. Rasmussen, is an author that I've been meaning to get into, w
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2020
Everything I expected and more. Longer RTC.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there’s one thing you should know about me and Alexander the Great retellings/re-imaginings, it’s that Unconquerable Sun is the only one I’ve ever read. My AtG knowledge is severely lacking. But now I feel I at least know something. Alexander the Great was an interplanetary and intergalactic conqueror. (Did I get that right, your historianlyship?)

Anyway, your literatureship, I just want to say that…wow I loved this book. There are multiple perspectives that each offer something unique to the
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Listen and learn, my unconquerable Sun.

On my blog.

Rep: lesbian mc, bi mc, bi side character, mlm & wlw side characters

Galley provided by publisher

The first Kate Elliott book I ever read was Cold Magic a good few years back, and that book, and the series as a whole really, firmly cemented her as one of my favourite authors. The next one was Black Wolves (and yes, I am still incredibly bitter there won’t be a sequel to it, with that ending!), which I loved just as much. So, obviously, I ha
Sep 09, 2017 marked it as anti-library
Genderbend Alexander the Great as space opera? Tor knows my reading preferences \O/
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Politics, warfare and personal drama. Accomplished space opera with delightfully non-Western trimmings in spite of its Macedonian inspiration. Closes out its key arcs (so can be read as a stand alone) whilst neatly setting up characters and conflicts for future books.

I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Provisional 4 stars until I reflect and figure out where I stand through my review
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
YES. Could not put this down, and I immediately wanted to give it to all my sci-fi loving friends so I can talk with them about how great the reimagining of Alexander the Great’s story is, how well the gender-swapping works, and how phenomenal the space opera setting & pacing is in this book.
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dnf at 75%. Neither writing, nor plot, nor characters could grip me in any way. A classical example of "not for me". ...more
The Republic of Chaonia is a powerful interstellar society ruled by the queen-marshal Eirene. Her court is a mess of intrigues, with the various conflicts that the Republic faces seemingly only a distraction from political power plays from just about everyone.

Eirene's daughter, princess Sun, has just returned from a victorious military campaign only to be sidelined with a show tour on the Republic's outskirts. When Sun and her retinue discover that they're under surveillance and their informati
Victoria Rose
I saw many reviewers and readers were excited about "gender-swapped Alexander the Great in space" as a pitch for this novel, but as a reader with exactly zero knowledge of Alexander the Great I wasn't pulled in by the hype this built. But, give me a strong willed, relentless, unconquerable woman any day of the week and I'll be happy.

The story follows Princess Sun, the unconquerable woman in question, who has grown up in the shadow of her mother, the battle-scarred and incredibly fierce Queen Ma
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unconquerable Sun is the first instalment in bestselling science fiction writer Kate Elliott's stunning new space opera series, The Sun Chronicles, and spins a refreshingly original yarn. Princess Sun has finally come of age. Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy task. The legendary queen-marshal did what everyone thought impossible: expel the invaders and build Chaonia into a magnificent republic, one to be respected―and feared. But the cutthroat ambassador corps and ...more
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalleys
'Unconquerable Sun' is an action-packed, plot-driven novel, at the expense of its characters. Fans of epic space opera that bounces from action scene to action scene without pause will get a real adrenaline rush from this – but for those who need to connect to the characters to care about the story, this becomes more of a slog through over 500 pages of a confusing mess.

It is pitched as a gender-bent Alexander the Great in space. I adore Greek and Roman history and mythology, and I’m a huge sci-f
Sep 29, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I really don't know very much about Alexander the Great, other than he really liked wearing Persian pants. But if this is anything like And I Darken, which I love then this will be good. ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, lgbtq, 2020, sci-fi, net-galley
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

I admit, the start of this book was pretty rocky for me. The first two or so chapters that introduced Sun and her dad were great, but after that, I just found the first 30% an absolute slog. Partially, it had to do with the absolutely ham-fisted worldbuilding. I’m one of the weirdos that doesn’t mind authors info-dumping, but author’s attempting to disguise info-dumps through characters asking other characters questions th
Lady H
Sep 10, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-scifi
yesssss i can finally add this book to my TBR without suffering that other cover
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was initially dubious about the premise - a gender swapped Alexander the Great in space - but I should not have doubted one of my all time favourite authors. The story is much more than that bare synopsis. The outline and names may owe much to that mighty comet who blazed across Greece, Asia and North Africa but Sun and her companions are their own persons. Furthermore I am in love with, and in awe of, Kate's writing style which is so distinctive and yet becomes clearer with each novel.

This fi
Apr 28, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: excited
i have LONGED FOR a genderbent alexander the great for almost a decade give it to me!! give me all the gay!!!!!
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Full review to come.
In a lot of ways, this book ticked all the boxes before I’d even turned the first page: gender-swapped Alexander the Great space opera with politics, intrigue, mystery and loads of action? Sign me up right away! Like with a lot of authors, I was familiar with Kate Elliott’s titles, but I hadn’t read any of her works. I’ve had Black Wolves on my TBR for a long time and I keep eyeing the Crown of Stars series (starts with King's Dragon) as it would definitely scratch a very particular itch for me. ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I’ve been growing a bit bored of epic fantasy recently and reaching for some space opera that was not purely military sci-fi. Something that has the expansive world-building feel of say Game of Thrones, with great characters, gripping intrigue, cool tech and was ‘alien’ enough that earth – if there ever was such a place in this universe – is a so distant a memory as to be irrelevant.

Unconquerable Sun is what I have been looking for. I loved this book. It is fantastic.

Now I have read Kate Ell
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As a child in rural Oregon, Kate Elliott made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, often with a romantic edge. She currently lives in Hawaii, where she paddles outrigger canoes and spoils her schnauzer.

Other books in the series

The Sun Chronicles (3 books)
  • Furious Heaven (The Sun Chronicles, #2)
  • Lady Chaos (The Sun Chronicles, #3)

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