Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Harper Voyager. (The Celestial Kingdom, Bk. 1). Jan. 2022. 512p. ISBN 9780063031302. $27.99. FANTASY
DEBUT Tan’s epic fantasy (the first in a duology) draws on the mythology of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon. Protagonist Xingyin has only ever known a life of solitude on the moon with her mother and trusted servants. She’s unaware that her mother is in exile, for stealing the Celestial Emperor’s elixir of life and transforming into the Moon Goddess. Xingyin’s existence has been kept hidden, until her magic flares and the Emperor investigates; she’s forced to run away to the beautiful, secretive Celestial Kingdom. Hiding her identity becomes second nature to Xingyin, even when she becomes study partner and servant to the Celestial Crown Prince. As Xingyin searches for a way to free her mother from exile, she must also face battles of honor, love, and sacrifice; following her heart could destroy the kingdom she has been trained to protect.
VERDICT An exquisitely detailed fantasy with a strong, vulnerable protagonist. The intimate prose makes Tan’s wonderful debut an immersive experience; share with fans of Shelley Parker-Chan and Katherine Arden.
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