Title: Daughter of the Moon Goddess
Author: Sue Lynn Tan
Series: The Celestial Kingdom Duology #1
Length: 498 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: January 11, 2022
Recommended for fans of: mythology retellings
Content Warnings: violence, kidnapping, confinement
A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.
Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.
Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.
To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.
This book is absolutely lovely, and it’s sure to be one of my favorites of the year. This debut is a beautiful, magical, immersive retelling of Chinese mythology, and although it’s marketed as adult fantasy, it will appeal to and is appropriate for YA lovers as well.
Xingyin is a determined, brave, and loyal MC who never loses focus of her goals. She does what it takes to protect the people she loves, even if it’s not the safe or easy choice. The book is fast-paced, but the story never feels rushed. The romance doesn’t overshadow Xingyin’s other desires to develop her powers, free her mother, and discover who she wants to be. This even has a love triangle that I don’t hate because it actually makes sense for this story and these characters.
This story has great resolution for the first book in a duology. The ending is satisfying, but there is just enough left open to keep me highly anticipating the sequel!
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted review copy.