Daughter of the Moon Goddess (2022)

by Sue Lynn Tan
ASIN/ISBN: 9780063031302
Publication: January 11, 2022
Series: Celestial Kingdom #1

** I received a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Xingyin is the titular daughter of the Moon Goddess and escapes to the Celestial Kingdom after she is discovered. Understanding that her home on the moon is more a prison for her mom, Xingyin dares to lift her mom’s punishment by hiding who she is to be able to strike a bargain with the Celestial Emperor.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess is reminiscent of the wuxia movies and Chinese fantasy dramas I watched growing up with meddling immortals, magical artifacts, and poisonous flying needles–can’t forget those flying needles. The great thing about the book is that it’s not 50 episodes long nor does the storyline drag out conflicts or prolong suffering. Both the miscommunication trope and the noble idiot trope are absent. All you drama lovers out there, and even if you’re not a drama lover, you know how aggravating those two tropes can be.

I appreciated the moderately quick pace of the book and how it spans a few years rather than months. It makes Xingyin’s rise to be the kingdom’s best archer more believable, especially when it encompasses multiple conflicts that feed into the larger storyline of lifting the Moon Goddess’s punishment. I was easily immersed in battle scenes and caught up in moments of heartbreak. Despite being broken into three parts, the flow of the story is not interrupted, instead, it helps emphasize Xingyin’s growth.

The conflicts are resolved quickly, most without any loose ends. While I enjoyed this aspect at first, I began to realize that because it did not linger very long with any one conflict, I couldn’t develop a close connection with the characters. Neither of Xingyin’s love interests, Prince Weilin and Captain Wenzhi, were very captivating. Weilin fell a bit flat for me, and maybe Wenzhi did catch my eye, but I didn’t feel like I ever got to know him very well. I liked Xingyin and found her love and loyalty to her mom admirable, but her actions didn’t completely move me either. Additionally, emotional tugs that were just beginning to form were oftentimes stunted. There was one moment in particular as Xingyin reflected on first love where this occurred. Her realization resonated with me, and just as I was letting them sink in, the next few scenes ripped the emotional impact away, preventing me from reveling in them and reducing the significance of the moment to nearly nothing. As someone who enjoys moments of character introspection, I was disappointed.

I was not, however, disappointed with the world-building and the overall writing itself. Because of Chinese dramas and folktales, the concepts of the world were not entirely new for me, but the world imagined in the novel was still stunning. I found a strength of the writing to be its descriptions. They were vivid and lush, with words that flowed freely like poetry. There was an elegance in them that painted a Celestial Kingdom one could truly believe was heavenly.

Although Daughter of the Moon Goddess didn’t meet all my expectations, I still found it to be a book that I enjoyed. I look forward to the sequel.

12 responses to “Daughter of the Moon Goddess (2022)”

  1. I love everything about this review 😍 I couldn’t figure out how to sort out my conflicted feelings about the pacing until you pointed out the fact that it makes parts of the story more believable but also takes away from the emotion of the story. Thanks for the review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Your kind words mean a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really looking forward to this one! Great review =) Glad to hear there’s no noble idiot/miscommunication trope!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading the review. I hope you get a chance to read it!


  3. I’m reading this right now and I definitely agree that the romance is lacking. I’m trying to focus on the MC’s journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How did you like the book? (I’m jumping over to your blog to see if there’s a review. :D)


  4. Ooooh no… I’m sorry this didn’t live up to your expectations and you didn’t connect with the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yah, I was disappointed too but I’m okay now. I’m even looking forward to the next book just so I can find out what happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice review! I enjoyed this a bit more than you did, but you sure pointed out some issues that could have been done better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Will you be on the lookout for book 2? I’m curious about what happens next.


  6. Oh no, I’m sad to hear that the characters didn’t live up to your expectations. Really looking forward to reading this book, and character development + connection is something I always crave for.


    1. Sorry for the late reply! It was still a good read and the cover is beautiful.


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