I have been looking forward to this adult debut fantasy for what feels like forever. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a book about a girl who is trying to avenge her mother and must go up against an immortal being. Inspired by Chang’e this book is a story about love and growth. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Lyrical from the beginning, Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a story about truth, love, and the nature of perception. Xingyin’s story is one that questions the very foundational bricks of a story. Of what purpose a story serves depending on who is telling it. Daughter of the Moon Goddess examines perception and spin in a world of court intrigue and legends. While I was drawn to this mythical almost legenday scale of Daughter of the Moon Goddess, what I ended up loving was Xingyin.
Her story is one of romance, adventure, and self-discovery. There’s plenty of romance for those seeking a swoony fantasy, but Xingyin’s character development was fascinating to watch. She has to come into her own as a person without the shadow of the moon. Xingyin must learn to thrive, to figure out what’s right and wrong, and to decide who she wants to be. Together with a fantastic sense of pacing, and adventure, Xingyin’s story is enchanting.
Another of my favorite element was how swept away I was by the adventure. I never quite predicted the way Daughter of the Moon Goddess would go and it truly feels epic in its sense of adventure. How is feels like you’re sinking into a journey. Throughout it all, she remains clever, relatable, and endearing as she makes mistakes, dabbles in love, and becomes her own hero. I am looking forward to the next installment so I can see how she continues to evolve, what monsters she will face, and who her heart beckons.
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