Jul 20, 2022

DNF Review--Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan


A 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 and sets her on a dangerous path—where choices come with deadly consequences, and she risks losing more than her heart.

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the powerful 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, untrained, 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 Crown Prince, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the emperor’s son.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. When treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, however, 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.


I haven’t DNF’d a book in a long time, but alas it has happened to me now with Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan.

Honestly things started off fine. It’s a fantasy read in a rich mythological setting. It deals with gods and goddesses in a mystical setting and fantastical kingdoms. Xingyin is the daughter of the moon goddess who remains imprisoned in her lunar castle. But what the world doesn’t know is that Xingyin exists. When the Celestial queen begins to suspect the moon goddess is being unsavory, Xingyin is sent away. 

It’s not long before she finds herself training with prince Liwei to learn magic, fighting, and basically everything. A bond begins to form between the two and romance isn’t far off either. The years pass and soon Liwei is betrothed to a princess and heartbroken, Xingyin leaves and joins the army with the enigmatic Captain Wenzhi as her commander. Together with the soldiers they battle monsters of great caliber. 

All the while, Xingyin is seeing the world, but yet remains heartbroken over not being with Liwei. Though there did seem to be chemistry with Wenzhi. 

I guess in part, the pacing was just a bit too slow for me. I had read almost half the book and still saw no end goal in sight for Xingyin. I mean, yes, ultimately she would want to go back to her mother and even free her from her imprisonment but it was feeling like those 200+ pages was a prologue of some sort. 

I normally love lush fantasies with great magical world-building but something just wasn’t clicking with me and this one. I do think it was more of a pacing issue. But alas every book is not for every reader. Sadly, this one just wasn’t for me despite the signs that it could’ve been. 


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