A young woman's quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm, setting her on a dangerous path where choices come with deadly consequences and she risks losing more than her heart.
Especially early on, many of the events felt a bit too convenient, which meant I found myself rolling my eyes at the book. But as the story went on, I found myself more and more immersed, and ended up falling for it. By the end, I was in love. I’m very happy to say that my first impression of this one was wrong and that it really comes into its own after the setup is done and Xingyin can start establishing herself as a person rather than trying to carve her place apart from her mother. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is well-written, poetic, and lyrical. It is also an action-packed story with a very slow-burn romance. I loved to see the relationship between Xingyin and her prince develop and steer away from the instalove that it seemed to pivot towards in the beginning. Oh, and I should mention the dragons. There are some pretty epic dragons in this story and to be honest, dragons always make books better in my opinion ... And it doesn’t hurt that both the UK and the US editions of Daughter of the Moon Goddess are among the most stunning books to be released in early 2022, either.
... filled with intricate world building, heartbreaking romance and mind-bending intrigue ... Tan’s prose is close and personal, pulling readers deep into Xingyin’s fears, drives and desires. The result is an all-consuming work of literary fantasy that is breathtaking both for its beauty and its suspense ... don’t let the languid pacing of the early scenes of Xingyin’s life with her mother fool you into thinking that this is a book where nothing happens. On the contrary, so much happens in this first installment of the Celestial Kingdom duology that it’s hard to imagine where Tan’s imagination might take Xingyin and her friends next. Wherever that road leads, however, it is sure to be one of boundless invention.
Packed with magic, dragons, and plenty of scheming, this novel features many expected tropes, freshened up by the well-developed setting and strong basis in Chinese mythology. Xingyin is sometimes frustratingly successful and spends much more time with her male love interests than her female friends, but the plot delivers what it promises in a quite satisfying, though predictable manner. The prose is lovely and fluid, lush descriptions of magic and immortal life buoying the narrative. A standard court fantasy, unique in its expansion on the story of the Mid-Autumn Festival.