Book Review || She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Monday, October 4, 2021


She Who Became the Sun
{The Radiant Emperor #1}
Shelley Parker-Chan
27th July 2021

I put off writing this review (and some others...) for a long time because I just wanted to be able to do them justice, and I didn't feel like I'd be capable of doing that given the level of brain fog I have been experiencing. And yet, here we are, I'm still quite brain-foggy and yet I feel like I have waited perhaps *too long* to start writing this, as my memory of the book is a littl foggy now, too. Anyway, I shall muddle along as best I can.

This was an absolutely brilliant book.


No, but seriously. I was a little wary going into it, I'll be honest - 'Mulan meets The Song of Achilles'? Could it be possible? And yes, I'd say so. Yep.

This book absolutely blew me away with what just felt like raw power. I was worried about the depiction of certain characters - their gender identification and also in terms of disfigurement and whether it was being used as a plot device or not, but overall I found much to love in this story. I absolutely loved how Parker-Chan explored gender dysphoria, and also how she didn't make her main character out to be a saint, but that she was multi-layered, had suffered much, and was driven because of it. She felt whole, and terrifying

I also really loved a lot of the side characters. Without revealing too much, I will say that Ma Xiuying was a brilliant character that I want to see even more of, please and thank you. This is a brutal world, so I fear for her safety, but I also still wish to see more of her... I feel complexly.

I know nothing of China's sole female emperor, Wu Zetian, but this book has made me want to learn more, which I think is wonderful. I don't know if this story is at all accurate - though Parker-Chan does indicate at the beginning of the book that there are some facts, just with a lot of liberties taken. I know she has said that she wanted to write a book that was like the "wildly addictive Chinese costume dramas" that she enjoys watching, and I can only say that, from my [very limited] point of view, she has definitely succeeded. I cannot praise this book enough, nor do I find that I want to wait for the sequel, but I will do my best to be patient.

This humble reviewer highly recommends you give this one a go.

10/10 red dragons of splendour.

{I received a review copy of this book from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you!!}

0 whisperings:

Post a Comment

All content owned by Bethwyn Walker unless otherwise stated. Powered by Blogger.

books | chronic illness | lifestyle | wellbeing

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top