"Dangerous, subtle, unexpected and familiar, angry and ferocious and hopeful... The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a remarkable accomplishment of storytelling."—NPR
A 2020 ALA Booklist Top Ten SF/F Debut
A Book Riot Must-Read Fantasy of 2020
A Paste Most Anticipated Novel of 2020
A Library Journal Debut of the Month
A Buzzfeed Must-Read Fantasy Novel of Spring 2020
With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama, Nghi Vo's The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.
A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.
Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.
At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She's a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.
Praise for The Empress of Salt and Fortune
“An elegant gut-punch, a puzzle box that unwinds itself in its own way and in its own time. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Gorgeous. Cruel. Perfect. I didn't know I needed to read this until I did.”—Seanan McGuire
"A tale of rebellion and fealty that feels both classic and fresh, The Empress of Salt and Fortune is elegantly told, strongly felt, and brimming with rich detail. An epic in miniature, beautifully realised."—Zen Cho
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
About the Author
Nghi Vo was born in central Illinois, and she retains a healthy respect for and love of corn mazes, scarecrows, and fifty-year floods. These days, she lives on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is less a lake than an inland sea that she is sure is just biding its time. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, PodCastle, and Fireside, and her short story “Neither Witch nor Fairy” made the 2014 Otherwise (formerly Tiptree) Award Honor List. Nghi mostly writes about food, death, and family, but sometimes detours into blood, love, and rhetoric. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.