Author Spotlight: Zen Cho

I really need to get onto doing more author spotlights. After all, the reason that I read the books that I read is more often than anything else because I am excited to support the author. Let me tell you, once I changed my mindset from reading the story to reading the author, my reading enjoyment skyrocketed. So let me tell you how incredible Zen Cho and maybe convince you to read her work.

Who is Zen Cho?

You might recognize Zen Cho from her recent release, Black Water Sister, which came out last month. Maybe you recognize the cover of Sorcerer to the Crown, her most popular book! But did you know Zen Cho has been featured in so many short story collections, she has a collection of incredible literary awards and nominations, and she is a lawyer?! Let’s talk about how awesome she is!

Zen Cho is a Malaysian fantasy writer based in the UK. Her most popular novel is Sorcerer to the Crown, about magic, intrigue, and politics in Regency London. She has won a British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer, the Crawford Fantasy Award, and a Hugo Award. She has also been nominated for a Locus Award and the Astounding Award for Best New Writer. You can find her website here.

My favorite part of Zen Cho’s writing is her use of language. Each story she writes is heavily influenced by her Malaysian background. More importantly, she always laces Manglish into her writing, which is a combination of Malay, a Chinese dialect, Tamil, and probably more, and it’s her first language. It’s always so beautiful to me to see language used in writing that connects to the author. It is a really clear way for me to see the love and care that gets put into writing.

Celebrating Zen Cho’s Writing:
Novels & Novellas

Sorcerer Royal Series

Quick Take

Zacharias Wythe, a freed slave, a eminently proficient magician and one of the most respected sorcerers in Britain ventures to the edges of Fairyland to see why magic is drying up and gets more than he bargained for.

  • ๐Ÿ‰ Dragons
  • ๐Ÿ“œ Historical Fiction
  • ๐Ÿ“š First in Series
  • ๐Ÿ”ฎ Magic

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

Quick Take

A Bandit walks into a coffee house and the young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, who was waitressing, ends up joining an eccentric group of thieves.

  • ๐ŸŒ Asian Rep
  • ๐Ÿ“œ Historical Fiction
  • ๐Ÿฅ€ Flawed Characters
  • ๐ŸŽญ Dramatic

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo

Quick Take

Life for writer Jade Yeo is going smoothly until she gives a scathing review to London’s best known author, a tall dark and handsome surprise who is more interested than annoyed.

  • ๐ŸŒ Asian Rep
  • ๐Ÿ“œ Historical Fiction
  • ๐Ÿ’• Romance
  • ๐Ÿ˜‚ Comedy

Goodreads | Amazon

Black Water Sister

Quick Take

Jessamyn Teoh struggles with life right after graduating from school and moving back to Malaysia when she starts hearing voices, one that claims to be the voice of her estranged grandmother.

  • ๐Ÿงญ Immigrant Experience
  • ๐Ÿ“œ Historical Fiction
  • ๐Ÿ”ฎ Magical Realism
  • ๐ŸŒณ Family Focused

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Extra love: Since this one is so new, I want to spotlight it a little! I haven’t gotten to this one yet, but I’m really excited. Check out some reviews by blogs I love:

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Short Stories & Collections

Zen Cho wrote this beautiful short story collection that had me gripped from the start. Full of beautiful short stories if you’re looking for something a little easier than a full-length novel or even novella. I had to include both covers because they’re both lovely in completely different ways!

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Zen Cho has truly written so many short stories, I think this is one of the things she really shines with. A lot of her short stories have been featured in collections, or are available to her patreon subscribers. However, there are a bunch that you can read online for free so you can get an idea of whether her writing is for you! Here are a few of the free stories:

Make sure to check out the full list of her short stories, there are so many more, and even more you can read for free! She is truly wonderful at shorts!


Thank you so much for stopping by so we can celebrate Zen Cho a little bit! She is a wonderful author and I always get excited to see her writing. I hope you found a new author to look out for when building your TBR (to be read list)!

Let’s Chat!

โœจ Have you read any Zen Cho books before?
โœจ Did you find something you want to check out?
โœจ Do you love authors who are prolific in their short stories too!?


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I really want to read something by Zen Cho after reading about how incredible she is!