Sunday 11 December 2022

Strike the Zither

Strike the Zither by Joan He (Text Publishing) PB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781911231417

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Strike the Zither is a young adult historical fiction/fantasy narrated in the first person by the strong-willed female protagonist, Zephyr. It is set in 414 and describes a fractured Xin Empire, with three warlordesses each wanting to control more land.

Trying to erase the pain of her past, Zephyr becomes the strategist to Lordess Ren. This role brings her great pride, purpose, and an unwavering focus toward her mission to help Ren build her kingdom. Zephyr learns that she must work alone and keep her enemies close if her quest is to be successful.

Joan He has written an engaging reimagining of the Chinese literature classic Three Kingdoms, now with strong female characters that have great power and influence. Strike the Zither has themes of self-belief, loyalty, and betrayal. It is the first book in an upcoming duology.

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