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The Celestial Kingdom Duology #1

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

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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.

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. 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.

503 pages, Hardcover

First published January 11, 2022

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About the author

Sue Lynn Tan

6 books4,219 followers
Sue Lynn Tan is the author of Daughter of the Moon Goddess and Heart of the Sun Warrior, a romantic fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess. Her books will be translated into sixteen languages, and are USA Today and Sunday Times bestsellers.

Born in Malaysia, Sue Lynn studied in London and France, before moving to Hong Kong with her family. Her love for stories began with a gift from her father, her first compilation of fairytales from around the world. After devouring every fable she could find in the library, she discovered fantasy books, spending much of her childhood lost in magical worlds.

Find her on Instagram or Twitter @SuelynnTan, or on her website www.suelynntan.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,690 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
April 28, 2022
“Some scars are carved into our bones - a part of who we are, shaping what we become.”

You know, I didn't think I'd be saying this, but I was so here for this romantic angst.

That's not all I liked, but it is the most surprising part. Daughter of the Moon Goddess pretty much opens almost straight onto a chase scene, with Xingyin fleeing the only home she has ever known to hide her existence from the Celestial Emperor who imprisoned her mother on the moon. So it's quite exciting from the get-go.

Through a combination of chance and quick-wittedness, Xingyin moves from being a servant to a student to a soldier. A bond forms between her and her study partner, none other than the emperor's son, but he has a duty to his kingdom and they can never be anything more than friends with lusty glances.

I found the mythology fascinating, as I did all the questing. Mostly, I think, because Xingyin's motives to finally free her mother were an emotionally-engaging and worthy cause. The stakes seemed high, especially if Xingyin should be discovered before she'd proved herself to the emperor.

There is a love triangle, if that's something that bothers you, but I found it realistic and felt that it made sense within the context of this story. Plus it adds some delicious tension that I, frankly, couldn't get enough of!

The only thing I wonder is if the author will be able to sustain the excitement through the second book now certain aspects key to this installment seem resolved. If the second book is all about winning wars, I'm not sure I'll like it the same.
Profile Image for Sue Lynn Tan.
Author 6 books4,219 followers
November 12, 2021
Daughter of the Moon Goddess is my debut novel—inspired by the beloved 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. It is an enchanting and romantic fantasy of immortals and magic, of loss and love.

A few things you will find in the story:
🐉 Chinese mythology & legendary creatures
🏹 Fierce female warrior fighting for her family
⚔️ A gentle prince & a ruthless soldier
💔 Friends—Lovers—Enemies...

I believe Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a crossover between Adult and older YA. Content warnings include: violence, blood, gore, alcohol consumption, death, separation, attempted assault (brief), kidnapping, bullying.

Thank you so much for reading this! I am both excited and a little nervous at the thought of the book going out into the world. You can also find me on Instagram or Twitter at @suelynntan, where I share most of my key updates—or through the contact form on my website: www.suelynntan.com
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
August 18, 2022
this is one of the most jam-packed books ive ever read. im so surprised this is the first in a duology because i feel like theres enough content for two books in this alone. so im super excited to see what else this series is going to give.

i mean, what a wild journey this is. from xingyin hiding away on the moon, then training with the prince, to her service in the royal army, and her quest to search for the missing dragons, all while trying to free her mother, this story is a rollercoaster. i loved the magic, the setting, the plot that keeps on giving, and the asian mythology. its such a cosy fantasy tale that is rich in culture.

what a wonderful debut and such a captivating start to a series. a great book to look forward to if you are wanting to fill the void from ‘six crimson cranes’ earlier this year.

thank you so much, harper voyager, for the ARC!!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for ☀︎El In Oz☀︎.
532 reviews333 followers
March 28, 2022

Why can’t I have my anticipated releases ever be five starts unless they’re from authors I already love? We shall never know. I am so so so sad I didn’t like this book but if a book could bore me to death it would be this one. It’s pitched as a feminist retelling of the Chinese myth of Chang’e , the moon goddess. Chang’e herself is barely in this book and she really does nothing of any relevance whatsoever besides drinking the elixir of immortality. With a title so centric to her and of course ever daughter, I’d think their bond would be a central point but it was really only relevant at the beginning and end.

Xingyin is our main character, and I despise her. For a not even fifteen year old at the beginning, her narration is the exact same throughout the entire boo, showing no growth, development, or even aging. She talks and thinks the same way for years and then wonders why things go wrong for her! Except nothing goes wrong. She masters archery in mere months (just because her father is an excellent archer does not mean she should be able to magically be amazing at it as well), can fight in battles after being severely poisoned and injured like it’s nothing, somehow make two men fall in love with her, and do impossible tasks suit him 2 chapters of the book.
Her character has such a lack of personality and growth it’s hard to believe how everyone can like her so much, and it’s hard to agree with anything she says. The dialogue of this book is so unnatural. It fits in with the beautiful writing but the fact is no one actually speaks in fluent sentences like that. Seriously. Love confessions and denials are never spoken how they are in this book, it was all so formal- every character spoke to each other the same way they spoke to the emperor. What?

Liwei is our first love interest, the Emperor’s son. He’s boring. He’s supposed to be the sweeter love interest I suppose, but he has, again, such lack of growth I don’t see it. Anytime another guy, just some other guy the same age as him talks to Xingyin, he gets all jealous and cold. The amount of times he would get cold with Xingyin because she spoke to another guy was ridiculous.
Then we have Wenzhi, the captain of the guard. He’s the more mysterious love interest but acts the same way as Liwei- getting jealous when Xingyin gets attention, never developing, and overall lacking in any personality.

The plot? Forget it. It was all over the place with time jumps and random sub plots that held no relevance whatsoever to freeing Chang’e. Halfway through and I had no clue what the main plot even was (spoilers below). First there’s a competition to be Liwei’s companion, Xingyin wins. Then we have a time jump, she learns he’s betrothed (which always happens with royals), she gets mad, and leaves to become part of the army. The army goes to defeat creatures, we have a whole sequence defeating the mer people. Then, oh no, Liwei’s betrothed is kidnapped, some flower goddess wanted revenge on the empress, but that’s not the end! We finally get to the plot where Xingyin had a quest to free her mother, she must obtain 4 dragon pearls. She does so in two chapters. Not even. Then we have a dramatic plot twist where Wenzhi is actually prince of the demon realm (a place never really spoken of directly besides it’s bad) , and wants some power? But who even cares because Xingyin escapes from the realm and the book ends with her mom free and all is happy. That’s an awfully slow plot. Nothing happens. It’s so much that’s happening that it feels like nothing has any importance.

The romance was terrible. No development is made between either relationship. Xingyin walks away or is silent anytime either of the love interests talks to her about it. She kisses them, says she loves one, and then the next morning promises to live her life out with the other one! What?????

And at the end of the day the only redeeming factor is the writing. It’s very beautiful. But nothing can redeem the book itself for being poorly executed.

Anyways here’s to another book that let me down. 😕
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,204 reviews40.8k followers
May 14, 2023
Eastern folklore: inspired by the story of Chang’e moon goddess meets vivid, dreamy, action packed, adventurous, mythological fantasy with intriguing love triangle plot line !

The world building is dreamy! You feel like you walk in a spiritual world, smelling that beautifully described multi colored flowers, walking at the path to see the different houses of kingdoms and jumping on a cloud to fly between moon and different earths, tasting the delicious foods, being mesmerized and also threatening by mythological creatures including glorious and heroic dragons!

This is mind blowing story of young girl who wants to discover her supernatural powers, is bold enough to challenge to her enemies in expanse of her own life to protect her loved ones!

Xingyin: daughter of imprisoned moon goddess learns the hard truth about her mother’s past: she’s blamed to steal the elixir which made her immortal instead of her hero archer husband!

When Celestial empress’ sudden visits their house after sensing an unconventional existence, Xingyin reluctantly flees away to protect her mother to walk her first steps into Celestial Kingdom to sharpen her warrior skills, finding her true identity and powers.

She becomes companion of the prince: the son of empress who threatens her mother to ruin her life. An intimate friendship blooms between prince and her till she’s forced to get an important decision to fight beside a powerful soldier for fulfilling her potential. Learning to be a strong soldier may help her to set for mother free from imprisonment.

I normally don’t like love triangles but this story needs that kind of conflict to test Xingyin’s emotional boundaries, learning to survive after true heartbreaks to become the person who she is.

Overall: it’s amazing, fairy tale, epic fantasy! There’s a sequel but it seems like most of the mysteries already unfolded in this book including the big and heartbreaking twist at the last third. But I’m still curious to read its conclusion and the choices Xingyin will make for her own future!

Giving my five mystical and dreamy stars! I highly and extremely recommend it!
Profile Image for Elle.
587 reviews1,316 followers
May 12, 2023
Now a Goodreads Choice Finalist in Fantasy and Debut Novel!!

When I first saw this cover and went to post about my excitement for Daughter of the Moon Goddess, I wrote that I was sure this was going to be “an incredible fantasy epic”. And that was exactly the right word: epic. Like a classic narrative epic poem, Sue Lynn Tan recounts the story of Xingyin, daughter of banished immortal Chang'e, and her quest to free her mother and herself from their eternal confinement.

From the moment Xingyin escapes the moon on a cloud (yes, really), there’s feeling of immensity to her story. And as we follow her down the path of self-discovery, I couldn’t help but match up each stage of her tale with the traditional Hero’s Journey—a la Joseph Campbell. From the three “acts”: Departure, Initiation (& Descent), and Return; to specific elements like ‘supernatural aid’ and ‘apotheosis’ (raising a mortal to a god-like level), Xingyin more than rivals classic Homeric heroes such as Odysseus and Achilles. She endeavors to staggering heights and perilous depths, and is at her strongest when she’s acting on the behalf of those she loves.


But in Xingyin’s quiet moments, we get to feel a number of dueling loyalties play out. Will she stay behind with the first boy in the Celestial Kingdom to show her true kindness, or will she follow the one who can help her achieve what she’s always wanted to be? Is Xingyin willing to sacrifice her own chance at happiness for a way to free her mother? Exactly how far is she willing to go in order to accomplish some of these goals?

It would be reductive to say any of these questions fall into the expected fan-service style tropes. These motivations come so naturally to the character, and by extension the audience. Every bit of longing feels real and every betrayal fully stings. To read Daughter of the Moon Goddess is to become Xingyin, her strengths, flaws and internal discord all included.

Every word of this over five hundred page novel is thoughtfully chosen, crafted with the utmost care. It’s poetic without being overly flowery, and never light on plot or action. While there’s many stages of the journey Xingyin goes on, it all feels like a natural extension—one story bleeding into the next. I’ve seen a few reviews mention how full this book is, that it could almost be split into two, but I think that would have been a mistake. Daughter of the Moon Goddess ends exactly where it should, with Xingyin completing this arc and preparing for whatever unknown is to come. And I can’t wait to embark with her on that one as well.

**For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!
Profile Image for Era ➴.
215 reviews527 followers
September 22, 2022
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an ARC!

Ah yes, yet another ARC I read after it was released. In my defense, I did actually start it before it came out.

I was so freaking excited about this book when I found out about it. First of all, Chang’e is one of my favorite Chinese myths (out of the admittedly small number that I know). Second of all, a female warrior protagonist? And an Ancient Chinese fantasy aesthetic setting? Yes.

In reality, I was a bit disappointed.

I was expecting something so immersive and exciting, and while this book started out that way, it didn’t last and it wasn’t strong enough for me to really get that experience.

The plot follows Xingyin, the daughter of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. Her mother has been imprisoned by the Celestial Emperor for becoming an immortal, and when the Celestial Army threatens her mother, Xingyin is forced to flee from the palace of the moon.

She lands herself - quite literally - in enemy territory, falling into the Celestial Kingdom itself. She earns a position as the Crown Prince Liwei’s companion, training alongside him in all things. From there, she struggles to find a path back to her mother while navigating the romance between herself and the Prince.

I was honestly expecting more from the storyline. I wanted something more action-packed, more intense. I wanted to feel more emotions about the events of the book. But I just couldn’t.

Too many things in the story were just too obviously rigged. It felt like they were there to keep things going without much real intrigue. There were so many time skips where Xingyin just says something like, “The next two years I spent by his side”, or, “I spent my time training and the months flew by.” I don’t want detailed depictions of every day, but this felt too much like the author trying to get to specific parts of the plot with minimal effort.

The part where Xingyin enters the competition to become Liwei’s companion should have been so much more tense. A competition that, according to Xingyin, could change the course of her life - but it only took up a few pages?

The events of the competition were so quick and way too easy that it was almost laughable. It was set up for Xingyin to win from the beginning, and that took away any excitement I as a reader had about that scene.

“I was no longer a child willing to drift with the tide - I would steer against the current if I had to. And if I won, by some miraculous stroke of luck, I would never be helpless again.”

Honestly, my main issue was Xingyin. Her decisions were what got her into this mess. “Oh, it’s the energy that my mother told me not to reach for! It can't be that bad, I’m going to reach for it!” I can understand her going into a ~rebellious teenager~ phase, but this one random instance just once again felt set up in order to advance the plot.

Half of her problems were caused by her own stupid decisions. “Oh no, I have to join the Celestial Army now!” But technically she doesn’t because she could have just left at that point if she wanted to, and she only stayed out of a sense of obligation and because she was ~in love.~

She as a character was very compelling, but her narrative wasn’t that exciting. I really enjoyed her development, and I loved the way she grew as a person through the book, but I didn’t feel a strong connection with her and therefore wasn’t as invested in her perspective.

I liked that she was stubborn, and ambitious, and held herself to a high standard, but I feel like she as a person could have been developed so much more. I was fully prepared to enjoy her character and didn’t get to do that as much as I wanted to.

“A glorious future beckoned on the horizon. Yet I still clung to a shred of my past, as a flowering peach blossom tree yearning for its fallen bloom.”

Liwei was an interesting character, but I liked him a lot better when he was first introduced compared to him later on. It felt like, instead of getting more fleshed out as Xingyin got to know him, he just gradually became more and more bland compared to his first impression.

Honestly, he felt like a lot of other characters in a lot of other books. He was the Crown Prince who wasn’t interested in his responsibilities or betrothal arrangements, and all he wanted to do was paint and spend time training, but when it really came down to it he was invested in the good of his kingdom.

“I do care," he ground out. "Despite my sense, my judgement and honor - I cannot help but care.”

Wenzhi was very interesting but felt a little bit cliché as well. He was the famous army man who was known for his skill and had a distaste for the court he served. He was tough but understanding and had a very mentor vibe to him but then had a hidden romantic side. I thought he was interesting when he was introduced, being a powerful captain and seeming important to the story, but I stopped really paying attention after a few chapters.

The romance was okay, but it just didn’t feel interesting. Xingyin and Liwei got along well and their banter was fine, but there wasn’t any of the “passionate romance” that the synopsis was promising.

Also, the love triangle that developed about 40% into the book was completely unnecessary. It added nothing to the plot except for obliviousness on Xingyin’s part (“Why are these two attractive men competing for my attention and getting hostile toward each other whenever they’re in the same room”).

Oh wait, I do know what this added. A healthy dose of not-like-other-girls™ to Xingyin’s character. I was not here for the “I’m not beautiful, why would these two men ever want me, I’m just average and plain - EVEN THOUGH I’M THE BEST ARCHER IN THE WORLD I HAVE THIS ONE TALENT” narrative.

Xingyin was fine at first, but she gradually just became this stereotypical heroine. For example:

“It was only later that I learned the Chamber of Lions was reserved for the army’s most skilled warriors. While most had taken months, a year even to master every trap, it took me a matter of weeks.”

Wow she’s so strong and gifted, it doesn’t matter that she’s not pretty because she can do archery! And archery comes naturally to her!

Honestly, a lot of this book just felt the same as other books I’ve read. The first-impression scene where Xingyin meets Liwei? They have an ~honest conversation™~ because he “just wants honest companionship” and “a break from court” and she doesn’t recognize him until someone calls him by his title. It was honestly the same as so many other stories that I’ve read and none of it felt special pertaining to either of the characters. I don’t see the appeal of this cliché anymore.

What really saved this book for me was the writing and the setting.

The writing came across really nicely, and I liked the lyrical quality there was to the words. I’m a sucker for fantasy writing, and while this wasn’t the most flowery, gorgeous writing in existence, it really didn’t have to be. It melded with the story well and got across without an overuse of metaphors.

“Some scars are carved into our bones - a part of who we are, shaping what we become.”

The setting was beautiful, because I love ancient-Chinese mythology and I love the way mythological Asian settings come across. The intricacies of the world-building and descriptions of the environment were just so enjoyable.

Overall, this book could have been so much better than it was for me. Maybe I just went in with too-high expectations, but can you really blame me? Yes. Yes you can.

But still. I really wanted this to be more powerful, intense and immersive, and it just didn’t get there for me. It started out really strong and exciting, and something about it declined as I went.

I enjoyed this book a lot, despite how salty I sound about it. It was beautiful and I liked the narrative, and while it wasn’t my favorite book ever, it was still a good one. I would absolutely recommend it. It just fell short of the hype for me.
Profile Image for siu.
171 reviews965 followers
April 4, 2022
2 stars✨ this was my most anticipated 2022 read...

No way this is an adult book when it reads like a children’s book😭

The writing style is all surface level. There is no depth to anything. It's crazy how this book has a love triangle and there was not a single moment building up to EITHER love interests. It just ✨happens✨ The dialogues are mostly informative. There is no teasing or bickering. I don't understand how the author expects us to believe the romance when we have nothing to go off of besides the MC telling us lines like "our ill-fated love" PLEASE. EVERY CONVERSATION YOU HAVE IS BLAND. ALL YOU DO IS EXCHANGE INFORMATION.

There is no build-up to anything, actually. No inkling that she is afraid of taking a life, only after she slays monsters we get an "i'm sad" or "i'm crying" sentence. Okay gurl I wish I could be sad with you but I literally did not know this mattered to you until this very moment and it never gets addressed again🤨

There is no rising climax, no tense moments, it is bland all the way through. It was 300 pages of filler before something finally started to pick up, and even then it was nothing special. Everything in this book is all bark, no bite. The danger that threatens the kingdom? Mediocre. Her perilous quest? Mediocre. Fight scenes? Mediocre. They have a dangerous creature to take down and the captain tells them the plan AT THE DOORSTEP OF THEIR ENEMY??

This book keeps describing flowers and lanterns, how about describing training and fight scenes instead of skipping over them PLEASE. That's literally the best part of a book. How am I supposed to care for our MC's journey if we don't get to go through the struggles with her? Every single moment is sped up, glossed over. "we fight terrifying monsters, ravenous beasts —" OKAY SO SHOW US😭😭 Why are we skipping over the good stuff and instead have to read filler after filler?

The characters fell flat. BOTH love interests as well, absolutely NOTHING romantic happens between them. And when they kiss? Okay damn, I didn't know you liked her until then. That's the problem. It's awkward... so terribly awkward.

The dialogue? Everyone sounds the same. You're telling me servants, Imperial Majesties, and ancient dragons sound the same? Some even sound cringe because they are trying so hard to be threatening but the word choices... it's like kids fighting on a playground... aren't you supposed to be hundreds of years old?

The fight scenes... tell me why, WHY she is able to be struck by dangerous, paralyzing venom and still fight? Or have a sword impaling her shoulder and she is fine in the next sentence. It is so inconsistent with what is happening. Just like her feelings.

This is the second book where I went "how many more pages left?" because it was so frustrating to read.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,636 followers
August 10, 2022
Reread - As far as I know this is still 4.5, I fell asleep a few times like I do when an audio is on…. Sigh, I wanted to make sure before the next book. It’s pretty bad when you read so many books you can’t remember how you felt and I read this not long ago!!! I think I might get more out of them memory wise when I actually read instead of listen 🤔

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾


Yay!! I loved it 😊💕🌸 4.5 Stars

I love this books cover, the original and the Fairyloot edition. I better love this book because wait until you see this beautiful edition Fairyloot has given us this month!! I CAN’T EVEN!

My Blog With The Goods:

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Pang.
416 reviews364 followers
June 2, 2022
4.5 Celestial freaking Stars!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌙


WOW 😲 WOW!! I don't know how to express I'M SOOO EXCITED since my adventure starts!

FALLING BOOM! to Celestial Kingdom
HOOKED to every realm I lay my feet on
GIGGLES, GIGGLES to all familiar vibes!!
HAHAHAA and also in rage with the romance!!!!

You guys curious? ALL THE FREAKIN' FEELS my friends. Since the Conflict till the Romance till the Action in many realms I'm so exhausted. Ouchhhh I even wanna slap Xingyin sometimes *ugh*

🌙 Not Xingyin, ME. ME gossiping Celestial Emperor & Empress with my Celestial Court Friend about Chang'e 🌙

Helping Xingyin, I'm trying sooo hard to dig the secrets from my Celestial Friend. He told me that Moon Goddess Chang'e was punished by Celestial Emperor and Xinyin's father was utterly hated by Celestial Empress! Uhhh "Why they hate Xingyin's parents so much? such nonsense!" Headache. Headache. I tried to ask him more. Alaas! he shuts his month up. Shove the book "Daughter of the Moon Goddess" toward me. "Read it!" He said. *facepalm*

🐉 Celestial Emperor & Empress

"I hate them! I hate them! and I even hate myself! because I love their son." *sigh*


Agony! Angst! Angst! Angst! - as much as I enjoy this journey so much my friends, I have to strip 0.5 star out of my love. Why? THE LOVE TRIANGLE ANNOYS ME TO HELL! No! to the bottom of Demon Realm is more exactly right! I annoys everytime when that Captain Wenzhi gets into the scenes. I want to call Long Dragon to take this man out of my eyes'sight Xinyin's life. When this man come? My Prince hurts. When this man come? My Prince's heart broken.

Many people might don't understand how I felt until reading the book! but I'm sure a lot of Throne of Glass Fans might understand me well. Yep, it's feel like Celaena-Dorian-Chaol's chaos romance all over again! Badass heroine with archery skill & Kind-hearted Crown Prince with tyrant father. FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS Then BOOM! that fierce Captain comes later. Take advantage as a new comer! Made my Prince jealous, made me cry so muchhh. 😭😭😭

I know I'm so emotional right now but yeah, it remind me of that romance which all Dorena Shippers suffered before. I can tell.. if Dorena Fans read this book, you will be emotional wreck! So engrossed in this story and yes SO MUCH FUN! with their warm-cold TENSION across Demon Realm and Celestial Sky. 😭😭😭

"Dump it! Dump this stupid Love Triangle to the deepest of Demon Realm and never see the sun again!!"
Anyway, If you crave for STAR-CROSSED LOVERS IN FANTASY, Read it! No need for hesitation. 😁


"Daughter of the Moon Goddess" is an Enjoyable ride full of action-adventures among Heaven and Earth. Chinese myths and mystical creatures. Evil conspiracy. And beautifully familiar vibes that made me giggle, giggle throughout the book. Boost my fun 10x! You guys will never know what I mean untill reading the book by yourself! HAHHAHAAAAA


As a cute fan of this series. I beg the author and pray to the Celestial freaking Stars. To let my friend Xingyin have a happy ending with Prince Liwei. *puppy dog eyes* <*;

Love, Pang
Profile Image for Vibur (hiatus).
42 reviews231 followers
January 15, 2022
All the stars and the moon.

This novel was wish fulfilment, you guys. Seriously, it was all my smol Chinese heart could have wanted and more. And I loved it. I loved how it delved deep into a well of Chinese mythology and culture. I loved how authentically rendered it was, stirring an ache within me−a longing for a world of immortal beings, whimsical deities and glowing, mythical beasts, of blossom fields and full moon nights melding together.

The writing was vividly mesmerising, and yet languidly wrought, as if from a dream. Daughter of the Moon Goddess was the perfect novel for me (yes, I'm very whipped for it). I'd not fault it for anything, although fair criticism has been directed at its plot, or rather, how repetitive it was. And repetition is a trait that has traditionally typified Chinese high fantasy stories, particularly in xianxia. But at the same time I can argue that this repetitivity is what grows and nourishes the story, shaping it into something meaningful, that it is to the story as repeating beats are to the heart.

I'd love to write more about how perfect this novel was for Chinese-drama-loving me, but that'd be a rather futile pursuit, I feel. All I can say is that if you're a fan of friends-to-lovers, lovers-to-enemies, mutual pining and angst, court politics, deceit and enduring love, and needless to say, fairy tales and ancient mythology, this is the story for you.

Profile Image for Debbie W..
726 reviews491 followers
November 13, 2022
Why I chose to read this book:
1. I saw this book featured recently on Goodreads, and because I enjoy fantasy inspired by myths, legends and folktales from various cultures (in this case, Chinese), I decided to sign out a copy from my local library; and,
2. April 2022 my self-declared "Fantasy and Science Fiction Month"!

1. I liked how the Chinese legends about Chang'e, the moon goddess and her mythological Chinese archer husband, Hou Yi, as well as the four dragons that represent China's four largest rivers, were incorporated in this story;
2. plot - the beginning starts off with a bang! I really enjoyed the escapades and battle scenes that MC Xingyin was a part of as an archer in the Celestial Army;
3. includes a map of the Mortal and Immortal Realms (helpful!);
4. details - Oh wow! The descriptions of various settings, fashions, architecture and artifacts were astounding! My visual and tactile senses came alive!

1. I'm not a fan of the romance genre, and this book was a little romance-heavy. I'd be okay with that, except it's not very believable and a little boring. Even though there's the typical "love triangle", I felt that Xingyin and her "guys", Liwei and Wenshi, treated each other more like formal friends rather than love interests (not warm at all);
2. as stated above, I love a descriptive story, but sometimes author Sue Lynn Tan went overboard. Unless they're unusually distinctive, don't use the word "orbs" for "eyes" (lose the thesaurus!). Also, Tan would use certain color words, like crimson, vermilion and azure ad nauseam! Speaking of which, Tan had Xingyin constantly sick to her stomach (gagging, retching, nauseated, roiled, choking down her bile, churning - just to name a few). My "orbs" were frequently rolling every time this was mentioned!;
3. I had to laugh at some of the challenges Xingyin and other competitors had to "endure" to earn a place as a fellow companion for Crown Prince Liwei, like (get this) tea brewing! Seriously? What was this? A MasterChef competition? Too bad Gord Ramsay wasn't a judge, because he would have spewed Xingyin's tea all over the place, and that would have been funny!;
4. The "Sky Drop Tassels" Liwei and Xingyin exchange to warn one if the other was in danger seemed pointless, as one wouldn't know of the other's dilemma until it was almost too late; and,
5. in my opinion, my biggest complaint is the shortfall of character development. Besides the absence of a true love story, I was unhappy with the lack of growth in Xingyin's character. From beginning to end, she comes off as impulsive. I was hoping that she would grow as a kickass First Archer like Legolas in The Lord of the Rings or Katniss in The Hunger Games. Instead, she often seems unsure of her abilities, and at times, wasn't that adept. The author always has her recovering from various injuries that easily killed off other soldiers. I don't think any of this book's characters will be memorable.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars, because it did have some good points and a gorgeous cover, but I probably won't be reading the next book in this duology, Heart of the Sun Warrior.
Profile Image for Marquise.
1,712 reviews404 followers
November 10, 2022
Fantastic story! I'm rarely caught by surprise by plot twists because normally I can see the foreshadowing from afar, especially if it's a retelling or inspired by mythology. Nonetheless, "Daughter of the Moon Goddess" managed to surprise me. There was one Big Twist I didn't see coming, and so was mad at, but in a good way because I'm like that, I celebrate when an author cleverly fools me and catches me off guard. Bow to Sue Lynn Tan for pulling it off.

I am a declared hater of love triangles. Mostly because I detest them on principle and for the drama & angst they bring to the story, but also because in the quite rare cases I've been able to tolerate triangles for the sake of the plot, the chosen lucky bastard is usually not the one I favour for the main lead to end up with. I was made to suffer for my preference of character in this book, but fortunately not everything was killed in the bud, and I'm so looking forward to what is to come. No, I can't name which character I'm favouring, as it'd be a huge spoiler, but once you read the book, you'll easily see who it is.

The worldbuilding of this book is credible without being overdone or underdone, no complications and excessive descriptions. It's mostly at court, but with incursions around so you can be shown the world the Immortals inhabit. If you know nothing about Chinese mythology, you'll still both understand and identify the references because it all trickles in at correct doses for you to get an idea about how things work in the universe of Chinese immortals. I am not familiar with their folklore beyond knowing Chang'e was the Chinese goddess of the Moon, but at no point did I feel lost or confuses. It's easy and readable.

I'm also pleased with the fact that, for once, it's the male character that is the Good Boy whilst the female lead is . . . well, complicated. But lovable. Does this mean the era of hot jerks that dominate Fantasy and YA is coming to a close and we'll be seeing more and more upright, good boys (but still hot)? Still, I am also pleased by the prospect of seeing a properly done redemption arc in the next book for a certain someone.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,909 reviews4,818 followers
January 23, 2022
There's no way that this is a debut. I'm having such a hard time believing that. I'm not the biggest fantasy reader, but when I say that this is one hell of fantasy book I mean that with every fiber in my body. Tan did such an excellent job with this story that I can't wait for the second book in the duology.

I didn't necessarily know much about Daughter of the Moon Goddess before reading it. I knew that it was getting a lot of buzz and that most readers were enjoying it; however, it wasn't one that was high on my radar. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try and it did not disappoint. Based on the legend of Chang'e and ancient Chinese mythology, this novel follows Xingyin as she is forced to leave the moon once she finds out that her mere existence and powers are a danger to her mother. Eventually, she finds her way to the Celestial Kingdom where she must hide her identity to survive. She not only befriends the prince of the kingdom, but becomes his aide of sorts. Eventually she joins the military where she embarks on dangerous journeys in attempt to save her mother.

I don't even know where to begin in my praises of this novel. It's definitely well-written and accessible which makes it a good fit for those who are looking to transition from YA fantasy to adult fantasy. I know that Tan describes this as a sort of a "in-between" novel when it comes to target audience and I definitely can understand how it could be targeted at an upper YA audience and an adult audience. One thing that this book made me realize is that I really enjoy fantasy novels that include some form of political intrigue. It inevitable means that someone isn't who they say they are and betrayal is a guarantee. Tan used the politics of the world to not only shape the plot, but also her characters leading to one of the craziest plot twists that I've read in a fantasy in a while. This crazy political intrigue also led to some intense and interesting battles with mythical creatures (including mer people, dragons, and more). Combined with elemental magic, these scenes were some of my favorite parts of the book. It is clear from the beginning that this is an expansive world and there is potential for readers to see more of that in the second book.

Tan is not only a gifted writer, but also a pro at character development. Xingyin is easy to root as a reader. I appreciated that every move she made was to put herself into a better position to help her mother. While we don't necessarily get to see a lot of their relationship on page, those small moments were so beautiful. Additionally, the other main characters were extremely interesting. While I can't reveal too much about them, I will say that it is interesting to watch the ways that they change throughout the course of the novel. Tan also introduces a love triangle in this book, BUT it's a love triangle done right. The fall out that comes from it is EPIC and I don't feel like it happened just for the sake of happening. It was a necessary move and it made sense in the context of the story. Also, there is a lovers to enemies trope in this novel that was "chefs kiss." I'm not sure I've ever seen it done before and my goodness I LOVED it.

If it isn't clear from the context of this review, I absolutely loved this book. I will say that the writing style may not work for everyone as Tan is extremely descriptive, but I think it works well for the world building. Definitely one of my top books of 2022.
Profile Image for gauri.
182 reviews402 followers
January 7, 2022
daughter of the moon goddess which caught my attention because of the stunning cover, is a fresh, impressive debut about the daughter of moon goddess chang'e, xinyin as she embarks on a journey to free her mother from her exile.

i loved the visuals painted by the lyrical writing. it perfectly fit the atmosphere of the book as xingyin explores different kingdoms and tasks. while it took a while to get used to the writing, i was soon captivated by the descriptions, the fairytale (and cdrama!) vibes and the Chinese folklore imbibed in the story.

the themes of—family, striving for freedom, loneliness and honour—are very well explored in the book. i especially enjoyed reading about xingyin's courage and determination to act with honour and stay true to her goals. watching her grow throughout the novel is a delight.

despite my overall enjoyment, daughter of the moon goddess fell flat in many places. the pacing is irregular and given the length of the book it dragged a lot with the repetitiveness. the third act turned out to be the most interesting part of the story. while the characters' personalities was intriguing, i genuinely did not find myself caring about them or their motivations. ultimately because i didn't feel the urgency of the stakes. it's all passive to be honest. and xingyin having two love interests didn't help as i wasn't inclined to root for any of them. though i'm most curious about wenzhi!

in the end, daughter of the moon goddess is a solid debut which is sure to take readers on adventures along with xingyin accompanied by Tan's beautiful writing. though it's not strong on the emotions or characters, it is sure to appease YA readers. i'm eager to see how Tan moves the story forward in the sequel.

thank you harper voyager and netgalley for the arc!
Profile Image for Brenda Waworga.
594 reviews667 followers
March 11, 2022
Here comes the salty Brenda …

Wooow this is just another special snowflake story, the main character who did the BARE MINIMUM but can survive everything, can won and beat everything and best of anyone else and of course the PLUS … all the boys freaking love her!!! what a flawless main character 😂🥱 i have enough with this trope *yawn* 500 pages long book and i don’t hell care to any of these characters, there is no sense of tension through the book because well, we know the main character is just flawless and can do anything and have luck as wide as the sky… nor there is character growth, the romance is flat like a board and NOT believable, by the time i type this review i no longer remember their names (yes there is love triangle trope in this book) 😂 the writing style is lyrical (i usually enjoy lyrical writing style) but this one just felt dense and definetly not work for me

The only thing i like in this book is the Xianxia/ Chinese mythology aspect and the freaking beautiful covers (both UK and US) 😅 other than that i don’t have any positive things to say. Definetly NOT going to read the sequel

Thank you next…
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
874 reviews1,762 followers
July 8, 2022
This read like I am reading a Xinxia drama script. Good thing is I like that genre of drama and this book was decent enough.

I loved the beautiful world building and writing. What I didn't like were the characters. Everything was presented on a silver platter to the girl be it the companionship, or be it his love, or be it the place in army. And all I heard was her whining about how tough and miserable her life was. Pfftt..
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,074 followers
March 28, 2022
4.5 ⭐️ rounded up 😊

“Titles are inherited, talent might be blood-bound, but true greatness lies within.”

Xingyin is the daughter of the Moon Goddess. Her mother has been imprisoned on the moon since before she was born by the Celestial emperor and empress. She has kept Xingyin’s existence a secret ever since.

But when the Celestial’s become suspicious Xingyin knows her life is in danger. She flees the only home she has ever known to live in the Celestial Kingdom, and to find a way to free her mother by any means necessary.

I loved the world building, the secrets and betrayals. I could have done without the love triangle however it was done very well here.

“Do not try to insult or guilt me into doing what you think I should do. How will we have a future together if you do not see me as your equal.”

Xingyin is a fantastic protagonist, I loved her and her character is well fleshed out. She isn’t simpering and holds her ground when necessary, even when it is hard. I enjoyed learning more about Chinese mythology as I have no experience with it. I am really excited for book 2!

“I would not yearn after what had been lost, impossible to regain. I would look to the days ahead, to the happiness which awaited me there…if only I were brave and steadfast enough to reach for it.”
Profile Image for Hannah.
161 reviews102 followers
Want to read
December 28, 2021
DNF at 37%

Daughter of the Moon Goddess was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022, so I was ecstatic to receive an e-arc of it through NetGalley. As a Chinese reviewer, I was greatly excited to read a book inspired by the moon goddess. Unfortunately, this book was just not it for me. I pushed through it as much as I could just because it was a book that I've been looking forward to for so long. However, this book just could not grab my attention at all.

There are quite a few problems that stand out with this book. To me, the most notable is the unbearably slow plot. It is almost entirely filler chapters. Daughter of the Moon Goddess started out with a bang, immediately catapulting readers into the world. For the first couple of chapters, I was obsessed and could not put this book down. But as the book progressed, I found myself caring less and less about anything that happened. Liwei and Xingyin had zero chemistry. There was nothing that could have possibly indicated romance between them, other than very obvious hints torward it. I had no idea that there was a love triangle in this book either. Captain Wenzhi was slightly more compelling than Liwei, and I stuck around just in hopes of him and Xingyin having some good scenes together. But, still, I just did not care about them or their relationships at all.

Some of the things I did enjoy about this book were the prose and the worldbuilding. The writing was beautiful and completely immersed me in the world. The worldbuilding was also great. I' m not normally a huge fan of first-person point of view books, but this was actually quite well done.

Final thoughts: While I did not enjoy this book, do not let my review discourage you from picking it up. My review is one not-so-good-one in a sea of hundreds of 5-star reviews. Plus, the cover is so beautiful that even if you don't find yourself enjoying the book, it will be a great item to display!

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
453 reviews6,973 followers
January 27, 2022
*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book!

This book is one that I was eagerly anticipating, and my god did it live up to my hopes. Taking inspiration from Chinese Mythology, this story is a wild celestial adventure full of many twists and a whole lot of magic.

I knew from reading the very first page that I'd enjoy this one. The writing captivated me immediately, and it seemed only natural to ease into such a rich and colourful world. I loved learning about this world, especially how the legends and history would intersect, and discovering everything along with Xingyin proved an interesting perspective, having been isolated in one place her entire existence so far. Having her learn how her world was interconnected with the lives of those elsewhere proved a smooth way to build the world without being overwhelming. Paired with Sue Lynn Tan's beautiful writing, I found myself just really enjoying sinking into this story each time I came to read.

The story itself is one that's quick moving, with endless amounts of magic and monsters to keep the pages turning. Not to mention the relationships - wow did it make things intense! I'm not usually one to be caught between a love triangle, but the rising tension brought to the surface each time Xingyin was near danger was just too addictive to not get sucked in. Even the family dynamics, and the conversations surrounding what you inherit from your parents and how their actions impact generations to come, added a layer of tension to the story that was inescapable. Watching these characters try to figure out what's right vs their own desires proved to be an endless tug-of-war that you couldn't help wanting to see the outcome of.

I really loved this one, and I'm certain many others will adore it too. I already can't wait for the sequel!
Profile Image for Ellie.
575 reviews2,122 followers
Want to read
July 31, 2021
“inspired by the famous Chinese legend of the Moon Goddess, in which a young woman must flee her cherished home on the moon when she is hunted by the Celestial Emperor” [x]

it also features:
- an exiled goddess
- girl fighting for family
- ancient myths
- fierce friends
- gentle prince & enigmatic warrior
- friends to lovers to enemies (!!!!)

guys I just .... love my life right now knowing I’ll get to read this someday

I thought this came out in 2021 but it's actually 2022 okay guess I'll just die waiting for this one then
Profile Image for Rosh.
1,448 reviews1,406 followers
February 8, 2022
In a Nutshell: Loved the plot. Loved the Fantasy world and everything out-worldly. Liked the characters. Hated the writing style.

Inspired by the Chinese legend of the moon goddess, this story tells of a young girl Xingyin accustomed to living alone on the moon with her mother Chang’e. What she doesn’t know is that Chang’e has been exiled for stealing the elixir of immortality from the Celestial Emperor. Due to her presence coming to light, Xingyin is forced to escape from the moon and somehow lands up in the Celestial Kingdom, working as a maid for a local wealthy family. When there’s an opportunity to train alongside Crown Prince Liwei, she grabs at it, not knowing that her life will change from that moment. What follows is an interesting story of secrets and scandals, battles with strange and scary monsters, and even forbidden romantic entanglements.
The story comes to us in the first person perspective of Xingyin.

Where the book worked well for me:
😍 The book has a distinctly episodic feel to it. Each segment of the story can be compartmentalised, and each has its own appeal. Some segments work better than others, but most were pretty good. I enjoyed the action sequences most of all, what with dragons and mind magic and octopuses and what not, each fight sequence was astounding to read.

😍 The author’s world building is exquisite. The story had a genuine feel of a Chinese legend, even though it is only partially based on Chang’e’s story. The Celestial Kingdom, the various creatures, the magical weaponry, everything was enjoyable.

😍 The characters are going to leave their marks on your mind, though you may not like them all. Xingyin is outspoken, impetuous and rude. She thinks only about herself and hardly ever learns from her mistakes. As such, she makes for quite an irritating protagonist. I suppose it’s a YA thing because many YA books seem to have such unlikeable leading characters. It works for the story, and that’s the most important thing. The two male leads have decently-sketched characters too, though both go through drastic behavioural changes as the story proceeds. Nevertheless, the characters shoulder the story well.

😍 The female representation in the story is amazing. I loved how many of the soldiers in the Celestial army and other key characters were women and the plot uses them well. This is unlike usual legendary fantasies.

😍 While there are the usual Fantasy-Romance tropes such as romantic triangles and an all-surviving MC who always wins despite the odds, they are handled pretty well and don't feel boring.

😍 The book is volume one of an intended duology, but it has no cliffhanger ending. The story sets the foundation well for whatever is to come and at the same time, satisfies its readers with proper closure.

Where the book could have worked better for me:
😒 The only but biggest factor against the book: its writing style. God, how I hated it! As it comes to us from Xingyin‘s 1st person pov, I expected a certain amount of rambling, What I didn’t expect was for almost every paragraph to contain at least 3-4 sentences on her personal thoughts, even in between dialogues. This inner monologue became so irritating after a while. A typical scene in the book would be as follows:
↳ Some character mouthing sentence 1 of his dialogue.

↳ Xingyin with her thoughts: My heart thudded. My mind was in tremor. My hands shook… Blah blah blah medley of body parts and their reactions…..

↳ Some character mouthing sentence 2 of his dialogue.

↳ Xingyin with some more thoughts; I couldn’t believe what he said. I felt like … insert descriptive simile here… Heat rushed into my cheeks … more body parts mentioned….

↳ Some character mouthing sentence 3 of his dialogue.

↳ You guessed it. Xingyin coming up again…. Sigh.

This is even worse in audio because you feel like you are listening to the most egotistical person on earth who wants to talk about EVERY SINGLE DAMN EMOTION!!!!

There are also too many similes and metaphors. While many of them were apt and beautiful, it was an overkill. All this adds too much of clutter to the proceedings. The story would have worked even better had it been crisper by chopping out such needless flourishes.

The audiobook experience:
The audiobook, clocking at 15 hours, is narrated by Natalie Naudus. I appreciate the decision to take an Asian-American narrator for the story. She performs remarkably, and her voices and her emotions are good. The problem was, her accent is strongly American. While I am okay with this usually, the word that bugged me the most was her pronunciation of “duty” as “doody”. I understand this is quite common in some American accents, but it was very distracting to my ears! Thus, in a book where Liwei was constantly struggling with his “doody”, I just ended up rolling my eyes multiple times.

I was pretty torn over my rating for this one because I loved the story so much and I hated the writing style almost equally. But what it boils down to is this: do I want to read the second part of this duology? Turns out, in spite of all my complaints, I do, eagerly! And that tilted the balance in favour.

4 stars from me. (5 stars for the plot, world-building, fantastical elements and action sequences. 3 stars for the character sketching. 2 stars for the writing style.)

My thanks to HarperCollins UK Audio and NetGalley for the ALC of “Daughter of the Moon Goddess”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the audiobook.

Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun.
Profile Image for Anissa.
67 reviews896 followers
September 8, 2022
I love this book so much, it's a new all-time favourite.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,405 reviews1,856 followers
January 14, 2022
Nothing like starting off the new year with a very anticipated read and.. well, not hating it, but this took a lot of willpower to push through over the course of the first few days of 2022 and honestly, with the exception of one plot point, I did not enjoy.. any of this?

This is a long book, see above page count, 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.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Shelley Parker-Chan.
Author 7 books2,936 followers
May 9, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Sarah Book Dragon.
329 reviews148 followers
December 8, 2022
edit 12/07/2022: ugh only 5,500 away from wining in debut IT WAS SO FREAKING CLOSE (and of course it lost to sjm in fantasy DO I EVEN HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING??

edit 11/15/2022: I AM PRAYING that this wins for fantasy but I just KNOW a sjm book is going to win again 🙄

Reread #1: 100th read of 2022! SO COMPLETELY WORTH IT I REGRET NOTHING

“Some scars are carved into our bones - a part of who we are, shaping what we become.”

✨spoilers are hidden ✨


*insert new obsession*


I picked this up thinking it would be a cute and sweet retelling of a mother and daughter. I WAS SO FUCKING WRONG. In addition to my last thread of sanity, this book has stolen my heart, my soul, my sleep (it's been so long since I stayed up all night reading a book- SO WORTH IT)


Anyways, the completely cohesive and definitely not crazed rant you've all been waiting for:


this girl is the bestest most badass amazing *insert high pitched hysterical screaming* loyal sweet BADASS sneaky AHHHHHH this book deserves 99834197236129873 billion stars for her alone. SHE IS REAL. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT HER STORY IS THE SAME 26 LETTERS SCRAMBLED UP ON A DEAD TREE. i love her so fucking much, BEST MAIN CHARACTER EVER. so cunning, ambitious, humble, amazing AND DID I MENTION SUPER BADASS??? If anything bad ever ever ever happens to her I WILL BE RIOTING.

Prince Liwei:
screaming crying dying throwing up OH MY GOD. HE IS LITERALLY THE SWEETEST CINNAMON ROLL TO EVER EXIST IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. i want need just... AHHHHHHH... there is absolutely no way to convey his essence in words (unless of course i copy and paste all 512 beautiful pages here) EVERY TIME HE GOT PAGE TIME MY HEART WENT FROM GRINCH SIZE TO LOOKING-AT-CUTE-BABY-ANIMALS SIZE (much too big to be healthy) also im just noticing this but why does his name look like kiwi (AS IT SHOULD) I'm also convinced that he is most definitely adopted because HOW THE HELL IS IT POSSIBLE TO PUT TWO ASSHOLES TOGETHER AND GET THIS??
asshole+ even bigger asshole= cute sweet little baby cinnamon roll with sprinkles on top
the math just doesn't add up.

Captain Wenzhi: (now with mixed feelings for a limited time!)
i have mixed feelings about this man. i both hate him and adore him and not gonna lie he acts like a big asshole sometimes but idk i don't know I DON'T KNOW
his presence cast such a giddy light on me
he had a great dynamic with Xingyin in battle, LIKE GODAMN I WOULD BE DEAD IN LIKE 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 SECONDS IF THEY WERE UP AGAINST ME.

Side Characters!!
The non-assholes: Ping'er, Chang'e, that one army friend that was always there for Xingyin (im not even going to try to spell her name), that one magic powers and sparkles teacher (yet another example of my poor spelling), the general guy, some of the solders, THAT LITTLE BOY PRINCE THAT IM CURSING MYSELF FOR FORGETTING THE NAME OF, the dragonss, and all the sorry souls i forgot: I LOVE YOU

Everyone else (THE ASSHOLES™): I FUCKING HATE YOU AND HOPE YOU ALL BURN IN A SPECIAL HELL FULL OF UGLY FIRE BREATHING RATS (im looking at you oh great emperor and empress)


you are probably looking at this and thinking "the details and focus all went into the characters, the plot will be trash and a waste of my extremely valuable time."


usually when i read an EXTREMELY OVERLY AMAZING CRAZY book i do it really fast (which probably isn't good for my sleep schedule- sorry brain) everything kind of blurs together in this shimmering long long long complicated plot line that makes me feel complete and whole inside (in my brain this is pictured as the numbers 2 and 4 exclusively in green/yellow and purple- this is why i need more sleep) and sprinkled around are the actual plot points and the things i don't remember as green/yellow/purple blurs of perfection. I'm always really confused when I re-read, it's like WHERE DID ALL THE PAGES OF GREEN YELLOW AND PURPLE GO???? WHAT KIND OF BOOK SELLER ARE YOU!?
anyways, this is one of those.

my personal super exciting non making since synopsis:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR SUPER PRETTY GODDESS MOM PISSES OF THE FIRE BREATHING RAT TURD EMPEROR AND EMPRESS? YOU ARE PLOPPED DOWN IN THEIR FANCY MILLION DOLLAR MANSION (it even comes with those fancy mints on the pillows) YOU ARE LYING TO EVERYONE'S FACES OF COURSE, EVEN THE SUPER HOT CROWN PRINCE THAT IS NOT AN ASSHOLE. YOU MISS UR MOM AND SET OUT TO WIN HER FREEDOM! But little do you know, there will be vicious, horrid, things in your way. Including but not limited to LOVE FRIENDSHIP HEARTBREAK HONER and just some little itty bitty demons, evil vine ladies, slimy mermaids, and corrupt kingdoms sprinkled on top! YOUR FATE (and just a bunch others) LIES IN YOUR HANDS! GOOD LUCK!! NO PRESSURE AT ALL IN ANY WAY!!

everything about the plot is brilliant and amazing and I think I had a few minor heart attacks while reading (proceed with caution)


it's a fancy beautiful water feature infested place that is magical and amazing and crazy awesome and also might be in space and there are flower gardens turned evil and glittering oceans and gorgeous and menacing caves and palaces all written like I could walk out the front door and just be there (like what more do you want???)




I'm just going to say it: there is a love triangle. And I know what you're thinking: the dreaded love triage, the ruin of any book, HOW HORRIBLE! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!

but no.

this was actually crafted so beautifully and carefully. The book would be WORSE if it wasn't included. I don't even know how to explain it. GONE are your days of screaming at the main character to JUST FUCKING CHOSE SOMEONE. GONE 💥POOF💥
Xingyin is not an asshole leading people on. If YOU think this YOU are a fire breathing rat turd.

The triangle is between Xingyin, Captain Wenzhi, and Prince Cinnamon Roll (Liwei)
If I were a sane person, I would talk about the main characters relationship in both corners of the triangle. BUT I AM NOT SANE (i read books after all) AND THERE IS ONLY ONE IMPORTANT CORNER OF THE TRIANGLE: Prince Cinnamon Roll (I also don't really give a flying rats ass about Wenzhi)


I DON'T THINK ANYONE CAN FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW THEY FUCKING CRUSHED MY HEART AND EXPLODED MY HEART AND OH MY GOD I COULDN'T BREATHE WHEN THEY WERE IN A ROOM TOGETHER. (if you are experiencing any heart related illnesses after reading this book, you are subject to compensation)

The sexual tension *chefs kiss* by the end of the book i was just a melted puddle of helpless romantic on the floor.



oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god


Profile Image for Alex.andthebooks.
295 reviews1,810 followers
November 6, 2022

To była naprawdę piękna historia, wspaniale napisana, ale… dla mnie „too much” — nie sugerowałbym się tymi słowami, gdybym była fanką fantastyki. Ja nią nie jestem i w tym tkwi mój problem.

Książka dostarczy Wam wielu emocji i rozrywki — dzieje się w niej tak dużo, że w pewnym momencie czułam się przytłoczona.

A jednak bohaterka przeszła intrygującą przemianę i pozostała wierna sobie, a ja to niesamowicie cenię!
Profile Image for Lynette Noni.
Author 20 books4,514 followers
April 24, 2022
Audiobook read — I loved this so much! Full of action and adventure and romance, I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a new YA fantasy world to fall into!
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