Saturday 24 July 2021

Book Review: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan (Historical Fantasy/LGBT)

Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author: Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: 27 July 2021
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Genre: Historical Fantasy/LGBT
Source: ARC from Publisher

She’ll change the world to survive her fate . . .

In Mongol-occupied imperial China, a peasant girl refuses her fate of an early death. Stealing her dead brother’s identity to survive, she rises from monk to soldier, then to rebel commander. Zhu’s pursuing the destiny her brother somehow failed to attain: greatness. But all the while, she feels Heaven is watching.

Can anyone fool Heaven indefinitely, escaping what’s written in the stars? Or can Zhu claim her own future, burn all the rules and rise as high as she can dream?


She Who Became the Sun is an interesting and well-paced historical fantasy read. Predominantly, this is an historical (alternate/re-imagined history) drama, but there are elements of fantasy, as well as LGBT content. Zhu is a likeable character overall; however I found her more engaging in the earlier parts of the novel, until she leaves the monastery. I was a little less in-step with her in the book's second half. In some ways, I found the other narrator -- Ouyang -- of greater interest and was more fascinated by his journey towards revenge. After a slow build up, I found the ending slightly abrupt, but otherwise this was a fun, action-packed read with memorable characters and moments, and it is sure to please fans of the genre. It gets four stars from me.

I received this book as a free ARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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