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In the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Lo Kuan-chung, Sun Shang Xiang is the sister of Sun Quan, the ruler of Wu. Plotting against Liu Bei of Shu, Sun Quan proposes that she marry him. Liu Bei accepts, but Quan's plan hits a snag when Shang Xiang and Liu Bei fall in actual love with each other.
Eventually, Liu Bei escapes Wu with Sun Shang Xiang and returns to Shu. Sun Quan then tricked his sister into returning to Wu under the pretense that their mother was gravely ill, when in fact she was in perfect health. Upon returning to Wu, Sun Shang Xiang is prevented from rejoin her husband's side. When she later learns of Liu Bei's death, she commits suicide by drowning.
Sun Shang Xiang is an unusual character in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Considered an amazon, her living quarters are decorated with all manner of weapons, and the women that attend to her are all armed. Shang Xiang herself is also said to be a skilled archer.
In Video Games
In Koei's Dynasty Warriors series, Sun Shang Xiang's unique personality is highlighted by her portrayal as a tomboy. However, many of the specific events in her life as depicted in the novel are either glossed over or dramatically reinterpreted for the purposes of gameplay and the narrative that the developers chose to adapt. Also, unlike the novel, Shang Xiang's weapon most commonly associated with her is not a bow, but rather a pair of large, bladed hoops. She uses these weapons exclusively in all of her appearances through Dynasty Warriors 5. In Dynasty Warriors 6, Shang Xiang was given a redesign and her weapon was changed to the more literature-accurate bow. In Dynasty Warriors 7, the bladed hoops make a return as her EX weapon.