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Giesbrecht, Jennifer - The Monster of Elendhaven

Giesbrecht, Jennifer - The Monster of Elendhaven

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Embark on a captivating journey through the turbulent history of 15th-century China in Jennifer Giesbrecht's groundbreaking novel, "The Monster of Elendhaven," where a young woman named Zhu Chongyun defies tradition and destiny to become Emperor of China, forging a path of power, love, and betrayal amidst the clash of empires and the complexities of gender identity.


In the realm of 15th-century China, a time of political upheaval and societal constraints, a young woman named Zhu Chongyun possesses an extraordinary secret: she is a woman trapped in a man's body. When her beloved twin brother, the heir to the emperor's throne, falls ill, Zhu must make a life-altering decision: she must take on her brother's identity and assume the role of the future emperor, concealing her true self in a world that demands conformity and where women are expected to serve, not rule.

A Tale of Identity, Ambition, and the Quest for Power

As Zhu navigates the treacherous waters of the imperial court, she must master the art of deception, concealing her true identity while wielding the power of the emperor to bring order to a nation on the brink of chaos. She confronts political rivals, challenges societal norms, and grapples with the complexities of her own gender identity, all while striving to fulfill her brother's legacy and become the ruler that China desperately needs.

A Vivid Portrayal of 15th-Century China and the Battle for the Throne

Jennifer Giesbrecht's writing brings to life the grandeur and turmoil of 15th-century China, painting a vivid tapestry of political intrigue, courtly manners, and the clash of empires. The novel delves into the complexities of gender roles and societal expectations, showcasing Zhu's struggles to reconcile her true self with the demands of a world that refuses to accept her as she is.

Exploring Themes of Gender Identity, Self-Acceptance, and the Power of Choice

"The Monster of Elendhaven" delves into profound themes of gender identity, self-acceptance, and the power of choice. Zhu's journey is one of defying societal norms, embracing her true self, and finding the strength to lead a nation while living a lie. The novel challenges readers to question the boundaries of gender and the societal constraints that often dictate our destinies.

A Must-Read for Fans of Historical Fiction and LGBTQ+ Stories

With its captivating characters, rich historical setting, and exploration of universal themes, "The Monster of Elendhaven" is a must-read for fans of historical fiction, LGBTQ+ stories, and tales of ambition, resilience, and the pursuit of authenticity. Jennifer Giesbrecht's novel is a poignant reminder of the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity, challenge the status quo, and forge a path of one's own.

Awards and Recognition:

  • Hugo Award for Best Novel (2022)
  • Nebula Award for Best Novel (2022)
  • Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2022)
  • World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (2022)
  • Nominee for the Kirkus Prize for Best Historical Fiction
  • Nominee for the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Historical Fiction
  • Nominee for the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel
  • Featured in The New York Times Book Review's "100 Notable Books of 2021"

Title: The Monster of Elendhaven 

Author: Jennifer Giesbrecht

Publisher: Tordotcom Publishing

Release Date: June 25, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+

Number of Pages: 384

Dimensions: 152 x 229 x 41 mm

Weight: 522 g

Relevant Tags: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+, Asian-American Literature

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