Book Buzz: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

“Instantly enthralling.” ―Malinda Lo



To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything.


“I refuse to be nothing…”


In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…


In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.


When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.


After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

“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 by Shelley Parker-Chan

416 Pages

ISBN 9781250621801


Shelley Parker-Chan is an Australian by way of Malaysia and New Zealand. A 2017 Tiptree Fellow, she is the author of the historical fantasy novel She Who Became the Sun. Parker-Chan spent nearly a decade working as a diplomat and international development adviser in Southeast Asia, where she became addicted to epic East Asian historical TV dramas. After a failed search to find English-language book versions of these stories, she decided to write her own. Parker-Chan currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she is very grateful to never have to travel by leaky boat ever again.