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A Song to Drown Rivers by Ann Liang 

Book Details

A Song to Drown Rivers

Inspired by the legend of Xishi, one of the famous Four Beauties of Ancient China, A Song to Drown Rivers is an epic novel steeped in myth about womanhood, war, sacrifice, and love against all odds as the fate of two kingdoms hangs in a delicate balance.

Her beauty hides a deadly purpose.

Xishi’s beauty is seen as a blessing to the villagers of Yue―convinced that the best fate for a girl is to marry well and support her family. When Xishi draws the attention of the famous young military advisor, Fanli, he presents her with a rare opportunity: to use her beauty as a weapon. One that could topple the rival neighboring kingdom of Wu, improve the lives of her people, and avenge her sister’s murder. All she has to do is infiltrate the enemy palace as a spy, seduce their immoral king, and weaken them from within.

Trained by Fanli in everything from classical instruments to concealing emotion, Xishi hones her beauty into the perfect blade. But she knows Fanli can see through every deception she masters, the attraction between them burning away any falsehoods.

Once inside the enemy palace, Xishi finds herself under the hungry gaze of the king’s advisors while the king himself shows her great affection. Despite his gentleness, a brutality lurks and Xishi knows she can never let her guard down. But the higher Xishi climbs in the Wu court, the farther she and Fanli have to fall―and if she is unmasked as a traitor, she will bring both kingdoms down.


The Review

Hello Book friends!

Today I’m reviewing A Song to Drown Rivers by Ann Liang. In this fantasy romance, we follow Xishi, a young woman from an outlying village in ancient China, who is given an opportunity to use her beauty to extract vengeance for her family and fellow countrymen.


A Few More Thoughts

It’s been a while since I’ve read a historical fantasy romance that kept me glued to my Kindle. Ann Liang’s A Song to Drown Rivers is epic and lush, bringing together, from start to finish, a sweeping story of obsession, beguiling beauty, and of course the main thread of the story painted in dark shades of scarlet and crimson, revenge.

Liang’s story blends together a woman’s resourcefulness and insight when faced with impossible odds. Pacing that had my heart racing. Holding my breath as I raced from one chapter to the next, my heart aching as the romance unfurled, and an ending that will grab your heart in an iron grip, slowly squeezing until the final page.

For fans of Shelley Parker-Chan and Sue Lynn Tan, this new captivating story inspired by the legend of Xishi, one of the famous Four Beauties of Ancient China, will sure to be a new favorite.

Happy Reading ~ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked


About the Author

Ann Liang

Ann Liang is the New York Times and Indie bestselling author of the critically acclaimed YA novels This Time It’s Real, If You Could See the Sun, and I Hope This Doesn’t Find You.

Her books have sold into over twenty foreign territories. Born in Beijing, she grew up traveling back and forth between China and Australia, but somehow ended up with an American accent. She now lives in Melbourne, where she can be found making overambitious to‑do lists and having profound conversations with her pet labradoodle about who’s a good dog.


From the Publisher

publication details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupSource & FormatReview Posted Online
1-Oct-24978-1250289469336St. Martin’s PressAdult NetGalley, Digital ARCJune 23, 2024

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Sheaf & Ink

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Welcome Reader!

I’m Cecelia and I’m so glad you’re here! You’ll find honest reviews, book recommendations, along with other bookish essentials. So happy you stopped by!

– C




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