My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Cheebye! Tell me there is more coming soon!?
Author J.Y. Yang's silkpunk Tensorate series is one of the most creative worlds I've read in recent years. The novellas have been like jewels, rich with slack, political intrigue, and sibling rivalry. Each has felt better than the last, which is saying a lot because the first novella, The Black Tides of Heaven was nominated for the Hugo, Locus, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. (Actually the second novella, The Red Threads of Fortune was a competitor in the Locus Awards against Black Tides!) This fourth novella is perhaps the most accessible and visceral of the series thus far. The Ascent to Godhood gives us Hekate's backstory, as told by her former handmaiden/aide/lover, the formidable Lady Han.
Here's my mental image of Hekate, a sort of Empress Wu...
Lady Han was the woman who knew the Protector best, who both celebrates and mourns the death of the woman who sheltered and trained her for several decades. The complex reasons for her turning on Hekate make for fascinating reading. The reader is quickly immersed in Lady Han's world and you can easily ask who betrayed whom in this world. While some might look at Lady Han's endgame as one of pure revenge, it's not just revenge, even if she fears it is. Her bold, continued use of her title takes your breath away by the time you get to the end of this story, which is... the beginning of a new story, I hope?
My mental image of Lady Han, as she tells this tale:
Yang has managed to build an immense amount of depth of character and a wealth of world-building over the course of four novellas and only 640 pages. Please, Tor.com and JY, tell us that there is more ahead?
"The Slack is everything and everything is the Slack."
You can find my review of the first three Tensorate novellas here.
I received an Uncorrected Proof of this novella in exchange for an honest review.
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