He Who Drowned the World: A Novel (The Radiant Emperor Duology #2) (Hardcover)

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He Who Drowned the World: A Novel (The Radiant Emperor Duology #2) By Shelley Parker-Chan Cover Image
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This is book number 2 in the The Radiant Emperor Duology series.

Staff Reviews

I was such a fan of She Who Became the Sun, the first book in this military fantasy duology. I spent a solid week afterward gutted: a searing conversation about gender, identity, fate, and violence in a fantastical 14th century China, it rocked my world with its complex, intriguing characters and thrillingly told battles. Zhu Chongba became one of my favorite antiheroes of all time. Where would she inevitably fall? In He Who Drowned, we return to the middle of the action: several players are eyeing the position of Great Khan for their own, Zhu being one of them. What delights me most about this series is how Parker-Chan makes you feel for these characters. I hated each and every one of them in turn — they're selfish, greedy, cruel, and petty — but nonetheless I mourned with them. I burned with them. I wanted them each to succeed despite the cruelties of the world closing in. Mind the trigger warnings for this one - it's bleak. But it's also one of the best books I read all year, and possibly the last five years. — Whitney, Snail Readers Circle

— From Readers Circle Recommendations


The sequel and series conclusion to She Who Became the Sun, the accomplished, poetic debut of war and destiny, sweeping across an epic alternate China. Mulan meets The Song of Achilles.

How much would you give to win the world?

Zhu Yuanzhang, the Radiant King, is riding high after her victory that tore southern China from its Mongol masters. Now she burns with a new desire: to seize the throne and crown herself emperor.

But Zhu isn’t the only one with imperial ambitions. Her neighbor in the south, the courtesan Madam Zhang, wants the throne for her husband—and she’s strong enough to wipe Zhu off the map. To stay in the game, Zhu will have to gamble everything on a risky alliance with an old enemy: the talented but unstable eunuch general Ouyang, who has already sacrificed everything for a chance at revenge on his father’s killer, the Great Khan.

Unbeknownst to the southerners, a new contender is even closer to the throne. The scorned scholar Wang Baoxiang has maneuvered his way into the capital, and his lethal court games threaten to bring the empire to its knees. For Baoxiang also desires revenge: to become the most degenerate Great Khan in history—and in so doing, make a mockery of every value his Mongol warrior family loved more than him.

All the contenders are determined to do whatever it takes to win. But when desire is the size of the world, the price could be too much for even the most ruthless heart to bear…

About the Author

Shelley Parker-Chan is an Asian-Australian former international development adviser who worked on human rights, gender equality and LGBTQ rights in Southeast Asia. Their debut historical fantasy novel She Who Became the Sun was a #1 Sunday Times bestseller and has been translated into 12 languages. Parker-Chan is a winner of the Astounding Award, and the British Fantasy Awards for Best Fantasy Novel and Best Newcomer. They have also been a finalist for the Lambda, Locus, Aurealis, Ditmar, and British Book Awards. They live in Melbourne, Australia.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250621825
ISBN-10: 1250621828
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2023
Pages: 496
Language: English
Series: The Radiant Emperor Duology