Book Title: Daughter of the Moon Goddess
Author: Sue Lynn Tan
Release Date: January 11, 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
My rating: 3/5 Stars
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.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a book I have been anxiously waiting to read. I had hoped to read it in early January, but alas, I was unable to get to it until recently. This book was quite the ride. There were several plot lines involved, and a lot of action. Overall, I did like it, though I feel it could have benefitted from being a little shorter.
While Daughter of the Moon Goddess was certainly not bad by any means, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would have. Had I been in a different reading mood, I might’ve felt differently, but unfortunately, this one fell a little short for me. The story itself was interesting and my favorite part. Watching Xingyin navigate an uncertain world and come into her own made for a fun ride.
So much happens in this book. There are smaller plots inside of the larger plots, and there was so much adventure. While this created an edge of anticipation and kept me wondering where the story would go next, I never felt fully drawn to the characters, which is probably where my biggest disconnect to the story comes from. Xingyin was an interesting protagonist, and my favorite character of the bunch. She was the most compelling, in my opinion, as she is stubborn in the way that she’ll always fight for what she believes in, but is compassionate, too. Liwei was the second most interesting character, but unfortunately, I felt less and less connected to him as the book went on; otherwise, I might’ve really liked him.
My other issue was the love triangle. I enjoyed the buildup of the first romance plot, because I thought it was well done and the most developed character arc. But then there was another love interest introduced, and I lost a bit of interest. I will say, though, that the love triangle was not done poorly. My dislike for it stems from my general dislike of the trope. This was certainly less aggravating than most of the love triangles I’ve read in the past, and it made sense to me why Xingyin would fall in love with another person. Like I said, I’m simply not a fan of the trope, so I had a hard time getting into that part of the plot.
Despite all this, the world building was excellent. Drawn from mythology, I thought the imagery was stunning, and I had no problems envisioning the intricate places. This had to have been my favorite part of the book, and was what kept my interested for the majority of it.
I feel, had Daughter of the Moon Goddess been shortened and more focused on character development and the development of the various relationships (not necessarily romantic ones), I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. Still, I did like parts of it, and I don’t regret having read it. I’m glad a lot of people love this one. I just wish it had been more for me.
Have you read Daughter of the Moon Goddess? If so, what did you think of it? I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Check out my latest book tour/review: Egotistical Puckboy