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Shelley Parker-Chan Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Radiant Emperor Books

She Who Became the Sun (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
He Who Drowned the World (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Shelley Parker-Chan
The Asian-Australian author Shelley Parker-Chan is widely regarded for her forward looking and intelligent fantasy novels. With a background in activism, particularly looking at her fight for LGBT rights, she’s managed to achieve a lot over the years. Working as a diplomat and in international development, she’s a champion of gender rights too, making many changes over the course of her career. This has all fed into her writing too, making her one of the most compelling writers currently to date in the field of fantasy fiction.

Growing up surrounded by mythology, Parker-Chan has always held a strong fascination in storytelling in all its forms. This has helped inspire her as a writer, from Greek legends, to Arthurian and Chinese folklore, creating her own unique stories in the process. Always with something to say through her work, her voice is distinctive and idiosyncratic, standing out from the rest in her genre. Combining elements of history and fantasy, she’d also provide her own alternative view of history, taking a diversion into the realm of speculative fiction. This has allowed her writing to create multiple levels, evolving to establish a style, tone, and voice that is entirely singular.

Drawing from a range of different authors, she’s managed to create some heavily inspired work that really speaks to the reader. This would include writers such as Ursula K Le Guin, which can be seen with Parker-Chan’s speculative fantasy looking at gender. Seeking to give the reader a wider understanding of the subject in hand, she uses fantasy as a means to exploring deeper ideas. Over time this has all led to writing a full novel, which itself is used to develop many larger themes and ideas for her and her audience. Her use of world-building is also exemplary, creating whole universes for her readers to explore, that feel wholly vivid and real.

The characters she creates are also enduring, really staying with the reader for the duration of the writing, and long after they’ve put the book down. Creating real living people, her protagonists truly resonate on the page, essentially stepping out of the story for the audience. This has allowed readers to relate to her many stories, making Parker-Chan one of the most authentic authors currently working within her genre. Her attention to detail is also extremely well done, making her stories some of the most richly immersive and believable works as well. With a lot more to come in the future, she definitely isn’t stopping anytime soon either, as more and more readers continue to discover her work.

Early and Personal Life
From an early age Shelley Parker-Chan would be heavily invested in storytelling and mythology as a medium. Herself named after the romantic poet of the same name, she’d find herself immersed in a love and passion for literature in all its forms. This would then develop throughout the years, as she’d find herself constantly reading all these different stories and myths. In time this would work into her own form of storytelling, as she’d begin to see a voice all of her own start to evolve.

Before becoming a writer full-time, she would work for almost a decade as an international development adviser. This would provide her with a level of insight allowing her to build upon her many themes and ideas later in her work as an author. Working all across Southeast Asia prior to becoming a writer, she’d work on gender equality, LGBT, and human rights. There’s a lot more planned on the horizon, as continues to write from her home in Melbourne, Australia, living with her family there.

Writing Career
In 2021 Shelley Parker-Chan would come out with her first novel ‘She Who Became the Sun,’ which would also be the first in ‘The Radiant Emperor’ series of novels. Combining history and fantasy, this would help establish an exciting and bold new series for the author, introducing her style for the first time. Prior to this she would create a speculative narrative looking to understand gender, and this would win an Otherwise Tiptree Fellowship in 2017. Gaining prominence as an author with a lot to say fast, she was soon heralded by both general readers and critics alike.
Her writing would develop over time, and would see a number of eager readers anticipating her first full novel. Building up an international audience, her writing has become critically acclaimed, providing a different perspective on the fantasy genre. The writing itself is going from strength-to-strength, and will carry on drawing in a larger audience for a long time yet.

She Who Became the Sun
Initially released through the Tor Books publishing label, this would originally come out on the 20th of July in 2021. Marking the first entry into ‘The Radiant Emperor’ series of novels, it would establish a new collection of historical fantasy novels. Using real mythology as the basis for the story, it really manages to capture a strong and immersive ambiance that is rich in depth and tone.

Using the legend of Mulan for much of its template, this is also close to ‘The Song of Achilles,’ which is how it was originally pitched. It’s easy to see these influences here, as it more than makes sense, in what is a highly enjoyable and compelling read. Setting up the world, it really manages to create a strong cast of characters and setting, really delivering on its initial premise.

It’s 1345 and China is held under the brutal and harsh rule of the Mongol empire, and it is here that the eighth son of the Zhu family, Zhu Chongba, has fated for greatness. Meanwhile his sister, who’s extremely intelligent and capable, has been fated for nothing, but this is challenged when Zhu gives in to despair and dies following a bandit attack. Assuming the identity of her brother, the sister now becomes Zhu entering a monastery in disguise, undertaking the greatness of her brother in order to fend of the Mongol rule as part of the rebellion. Will she be able to manage it? Can Zhu fulfil her newfound destiny? What will become of she who became the sun?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Shelley Parker-Chan

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