Cover Image: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

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Member Reviews

As a reader with familial ties to Japanese customs and traditions, I love to be on the lookout for books that represent Asian stories in interesting and personal ways. I have also been on a fantasy journey in 2022 that has lead me to redefine my taste and want to explore the genre further. Therefore, Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan seemed like the perfect book to accomplish both of those things.

Taking inspiration from mythological Moon Goddess Chang'e, we follow her daughter Xingyin as she is sent away from Chang'e. Xingyin then goes through a journey of servitude, befriending the prince, and joining the royal army in an effort to survive and rescue Chang'e from captivity.

So much happens in Daughter of the Moon Goddess that this feels like a duology in and of itself! It took me about half the book to become fully immersed in the world and magic system, but once I was the story truly began.

While I do have some questions about setting and time period, I do think living in the Celestial Kingdom the story is based in (and only occasionally visiting the human realm) became part of its charm. The story doesn't try too hard to ease you into anything, but with Tan's lush and vibrant prose, you feel like the world is ready to greet you in wonder.

I didn't love all of the characters in the story, but did I need to? Not really. The romance also didn't feel necessary, but that may also just be because I don't ready a lot of romance in my books.

Overall, I look forward to continuing the Celestial Kingdom series and think it will only get better from here!

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While I really enjoyed reading about the mythology and Xingyin’s journey, I suppose I expected more from the story. It reminds me of a less graphic, fairytale version of The Poppy War. I didn’t expect the army element. I think my own expectations about what I could have been had been so vastly different that I felt a bit… idk, bummed? It has beautiful prose to be sure, but I really wished it slowed down to be more character driven than plot.

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Things to know:

February Fairyloot pick
Beautiful prose
Romance
Strong female lead
First in duology
Love triangle

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Review:

Oh my stars! I fell in love with Daughter of the Moon Goddess. This beautifully written Chinese mythology fantasy novel will forever have its place on my forever shelf, and in my heart and I cannot wait for book two!

I absolutely love books based on mythology, especially Chinese mythology. Xingyin is a strong female lead who is so relatable. She isn’t sure of herself. She isn’t cocky about her abilities. In fact she doubts herself, just like we all do. But she is determined to make her wants and dreams a reality, and nothing, and no one can keep her from that, can they?

I usually don’t love the love triangle trope… who am I kidding.. This was fantastically written. I had no clue who I really wanted to win out in the end, and I didn’t for a long while.

Book 2 cannot come quick enough! I already have one edition preordered and will be preordering one other when it comes available!

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4 star! I love the theme this book takes especially like the Chinese Dynasty era with a mythical twist! One thing I wish this book did was have a faster pace but everything else was wonderful!

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy to review.

Four stars

Daughter of the Moon Goddess is such a fantastic debut fantasy book. I officially have two gorgeous copies of this book because I couldn't resist. I preordered this book before I even read the synopsis. I mean the UK cover is BEAUTIFUL.

This book had some good aspects and some bad ones. First, let's talk about all the good. The story centers around Xingyin, who is on a quest to free her mother and will do anything to make that happen. While on this journey, she meets Liwei, who quickly becomes her friend. Their friendship is one of my favorite parts of the entire book, and I cannot wait to see more of their story unfold. With the way it ended, I am nervous but also very excited.

Now on to the bad, the pacing was not consistent. The plot was constantly switching between slow and fast. The journey would take FOREVER. Sometimes it felt like nothing was happening. But the friendships, it was like I blinked, and everyone was best friends. It was just a lot to keep up with, and it stressed me out.

But the story wasn't bad. It has the potential to be a great story. This is why I am still so excited for book two. I think it will be better, and I cannot wait to see it happen.

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This is quite possibly my favorite book of 2022. The world building and new mythology is interesting, and the characters were all fantastic. I look forward to reading more by this author.

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Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a beautiful debut fantasy inspired by a Chinese legend. It has a wonderful world of magic, great characters, and some twists you do not see coming!

Xingyin has always lived on the moon with her mother. As an adolescent, she finds out that her mother was banished there by the Celestial Emperor for drinking an elixir to make herself immortal. Xingyin is forced to flee the moon so that her mother will not be found out for having concealed her child there all these years. From there, her sole mission is to find a way to free her mother and return home.

Xingyin is a great character, finding her way into the inner circle of the Celestial prince himself. We have battles with monsters, enchanted weapons, dragons, and a love triangle all in beautifully written prose. The audiobook, read by Natalie Naudus, and it is even more enchanting for her gorgeous voices and the life she breathes into the characters.

Overall, if you are a fan of Circe, Once and Future Witches, or The MIrror Visitor quartet, you will love this one! I can't wait for the second book!

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DNF @35%

I really wanted to love this book like everyone else but...I can't. I was interested in the beginning but once we were introduced to the love interest and the potential love triangle setup, I was out. The main character made lots of dumb decisions that didn't make sense with her character development and certain plot points were kinda glossed over (such as the big completion to become the prince's companion which was only a few pages long).

But I will say that the writing was very beautiful and I would probably still give this author another chance on a different book. Would definitely still recommend giving it a chance if it sounds like your thing, it just had too many tropes that I'm not a fan of.

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I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I think it was super interesting to see a different mythos and the ways that you can play with that. I liked the relationship between the MC and her bae. I also liked the slow burn of the other romance. Just really liked it.

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Daughter of the Moon Goddess, a fantasy of mythic proportions, undeniably has some quite pretty writing and moments in it. But somehow, despite sounding like the kind of book I love, it took me about six months to finish from the first day I opened it. I wanted so much to love it. And I have loved so many other similar books. But I just found it awfully dull and simplistic, lovely but shallow and ultimately pretty boring.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Not only did I receive a NetGalley ARC of this book, but I also won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway (I love physical books). I work at a library and have to read various things for projects and programs which unfortunately meant that it took me a while to read. I am glad I did though. Tan's writing is beautiful and captivating as we follow Xingyin on her adventure. The world building was phenomenal and the characters well rounded. I fell in love with this book and I can't wait for the second one.

We need more books like this. Beautiful fantasy that captures the magic of culture, history, and belief. We often see so much of the Greek mythology retellings and it feels like the others fall to the side. This is a small and perfect example of what else is out there.

Tan is a beautiful and talented writer and I can't wait to see all that she will produce in the future.

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OOO to put the words to describe this book into one review is SO hard. This book is beautiful. Point blank. I can't describe how amazing the writing is. How easy it is to read. And how enjoyable everything is! Magic. Asian culture. ROMANCE. I have been hearing so much about this book and all the words are true. This is MUST read for YA readers. The world building is on a new level with this so for readers who want to be immersed, THIS IS FOR YOU. I love the naturalness of Xingying and the Prince's relationship and how much they needed each other and someone to be real with. This is a book I look forward to adding to my bookshelf. AMAZING DEBUT!!

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Daughter of the Moon Goddess is an amazing debut novel. It was very creative and made the Chinese Mythology it was based on easy to follow. I have already recommended it to a teen and will continue to do so. I loved how Xingying grew up on the moon and became immortal via her mother. She almost seamlessly fit into the Celestial Empire when she got there though once she became Prince Liwei's companion. I loved their relationship. I feel they both needed a true friend and confidant and found that in each other. Plus rather than just existing as she did on the moon, Xingying became a skilled archer.
The love triangle between Xingying, Liwei and Captian Wenzhi was done very well and the twist at the end made it more than a love triangle which added to the originality of the story. The quality of writing in this book was unexpected for a debut novel, I loved it so much. It was an intricate story with a fleshed out world and I am very much looking forward to book two.

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Wow. This book was phenomenal. The world building, the fight for freedom (in many forms), the Chinese mythology, the romance, the badassery!!! I mean this book had it all. The writing was so beautiful and the author has a gift for transporting you into the story that will have you devouring this. What a beautiful story!!! I literally cannot wait for book 2. I am obsessed!!

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As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I knew I needed to read it! This was as beautifully written as I expected it to be, and I loved Xingyin's journey and dedication to freeing her mother. While she took some detours along the way, she truly never lost sight of what her goal was, and with everything she did throughout this book, that is truly admirable. Like most fantasy novels, there is a good bit of worldbuilding and getting to know the characters at first, so I did struggle a bit with the pacing in the first part of the novel. Once I got into part two and three, the action really picked up though, and I couldn't put it down - like for real couldn't put it down, I stayed up until 6am to finish this because I got hooked.
There's a bit of a love triangle, and that's not a trope I love too much, but I genuinely couldn't decide what I wanted for Xingyin. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything, but both of her options had chemistry, but were flawed, and it was such a slow burn that I was flipping my opinion back and forth through the whole book.
I love that while this is a duology, the plot of this book wraps up really nicely and doesn't leave you on an awful cliffhanger like most. I'm still absolutely looking forward to reading the follow up novel (I've already got it on pre-order), but I was completely sated reading this first part of the story.
I'd recommend reading this if you want to read a good fantasy novel that blends the action and motivation of an adult novel with the characterization and relationships of a YA.

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Absolutely amazing and one of my new favorite books!! Such stunning writing and characters. I’m in love.

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3.5

I liked this book but it just wasn't amazing for me. I really enjoyed the mythology, but the writing was so dense, and not very enjoyable for me that it took me a while to get through this and get into the story.

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Daughter of the Moon Goddess is inspired by the legend of Chang'e, the Chinese moon goddess, and follows her daughter Xingyin, whose existence has been hidden from the world. After learning of her mother's imprisonment, and being forced to flee the moon, her only goal is to find a way to save her mother, and reunite them once again. It's a story filled with heartbreak, tough choices, and mystical creatures, all tied together by Xingyin's love for her mother and her determination as she tries to complete her increasingly dangerous goal of freeing Chang'e.

I honestly had quite high expectations going into this book, as not only did it seem exactly my kind of story, but a friend also highly recommended it to me, saying I would most definitely love it. These expectations were only heightened when I received the absolutely gorgeous edition of this book from Fairyloot, and every part of me was now desperately hoping I'd love the story. And luckily enough, I did!

There's a lot to love about this book, and while I wasn't obsessed with the romance, it ended up not mattering for my overall enjoyment because of how much else I did enjoy. This book is chock-full, of action, of plot, of characters... of everything, honestly. This book alone could have probably been divided into a trilogy, with just how much was set up and then revealed as the plot was unwinding. We get to see so many sides of Xingyin, and we almost get to see her grow up, in a way. Her journey spans years, full of heartbreaks, danger, and new friends, and I loved seeing her grow stronger and more resilient without ever losing her compassion and her heart.

Generally, if a book has a love triangle, I get easily frustrated and annoyed, as generally that trope comes with a lot of annoying side effects. Somehow, the love triangle itself wasn't capable of annoying me, and I think it's because of Xingyin herself. While she leaves space in her heart for romantic love, she also has her own goals and dreams she's set out to accomplish, and she tries so hard not to stray from that. I also think there was a good balance of friendship/romance between Xingyin and the two love interests, and their relationships don't revolve entirely around whether she's going to choose them. Overall, there's just a good basis of friendship and respect in both relationships, and it allowed me to just go along with where the romantic plot line was going, rather than feeling, adamantly, that she had to choose one or the other for me to be happy. While I definitely do have a slight preference, it doesn't dominate the story for me, and I trust this story's path enough to trust in where it'll end up, eventually!

I only wish some side characters (beyond the love interests) had been given some more space within the story, especially Xingyin's friend Shuxiao. The story definitely seemed to orbit around the love triangle, and while this wasn't necessarily an issue, I would've liked a bit of a break from the romance at times, and it would have been nice to see more time spent with her friends!

I also just love Natalie Naudus as a narrator, and that only added further to my experience of listening to this book! There's just something about the way she narrates that truly brings the books to life for me, and adds a nice finishing touch to the story, overall.

In the end, there's a lot in this book to love (and in general!), and I seriously can't wait to see where Xingyin's story goes in the next installment. (Though, I'm also really glad I'm not left with a hole in my heart, desperately waiting for the next book. While I like a good cliffhanger ending here and there, not every book needs it, and I absolutely love how this book feels like a solid, cohesive story, while still leaving a few open threads for the next book to pick up on).

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"I would not be a 'nobody' forever. They would know my name one day, and those of my parents."

Part mythology, part epic tale, and part ode to finding oneself, DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS is not a book to be missed. While it is over 500 pages, I found the writing incredibly immersive and didn't want it to end. With elements of romance, including a love triangle that was done right, Tan crafted richly imagined monsters, vibrant landscapes, and epic battles, resulting in an insane ride. The novel wraps up in a manner that one could consider a satisfying conclusion, yet the glimmer of what is to come in the second installment of the duology left me wanting more. It's hard to believe that this was Tan's debut novel, as the prose is immersive and lyrical, and the story is crafted with expertise. I cannot wait to read Heart of the Sun Warrior.

"'Why would you want to look like her? Why would a falcon want to be a nightingale?'"

I honestly feel that any review that I attempt to write will not do this book justice, and I cannot recommend it enough. While I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review (thank you, Harper Voyager and NetGalley!), I'll be adding a finished copy to my shelves, as this is one that is absolutely worth owning. All opinions are my own.

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This book! Daughter of The Moon Goddess is a stunning debut from an author who I cannot wait to see more from. Her writing is so easy to get sucked into and keeps you enthralled page after page. Her descriptions are lush and gorgeous, painting the most beautiful picture for you in your mind as you read. I couldn’t help but fall in love with both Liwei and Wenzhi, and especially with Xingyin. I can’t wait to continue her story in book 2

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