Continue below to read my review, favorite quotes from the book, and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS' blog tour brought to you by TURN THE PAGE TOURS, HARPER VOYAGER US, and SUE LYNN TAN!
Daughter of the Moon Goddess
Sue Lynn Tan
Published by: Harper Voyager US
Publication date: January 11th, 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, YA Retelling
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.
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.
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.
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I'm a big fan of world mythologies, so.. naturally I was incredibly excited when Sue Lynn Tan's 'Daughter of the Moon Goddess' was announced.
Inspired by the legends of Chang'e, the Chinese goddess of the moon, Tan puts her own unique spin on the origin.. and turns it from a classic parable into something more tragic and heartfelt. While the choice certainly allowed me to be more invested in the result of Chang'e's story, something still feels slightly off about this story.
Of course, I enjoyed the rich use of symbolism and the relatively elegant prose. Unfortunately, I also felt like most of my favorite quotes were simply modernly rephrased proverbs, rather than the creative nature of the author.
Initially, there's a burst of urgency.. spiriting Xingyin away from all that she has known. Due to that, there's not a lot of time spent on side character development which I kept expecting to change, but for the most part.. it never did. Prince Liwei might be the only real exception to that and so, he's also the only other character I really felt able to connect with.
Ironically, it feels like we get to know the Empress better than any of the other tertiary characters, including those we see in day to day events. All of which really just leads to a feeling of imbalance within the story. There are so many potentially interesting characters, some of which are clearly meant to be moving.. that just don't do anything for me because of the lack of evolution.
Overall, the story just appears more substantial than it is to me, and I feel a bit sad about it. I'm always happy to see representation of my mixed-Asian heritage in modern media and if I'm being fair, Tan did a much better job than some of the bigger names out there. But as lovely as the story is, it's still only slightly more than mediocre.. and I'm on the hunt for that author who will achieve the extraordinary.
Favorite Quotes from the Book!!
Everyone has their own troubles; some lay them bare while others hide them better.
What we do is not a reflection of who we are.
Some scars are carved into our bones -- a part of who we are, shaping what we become.
The night was clear with a hint of frost, but I was already frozen inside.
My father slew the suns. My mother lights the moon.
You'll never grow if you only do what you're good at.
A student's interest also depends upon a teacher's skill.
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, 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. When not writing or reading, she enjoys exploring the hills and reservoirs of Hong Kong, the temples, beaches and narrow winding streets here.
Her debut, Daughter of the Moon Goddess, will be published by Harper Voyager in early 2022, with a sequel to come. It is an enchanting fantasy of love and family, immortals and magic – inspired by the beloved Chinese legend of Chang’e flying to the moon upon taking the elixir of immortality.
Sue Lynn can be reached on Instagram @SuelynnTan, or on her website. (Linked below and in her photo.)
AUTHOR LINKS: SUELYNNTAN.COM | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER