Heart of the Sun Warrior (The Celestial Kingdom #2)

Source: DRC via NetGalley (Avon and Harper Voyager, Harper Voyager) in exchange for an honest review
Pub. Date: November 15, 2022
Synopsis: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon

Why did I choose to read this book?

You should have seen me waiting to find out if I was approved for this DRC on NetGalley. I checked every day. I let out a scream when I was approved.

I READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS WAS SO FREAKING AMAZING OMG. When I found out there was a second book I lost my mind. I had to get my hands on it.

What is this book about?

If you haven’t, please take a second to click the Goodreads link up above and read the synopsis of the book. I want to take my time here to talk more broadly about the story, but you can get any missing details from that synopsis without spoilers.

If I had to say what this book was about, I’d have to say it’s mostly about knowing when to hold ’em, knowing when to fold ’em, knowing when to walk away, and knowing when to run. The Gambler’s a hell of a song because the truths it spits out are all-the-time snacks. I think this book shows the dangers of holding on when you should let go, letting go when you should have held on, and all the complexities that interfere with your ability to make that decision.

In addition to that I think that this book is about balancing caring for others with caring for yourself. The entire first book was about Xingyin questing to free her mother, the Moon Goddess. This book we see her emotionally torn limb from limb trying to keep EVERYBODY safe, when if she had stayed true to herself and what SHE needed sooner, there might have been fewer casualties. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tough balance to find even in the real world, but seeing and responding to the consequences of having that balance too far out of whack is part of Xingyin’s journey in this book.

What is notable about the story?

Sue Lynn Tan’s writing is so goddamn beautiful I can’t stand it. There are multiple scenes where I was just crying, tears falling down my face, because I was in that scene, I was experiencing those emotions, I could see/hear/feel everything that was going on. This is the second of Tan’s books that I have read and I can’t wait to own them both in hardcover because they are fully immersive works of art. Gorgeous.

Was anything not so great?

My only complaint is that it had been too long since I read Daughter of the Moon Goddess and so my investment in the love interests and their relationships to Xingyin (the prince vs the military man) was out of focus. For me in particular the scenes where Xingyin’s indecision about who she should be with may have been less impactful because of this.

But you don’t need to have this problem! Daughter of the Moon Goddess has been out for a while, so when you preorder Heart of the Sun Warrior, get a paperback of Moon Goddess while you’re at it and read them back to back. Go on, you deserve it. 🙂

What’s the verdict?

I would not be doing my duty if I didn’t give this FIVE FULL STARS on Goodreads and simply beg you to read these books. They are gorgeous, they are enthralling. Sue Lynn Tan should be given as much money as possible to write more books. I will be hitting refresh on NetGalley every time she releases one. GO GET IT.


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