Iron Widow (Hardback)Xiran Jay Zhao (author)
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Recasting the true story of the only female Chinese emperor as a thrilling space opera, Iron Widow follows a young concubine-pilot determined to dismantle the patriarchal system following the brutal death of her sister.
Science fiction and East Asian myth combine in this dazzling retelling of the rise of Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in Chinese history
The boys of Huaxia dream of the celebrity status that comes with piloting Chrysalises - giant transforming robots that battle the aliens beyond the Great Wall. Their female co-pilots are expected to serve as concubines and sacrifice their lives.
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, her plan is to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But on miraculously emerging from the cockpit unscathed after her first battle, the Iron Widow sets her sights on bigger things. The time has come to take on the entire patriarchal military system.
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Number of pages: 400
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 34 mm
'Absolutely epic. This is the historical-inspired, futuristic sci-fi mash-up of my wildest dreams. Iron Widow charges headfirst into a world of giant mechas and uncompromising characters. The brutal beauty of Xiran Jay Zhao's writing kept me glued to the page from start to finish.' - Chloe Gong, author of These Violent Delights
'Like its ferocious heroine, Iron Widow is brutal, bloodthirsty and full of rage. Zetian's fight to shatter patriarchal definitions of power makes for a truly thrilling read.' - Julie C. Dao, author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
'A primal scream of a book, Iron Widow delivers on all that fury and more, combining meticulous pacing and brilliant world building to make a truly epic read.' - E.K. Johnston, author of Aetherbound
'Zetian is the take-no-prisoners heroine you'll love to cheer on as she crushes everyone who tries to bring her down.' - Rebecca Schaeffer, author of Not Even Bones
'A bold and brash story that will grab you by the throat from page one. Zhao expertly weaves a story that polishes off classic sci-fi themes and re-imagines them in a lush futuristic world inspired by Ancient China. With an unapologetic heroine who pushes so far beyond the boundaries of expectations, the reader will go on a journey of twists and turns that will make them gasp with each page turn. Thrilling, heart-wrenching and epic!' - Kat Cho, author of Vicious Spirits
'In Iron Widow, Zhao crafts a thrilling, brutal tale with jaw-dropping action and a fierce and unyielding heroine. Zetian is unstoppable, and I dare you not to cheer her on.' - Elizabeth Lim, author of Spin the Dawn
'Iron Widow is a gut punch from the very first pages. The action is riveting. The story relentless. The heroine ruthless and unapologetic. Zetian is here to set the world on fire, and her pursuit of vengeance is thrilling and empowering to behold. Sit back and enjoy the show - and stay the hell out of her way.' - Nicki Pau Preto, author of the Crown of Feathers trilogy
'A searing, cinematic, gut-punch of a tale, Iron Widow is both wickedly fun and brutally incisive when it comes to the Chinese history and culture it draws inspiration from. There's no resisting Wu Zetian; once she sinks her claws in you, you'll be racing alongside her to a shocking, subversive end.' - Joan He, NYT bestselling author of The Ones We're Meant to Find'This wild anime-inspired reimagining of the biggest, baddest figures in Chinese history takes on the patriarchy and smashes it - with giant robots. Think The Handmaid's Tale meets Pacific Rim and buckle up.' - Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun
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“Pretty much a mecha anime in a novel!”
Iron Widow jumps straight into Zetian’s quest to avenge her sister’s death. In Zetian’s world, women are either sold off as brides or sacrificed as human batteries to the male pilots who power giant robots with their... More
“An Incredible Read”
Iron Widow is an INCREDIBLE book! The writing is so detailed I felt more like I was watching the story unfold on the big screen than on the page.
Zetian is not a likeable character, and I didn't like her at all.... More
Rep: LGBTQIA+ rep, Asian rep, polyamory
TW: alcoholism, sexual assault, torture, violence, feminicide
Marketed as Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale, this feminist SFF story was lacking in a lot of ways.
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