Book Reviews

Book Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

By Sue Lynn Tan

Published January 2022

512 Pages

I’ve checked out the sublime cover of this novel every time I’m in Barnes & Noble (which is several times a month) and although I never bought it, I always reminded myself I needed to read it.  I mean, it’s gorgeous!  Then the reviews started rolling in and I realized this is a debut novel.  I figured it had to be wonderful if a debut novel was picked up at over 125,000 words (almost unheard of).  So, I waited patiently for my library to have it available, then dove in.

Here’s the blurb:  Xingyin is the daughter of the exiled Moon Goddess.  However, until she attempts to use her own magic and draws the attention of the Celestial Empress, she has no idea that her mother was exiled for using the immortality elixir bestowed on her husband.  In an attempt to keep Xingyin hidden, her mother sends her to the mortal land.  But, like many desperate escape attempts, this one doesn’t end auspiciously and Xingyin is left stranded and alone in the Celestial Kingdom.

Forced to make her way with no friends or family, Xingyin manages to attract the attention of Liwei, the Celestial Prince.  As his companion, she’s able to learn magic and warfare at his side.  But will it be enough to free her mother from the Emperor’s exile?

“Daughter of the Moon Goddess” interpreted by Wombo Dream

This was a fantastic story and a beautiful tale.  I adored the imagery, especially in The Kingdom of the Eastern Sea.  I would seriously like to see this made into a movie, the world building was so fabulous.  And the challenges for Xingyin just kept coming, and coming, and coming.  By the end, she’d give Lara Croft a run for her money.  (Possibly not the best analogy, but seriously, Xingyin was a badass.)  And despite the novel’s length, it felt like a quick read.

This is where I throw in my critical two cents.  It felt like a quick read because it’s a very plot-driven novel.  My preference is for quieter, character-driven stories and while I enjoy a grand adventure like this one, I also like to be in the character’s head.  I was told how Xingyin felt but the emphasis was on action, with no time to take a breather for real emotions.  And despite how many hurdles she had to face, overall things felt easy for her.  She was definitely born under a lucky star.

Final words – this one was a fabulous adventure that never quite swept me away.  However, I do want to see how it ends so I’ve already requested the second installment that was just published.

4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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