Book Review: Unconquerable Sun

Kate Elliott

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 7th July 2020
spoilers? no


Princess Sun has finally come of age.

Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy task. The legendary queen-marshal did what everyone thought impossible: expel the invaders and build Chaonia into a magnificent republic, one to be respected—and feared.

But the cutthroat ambassador corps and conniving noble houses have never ceased to scheme—and they have plans that need Sun to be removed as heir, or better yet, dead.

To survive, the princess must rely on her wits and companions: her biggest rival, her secret lover, and a dangerous prisoner of war.

Take the brilliance and cunning courage of Princess Leia—add in a dazzling futuristic setting where pop culture and propaganda are one and the same—and hold on tight:

This is the space opera you’ve been waiting for.

Listen and learn, my unconquerable Sun.

Galley provided by publisher

The first Kate Elliott book I ever read was Cold Magic a good few years back, and that book, and the series as a whole really, firmly cemented her as one of my favourite authors. The next one was Black Wolves (and yes, I am still incredibly bitter there won’t be a sequel to it, with that ending!), which I loved just as much. So, obviously, I have been waiting impatiently for this book since then.

And in no way does it disappoint.

Unconquerable Sun is based off Alexander the Great, but it’s sapphic and it’s set in space. It follows Sun, the daughter of the Queen-Marshal Eirene, and Persephone, who is drafted into Sun’s companions after her brother’s death. It is a book full of politics, both internal to the republic and external, on account of the empire that threatens their freedom.

If you have never read a book by Kate Elliott before, don’t expect a fast-moving, action-packed adventure from the off. And that is most definitely also the case here. Not a whole lot actually happens plot-wise, but the book itself is over 500 pages. So you have to be ready to immerse yourself in a slow-moving and occasionally pretty dense novel (at one point, they spend a good 15% of the book just escaping).

But the payoff is so worth it. When the action comes, it comes thick and fast, and it’s so tense you don’t want to put the book down for a moment. I all but devoured the last third of the book or so because I had to know what was happening. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t give this book the full five stars is because it was slow and dense at the beginning, which I wasn’t necessarily in the mood for.

And now all I have to do is actually hope that the rest of this series gets published.

Not that I’m bitter.

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