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Book Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

by | Jun 1, 2023 | Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating: 5/5 stars
Age Rating: 12+

I stumbled upon Daughter of the Moon Goddess at a bookstore, and I was instantly captivated by the stunning cover art. I was excited to explore a story set in a magical world filled with mythology. And let me tell you, the moment I dove into this book, I was hooked. The story gripped me, and I was flying through pages to find out what happens next to the characters I’d quickly grown fond of.

This book brilliantly combines Chinese mythology with a relatable story of growth and change. Sue Lynn Tan’s writing is colorful and poetic, creating a fascinating world that readers can’t help but get lost in. This captivating debut novel, drawing inspiration from the Chinese legend of the moon goddess Chang’e, weaves a rich tapestry of culture, courage, and an unyielding quest for freedom.

Tropes in this Book

  • Friends to lovers
  • Love triangle
  • Slow burn

Daughter of the Moon Goddess Synopsis

Xingyin is a solitary young woman concealed on the moon by her mother, Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. Chang’e, exiled by the Celestial Emperor for stealing his immortality potion, shelters her daughter from his wrath. However, their secret is revealed when Xingyin accidentally reveals her magic.

Fleeing her lunar sanctuary to protect her mother, Xingyin finds herself in the awe-inspiring Celestial Kingdom. Unrecognized, she fortuitously becomes the companion of Prince Liwei, the emperor’s son. This opportunity affords her the chance to learn a vast array of skills, from herbology and magic to martial arts. As Xingyin grows closer to Liwei, she must suppress her identity, creating a delicate balance of trust and deception.

However, Xingyin’s prime mission remains to free her mother. She embarks on a dangerous journey, encountering legendary creatures, fierce enemies, and the treacherous politics of the celestial realm. Her odyssey becomes even more convoluted when forbidden magic begins to threaten the realm. To achieve her goal, Xingyin must confront the Celestial Emperor himself, risking everything she cares about in a dangerous gamble that could either cost her everything or lead to chaos in the kingdom.


From the moment I started reading Daughter of the Moon Goddess, I was pulled into a world filled with mythology and magic. I journeyed alongside Xingyin through the stark contrasts of mortal and immortal realms. The book’s deep roots in Chinese mythology and the intricate unraveling of Xingyin’s journey gave me a truly unique reading experience.

With its dreamy unfolding and lyrical language, the story paints a romantic image of the world within the book. I found the reading experience immersive and thrilling, a testament to the writing and world-building in this book. The story starts with detailed descriptions of Xingyin’s home on the moon and continues as she ventures into the palaces and kingdoms of the Immortal Realm. The book reveals a magical universe where immortals travel on clouds, merfolk live in the depths of the Eastern Sea, and dragons roam freely.

This book is a whirlwind of fantastical locations, mythical creatures, whimsy, romance, and moments of heart-stopping tension. Many of the situations Xingyin finds herself in are so intense that they left me on the edge of my seat, almost afraid to read on because of the danger and potential consequences. 

The romance was one of the most captivating aspects of the story. The author’s ability to show their emotional growth and changing relationships naturally is impressive and adds an exciting layer to the overall story. The love triangle in the plot starts subtly and builds steadily throughout the narrative, creating believable and heartfelt connections. It does not exist for the sake of drama. Instead, it contributes to the plot and the character development of Xingyin.

Overall, Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a delightful experience with no dull moment. Its thrilling plot delivers moments that raise the stakes sky-high and leave the reader gasping. The writing is extraordinary, bursting with emotion and attention to detail. As a retelling inspired by Chinese mythology, it truly sets a high bar for the fantasy genre. 

If you found this review helpful, you can check out the book at Bookshop.org here and support local bookstores along the way!