She Who Became the Sun

She Who Became the Sun

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Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun, a bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy.

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 children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother's identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother's abandoned greatness.

Title:She Who Became the Sun
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    She Who Became the Sun Reviews

  • chai ?

    [puts head in hands] this novel spins out the most brilliant and wounding words about the febrile nature of desire, the terrible gnawing feelings of gender dysphoria, the habitable sorrows of unbelong...

  • Petrik

    I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleoARC provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.4.5/5 starsShe Who Became the Sun has the b...

  • jessica

    forget ‘the song of achilles’ comparison you just read in the synopsis/publisher pitch. just pretend you never saw it because it will be doing you a disservice. this is not that kind of book. this...

  • Robin

    ↠ 4.5 starsThis 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 tel...

  • may ?

    4.5 starsJust from reading the first few chapters of She Who Became the Sun, I could tell it would become an instant favorite. And it quickly did, with its reprehensible yet loveable characters and de...

  • Rebecca Roanhorse

    An absolute stunner. Move this to the top of your TBR pile and buckle up. First, a note about the comps. Comps are funny things, and the industry loves them, and some readers love them, too, but I'm n...

  • Melanie

    ARC provided by TOR - thank you so very much!this was truly so magnificent, and will for sure make my best books of 2021 list (if not my favorite book of the year, too)! full review to come before pub...

  • Althea | themoonwholistens ?

    ✧ you can find this review and more on my blog ✧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 ...

  • katie ?

    i am utterly broken, but this was the easiest five stars i've ever given. rtc!...

  • Sofia

    This was probably my most anticipated read of 2021, and I was bitterly disappointed. She Who Became the Sun reminds me of Mulan and The Poppy War, with none of the humor of the former and none of the ...