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Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan Book Review

Book: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Series: Book #1 of The Celestial Kingdom

Author: Sue Lynn Tan

503 pages, Hardcover

First published January 11, 2022

Literary awards ALA Alex Award (2023), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy and for Debut Novel (2022)

Daughter of the Moon Goddess Cover

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“Daughter of the Moon Goddess” retells the Chinese myth of the Moon Goddess. We are whisked away to a distant land woven from legends of gods and magical beings, and encounter immortality and magic – everything a fantasy lover could wish for.

The Daughter of the Moon Goddess Storyline

The book tells the story of Xingyin, who was born and raised on the moon, hidden from the eyes of the imperial family. Her mother, the Moon Goddess, is sentenced to eternal imprisonment by the Celestial Emperor for disobedience. The ruler of the heavenly realm is known for his lack of patience and mercy, and the entire village of immortals bows before his power.

Unable and untrained to control her powers, Xingyin loses control and her life is turned upside down. The imperial family senses the change in the moon’s aura and intensifies their interest in the moon goddess. To save her daughter, Chang-e sends her to the Cave of the immortals and swears never to reveal who she really is.

First Archer Xingyin

This book impressed me right from the start. The plot follows the story of Xingyin. Stranded, she must learn to survive and find her way back to the moon. Humiliated and punished without guilt, Shin-in does not bow her head and forgets her mother. She desperately tries to find a way to free the moon goddess from her eternal prison. Xingyin grows before our eyes from a maid and a shy child into an extremely talented warrior. As I followed her journey, the image of Mulan inevitably came to mind, and that was another reason why I loved the heroine.

Even as a child, I admired Chinese legends and Chinese culture. Their stories are always very dramatic and the endings are often tragic. “Daughter of the Moon Goddess” is not stingy with these emotions. Between the lines you encounter honor, duty and sacrifice, loyalty to family and country. Xingyin’s adventure is full of misadventures and disappointments. A journey that teaches her to believe in her own strengths and makes her a strong and independent woman who is prepared to do anything for the people she loves.

Sue Lynn Tan creates a very strong female character, but does not spare her the betrayal and heartbreak.

In Daughter of the Moon Goddess, you experience impossible first love, the pain of the true burden of duty to family, and a love triangle that I personally had a hard time picking a favorite. I experienced all the heroine’s agonies and felt her pain. Sue Lynn Tan managed to pull me into the vortex of magic and I experienced and empathized with the pain of the characters.

There are two very strong male characters in the story. If you imagine warriors with swords and bows who can do both, you won’t be disappointed. I like Liwei and Wenzhi equally, although I prefer the soldier to the prince one idea more.

“The Daughter of the Moon Goddess” is an extremely magical book. It’s a whirlwind of magic and mythical creatures. A fascinating read that takes you into the exotic world of Chinese legends. I read it in one breath and as soon as I closed the last page, I felt an emptiness and regret about the ending. I wonder what the author has in store for us in the next book, because the rating I gave The Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a well-deserved 5 stars.

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.

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. 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.

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