I have been in love with this series since I read the first novella, The Black Tides of Heaven. With each subsequent novella, I think, “Yes this is my favorite one” and with each one, I am completely right. This series keeps building on the inventive silkpunk world building with stories that enchant you.
The Protector is dead.
For fifty years, the Protector ruled, reshaping her country in her image and driving her enemies to the corners of the map. For half a century the world turned around her as she built her armies, trained her Tensors, and grasped at the reins of fate itself. Now she is dead. Her followers will quiver, her enemies rejoice.
But in one tavern, deep in rebel territory, her greatest enemy drowns her sorrows. Lady Han raised a movement that sought the Protector’s head, yet now she can only mourn her loss. She remembers how it all began, when the Protector was young, not yet crowned, and a desperate dancing girl dared to fall in love with her.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Ascent to Godhood begins by immersing us in the narrative. Talking to us like we were involved in this world of silk, magic, and drama. We feel folded into a story, a world beyond our imagining, and in a story that draws us through the pages. I am a huge fan of enemies to lovers, so it’s no surprise that I’m an equal, if not more, fan of lovers to enemies. And Yang weaves a story that is full of emotion, vulnerability, fear, and cruelty.
While this world is unlike anything I’ve ever read, Lady Han becomes immediately relatable. Mostly because I related so strongly to the thrill of being chosen. The pride of being picked amongst all others. It’s a rush to be inexplicably plucked from the masses. And yet it’s also intoxicatingly dangerous. Because remembering that feeling, that rush, the thrill, becomes something that can always seem to hook us again. The Ascent to Godhood takes these emotions, fears, and doubts which are intimately relatable, and expands on them.
Not only the pain of betrayal, but the fierce rage inside us to have been fooled. That reflected in our determination to never let it happen again. When we become someone new because of rage and sorrow, adversity and betrayal. Our heart becomes tied to someone, despite their actions. Our love for them rooting us. And in some relationships both people bloom, but in others, we are lead into darkness. A world where loyalty and promises aren’t enough. Where assurances, blackmail, and forced hands are our only security. In a world where power is taken, betrayal is commonplace, and fear is rooted in our dreams, The Ascent to Godhood is a gripping and spectacular sequel.