Pictured: a tea set from Singapore which has lovely details of flowers, peaches, and phoenixes, next to Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
This book brought me back to my childhood in Singapore and Sundays at my grandparents’ house where we would watch Chinese-language shows on TV. There were Singapore-made dramas and also those from China and (maybe?) Taiwan. I remember watched 西游记 (Journey to the West) and a show about 呢咋 (Nezha, a child deity). The gods lived in the sky, and they traveled around on clouds.
So when Daughter of the Moon Goddess opened with a chase through the skies on clouds, I was absolutely delighted.
Xingyin is the daughter of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. She’s been hidden from the Celestial Kingdom her whole life. But she now has to leave her home on the moon and ends up in the Celestial Kingdom. She’s determined to free her mother and along the way becomes the companion to the Crown Prince.
This book was just magical to read. It was packed full, and made me wonder, how can it be a duology? Luckily there’s no cliffhanger at the end so I was a happy reader (and not an anxious why won’t they give me an ending? reader).
The world building was fabulous and I always appreciate when writers include food and drink into a story, as it helps to complete a reader’s journey into a fantasy story. It was lush and immersive.
There is a romance in this story but I didn’t feel very invested in it. I was surprised by a plot twist and do hope that the second book explores more about one of the characters involved!
I really enjoyed Daughter of the Moon Goddess. It was an exciting journey through a fantasy world yet one that was familiar. And with one of the most beautiful covers ever.