An enchanting cross between Georgette Heyer and Susannah Clarke, full of delights and surprises. Zen Cho unpins the edges of the canvas and throws them wide.” — Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of A Deadly Education
“A warm, funny debut novel by a brilliant new talent.” — Charles Stross, award-winning author of the Laundry Files and Merchant Princes series
“Fabulous! If you like Austen or Patrick O’Brian, or magic and humor like Susanna Clarke, or simply a very fun read, you will really, really, enjoy this!” — Ann Leckie, Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award winning author of Ancillary Justice
“Zen Cho’s SORCERER TO THE CROWN is inventive, dangerous, brilliant, unsettling, and adorable, all at the same time. It shatters as many rules as its characters do. Historical Britain will never be the same again, and I can’t wait for the next book.” — Courtney Milan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
"A deliciously true tale of politics and power in a charming, cruel world — it demands and deserves to be read again and again. Cho has humor and flair to match Pratchett and Heyer plus her own marvelous style.” — Karen Lord, award-winning author of The Best of All Possible Worlds
“A delightful and enchanting novel that uses sly wit and assured style to subvert expectations while it always, unfailingly, entertains. I loved it!” — Kate Elliott, author of the Spiritwalker series
“Magic, manners and dragons in Regency England — this alone would be awesome, but Zen Cho adds a veneer of comment on English colonial politics …. Like a mix of Jane Austen, PG Wodehouse, and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and all its own thing. Glorious.” — Aliette de Bodard, award-winning author of Obsidian and Blood and The House of Shattered Wings
“A sheer delight from beginning to end. Cho perfectly conjures the opulence, absurdity and conflict of the period.” — Samantha Shannon, author of The Bone Season
“A delightful follow-up to Sorcerer to the Crown! Cho applies her characteristic wit and charm to a tale of cursed sisters — a story I found as enchanting as her Faerie Court.” — S.A. Chakraborty, author of City of Brass
“Cho continues to confront class and gender roles in an alternate Regency England while showcasing entertaining prose and characters. A delightful historical-fantasy novel that will capture readers in its layered story line.”—Booklist
“Reading the clever deployment of weaponized manners never gets old; in Cho's charming prose, The True Queen weaves a very pleasant spell indeed.” — NPR
"A winning combination of magic and thrill set in an alternative version of Regency England.” — Washington Post
"A captivating debut that, aside from examining both gender and racial prejudice, tells an entertaining story with wit and consummate skill.” — The Guardian (UK)
"Fans of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell will flock to this historical fantasy debut for its shared setting and be rewarded with an exciting story and nuanced, diverse characters who make this novel soar on its own merits.” — Library Journal (starred review; debut of the month)
"Combines magic and the Regency period in the manner of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but adds an Austenian piquancy . . . Cho’s debut has much to recommend it, particularly its implicit critique of colonialism and its frothy good humour.”— Financial Times
"A classic, gently barbed upper-crust comedy mixed with magical thrills, modern social consciousness, and a hint of political intrigue. A decidedly promising start.”— Kirkus Reviews
“Zacharias brings to mind another orphaned young wizard whose combination of grit and melancholy captured readers' hearts, and ingenious, gutsy Prunella simply shines.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Sorcerer to the Crown exceeds expectations. It’s a very entertaining and deeply enjoyable novel—and if this is what Cho gives us for her debut, I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does next.” — Locus
A collection of speculative stories that play on Malaysian folklore and fantasy tropes with humor and compassion.
Split into three sections—Here, There, and Elsewhere—this expanded edition of Cho’s 2014 collection takes readers from present-day Malaysia to a boarding school in Britain to Earth thousands of years in the future, showcasing the author’s broad storytelling range. Stories in the first section, Here, are set primarily in Malaysia and explore themes as mundane as teenage love, intergenerational family tensions, and school pressures through the prism of the fantastical. The collection opens with “The First Witch of Damansara,” in which Vivian—a young Malaysian woman who has immigrated to a “modern Western country”—returns to Malaysia after the death of her grandmother, a witch whose powers Vivian has not inherited. When Vivian begins to receive visits from her grandmother in her dreams, she experiences a change of heart about the cultural traditions she had formerly disavowed. Other stories in this section similarly combine folklore with the mundane: A schoolgirl allows an enchanted koi fish to brutalize her in exchange for good grades in “The Fish Bowl,” while in “The House of Aunts,” a young vampire falls in love with a Muslim boy at school, much against the advice of the aunts who have raised her. While stories in the There section are set primarily in the U.K. and those in Elsewhere, in more otherworldly settings, both sections explore more fantastical terrains than the first: teenagers at an English boarding school battle fairies, women are wooed unexpectedly by dragons, and the Chinese lunar goddess, Chang E, is reenvisioned as an extraterrestrial college student. The stories are told with the precise and almost sparse voice of fairy tales, but they can sometimes veer toward the excessively fanciful. Some, like “One-Day Travelcard for Fairyland” and “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” rely too much on humor and speculative elements without quite landing. Nevertheless, the collection’s most moving stories harness seamless worldbuilding, intriguing character development, and thematic complexity.
A swath of delightful and intricate stories from a wildly inventive storyteller.