Title: Daughter of the Moon Goddess
Series: The Celestial Kingdom Duology #1
Author: Sue Lynn Tan
Genre/s and Tags: Fantasy, Mythology, Retellings, Romance, Historical, Asian Literature
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.
Thank you to B2Weird book club & tours as well as Harper Voyager US for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This was a fantastic debut! Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a retelling of the Chinese myth of the moon goddess, Chang’e. This book takes place over the course of several years. We see Xingyin leave the moon palace and enter the Celestial Kingdom in order to find a way to free her mother. Xingyin goes on several adventures during her time in the Celestial Kingdom, but she never forgets her purpose: to free her mother. This is something that is always circled back to in the overall plot.
This book has something for everyone: romance, an engaging plot, fierce battles, dragons, a female badass. I absolutely loved the world of the Celestial Kingdom. I want more of this world, because I’m so fascinated by how everything works. Plus the history and lore of the world is magnificent. I was blown away by the scope of this book and how much of the world we get to explore. I’m impressed with how much was included and how I never felt bored.
I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the fantastic Natalie Naudus. I’ve listened to several other books by Naudus, and she’s definitely one of my favorite audiobook narrators! She really brought Xingyin to life, it was impossible not to be invested in her journey.
Throughout all the action, Xingyin also falls in love with Crown Prince Liwei. Unfortunately, he is betrothed to another, but the two cannot keep from being drawn to one another. I really enjoyed the romance between these two. There is also a love triangle, but like idk which side I want to win? We learn so much about both of these men and I can’t pick who I like best with Xingyin, hopefully she’ll be able to figure it out for herself.
This is a debut I won’t be forgetting any time soon. I was swept away by the adventure Xingyin went on. While this book does wrap up the major conflicts presented, there are still some paths left open, and I’m really curious to see where the sequel will take Xingyin and her friends.
Rep: All Chinese coded cast. Female MC.
CWs: Death, blood, violence, gore, fire/fire injury. Moderate: confinement, kidnapping, infidelity, sexual harassment, attempted sexual assault, torture, grief, abandonment, war, injury/injury detail. Minor: vomit, alcohol consumption, sexism, death of parent, past mentions of pregnancy, bullying bordering on emotional abuse.