Book Review: Heart of the Sun Warrior (The Celestial Kingdom #2) (ARC)

Expected publication: November 15th 2022

Author: Sue Lynn Tan

The stunning sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess delves deeper into beloved Chinese mythology, concluding the epic story of Xingyin—the daughter of Chang’e, and the mortal archer, Houyi—as she battles a grave new threat to the realm, in this powerful tale of love, sacrifice, and hope.

After winning her mother’s freedom from the Celestial Emperor, Xingyin thrives in the enchanting tranquility of her home. But her fragile peace is threatened by the discovery of a strange magic on the moon, and the unsettling changes in the Celestial Kingdom as the emperor tightens his grip on power.

While Xingyin is determined to keep clear of the rising danger, the discovery of a shocking truth spurs her into a perilous confrontation. Forced to flee her home once more, Xingyin and her companions venture to unexplored lands of the Immortal Realm, encountering legendary creatures and shrewd monarchs, beloved friends and bitter adversaries. With alliances shifting quicker than the tides, Xingyin has to overcome past grudges and enmities to forge a new path forward, seeking aid where she never imagined she would.

As an unspeakable terror sweeps across the realm, Xingyin must uncover the truth of her heart and claw her way through devastation – to rise against this evil before it destroys everything she holds dear, and the worlds she has grown to love… even if doing so demands the greatest price of all.

The epic conclusion to her sweeping Celestial Kingdom series, Sue Lynn Tan’s tale of Xingyin, the daughter of the moon goddess, delves deeper into beloved Chinese myths, weaving them into a wholly new and magical story.

Heart of the Sun Warrior (#2)

Heart of the Sun Warrior is the conclusion in the Celestial Kingdom duology. Like its predecessor, Daughter of the Moon Goddess, the gorgeous cover immediately draws the eye and entices the reader to try the story. The story continues to follow the Moon Goddess Chang’e’s daughter, Xingyin, the Crown Prince of the Celestial Kingdom, Liwei, and the general/captain of the Celestial Kingdom military, Wenzhi. It picks up with unrest in the Celestial Kingdom and readers travel across the Immortal Realm.

The story goes through Xingyin’s quest along with continued character development. Xingyin, Liwei, and Wenzhi all have their continued emotional journeys after the events of the previous novel. The love triangle gets its conclusion in this novel, and it felt satisfying as it fit the characters and the ending situation. Xingyin continued to be a very enjoyable main character as she has power, but still has vulnerability. She also experiences some grey moments where she does not always make the best choice, but she learns from them, and she came across as realistic and likable. Her growth from the time the reader meets her at the beginning of the first novel to the end of this one made a lot of sense and did not seem to be forced.

While there is some action in this story, it also has a lot of dialogue. Some readers may prefer more action, but I enjoyed the style as it seemed to fit the story and characters well. Compared to the first novel, there is more action, but it is not as much compared to other duologies. Again, I enjoyed this style a lot as the writing itself was engaging and the characters were interesting. There are a few moments where the story seems drawn out and it could have been shortened, but the writing is nice enough where I did not mind. Overall, this was an excellent duology with some hints that the universe could expand with companion novels. I look forward to reading from the author in the future!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Harper Voyager, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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