Tales of the Celestial Kingdom

Harper Voyager. Feb. 2024. 176p. ISBN 9780063326699. $24.99. FANTASY
With the highly acclaimed “Celestial Kingdom” duology complete, many readers wondered about not only what happened to Xingyin, Liwei, and Wenzhi, but also where their stories began. Tan answers those calls with nine stories that fall before, during, and after the duology. The sun’s cycle of “Dusk,” “Twilight,” and “Dawn” sections separate the tales, highlighting Houyi’s fight with the 10 sunbirds, Chang’e’s ascension as a goddess, certain battles—both external and internal—from some of the beloved men protagonists, and the true epilogue of Xingyin and Wenzhi’s story. Using other characters’ perspectives broadens the original two novels’ range. Tan’s poetic prose, combined with delightful illustrations, brings together a collection that readers will be thrilled to have.
VERDICT Tan’s compilation of stories allows readers more insight into the characters from Daughter of the Moon Goddess and Heart of the Sun Warrior, allowing their perspectives to expand the view of this wonderful series.
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