Wednesday 7 June 2023

Audio: She who became the sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

By: Shelley Parker-Chan

Narrated by: Natalie Naudus

Series: The Radiant Emperor Duology, Book 1

Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins

Release date: 07-20-21 by Macmillian Audio

Historical fiction /loan

I love history, did I google? Yes I did! Was there an Emperor born into poverty, becoming a monk and then emperor? Yes. Was he a girl? NO, he had like a million kids on his million concubines. BUT, what if that boy died and his sister assumed his identity? A good twist (how they will handle the many kids that will come dunno)

So yes a poor girl is born in a village. Everyone dies. There are mongols, raiders, and rebels. The girl becomes a monk. She is steadfast in becoming her brother and taking his destiny. I liked her spirit, she truly believed she could just pretend to become her brother and therefore get that greatness he was promised.

Zhu never gave up. She became Zhu. She became a warrior. She did everything to get to that fate she was promised.

I liked the story. Though I admit, that with listening it was hard and I am unsure how to spell anything at all. When it comes to the names I would rather have read them. I think it would have have been great in print, but it was great listening too. And omg it would have been such a great tv series. I always mean to watch a Chinese, Korean dramas on netflix but never do. They look epic. And this was epic. With a sweep she killed 10 000 men, ok it took a bit more, but you will see.

“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 uses takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother's abandoned greatness.


  1. I struggle when I'm listening to a story and there are lots of foreign words/names so I get what you mean. This story does sound great.

    1. Writing yes, but in audio, dang, I can barely spell any names that I know

  2. This does sound like it would be good.

  3. Sounds exciting! I like the twist of her taking the brother's identity.

    1. There are more books coming so I do wonder

  4. I still need to read this one!

  5. I never know how to spell anything after listening to a book. They should come with a cheat sheet!

    1. And when I think I am right, I am still wrong

  6. It does sound like it'd make a good movie. Very epic!



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