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Daughter of the Moon Goddess: A Novel Paperback – Jan. 11 2022
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The acclaimed national and international bestseller
“Epic, romantic, and enthralling from start to finish.”—Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series
“An all-consuming work of literary fantasy that is breathtaking both for its beauty and its suspense."—BookPage, starred review
A captivating and romantic debut epic fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e, 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. 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 duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic, of loss and sacrifice—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.
"Tan’s remarkable debut and duology launch transports readers into a stunning world...The result is a riveting page-turner that will leave fantasy lovers satisfied and eager for more" — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An exquisitely detailed fantasy with a strong, vulnerable protagonist. The intimate prose makes Tan’s wonderful debut an immersive experience; share with fans of Shelley Parker-Chan and Katherine Arden.” — Library Journal (starred review), Debut of the Month
“Filled with intricate world building, heartbreaking romance and mind-bending intrigue. Tan’s story is mythic in its scope yet personal in its execution . . . The result is an all-consuming work of literary fantasy that is breathtaking both for its beauty and its suspense." — BookPage (starred review)
“This vivid, unputdownable debut effortlessly whisks us into the celestial realms of Chinese high fantasy. Tan magnificently conjures the romantic yet dangerous dazzle of this immortal world, but never loses track of the shining human heart of her tale. A captivating treat for lovers of Chinese fantasy dramas and newcomers alike.”
— Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun
“Sue Lynn Tan has written a breathtaking debut novel that will sweep readers away to the moon and back. I can’t remember the last time a book surprised and delighted me as much as this one. Epic, romantic, and enthralling from start to finish. I love this book.” — Stephanie Garber, #1 NYT bestselling author of the Caraval series
"A lush, dreamy gem of a novel." — Shannon Chakraborty, bestselling author of The City of Brass
"A gripping adventure inspired by the legend of Chang'e, Daughter of the Moon Goddess explores how far one woman will go for the sake of family, loyalty, and love. Prepare to be swept off your feet by this absolutely magical tale."
— Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch's Heart
"A sparkling debut, epic but intimate, about love and sacrifice and hope in the face of despair. At its center is a protagonist who is flawed but full of heart—I dare you not to be entranced by this magical book." — Ava Reid, author of The Wolf and the Woodsman
“With all the beauty and heartbreak of a Chinese fantasy drama, Daughter of the Moon Goddess is an enchanting joy from start to finish.”
— Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne
"An absolutely delightful and enchanting read! Daughter of the Moon Goddess takes a beloved Chinese legend and reimagines it into a gorgeously-spun romantic fantasy. I can't wait for the sequel!" — Elizabeth Lim, New York Times bestselling author of Spin the Dawn and So This is Love
“A stirring romantic fantasy set in a richly realised world inspired by Chinese mythology. I loved it!” — Zen Cho, Bestselling author of Black Water Sister
“Strikingly evocative, tense, and heartfelt, Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a difficult book to put down. It floats you into the Celestial Kingdom, introduces you to monsters both literal and figurative, and leaves you dreaming of dragons.”
— Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter
“The prose is lovely and fluid, lush descriptions of magic and immortal life buoying the narrative.”
— Kirkus Reviews
"Tan’s luminous fantasy debut ... is a refreshing retelling of a classic Chinese folktale." — Booklist
About the Author
Sue Lynn Tan writes fantasy inspired by the myths and legends she fell in love with as a child. Born in Malaysia, she studied in London and France before settling in Hong Kong with her family. Her love for stories began with a gift from her father, a compilation of fairy tales from around the world, and she spent much of her childhood lost in magical realms. When not writing or reading, she enjoys exploring the hills, lakes, and temples around her home.
- Publisher : Harper Voyager (Jan. 11 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063237482
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063237483
- Item weight : 537 g
- Dimensions : 22.9 x 4.6 x 15.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #47,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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This is a long book however the problem was it also felt long. The beginning especially seems to go on forever with very little happening and also a very strange sense of time passage within the story itself. And considering how things started, and all the urgency that kicks off the story, well.. it dissipated as quickly as my New Year diet resolutions.
And I think overall that’s my issue with the whole story. The sense of forward motion, of urgency, of our main character’s dedication to saving her mother totally vanishes into the mundane doldrums of a whole other different story. And it’s only near the end that she suddenly seems to phase back into that main concern. Yes, she was working towards a thing that she maybe could use to her advantage but.. I don’t know. This felt like three different books in one and not in a good way.
As for the romance, well. I appreciated what the author tried to do with this love triangle, which was a more mature way of handling the usual YA fallback, however, at the same time, it didn’t work for me. And I worry about what awaits us in book two in that regard. Though.. I don’t think I’ll be reading it.
Normally I’m full of second (third, fourth, fifth..) chances for authors, particularly debuts, but nothing in this writing was passionate. Or compelling. Or enthralling. It was lovely at times but honestly it was pretty dry. Again, where was the urgency, the tension, the stakes, and, yes, the passion. Hell, emotion of any kind. I felt nothing, no matter how hard I tried. Sadly this read likely tripled my screentime for the month because I kept putting it down.. which, yeah, added to the time it took me to finish but goodness I took any excuse to look away.
Again, this is a huge disappointment as I fell in love with this cover months ago and thought it sounded utterly captivating and unique. But for me? It wasn’t it. As always, of course, don’t just take my word for it; I highly encourage you to check out other reviews as this low rating is but a drop in the current rave review ocean.
The story follows Xingyin, the proverbial daughter of the moon goddess as she discovers not only who she is, but who she wants to be. It’s a great story as she interacts with new people, falls in love, and has adventures full of archery and creatures.
Xingyin is a good protagonist. She is poised, easy-to-relate to, and calm. She is a major departure from most modern females in adult fantasy, and I found her to be quite refreshing. Wenzhi and Liwei are both compelling side characters who make Xingyin question what she wants and how she will obtain it. The romance (and this is very much a romance book) involves a love triangle, but it never felt aggressive.
What surprised me the most was the amount of action in this book. I expected something slower paced, and it does have a very calming atmosphere to it. That said, Xingyin proves herself to be an incredible warrior and each fight scene was inventive and exciting.
The world building and mythology are beautiful. The descriptions are dreamy and elegantly crafted. You can almost see the colors being described on the page.
I adored this book. Fans of mythology and lore will find a lot to love in this adventure. I also recommend it to fans of romance and light but thrilling adventure. I can’t wait for the sequel!
Xingyin is the daughter of the moon goddess Chang'e who has been imprisoned on the moon in return for stealing the Celestial Emperor's elixir of immortality. For her own safety, Xingyin must leave the moon and hide in the Celestial Kingdom. There she befriends the Emperor's son and has the opportunity to train in both magic and archery. Never forgetting her mother, Xingyin makes it her life's goal to free her mother and sets out on a series of quests in order to earn the Emperor's favour.
I really liked that there was a lot happening in this book. There was never a lull, it was just quest after quest all while setting up this larger impending conflict that I imagine will be the focus of the sequel. I also enjoyed the writing style, it had a lyrical quality in a lot of the descriptions that helped set the tone of the overall story.
The only downside of this book for me was the love triangle. Love triangles are a trope I am not a fan of at all, but this one is pretty essential to the plot and didn't actually bother me that much. Mostly because it's pretty clear throughout the book who she prefers, although I would have preferred more development in their relationship as I found it somewhat lacking in passion. I also think(hope) that the triangle aspect got resolved at the end of this book so that the romantic focus in the sequel can be on only one of the relationships.
Definitely still recommend if you're looking for a fantasy read outside of the typical YA genre.
Top reviews from other countries
We follow Xingyin's flight from her mother's the Moon Goddesses' home when her existence is discovered and we follow her as she starts to make her own way in the Celestial Kingdom, hiding the truth of who she is from every one.
We follow her as she makes her way through the treacherous grounds of the Celestial Palace with its never ending intrigues, antics, and resentments.
She meets two dashing young men and eventually sets out onto adventures within the Celectial Realm to redeem her mother and get things sorted for her family.
Based on Chinese mythology this book is so well crafted and brings in also martial arts.
On a more personal level, this novel read to me like the perfect blend between Ashes of Love and Pride Prejudice for YA readers.
And dare I mention it, there might even be dragons in the story, and hopefully more of them in the second book.
For a debut novel, I think this book is very well written. The language is lyrical, beautifully flowing throughout and I loved it just for this, apart from having an awesome female main character who grows so much through this story and comes into her own and the world and the other characters we discover more and more about as the story progresses.
This review refers to an eARC I received via Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Xingyin embarks on a journey of discovery learning all the tales she had as a child were in fact true and her eyes opened to a new world. She encounters bullying and mistreatment, but also the draw and excitement of love.
Crown Prince Liewi, General Wenzhi, Minister Wu along with the Empress of the Celestial Kingdom all people who will step in her way.
An adorable easy to read fantasy story that is action packed with all the sprinkles of anticipation and intrigue. A must read for all fantasy lovers and a brilliant entry level fantasy for those who want to try fantasy genre for first time.
A pleasure to give both the book and audiobook 5 stars. The audiobook brought the story alive, a solo narrator who used a wide range of voices to present the story well. I really enjoyedy journey with Sue Lynn Tan.
#Netgalley #DaughterOfTheMoonGoddess #Books2022 #NewIn2022 #BookReviews
I thought to begin with it skipped quite alot but by chapter 8 it had levelled out .
The world and character building was imaginative and detailed.
I figured out one of the twists , other wise it would have been a 5 star review. Non the less it was beautiful and learnt another Chinese mytical story. Can't wait to read the next one.
Xingyin is the daughter of the Moon Goddess raised in secret by her mother, Chang'e, to avoid the wrath of the Celestial Emperor. When the Celestial Empress makes a surprise visit due to the detection of an unexpected energy in the Moon, it appears that Xingyin is developing her own powers. She has to flee her home and vows to find a way to free her mother.
Xingyin becomes an attendant to Lady Meiling of the Golden Lotus Mansion and initially sees no opportunity to develop her powers. Then she accidentally meets the Crown Prince, who is seeking among the noble houses for a companion to train with him. Despite her current situation Xingyin is determined to win this position. No further details to avoid spoilers though I will confirm that the pages are bursting with adventures, quests, battles, romance and betrayal.
The author describes her debut novel as a crossover between Adult and older YA. I would agree with her. With respect to the romantic elements there is a sweetness and charm, as well as a great deal of angst and longing.
Overall, I enjoyed ‘Daughter of the Moon Goddess’ very much. Sue Lynn Tan’s writing is lyrical and highly descriptive. I felt completely transported to a mythical land of immortal celestial beings, clouds used as a means of transportation, demons and dragons.
After this wonderful experience I am counting the days until the November release of the conclusion,‘Heart of the Sun Warrior’.
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.