The first thing I'm told about this book is that it is based on The Three Kingdoms, one of the four great Chinese classics. Since the only great Chinese classic I know about is The Journey to the West, I'm willing to try this one. It should be different. And I can say, in most ways, it is different.
We are in a strange land, where the main ruler is a child. Because of her youth, different factions are at war, believing they are the only ones who can act as regent for the Empress and keep the nation safe and secure. At this point there are three main contenders: Miasma, the Prime Minister; Cicada, a warlord from the South; and Xin Ren, a landless warlord who is distantly related to the Empress. These are the survivors of the wars. Each of them have a strategist, who plans campaigns. Xin Ren's strategist is a young woman called Zepher. We are lead through the book by Zepher. In other words, this is Zepher's story.
I haven't read The Three Kingdoms, so I don't know how the gods and the immortals figure into it. Based on Journey, I would suppose a great deal. So, when they show up here, it's not a big surprise. I didn't find it all that welcome a surprise. It changed the fabric of the story for me and was a bigger jar to my reading pleasure that using words like lordess or warlordess were.
The major characters in the story are mostly women. It's an interesting shift. I think it took me five minutes to accept that shift and get on with the story. This is the first volume in series. I think I may continue reading when subsequent volumes are printed. I do recommend this book.
I received the book I read for this review from the publisher through BookishFirst.