Strike the Zither: Book summary and reviews of Strike the Zither by Joan He

Strike the Zither

Kingdom of Three #1

by Joan He

Strike the Zither by Joan He X
Strike the Zither by Joan He
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About this book

Book Summary

A dazzling new fantasy from New York Times and Indie bestselling author Joan He, Strike the Zither is a powerful, inventive, and sweeping fantasy that reimagines the Chinese classic tale of the Three Kingdoms.

The year is 414 of the Xin Dynasty, and chaos abounds. A puppet empress is on the throne. The realm has fractured into three factions and three warlordesses hoping to claim the continent for themselves.

But Zephyr knows it's no contest.

Orphaned at a young age, Zephyr took control of her fate by becoming the best strategist of the land and serving under Xin Ren, a warlordess whose loyalty to the empress is double-edged―while Ren's honor draws Zephyr to her cause, it also jeopardizes their survival in a war where one must betray or be betrayed. When Zephyr is forced to infiltrate an enemy camp to keep Ren's followers from being slaughtered, she encounters the enigmatic Crow, an opposing strategist who is finally her match. But there are more enemies than one―and not all of them are human.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Military stratagems, qi-infused zither duets, and divine interference come together in this tightly crafted reimagining of the Chinese classic Three Kingdoms. Themes of fate and identity appear throughout, tightening around Zephyr, who must weigh duty against heart as the stakes continue to rise. A riveting series opener." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A skilled strategist infiltrates an enemy camp in service to a warlord in this expansive fantasy series opener from He...The protagonist's clever narration and boundless ambition, coupled with He's powerful, action-packed prose, quick pacing, anticipatory atmosphere, and immersive worldbuilding, exemplify the origins of the source material while developing a distinct and evocative adventure." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Joan He takes no prisoners, and Strike the Zither is her latest triumph. An intricate, expansive epic that poses difficult questions and eschews easy answers, this book is as ambitious as its scheming, ruthless cast―and just like its narrator, delivers above and beyond." - Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series and Little Thieves

"Filled with twists and turns, Strike the Zither is a meticulously plotted, supremely satisfying story that explores identity, legacy, and loyalty in unexpected ways. This is Joan He's best yet." - Hannah Whitten, New York Times-bestselling author of For the Wolf

"Strike the Zither is a page-turner, full of unexpected twists, with an expansive, intricate world of sisterhood and subterfuge. He's smooth, economical style is the perfect vehicle for this gripping political fantasy, marrying cat-and-mouse intrigue with a tenderness and emotional depth that heightens the stakes of every new reveal. A standout work from a remarkable author." - Olivie Blake, author of The Atlas Six

This information about Strike the Zither was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Joan He

Joan He was born and raised in Philadelphia but still, on occasion, loses her way. At a young age, she received classical instruction in oil painting before discovering that stories were her favorite kind of art. She studied psychology and Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania, and now splits her time between Philly and Chicago. She is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Ones We're Meant to Find and Descendant of the Crane, her young adult debut novel.

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