*I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher. All quotes used in this review come from the uncorrected proof. These are my personal, honest opinions. Thank you.*
Author: Sue Lynn Tan
Publisher/Imprint: Harper Voyager
Edition: Paperback ARC, 496 Pages
Hardcover Publication Date: January 11, 2022
A Spine that Shines? Exquisitely!
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.
‘Titles are inherited, talent might be blood-bound, but true greatness lies within.’
-Sue Lynn Tan, Daughter of the Moon Goddess
Hello and Happy New Year to everyone! I hope your holidays were happy and cheerful! What book have you started the new year with? My first read was Daughter of the Moon Goddess, and it was utterly exquisite! Technically, this title is adult fantasy but has clear YA crossover appeal. I think it will appeal to a wide variety of readers.
Here are some initial thoughts I wanted to point out:
- Although this book is chunky at about 500 pages, I believe it is worth reading all of those pages!
- The first third of the book is slower paced, but it does a good job of setting up what is to come. And the final two thirds of the book are packed full of action!
- I loved the Chinese mythology and beautiful imagery woven throughout the story! Plus, those descriptions of yummy food and beautiful clothing!
- The writing style is elegant, lyrical, and perfect for fairy tale writing! The world-building is fascinating as well!
- This book has a bit of everything that I enjoy in a fantasy: tender romance, action, devotion to family, great friendships, betrayal, immortals, magic, a magical bow, monsters, bargains, and an angry emperor!
- The immortals ride on clouds and literally have battles in the skies!
- OH MY HEART. This book will wrench your heart out and put it back together so many times!
- That cover. Need I say more?
Characters & Romance
Here is a brief overview of some of the main characters and the romance:
- Xingyin is the daughter of the disgraced Moon Goddess. She is forced to flee from her home early on in the story, and she undergoes great character growth as she faces many challenges along the way. As she strives to free her mother from eternal imprisonment, she demonstrates such loyalty, honor, and strength! I really admired her character!
- Liwei is the Celestial Crown Prince who befriends Xingyin. I was touched by his kind, good-hearted nature, and his friendship with Xingyin is so sweet. His character provided such a stark contrast to his cruel royal parents, who seemed to be against Xingyin every step of the way.
- General Jianyun of the Celestial Army trains Xingyin alongside Liwei and treats her with respect, as if she were one of his typical recruits.
- Captain Wenzhi is the most renowned warrior of the Celestial Army, and he further trains Xingyin in the use of weapons and her powers.
- Shuxiao is another female soldier who befriends Xingyin. I loved their friendship relationship. Both women are such strong female characters.
- I loved the romance, but I can’t say too much about it without giving away spoilers. Just know – your heart will be so torn!
Daughter of the Moon Goddess was a beautiful story full of sacrifice, honor, love, and, hope! I loved it so much, I pre-ordered a copy of it from Book Depository so that I could have the UK edition as well!
If you like Elizabeth Lim’s books, I definitely think you would love this one! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy books in general as well! Daughter of the Moon Goddess is the first in a duology, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel! Happy reading 🙂
*Content Warnings: Action violence; attempted sexual assault; kissing; very tame in terms of language.*
Copyright © 2022 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)
A Note on Storiarts Literary Products
I received the Phantom of the Opera glove set in my photo above for free from Storiarts. In case you didn’t know, I’m currently a rep for Storiarts. They make beautiful classic literary products such as scarves, gloves, tote bags, bookmarks, tea towels, and more! If you’re interested, you can receive a 10% discount on most of their items by shopping through my affiliate link. (I also earn a small commission if you shop through my link.)
Up Next on My TBR: Anatomy (ARC)