Cover Image: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

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Member Reviews

I.. WHAT IS THIS BOOK?

I knew I wanted to read this based purely on the book cover and the fact that it was inspired by the legend of Chang'e. I knew it had a lot of potential to be good.. but I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster it took me on.

5/5

Seriously amazing journey, amazing characters, amazing world building... I want to live in this world.

Also... I DON'T EVEN LIKE LOVE TRIANGLES BUT I LOW KEY LOVED THIS? Its not even the main focus (which thankgoddness) but its done so well that your heart just swells and breaks with every interaction.

So much happens in this book that I cannot believe there will be another.. I also cannot wait for it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for an honest review.. I feel blessed to have experienced this book early and not having to wait until 2022.

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Love, love, love this book. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, just stunning. And the story, especially so close to Mid-Autumn when celebrate the moon Goddess, is amazing. The world building and the characters were so good; I was immersed in the story immediately. If you liked Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch, you should love this. A lot of the same tropes and elements, but with Chinese mythology.

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Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for granting me an e-arc!

First of all, I am absolutely in LOVE with this beautiful cover!
This retelling of the moon goddess, Chang'e is just a stunning debut novel.
It did take me a bit to get through the first two parts, but I enjoyed the last part the most with its exciting twists and turns. I loved how much the heroine, Xing Yin grew up throughout the book. The novel also introduces some side characters that I adored.
This is definitely an enchanting and romantic tale and it reminds me greatly of dramas set in Ancient China, this novel made me feel transported in one of those dramas! I also enjoyed that Xing Yin worked so hard to find a way to free her mother from her imprisonment. It was heartbreaking to read what trials and tribulations that Xing Yin had to go through, but Xing Yin had so much loyalty and courage to save her family.

I cannot wait for the second book to see what will happen next for Xing Yin!
(I forgot to add that it's also great and refreshing for me to read about an immortal protagonist as it's not something that I've personally read or heard about)

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First I love that this is a retelling of a myth - and the premise is super interesting to me. However, I really could not connect with the main character at all. There were places in this book where I wanted more detail or explanations about what was going on. I felt like I was confused in certain parts, and things were just glossed over. I really wanted to love this, but really couldn't get in to it.

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Than you to Netgalley and the publishing house for a chance to read an ARC of this book!
First off, I just want to scream about THIS COVER. It is the most gorgeous cover I have ever seen, and I instantly added it to my must read the second I saw it. Like the cover, Sue Lynn Tan’s debut is gorgeous and breathtaking. The world building is well-developed and lush, the prose exquisite and captivating. I found myself holding my breath throughout the entirety! Xingyin is an incredible protagonist who I lived and died by on every page! I can’t wait to read the sequel!

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Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

First off, when I was reading the author bio, I noticed that the author was born in Malaysia but later settled in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is where my parents grew up before immigrating! I don't think I've ever read a book by an author with that connection before. Anyway, I truly believe that there should be more #ownvoices books in the YA fantasy genre featuring protagonists of Asian descent. Thus, I am so happy to support this book. Thank you again to the publisher for this opportunity!

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan is an exciting YA fantasy with plenty of action, romance, betrayal, and political intrigue. The story revolves around Xingyin, the daughter of the Moon Goddess. One day, Xingyin discovers that her mother has actually been imprisoned on the moon. Punished for a crime and separated from her lover, her mother isn't supposed to have a child. Xingyin enters the Celestial Kingdom in disguise and meets the Celestial Emperor who banished her mother to the moon. She befriends the Crown Prince and later joins the Celestial Army in hopes of one day freeing her mother from imprisonment.

Here is an enchanting excerpt from Chapter 1:

"It was years before I realized that my mother, who dried my tears when I fell and straightened my brush when I wrote, was the Moon Goddess. The mortals worshipped her, making offerings to her each Mid-Autumn Festival—on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month—when the moon was at its brightest. On this day they would burn incense sticks for prayer and prepare mooncakes, their tender crusts wrapped around a rich filling of sweet lotus seed paste and salted duck eggs. Children would carry glowing lanterns shaped as rabbits, birds, or fish, symbolizing the light of the moon. On this one day a year I would stand upon the balcony, staring at the world below, inhaling the fragrant incense which wafted up to the sky in honor of my mother."

Overall, Daughter of the Moon Goddess is an amazing YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim or She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. Part 1 of this book reminded me of Six Crimson Cranes because it was more focused on Xingyin disguising herself, infiltrating the court, and befriending the Crown Prince. Part 2 reminded me of She Who Became the Sun, because Xingyin joins the Celestial Army and learns to master the art of fighting. One highlight of this book is the stunning prose that is filled with cultural details and imagery, which can be seen in the excerpt above. I felt like I had been transported into another world. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of YA fantasy books in general, I highly recommend checking out this book when it comes out in January!

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Stunning. Perfect. Breathtaking. Original. Sue Lynn Tan is one to watch! Her prose is lush, intricate, and deliciously descriptive.

Her plot doesn't feel like it's of this world, but a true classic that has been handed down through the ages.

I have not enough eloquent words to describe how much this book has impacted me, but please, read it. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

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A truly lovely book. The first 30% was a bit slow, with some repetitive storylines and narration from our lead character. But after that, I greatly picked up, moving along with a mystery reveal I did not see coming. I look forward to the second book in the Duology; particularly since this was quite a standalone book with enough threads to be pulled for the follow up. Definitely a writer to be on the lookout for.

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Daughter of the Moon Goodess by Sue Lynn Tan is a beautifully crafted story that demonstrates Tan's masterful grasp of world-building through imagery. Our female lead Xingyin is on a quest to free her mother Change'e, the Moon Goddess, from her eternal imprisonment by the Celestial Emperor. On the way, she develops friendships and bonds that are put to the test by outside influences as well as difficult decisions. Oftentimes, I found myself mired in the descriptive details that didn't seem necessary for moving the story along. While I understand the importance of kimonos in Japan, I'm not quite as clear on robe significance in China; also, it feels excessive in this story to focus on cloth patterns and jewelry when the story is about the quest. Another disappointing aspect was Xingyin's romantic relationships. While it was clear that both developed over a course of time and series of events, but they still felt superficial - possibly because of the formality of the interactions. Overall, a nice read but the flowery language got in the way of what should have been a basic adventure/hero's journey story.

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As you all know, I was really excited for this one. After seeing the cover I instantly fell in love. I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed I didn’t love this one as much as I had hoped. There isn’t anything wrong with the book but I just don’t mesh well with the writing style and it reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Lim’s books which I had a hard time with too. Obviously there will be a lot of people who don’t have this issue so I think you should still try it out!

The book is told from one point-of-view, Xingyin. She has grown up isolated from the world as she shares a palace on the moon with her mother and a couple servants. The setting does change throughout the book and because of that we also see how much Xingyin changes and grows. She is a very strong woman!

Besides quests for freedom and other plot twists along the way, there is a hint of romance as well but it really is a hint. It’s not a large part of the story so if you want more than this book may not be for you. I did like the journey between the two characters as its friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers again.

The book does end with no cliffhanger so I’m not sure what the sequel will be about and if it will have the same characters. Maybe it will be more like a spinoff? I don’t know if I would pick it up just because I do have a harder time with the writing.

Overall, this was good but just not for me. I know that there will be many fans of this one and I can see it doing quite well especially if you like the author Elizabeth Lim.

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A stunning retelling of legend of Chang'e. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is the perfect blend of whimsy and ferociousness, with twists and turns that will tug at your heartstrings.

I can't believe this is Sue Lynn Tan's debut novel this s seriously impressive. Daughter of the Moon Goddess deserves a huge amount of hype and i really hope it gets it!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for an honest review.

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Xingyin is the secret daughter of Chang’e and Houyi, living sheltered on the moon and protected away from the Celestial Imperial Court as her mother lives out her exile for taking Houyi’s immortality elixir. When their safety is threatened, Xingyin is sent to live in the Celestial Kingdom under a secret identity, where she learns to master her powers as she swears to free her mother. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a story of love and loyalty: for her friends, her mother, and most importantly, herself.

This story is told in 3 parts: falling in love with Prince Liwei, his betrayal and her journey to make a name for herself, and her final task. This story honestly left me breathless as each moment left me in so much pain and I wanted more. I am weak for angst, and it was woven into the storyline to be so intriguing, and yet never do you feel pity for Xingyin. She always uses these moments as teaching lessons to grow as a character without losing sense of who she was. Her character development was gradual, but it was a delight to see her grow into herself. Her relationship with Liwei was not as gradual, and I enjoyed watching their friendship turn into something more as their interactions and banters always made my heart melt. Liwei was a cinnamon roll for Xingyin, but honestly, I would be weak for her as well.

I can’t express how much I adore Xingyin. She starts off with no control over her new-found powers, and puts up with being abused by the lady she attends in order to survive. We understand her motivation and reasoning behind her every move and it’s so refreshing to see that she sees her own value without debasing other girls. Most of the time when reading about bad-ass girls, I am often left wondering where the humility is. I like girls with confidence. I just wish that confidence didn’t come from disrespecting other girls, where sometimes I feel like I have been looked down upon as well. With Xingyin, every moment of hers was also my own. I cried for her, I wanted justice for her, and she is everything I would want in a role model.

The world-building is complicated. Although the author described the setting in detail, it may be difficult for those unfamiliar with wuxia films and novels. The concept of flying on clouds and the imperial court is more common in Asian media, but not quite so much for a western audience. Regardless, the world is incredibly immersive and shouldn’t be too difficult an obstacle to overcome.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a stunning take on the Chang’e legend, about reflecting on one’s self-worth, and the risks one must take to achieve their dreams. This quickly became my favorite read of 2021, so it was a huge surprise to see that this is author Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel. I can’t wait for the sequel!

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*I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for a review.*

What a delightful book! Sue Lynn Tan's stunning debut stirs the soul. If you enjoy fantasy, you will love it. If you're like me and don't read a lot of fantasy, you still may find much to love in the well-rounded characters and intense drama.

Xingyin is the daughter of the Chang'e, the Moon Goddess, once a mortal who stole the Elixir of Immortality from her husband, a great warrior. Xingyin's happy childhood is disrupted with the arrival of the Celestial Empress and now must leave all she holds dear in order to stay safe. The escape with her mother's servant goes wrong, however, and Xingyin is left to fend for herself.

A smart and spirited girl, Xingyin finds menial work while she tries to figure out what to do. A chance meeting with Crown Prince Liwei changes her destiny, and she is propelled into life at the Celestial Palace and training as a warrior. She figures out a scheme to free her mother, and the rest of the story takes us on that quest with her.

Along the way there will be frustrations, failures, and heartbreak. We see Xingyin grow into a strong young woman who is challenged at every turn, but who never fully loses sight of her main objective.

There are lovely, evocative descriptions in this story, and some truly beautiful writing. But the strength of this book is in Xingyin's unwavering love for her mother and her young woman's heart that suffers from betrayal and loss. Her determination persistence make her a heroine to admire as she discovers the inner strength that transcends magic.

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This gorgeous cover is what initially pulled me in and I’m so happy to say that the story was just as gorgeous. Tan paints a fantastic world inspired by Chinese mythology and takes a spin on the Moon Goddess, Chang’e. Xingyin, the daughter of Chang’e, is forced to escape the comfort of her home and is thrown into Celestial Kingdom when her mother fears her being discovered. Leaving the only home she’s ever known, Xingyin must work her way up to earn the Celestial Emperor’s favor in hope of freeing her imprisoned mother. Along the way she finds love and discovers her own power.

The Daughter of the Moon goddess is magical and so enchanting. Every detail is like a poem. Xingyin is relatable and so clearly affected by the other characters around her while still holding her ground and fighting for what she believes in. I feel that what makes Xingyin such a great character is that, although she is young and still learning, she never loses sight of what’s most important to her. She cares about those around her while still putting herself first and making sure she finds her own happiness along the way. I feel many young people would find comfort in her character.

The story is so romantic, from Xingyin’s relationships to the details describing every scene. Tan brings in the perfect balance of young love, action, and adventure.

I loved this book. I felt for Xingyin every step of the way. Some scenes between her and Liwei really hit home for me.

I’d recommend this book for young adults and adults alike, whether you need a story of strength and determination or if you just want something comforting.

Thank you so much to Avon and Harper Voyager for this e-ARC.

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Thank you so much netgalley and the publisher for providing an arc!
This book was such a comfort and a utter joy to read.
I really like the worldbuilding, and how the author can create a world that has the capability of making us vicariously live through it. I feel like the introduction was a bit too slow-paced for me. The characters are fairly interesting.
Henceforth, it was quite a good read.

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*Spoiler free*

I’ve wanted to read this book since the first time I heard about it and found out it was about a girl who lived on the moon, and went on a quest to save her mother, who was imprisoned there. It sounded absolutely incredible, and I had seen so much love for it online. I was so stoked to read it.

This book was quieter than I expected, but absolutely enchanting.

Everything about it is so vivid, from the storytelling to the imagery to the scenery to the characters. It's told through sweeping motions, but it doesn't make it any less gorgeous.

At it's core, it's a story about love. The pain it can cause, how much it aches to hold it in your hands, how it can wash over you in the greatest of waves, and how willing people are to fight for it. It's a fight for love, romantic, familial, friendships. It blossoms and crests and sometimes it pierces straight into the heart. There's sacrifices made in the name of love, and there are questionable decisions made in the name of love. But, it is love that keeps Xingyin going, and what she continues to fight for.

Another thing that I loved about this book were the monsters and creatures that inhabited the world of immortals. I loved seeing Xingyin meet them and sometimes fight them and just pretty much all of them were so freaking cool. Like, there are dragons. Dragons are so freaking cool, and these dragons take it to a whole new level. The way mythology was weaved into this story was stunning, and I was absolutely fascinated with all of it.

The writing was another thing that I loved. It flowed so smoothly.

I also adored all the characters, and I wasn't expecting to love them as much as I did. They blossomed right along with Xingyin. And gosh, the romantic yearning and the love triangle and friendships.

All in all, I really, really enjoyed this book even though it was a lot different than I expected. Everything about is gorgeous and it's truly vivid and I adored all the characters. It's amazing.

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Thank you Avon, Harper Voyager and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Wow just wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that was this enjoyable. Hands down an all time favorite read. This book spoke to my soul. It is beautiful. The writing was exquisite. Full of luscious details, I felt like I had climbed on a cloud and entered the Celestial Kingdom myself.

I absolutely love the story of Chang’e and this retelling blew me away. The beginning starts off with a bang and the pressure never lets up. At any point Xingyin could be discovered and every relationship she makes plunges her closes to losing her original goal of freeing her mother.

I love the overall theme of this story. It is steeped in loyalty and duty and how far would you go for family and those you love. Xingyin character is inspiring. Her tenacity and motivation drives all of her decisions yet she remains kind and virtuous throughout the adventures. She might have been born into a quiet isolated life but after she is thrust into peril she owns her fate and learns to master her magic and her archery skills become legendary.

This story really hit all of my favorite tropes. I love the relationships Xingyin makes. Especially with the crown prince. The conflict between their parents adds wonderful tension and a forbidden love aspect between Xingyin and the prince. On top of forbidden love there was enemies to lovers, slow burn, enemies to lovers back to enemies and the absolute best, the only one bed situation.

The imminent peril and twists and turns never stop. I couldn’t put down this book. Also as a Chinese American reader it was so wonderful seeing a story I grew up hearing turned into a breathtaking retelling. I can’t even put into words how much it means to me. Seeing characters that look like me who are strong and brave and courageous is everything. Overall I would hands down recommend this book to anyone even if you are unfamiliar with the story of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess. My only low point is that now I must wait until book 2.

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Xingyin, the daughter of the moon goddess, is in a quest to secure her mother’s freedom, who is sentenced to a life of solitude and imprisonments on the moon. Keeping her identity a secret, Xingyin becomes the companion of the prince, the son of the person responsible for imprisoning her mother. Xingyin works hard to become the best archer and win a favor from the celestial emperor.

I really loved this book. The adventures she goes on, the people she meets, mastering her powers, and of course romance! are all great. Highly recommend.

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The first word that comes to mind to describe Daughter of the Moon Goddess is “beautiful.” In a lot of ways, it’s true—from the very writing to the vast, captivating world presented to the inherent love and loyalty that drives the plot, a lot of aspects of the novel are objectively so. The prospect of not being able to put a book down is a cliche one, but an apt one here, if not in the wholly literal sense.

My first and foremost compliments must go to the very writing. I’m a substance over style person in general, but I can’t deny that I have a soft spot for gorgeous styles, and Sue Lynn Tan’s certainly qualifies as such. It’s very lyrical, but in a way that’s easy and comfortable to read. No matter whether a scene consists of court intrigue or fast-paced, brutal action (or, as in several cases, both), Tan handles it with grace, making things engaging and smooth-flowing. There are some instances of awkward repetition, as well as some grammatical and spelling mistakes along the lines of what I would expect from an early copy, but overall the technical writing is nothing short of stellar.

Xingyin’s narrative voice is very compelling, and in general she’s an interesting and very likable protagonist. She’s prideful, brave, cunning, and at times rash, a skilled strategist and fighter alike (I anticipate “overpowered” comments, but I think her abilities are interesting and keeping in with her training, upbringing, and heritage) with a tendency for impulsive behavior. There’s no shortage of interesting character work—some minor characters are left fairly flat, but a lot of the cast is given intriguing motivations that explain but don’t justify their actions—but since she’s the main and perspective character, how sympathetic and well-written she generally is is worth especial note.

Where Tan’s writing becomes most lush and evocative, I would say, is when locations are described. It follows, then, that the worldbuilding also completely drew me in. Chinese culture and legend infuse almost every bit of the setting, and the result is breathtaking and inspiring. I was a bit surprised by the choice to base the magic system around the classical Greek elements rather than wuxing, but that’s not really something I have actual complaints about in this context, just something I would want to ask the author about her reasoning behind. Something that particularly caught my attention here is the handling of immortality, different fantastical kingdoms, the limitations of magic, and dragons. I’m also a fan of this retelling and reworking of the Chang’e and Houyi legends, which are some of my favorite Chinese tales to begin with.

The dynamics between characters are what inevitably push the plot forward, so I’d be remiss to gloss over them. Chang’e and Xingyin’s relationship is super touching, and I’m endlessly endeared by how it always remains the central point of the plot and themes. One perhaps understated dynamic is that of Xingyin and her friend Shuxiao, which was super sweet and a nice contrast in its consistent, easy loyalty.

I also ended up more compelled by the romance than I was honestly initially expecting. A love triangle is present, which I started to brace myself for when it became clear (especially because on paper it’s the trite “girl who considers herself plain in appearance is vied after by two powerful attractive men,” though appearance actually is barely noted when it comes to attraction and the focus is absolutely on personality/intellect, something else super nice to see), but it’s pretty all right as far as these things go. Though it’s reasonably clear romance will develop from certain interactions, the characters are given room to develop as friends first without jumping right to that stage. Dedication, respect, and trust are palpable in all major romantic relationships… which makes it all the more heartwrenching when conflict strikes. I do wish jealousy was less prominent throughout, however much it’s kept at bay and addressed.

That said, I do have to note that overall, miscommunication plays a refreshingly limited role in the conflict present throughout the book. Whenever it is present (mostly in regards to secret identities), it tends to be for understandable and relatable reasons, not just for drama’s sake. I especially appreciate the open discussions between Chang’e and Xingyin early on, though later interactions between Xingyin and other characters are just as nice in this regard.

My most glaring critique is with regards to the pacing, which is at times fairly shaky. There are several large jumps in time—the most egregious being a two-year skip pretty early on—that, while understandable enough for how unimportant the interim is in the grand scheme of things (and further evoking the feeling of epics and folk tales), I feel hurt some moments of character and relationship development. For instance, though the romance is technically given room to breathe, we don’t really get to see the parties developing the trust and friendship that eventually drives their interactions. The buildup is also a bit rushed, leading to a couple of deus ex machina moments startlingly early on. Something I would have liked to see more of, for example, is Xingyin’s time working in the Golden Lotus Mansion, as well as the motivations and dynamics of the characters who are present in that segment of the story. It’s not drawn out very long, and later on it isn’t touched upon much, so presumably it’s just there to bridge the inciting incident and rising action, but it feels all the more jarring for that.

That aside, I was ultimately pleased with the plot and resolution. Just enough is settled to lean into a satisfying ending, but just enough threads are still left hanging to justify—and drive interest in—a sequel. One twist in particular really got to me, and made me want to immediately comb back through for a few things I, like Xingyin, overlooked the first time around. There are also a couple of very satisfying Chekhov’s gun moments that had me (mentally) cheering.

A couple of minor complaints with regards to language: Phrasing like “he or she” is used on a few occasions, “crippling” is used more than once when “debilitating” or something similar would have worked just as well or even better, and “deaf and blind” is used as a synonym for “ignorant.” There’s nothing glaringly offputting beyond this, but these did still pull a brief grimace from me.

As magical as the world it presents but at its core human and real, Daughter of the Moon Goddess is not a perfect book, but it is one that kept me captivated until the very last word. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Tan’s writing in the future, especially what’s to follow in this duology.

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I was so excited to read this book and it did not disappoint! The main character was very relatable and interesting which I really love. I was never bored while reading this book and I can not wait to recommend this to all of my friends.

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