She Who Became the Sun

Listen to a sample

What to expect

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 finest Daily 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.

Critics Review

  • 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

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.