Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan


Raised far away on the moon, Xingyin was unaware she was being hidden from the Celestial Emperor – who exiled her mother for stealing the elixir of immortality. But when her magic flares and reveals her, Xingyin is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, Xingyin makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. In disguise, she trains alongside the Emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, despite the passion which flames between them.

Vowing to rescue her mother, Xingyin embarks on a quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies. But when forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, Xingyin must challenge the ruthless Emperor, leaving her torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos…

Inspired by the legend of Chang’e the Moon Goddess, this captivating debut weaves Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of love and family, immortals and magic.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess weaves a smart and enchanting retelling of beloved Chinese mythology from a debut author! We follow the journey of a young immortal girl, Xingyin, trying to find a way to one day return home and reunite with her mother, Chang’e (the Moon Goddess), on the moon. In the meantime, Xingyin navigates both the beauty and the cruelty of the Celestial Kingdom; where she contends with surviving in a place where status is revered, experiencing first love, figuring out her sense of purpose and fighting forces who threaten the peace and freedom of the entire kingdom. 

Between the setting and the author’s prose, then both the UK cover and the US cover, I can only describe this book as beautiful. It is an enchanting otherworldly experience where immortals are transported through moving clouds, there’s a rainbow of different coloured dragons, a realm of demons and at the heart of it all, a girl who is discovering herself and who she wants to be. She also comes to possess a magic bow that enables her to wield and fire flaming arrows… It’s pure magic and adventure. 

Admittedly for a good portion of the book, it felt the book was overly long and I couldn’t see why this was marketed as adult fantasy, as it felt akin to reading many young adult fantasies, especially with some predictable elements. I’d definitely describe Daughter of the Moon Goddess as being on the lighter end of adult fantasy, which I ended up cherishing, as it’s one of those stories you can escape to where your heart won’t implode with pain. 

But dragon’s pearl will your heart feel a whole range of emotions! The cast of characters were exceptional; the core characters quickly took root in my heart, and those who were meant to make my blood boil, certainly did. Xingyin is easy to love even when she’s being naive, Liwei is someone you want to simultaneously hug and throttle (just maybe the want to hug prevails, though) and days after finishing the book, I still can’t decide whether I want to kiss or kill Wenzhi. The love triangle this book pulled off?? I honestly didn’t think I was heavily invested, and then BOOM, the book was coming to a close and I was whining “no, no, no please don’t end here! Not like this!” 
Daughter of the Moon Goddess has one of the most delectably crafted love triangles I’ve read in a while.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess is packed to the brim with twists and turns in a vividly painted world. For a debut book, Sue Lynn Tan has assured she is a powerhouse talent and that the sequel, Heart of the Sun Warrior, will be worth the wait. I’ve already marked my calendar to see how this wondrous story ends!

Thank you kindly to the publishers for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.

Buy It Now

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