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.