I Can’t Wait for… The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about and have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released, but not necessarily. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was originally hosted at Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is a feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy with the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama

Title: The Empress of Salt and Fortune

Author: Nghi Vo

Publisher: Tor.com

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

Genres: Epic Fantasy

Shelves: Female-author, female-fronted

With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama, Nghi Vo’s The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.

Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

Praise for The Empress of Salt and Fortune

“An elegant gut-punch, a puzzle box that unwinds itself in its own way and in its own time. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Gorgeous. Cruel. Perfect. I didn’t know I needed to read this until I did.”—Seanan McGuire

“A tale of rebellion and fealty that feels both classic and fresh, The Empress of Salt and Fortune is elegantly told, strongly felt, and brimming with rich detail. An epic in miniature, beautifully realised.”—Zen Cho

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