Daughter of the Moon Goddess

by Sue Lynn Tan

Hardcover, 2022



Call number



HarperVoyager (2022), 512 pages


Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Mythology. HTML: 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 triu… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Jthierer
How much you like this book is definitely going to depend on your tolerance for Mary Sue main characters. You know the ones. The ones who have never picked up a bow but are suddenly better than everyone a few weeks later. The ones who are straight up combative and rude but the male love interests
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(because there are always two) love them for it instead of being repelled. The ones who keep doing dumb, impulsive things that should get them killed but somehow don't. Me personally? I don't mind a Mary Sue if the narrative around her is interesting enough. Daughter of the Moon Goddess kept my attention and made me want to keep listening (I did this one in audio format) even when the main character got on my nerves. I'm already about halfway into the sequel.
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LibraryThing member abookishroad
Honestly, I was drawn to this book solely based on the book jacket. It is a beautiful piece of art and very much grabs one's attention. I am also a sucker for books that feature stories from other countries. There’s an ambiance, norms, and perspectives that are not part of my culture and I like
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reading those different viewpoints. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is one such book.

In this story, we follow Xingyin the daughter of the Moon Goddess who has grown up in exile with no one knowing of her existence until one day her magic exposes her to the Celestial Kingdom. Now danger lurks & Xingyin is forced to leave her beloved home and mother. Her adventure starts once she’s in the Celestial Kingdom… where she learns archery, masters her magic, and falls in love…. And many adventures ensue.

This book has it all…adventure, friendship, intrigue & love. There was a lot going on in this book and it had me hooked the whole time. I am not actually sure what the second book to this duology would cover but I can’t wait to find out.
The only qualm I had was wanting to see more dialogue between the main characters. They sometimes felt one-dimensional.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book. It's a great read.
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LibraryThing member Cherylk
I started this book a few nights ago and read two thirds of the book. I finished it the next day. It is that good. I was so immersed into this fantasy world. All of the characters brought something to the story. It is great to see a strong female lead. This book will appeal to fantasy readers of
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all ages.

It was great to see Xingyin grow and blossom from a young girl to a warrior. The touch of romance between her and the Prince is wonderful. I do like that it was not a huge focal point in the story. Speaking of the story, it is quite the reading adventure. There is plenty of action to be found within the pages of this book. I can't wait to read the conclusion in this duology.
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LibraryThing member brangwinn
I was first introduced to Chinese folktale mythology in children’s books. This adult tale is as satisfying and as textured as I’d hoped for. Xingyin grew up on the moon. Her mother was the Moon Goddess, held captive there by the Celestial Emperor. When Xingyin’s life is threatened by the
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emperor, she’s sent away but rather than ending up back with mortals she ends up in the palace of the Celestial Emperor and the study companion to the Prince. She’s convinced that she must free her mother from the captivity on the moon and sets out to become the greatest archer in the Celestial Army. This has all the elements of good fantasy folktales. The setting is beautiful, the characters well developed with so many twists in the story, it is difficult to know who to trust. I find it hard to believe that Sue Lynn Tan debut novel could be so engaging.
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LibraryThing member LisCarey
This is a story based on the myth of the Chinese Moon Goddess, Chang'e. She stole the Celestial Emperor's elixir of immortality, and used it to save herself and her unborn daughter. Cheng'e was punished by being sentenced to spend her immortal life confined to the Moon. She kept secret the
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existence of of her daughter, Xingyin--until the girl's magic flares, and reveals her existence. She has to flee home and her mother, and survive on her own in the Celestial Kingdom. Xingyin vows to free her mother from her imprisonment, but first she has to learn to use her magic, and fight, and how to find a way into the upper levels of Celestial society and function there as if she belongs.

Her first real success is winning the position of study companion to Crown Prince Liwei. studying magic, classics, herbalism, and military arts with him. She makes friends, allies, lovers, and enemies, with, it must be said, some overlap among those groups. She loves Liwei, but he's bound by his duty. Captain Wenzhi is equally attractive, not as gentle, fiercer, both a companion and a teacher in war and in missions against dangerous, monstrous creatures. A woman, another fellow soldier, is a good friend whom she can partially confide in. There's a general who sees her as a very promising soldier, and to some extent looks out for her.

There are characters, such as the last two mentioned, whose names I don't have because I listened to the audiobook, and I haven't found them elsewhere. It's frustrating; I think I care more about the names of secondary characters than many others.

Along the way, she encounters challenges, danger, treachery, good and evil magic. Seeming enemies prove to be friends; seeming friends prove to be enemies. Her adventures span the Celestial Empire, the Mortal Realm, and the Demon Realm. Sometimes I want to give Xingyin a good hard shake for her blind spots, yet I think they're entirely attributable to her upbringing on the Moon, with only her mother and her mother's trusted servant and friend for companions. There's just a great deal she really doesn't know, and has to learn from scratch, about normal human interaction. She's also a bit mission-driven; her goal is to get to the point where she can free her mother, or persuade the Celestial Emperor to pardon her.

The language is beautiful; the world is richly developed. Sometimes the characters have less depth than I would like, but in the end, all the major actors have real reasons for what they do, even if that doesn't make the bad guys any more likable.

Also worth noting that there's no shortage of strong women characters who play real, meaningful roles.


I bought this audiobook.
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LibraryThing member Anniik
TW/CW: Violence, character death, sexual assault


REVIEW: Daughter of the Moon Goddess is the story of Xingyin, the hidden daughter of the moon goddess who has been imprisoned with her mother for years. Ripped away from the moon, she sets off on a quest to free her mother from her
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This is a fantastic book, honestly one of the best I’ve read in years. Tan’s writing is beautiful, and draws you into the story. The characters are well developed, and you feel for them a great deal. Although the book is long, the pages seemed to fly by as I read, always curious as to what was going to happen next.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy/adventure and I look forward to reading more books by this author!
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LibraryThing member spiritedstardust

I have conflicted feelings about this

Xingyin made some really dumb decisions in the begiing - touching the stars (like ask your mum to calirfy WHY you can't touch them if you're feeling tempted) and staying in the celestial kingdom and becoming a servant instead of sticking to the
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original plan - I get really frustrated when main characters do dumb things. I also didn't buy how despite living a sheltered palace life she suddenly became an ultimate warrior


the overall story and worldbuilding
some characters

I enjoyed it overall but I just didn't like Xingyin
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LibraryThing member RandyMorgan
Xingyin experiences a surge in her magic causing the Celestial powers to investigate the moon. This is where Xingyin’s mother is being punished for the crime of stealing an elixir. Xingyin escapes to the Celestial Kingdom where she stays disguised. Xingyin becomes the companion to the emperor’s
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sun and moves up to first archer. Through all her trials, she has one focus, to free her mother.

Sue Lynn Tan captivates the reader by starting with Xingyin escaping on a cloud. This allows the reader to become fully immerse in the magic of Chinese lore and mythical creatures. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is an enjoyable read packed with action, adventure, conspiracy, and romance. Sue Lynn Tan does a great job using romance and action as a form of character development. The reader is hooked until the very end, when they will discover the results of Xingyin’s efforts.
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LibraryThing member Kiaya40
So, this one was another one that was high on my list and it mostly lived up to the hype, but the one thing I think of and remember about this is that it was amazing and I loved it, but it was a bit long. I felt like the ending dragged a bit, but other than that I loved all of it.
This is a great
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story inspired by the legend of the Chinese Moon Goddess where a young woman sets out to free her mother and she has to go against the most powerful immortal in the realm. This puts her on a dangerous journey where a lot is at risk.
Xingyin lives with her mother on the moon until her magic starts to show and then she has to leave because her existence is discovered. She ends up going to the Celestial Kingdom to make her own way where she hides her identity so she can learn alongside the Crown Prince. where she learns and masters magic and archery. There is also a flame and swoon-worthy romance that comes between the Crown Prince and Xingyin. She goes on dangerous quests and confronts legendary creatures to make her own way and ultimately to achieve her dream. In the end, though, she has to go up against the Celestial Emperor himself to get her dream. She also has a romance with another and that brings an interesting perspective into the story with her having feelings for both the Crown Prince and the other.
This is full of adventure, love, betrayal, romance, myths and legends and so many awesome things that are my favorites in stories. I can't wait to read the conclusion in the next book. I would recommend checking this one out if you haven't yet.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager/Harper Voyager for letting me read and review this magical, mystical and wonderful tale. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member decaturmamaof2
Really enjoyed this debut! Brava
LibraryThing member electrascaife
Once upon a time the moon goddess was a mortal woman in love with the man who used his impressive bow skills to do the Celestial Emperor a big favor and win a vial of immortality elixir. But when he was away and she was dying in child birth, she took the elixir to save herself and her child and was
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punished for it by being banished to the moon. And so Xingyin – the child – has grown up knowing only the moon, her mother, and a servant. All that changes overnight when the Emperor’s servants pay a surprise visit and nearly discover Xingyin’s existence, so her mother sends her away to seek her fortune. This is the story of how Xingyin works to find a way to free her mother from the Emperor’s curse, becoming a skilled fighter in his army along the way, as well as getting herself involved in a messy love triangle, of course.

I enjoyed this romantasy for the most part. I love the mythical retelling, of course, but the love triangle gets too angsty and the star-crossed aspect gets tedious.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

512 p.; 9.45 inches


0008479291 / 9780008479299
Page: 0.3093 seconds