Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott – Book Review

Unconquerable Sun, Book 1 of the Sun Chronicles was a perfect book to lose myself with epic space battles, aliens, pollical intrigue in an eastern-based Galaxy far far away and I can’t wait to read the next instalment.

Genre: Science Fiction, space opera


I read this book last year, at the peak of the pandemic and I found myself immersed in its eastern-based Chaonia and its battles with the Phene and the Gatoi and reread the book before I read the second part.

Sun, is half Chaonian and half Yele, the daughter and heir to the Queen- Marshall but despite her military successes, she still has to defend her right to be heir against ambitious houses seeking to put their children forward as heir. The book follows her, and her companions and court as they battle enemies in dining rooms and space as well as untangling the numerous political intrigues and plots that abound.

The book has chapters from the points of view of Sun, and Aparna a Phene fighter pilot as well as a 1st person POV from Persephone Li, former space cadet and now reluctant companion to Sun.

I couldn’t put the book down between all the political manoeuvring of House Li, the action scenes and the space battles. I love historical fiction and all the politics of the houses trying to create alliances felt realistic, in fact, this could easily be described as King Henry the eighth’s court in space. The space battles are well described, thrilling and the terminology was easy to understand and made sense- I sometimes give up on a book when the science becomes ridiculously complicated.

Sun, Persephone and Aparna are strong, female characters with distinct, believable voices and genuine character flaws. A scene where Persephone describes Sun taking command of the military is believable as you see Sun in action through the book and not just at the point the story needs her to do this.

I didn’t guess who was behind the plot the first time around and I really relished reading the book the second time to see if I could pick up on any hints.

There isn’t much to criticise. It was hard to keep track of all the characters initially and I thought one of the plot developments towards the end felt a bit convenient but I can overlook this given how great the rest of the book was. I did find Tiana, Li’s companion, a bit too perfect and therefore boring.

No content warning except violence

Any cliffhangers?

Most of the story threads are resolved but there are plot strands to set up the story for the next book.

Perfect for fans

Ancillary Justice By Ann Leckie, The Expanse by SA Corey


4.5 stars, Tiana was a bit too amazing and perfect but I can’t wait to read the next book.

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