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She Who Became the Sun


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Zhu journeys from life as a peasant girl to war and the heights of power. This is a traditional Chinese tale reimagined in a subversive new way.

About the Author

Shelley Parker-Chan is an Australian by way of Malaysia and New Zealand. A 2017 Tiptree Fellow, she is the author of the historical fantasy novel She Who Became the Sun. Parker-Chan spent nearly a decade working as a diplomat and international development adviser in South-East Asia, where she became addicted to epic East Asian historical TV dramas. After a failed search to find English-language book versions of these stories, she decided to write her own. Parker-Chan currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she is very grateful to never have to travel by leaky boat ever again.


Magnificent in every way. War, desire, vengeance, politics - Shelley Parker-Chan has perfectly measured each ingredient of this queer historical epic. Glinting with bright rays of wit and tenderness, yet unafraid to delve into the deep shadows of human ambition, She Who Became the Sun, like Zhu, is unquestionably destined for greatness -- Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree
She Who Became the Sun is epic, tragic, and gorgeous. It will wreck you, and you will be grateful -- Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
A thoroughly engrossing read with a fabulous, tragic-trickster protagonist. The exploration of gender and personhood was totally absorbing . . . I've been waiting for a book like this -- Megan Campisi, author of Sin Eater
Epic, sublime and emotionally devastating, She Who Became the Sun is as brilliant as Circe, and a deft and dazzling triumph -- Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne
Parker-Chan unrolls the painted scroll of her epic tale with the control of a master storyteller, revealing a dazzling new world of fate, war, love and betrayal -- Zen Cho, author of Black Water Sister
A gripping tale of rise to power, fate, betrayals and the bloody beginnings and endings of dynasties. Heartbreaking, stirring, haunting -- Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings
Evocative and heart-rending, Parker-Chan's debut is a poetic masterpiece about war, love and identity -- S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass
Stunning, powerful and complex -- Anna Stephens, author of Godblind
She Who Became the Sun is an intense and sweeping epic that blurs the lines between rebellion and revenge, between fate and ambition, exposing the inherent violence of gendered ideologies and the traumas they create in ourselves and the world -- Tessa Gratton, author of The Queens of Innis Lear
Zhu is a hero unlike any other - her propulsive desire to survive at any cost powers a glorious novel that encompasses grand betrayal, love, loss and triumph. An unforgettable debut -- A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name
She Who Became the Sun is just amazingly, blindingly good -- Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and A Narrow Door
A cinematic tour de force that feels classic and yet utterly fresh -- C. S. Pacat, author of Captive Prince
Instantly enthralling. Zhu is canny, charming, and ruthless as she claims her own fate in a richly detailed world, challenging dynasties and gender in the process -- Malinda Lo, author of Legend
This audacious, brilliant debut is a vivid, original reimagining . . . Peopled by flawed, fearless characters and with a dramatically violent storyline, this is immersive storytelling at its finest -- Daily Mail
She Who Became the Sun is an emotional rollercoaster. Highly recommended and I can't wait for the sequel! -- Sara Rees Brennan, author of the Lynburn Legacy series

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