book cover of She Who Became the Sun
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She Who Became the Sun

(2021)
(The first book in the Radiant Emperor series)
A novel by

 
 
THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

An absorbing historical fantasy, She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan reimagines the rise to power of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor.

This audacious, brilliant debut is a vivid, original reimagining . . . immersive storytelling at its finestDaily Mail

'Magnificent in every way. War, desire, vengeance, politics – Shelley Parker-Chan has perfectly measured each ingredient' Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

‘A thoroughly engrossing read with a fabulous, tragic-trickster protagonist'Megan Campisi, author of Sin Eater

‘A dazzling new world of fate, war, love and betrayal’ Zen Cho, author of Black Water Sister

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty plain, a seer shows two children their fates. For a family’s eighth-born son, there’s greatness. For the second daughter, nothing.

In 1345, China lies restless under harsh Mongol rule. And when a bandit raid wipes out their home, the two children must somehow survive. Zhu Chongba despairs and gives in. But the girl resolves to overcome her destiny. So she takes her dead brother’s identity and begins her journey. Can Zhu escape what’s written in the stars, as rebellion sweeps the land? Or can she claim her brother’s greatness – and rise as high as she can dream?

This is a glorious tale of love, loss, betrayal and triumph by a powerful new voice.


‘As brilliant as Circe . . . a deft and dazzling triumph’ Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne

Epic, tragic and gorgeous Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

She Who Became the Sun is a reimagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.




Genre: Fantasy

Praise for this book

"A gripping tale of rise to power, fate, betrayals and the bloody beginnings and endings of dynasties. Heartbreaking, stirring, haunting." - Aliette de Bodard

"Evocative and heartrending, Parker-Chan's debut is a poetic masterpiece about war, love, and identity.... It stabbed me through the heart then salted and set fire to the wound." - S A Chakraborty

"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. Fantasy will never be the same." - Zen Cho

"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

"She Who Became the Sun is epic, tragic, and gorgeous. It will wreck you, and you will be grateful." - Alix E Harrow

"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

"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

"Shelley Parker-Chan's debut novel is a sweeping epic rendered in elegant prose. Arresting, beautiful, grand in scope and yet intimately poignant, readers will be drawn into this deftly written fantasy." - Rowenna Miller

"An exhilarating rise to power that takes you from palace to village to battlefield, in a world that is stunningly alive. Parker-Chan's exquisitely wrought prose brings light and nuance to the novel's immense themes of gender, power and fate. An instant classic." - C S Pacat

"An absolute stunner... The story, much like the characters, is ambitious and clever and the depth of emotion Parker-Chan is able to tap into without ever becoming maudlin is astounding... There's war and violence and betrayal (oh the betrayal) and destiny both embraced and defied. Incredible work. Cannot wait for the next one." - Rebecca Roanhorse

"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

"Stunning, powerful and complex, there are no heroes in this tale, and people knowingly do terrible things. And you'll love them for it.... Parker-Chan is a major new voice in historical fantasy." - Anna Stephens


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Used availability for Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun

Hardback Editions

July 2021 : UK Hardback
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Title: She Who Became the Sun: The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller (The Radiant Emperor)
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
ISBN: 1-5290-4338-7 / 978-1-5290-4338-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Mantle
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2021 : USA Hardback
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Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
ISBN: 1-250-62180-1 / 978-1-250-62180-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tor Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

June 2022 : USA Paperback
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Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
ISBN: 1-250-62181-X / 978-1-250-62181-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tor Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2022 : UK Paperback
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Title: She Who Became the Sun: The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller (The Radiant Emperor)
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
ISBN: 1-5290-4340-9 / 978-1-5290-4340-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Pan Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2021 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
ISBN: 1-5290-4339-5 / 978-1-5290-4339-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Tor UK
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2021 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
ISBN: 1-250-83713-8 / 978-1-250-83713-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tor Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

July 2021 : USA Audio edition
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Title: She Who Became the Sun: The Radiant Emperor, Book 1
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Mantle
Availability: Amazon   


July 2021 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun: The Radiant Emperor, Book 1
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Mantle
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2021 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun: The Radiant Emperor, Book 1
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Mantle
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2021 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Availability: Amazon   


July 2021 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

July 2021 : Australia Kindle edition
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor)
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Tor UK
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2021 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun: The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller (The Radiant Emperor Book 1)
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Mantle
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2021 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: She Who Became the Sun
Author(s): Shelley Parker-Chan
Publisher: Tor Books
Availability: Amazon CA