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She Who Became the Sun
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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review
Marialou
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
Pickpick

Loved this book. A fascinating historical fiction where the gender change of Zhu really ups the stakes. Frequently the author takes big risks, having Zhu do objectively monstrous or unlikeable things. Yet this is the novels biggest strength, allowing Zhu to be Zhu in all her unrelenting glory makes her all the more compelling. Zhu is the star of this book but all the other characters are also deeply developed and utterly fascinating.

review
PaperbktoHardbk
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

A truly brilliant piece of writing. Just like The Poppy War by R F Kuang, this fantasy gave me a refreshing experience of the genre.

I also appreciated that the story doesn't solely focus on our main character but also other characters with stories that I loved and want to see more of.

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WriterAtHeart
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

This Mulan retelling does a great job exploring queer desire in ancient China. The story was captivating from the beginning and the characterization was superb. 100% recommend this one.

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xicanti
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Panpan

If I read mostly for plot, I might‘ve loved Shelley Parker-Chan‘s debut. Since I read mostly for character, I‘m beyond disappointed. I never got much sense of who any of these characters truly WAS or what they meant to one another, which made it tough to care about any of the twists and betrayals that should‘ve entranced and destroyed me. I did plow on through to the end, but I wish I‘d bailed somewhere south of page 100 and saved myself this woe.

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xicanti
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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I‘m about 130 pages from the end of SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN, and I‘ve gotta face the truth: I like the idea of it way more than I like the thing itself. In theory, I‘m all over what Parker-Chan‘s doing here. In practice, I haven‘t become invested in any of the characters and I don‘t love either the world or the prose style enough to compensate for that.

So, I‘m bummed. I‘ll probably finish it, but that‘s all I can say. 😔

ShyBookOwl Ugh. I know this sentiment well. Don't be afraid to dump it. It can be so refreshing lol 2mo
TieDyeDude Ah, I couldn't do it either. So disappointing, but I bailed. 2mo
xicanti @ShyBookOwl I‘m a big proponent of bailing, but I‘ve invested enough energy in this thing, and I‘m close enough to the end, that I want to be able to count it on my reading list, and I leave bails off of that. 2mo
See All 14 Comments
xicanti @TieDyeDude it‘s like, all the ingredients are there but they come together in this weirdly bland, dispassionate way. Sadness. 2mo
CBee Just dropping by to say I adore your cutie pie pup ♥️ 2mo
llwheeler I felt the same about this one 2mo
Angeles I bailed on this book, but I still can not express why I didn't like the book. I should have loved it,but when I got to the monastery portion of the story where the protagonist hides pretending to be a boy I just couldn't keep reading. 2mo
xicanti @CBee Casey welcomes all compliments! 2mo
xicanti @llwheeler it sounds so good, and yet it just hasn‘t clicked. Sadness. 2mo
xicanti @Angeles I feel like I ought to be all over it, but… yeah. It doesn‘t have that spark. 2mo
CBee @xicanti hi Casey. You‘re lovely 😘 2mo
xicanti @CBee Casey says thank you! 2mo
Lauren890 I felt very similarly! So sad because it started off so well. 2mo
xicanti @Lauren890 right? I was really enjoying it, and then it just lost me. 2mo
34 likes14 comments
blurb
xicanti
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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I made roasted broccoli risotto this afternoon. It was delish, provided you‘re into broccoli. Now I‘m gonna see if I can sink into SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN.

BkClubCare MMmmmm broccoli 🥦 2mo
BekaReid This was one of my favorite reads of 2022 so far! 2mo
Nikki_E My four year old loves broccoli. 2mo
See All 8 Comments
Clwojick Yummmm 2mo
xicanti @BkClubCare @Nikki_E @Clwojick broccoli for everyone! 2mo
xicanti @BekaReid I‘m really enjoying it. 2mo
writerlibrarian Love broccoli and this one is in my TRP 2mo
xicanti @writerlibrarian I hope you‘ll enjoy it. To be honest, I‘m kind of flagging with it now I‘m at the halfway point. 😔 2mo
46 likes8 comments
review
BekaReid
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

Shelley Parker-Chan exhibits beautiful prose and brilliant worldbuilding in this epic military historical fantasy full of war, politics, conniving court intrigue, complex characters, and an engrossing plot. Zhu is a powerful queer anti-hero, and I loved the Zhu and Ouyang foiling. The story is full of terrible people doing terrible things, but they're on fire with life. They burn, they desire, they suffer, and because of that, they make history.

Libby1 Beautiful review. 3mo
13 likes1 comment
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BekaReid
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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blurb
xicanti
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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This week‘s library haul features a Hugo nominee, a cookbook, a Jenny Colgan novel that‘s finally been released in Canada, and a goodly number of comics.

44 likes1 stack add
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BriannaT
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Mehso-so

Got this for just Q9 in Scotland! I‘ve read stories about a woman pretending to be a man to get by, but this book is about a trans man and gender identity - Zhu Chongba becomes a man to earn a great fate, and she goes through many monologues about her gender and how she feels about it. The plot and characters were good, but I didn‘t get the “can‘t put it down feeling” from it. This is the first trans book I‘ve read, and I think I learned from it.

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bookishbitch
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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The vibe of this cover completely caught me and so I bought it not knowing pretty much anything about it. It doesn't even have a proper blurb on the back, just author testimonials. Once I looked it up I found out it is the 1st in a duology. This is a reimagining of the rise to power of the Ming Dynasty's founding emperor. It sounds fantastic.

13 likes1 stack add
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kwmg40
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

This alternate-history fantasy novel set in 14th-century China was nominated for the 2022 Hugo Best Novel award. A gripping story that explores the theme of gender identity.
#hugo2022 #hugoawards

10.5 hours so far for the #20in4 readathon, with just a little bit more time to go. @Andrew65

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 3mo
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Zuhkeeyah
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

Zhu is one of the most determined and creative heroes I‘ve read. At an early age, her future was to be nothing while her brother‘s was to be great. Zhu takes on her brother‘s name, and hopefully his fate, after an attack kills her family. From an orphan to monk to warrior, Zhu keeps her eyes set on a goal of greatness no matter the cost.

March #bookspin is complete!
Halfway through the #HugoAward finalists list.

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alysonimagines
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Summer Solstice is just behind us, and it‘s time to share my Spring Reads! This spring has been a fairly even mixture of triumphs and challenges for me, so maybe that‘s why I felt drawn to fiction titles which all contain personal reckoning for the MCs. So here‘s a selection of the novels I most enjoyed (and/or wept over). And thanks to my super rad book club friends who recommended some of these excellent titles (credits below)!

7 likes12 comments
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Branwen
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pride Month: Day Twelve! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

This is another one of my favorite reads from last year! I absolutely adored this book about a young woman who steals her brother's identity after his death in order to carve a name for herself! It's truly excellent! 💕📚

#pridemonth #queerbooks #lgbtq

49 likes1 stack add
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ellarebee
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

What a sprawling and unexpected epic journey this was. Zhu‘s tale is equal parts breathtaking, persevering, and tragic. Definitely recommend.

review
Kenyazero
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

War epics are not my cup of tea, but if they're yours you might enjoy this one! Set in ancient China and packed with destiny, epic battles, political intrigue, betrayal, the occasional ghost, and clashes between Chinese and Mongol powers, this book tells the epic story of a girl who didn't starve to death claiming a name and destiny that might not have been hers. #HistoricalFiction #China #AsianHistory #LGBTQ

20 likes2 stack adds
quote
Onioons
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Knowing the cause of their suffering, the peasants cursed their barbarian emporer in his distant capital in the north. As with any two like things connected by a thread of qi, whereby the actions of one influence the other even at a distance, so an emporer's worthiness determines the fate of the land he rules.

review
Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

While reading this book, I was quite sure that my final rating for it would be three stars, however, the last few chapters left me speechless and unable to put the book down, hence the higher rating. I really liked the setting of this book but most of all, I loved the writing style and the way it was written. (I am also just a sucker for historical fiction in general, and this did not disappoint)
4⭐️

8 likes2 stack adds
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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“Even the most shining future, if desired, will have suffering as its heart.”

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

The bonfires and drums roared all night long. It was the voice of the end of the world—or perhaps the new one, already come.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
This post contains spoilers
show me

“Oh, you think—? No, brother. This isn‘t my plot against you.”
Esen, wrenching himself around in confusion, saw movement within the doors of the great hall. A figure descended the steps, armor covered in blood, his sword in his hand.
“No,” said Ouyang. “It‘s mine.”

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
This post contains spoilers
show me

“You never saw what I am, Liu Futong. All you saw was what you wanted to see: a useful little monk, willing to suffer for whatever purpose you put him towards. You never realized that it wasn‘t your name they were going to call, exhorting you to reign for ten thousand years.” As the Prime Minister fell facedown in the dirt, she said, “It was mine.”

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

Understanding fire doesn‘t mean it can‘t still burn you.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
This post contains spoilers
show me

“I don‘t even know who I am. General Ouyang killed Zhu Chongba, but I‘m not the person I was born as, either. How can you know who you‘re cherishing?”
Rain drummed on the thatched roof. The mushroom smell of wet straw pressed around them with the intimacy of another‘s warm body under the blankets.
“I might not know your name,” Ma said, taking Zhu‘s hand. “But I know who you are.”

quote
Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“But that‘s the difference between us. Nobody expected anything of me. Nobody ever cherished me.”
To Zhu‘s surprise, the acknowledgment left her feeling lightened. It had never occurred to her how much strength she was expending on the effort to believe herself someone else. She realized: He‘s made my path harder, but without knowing it he‘s made me stronger—
After a long pause Ma said, low, “I cherish you.”

quote
Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“Let me tell you my name: Zhu Chongba.”
He answered coolly, “Should I know it?”
“One day you will,” she said, and drew her sword.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

Don‘t look down as you‘re flying, or you‘ll realize the impossibility of it and fall.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“There are no kind solutions to cruel situations.”

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

As long as I want to find it, there‘s always another way.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

Destroying what someone else cherished never brought back what you yourself had lost. All it did was spread grief like a contagion.

quote
Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

She wanted everything Zhu was offering with that promise of difference. Freedom, and desire, and her life to make her own. And if the price of all of that was suffering, why did it matter when she would suffer no matter what she chose?

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“A world of terror and cruelty? I don‘t want that either, not if there‘s another way. But I can‘t see that other way by myself. So join me, Ma Xiuying. Show me.”

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

Stop doing this to me, she thought, anguished, as she turned and fled. Don‘t make me want to want.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

Why insist on chasing the shadow of something lost, when you could make something new and even greater?

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“Learn to want something for yourself, Ma Xiuying. Not what someone says you should want. Not what you think you should want. Don‘t go through life thinking only of duty. When all we have are these brief spans between our nonexistences, why not make the most of the life you‘re living now? The price is worth it.”

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“I thought monks teach that desire is the cause of all suffering.”
“It is,” he said. “But you know what‘s worse than suffering? Not suffering, because you‘re not even alive to feel it.”

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“What someone is means nothing about what kind of person they are. Truth is in actions.”

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kwmg40
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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I'm excited to start my annual reading of the Hugo nominees! There is a lot to get through before the voting deadline, including all the Best Series nominees. I have no hope of reading it all, of course, but I try to cover as much as I can.

#hugo2022 #hugoawards

Suet624 I love how many different book prizes there are. 6mo
kwmg40 @Suet624 Indeed, and this is one of my favourites! 6mo
peanutnine Thanks for sharing! I've read a couple of these but I need to check out the rest 6mo
kwmg40 @peanutnine I've not read any of these yet, though I've read earlier works by 3 of the authors. I'm especially looking forward to reading the new-to-me authors. 6mo
kwmg40 The full list of nominees can be found here: https://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2022-hugo-awards/ 6mo
30 likes5 comments
quote
Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

You may have ended this, but you haven't ended me.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

“It isn't strength, but knowledge, that will be our best tool for surviving these difficult times ahead.“

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

You won't be the one to make me nothing. Her determination was as clear as the sound of a bronze bell. I refuse.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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The warrior was a girl. Her face, as bright and delicate as a polished abalone shell, brought to life every description of beauty that Zhu had ever read in poetry.

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Lovelylottereader
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan

She knew that when it came down to it, you survived and died alone.
But perhaps there was still a comfort in having someone at your side while it happened.

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Zuhkeeyah
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Look at all the free spaces in a row! I have high hopes for a #bookspinbingo this month. Also, I really like my options this month. A few are library books I already have borrowed which makes things easier. My #doublespin is the #authoramonth so maybe I'll finally finish one.

Thank you @thearomaofbooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 7mo
8 likes1 comment
review
Lauren890
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. I felt it started dragging a little and I became less invested. The eunuch‘s story line became the most interesting to me. By the end I didn‘t really understand the motivations of the characters and felt conflicted about the ending.

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HeyT
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this look at gender identity and the claiming of personal power. The main character is not wholly likable but I still was plenty interested in her journey. It ended in a good place with no real cliffhanger but I still would like to know more about the world and its characters.

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HeyT
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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I decided to take a break from Mote in God‘s Eye because it was taking so long. The tagged is a much faster pace and I‘m enjoying it so far. Today I‘m lucky enough to have all three reading buddies. Sierra and Callie on the bed with me and Simon next to the bed in the desk chair.
#CatsOfLitsy

RaeLovesToRead Aww, snuggly floofs 💕 9mo
22 likes1 comment
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Oryx
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Tea and book coordination 🔥

After my scepticism, I'm actually enjoying this book. A Mr B's pick.

squirrelbrain Yeah, the blurb doesn‘t exactly sound inspiring…. Glad it‘s turning out OK though! 9mo
kathedron Glad to hear you're enjoying it: it's one of the books my daughter asked me to get her for Christmas. 9mo
76 likes2 comments
review
Hooked_on_books
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

Born into desperate poverty in the 1500s, Zhu is treated as less than nothing while her brother is prophesied to greatness. When her brother and father die, Zhu first tries to simply survive by taking her brother‘s identity, then aspires to achieve his prophecy. Very satisfying feminist take on history!

52 likes2 stack adds