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She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor)…
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She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor) (udgave 2021)

af Shelley Parker-Chan (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2571481,083 (4.27)9
Medlem:ScorpioBookDreams
Titel:She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor)
Forfattere:Shelley Parker-Chan (Forfatter)
Info:Mantle (2021), Edition: Main Market, 416 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Illumicrate, Exclusive Edition, Signed

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She Who Became the Sun af Shelley Parker-Chan

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» Se også 9 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 14 (næste | vis alle)
A re-telling of the origins of China's Ming Dynasty with a brush of magic and a powerful character. I absolutely loved this. Parker-Chan is incredibly ambitious, and succeeds at every level from the historical period, multifacted characters, to the harsh realities of war in a pre-industrial country. They even make battle tactics in a fantasy novel interesting.

Radiant Emperor

Next: ? ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Sep 11, 2021 |
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and I'm glad I did, because it was a lovely book. Exactly what I Was looking for and hoping to find.

Absolutely gorgeous literary fantasy. The setting was perfectly evoked, and the language beautifully immersive. (Spoiler-free example: Parker-Chan won't tell you how much starvation hurts, she'll write you beautiful passages about how delicious crickets and lizards and mud are starting to look.)

The crucial winner for me is the characters. Two main pairs stand out - Ouyang and Esen on the "empire" side, and Zhu (the female MC who pretends to be a male monk for most of the book) and Ma (Zhu's wife, friend, and lover). All four characters are vivid, multi-faceted, nuanced, and flawed in different ways. Huge shifting intersections between privilege, hardship, trauma, love, and grief all tangle together, spilling out to the wider storyline and ultimately having knock-on effects across the whole nation. By the end, I loved all of the characters, even if I was no longer sure who was heroic and who wasn't. PErhaps nobody was and everybody was.

Zhu's character is intricate beyond my capacity to explain in a short review (without writing a long and involved essay, I mean) but if I had to pick JUST one aspect to focus on, it's her un-Buddhist sense of desire: she struggles with wanting things beyond the life given to her, and whether that is okay. Repeatedly, that issue comes up - she wants, she desires, should she desire, doesn't desire have a cost - but notably, it's not something the male characters seem to struggle with. Because ambition, power, and greatness are seen as natural things for men to want, a kind of ingrained privilege of what it's okay to expect or hope for in life. Zhu, as both a woman and someone born to the peasant class, has to fight for the right to even want those things, let alone have them.

Every character pays a cost, and by the end I think most readers will be weighing up whether anything they gained was worth the sacrifice. Zhu is capable of goodness and love, but I am not sure that she herself is a good person, by the novel's end. That grey tangled mess does make her exactly the kind of character I really enjoy, however. ( )
  Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
Absolutely gorgeous literary fantasy. The setting was perfectly evoked, and the language beautifully immersive. (Spoiler-free example: Parker-Chan won't tell you how much starvation hurts, she'll write you beautiful passages about how delicious crickets and lizards and mud are starting to look.)

The crucial winner for me is the characters. Two main pairs stand out - Ouyang and Esen on the "empire" side, and Zhu (the female MC who pretends to be a male monk for most of the book) and Ma (Zhu's wife, friend, and lover). All four characters are vivid, multi-faceted, nuanced, and flawed in different ways. Huge shifting intersections between privilege, hardship, trauma, love, and grief all tangle together, spilling out to the wider storyline and ultimately having knock-on effects across the whole nation. By the end, I loved all of the characters, even if I was no longer sure who was heroic and who wasn't. PErhaps nobody was and everybody was.

Zhu's character is intricate beyond my capacity to explain in a short review (without writing a long and involved essay, I mean) but if I had to pick JUST one aspect to focus on, it's her un-Buddhist sense of desire: she struggles with wanting things beyond the life given to her, and whether that is okay. Repeatedly, that issue comes up - she wants, she desires, should she desire, doesn't desire have a cost - but notably, it's not something the male characters seem to struggle with. Because ambition, power, and greatness are seen as natural things for men to want, a kind of ingrained privilege of what it's okay to expect or hope for in life. Zhu, as both a woman and someone born to the peasant class, has to fight for the right to even want those things, let alone have them.

Every character pays a cost, and by the end I think most readers will be weighing up whether anything they gained was worth the sacrifice. Zhu is capable of goodness and love, but I am not sure that she herself is a good person, by the novel's end. That grey tangled mess does make her exactly the kind of character I really enjoy, however. ( )
  Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
A peasant girl told she has no future grasps greatness by her sheer force of will. Zhu Chongba, as she is known for most of the book, assumes her brother's identity after their father and he die. Meanwhile, a eunuch named Ouyang waits for the day he can have revenge on the people who killed his family.

This epic story reimagines 1300s China in a sweeping tale of Zhu's years growing up, going to a monastery, and hiding her identity all the while driven by ambition and desire to live. It explores gender identity and fate. All the ways it succeeded in doing that, however, made it not quite the book for me. I get bogged down by too much description without dialog, and the first several chapters were almost entirely narration. No character is really likable, and they're all willing to do some pretty awful things in pursuit of their goals, making it a pretty dark and sometimes gruesome read. The second half, once you started to see some of the character motivations make sense and military strategy comes to the fore, was more interesting but most nights it was all too easy to leave the book on the table. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 27, 2021 |
The Ming dynasty was founded by Zhu Yuanzhang. In this queer retelling of the history, Zhu Yuanzhang is a girl who has taken her brother's name and fortune after he and their father are killed by bandits. It's an interesting story, to me much more interesting when Zhu is a determined and supremely well-disciplined child. After s/he grows to adulthood it becomes a story of strategy and succession. The parts about gender, sexuality and living in poverty are interesting. The strategy is probably well done, but since I have no interest in it, I didn't care. People love this book because of the gender-bending. I guess others love it because Zhu is so clever. I think I dislike stories of succession because ultimately no one gets to be the boss by being a good person. I know life does not reward the good and punish the bad, but I'm foolish enough to wish it did. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Aug 26, 2021 |
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