Heart of the Sun Warrior
The Celestial Kingdom Duology #2
By Sue Lynn Tan
Author’s website: suelynntan(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
Heart of the Sun Warrior tells the story of an immortal Xingyin, the daughter of the Moon Goddess and a mortal warrior who passed away saving the mortal world. The story takes place after the events of Daughter of the Moon Goddess where Xingyin won her mother’s freedom and made enemies of the Celestial Emperor. Now, both of them live on the moon where their work is to light up the candles that light the moon for the mortals to see every night. During this time, Xingyin is visited by Liwei, the son and heir of the Celestial Emperor who has declared his love for her.
Since the ban on the moon ended, visitors have started to arrive on the moon from time to time. The latest is a group that consists of a musician, a winemaker, and some sisters who want to look at the stars. Xingyin distrusts the visitors, especially the winemaker, but everyone enjoys the wine he has provided. One night she wakes up to find the musician, Master Gang, chopping the Laurel trees in the grove which regenerates quickly.
As she tries to stop him, he attacks her. He manages to flee, but the peace that existed in her home has ended. She must find what people want with her home and hope it doesn’t have to do with the Celestial court.
Heart of the Sun Warrior was a very entertaining story to read. With the internet making foreign shows more accessible, I have recently become a fan of Chinese fantasy dramas, and when this book became available, I knew I had to read it. This book is the continuation of the Daughter of the Moon Goddess and while it is encouraged that you read the previous book, in this new story the author briefly explains past events.
I liked following Xingyin’s travels across the immortal realms to save her home on the moon and learn about the secrets from her father’s death. We get to meet many characters that are different from Xingyin but have the same ideologies, and friends of hers that will help her along the way. But we also meet kings and queens that will sell innocents to save their subjects.
We find out the identity of our main villain quite soon at the beginning, but as we continue, we get to learn more about the motives for its plans and somewhat the pains that caused all this. Master Gang is quite evil and will do anything to become the most powerful being in the realms or destroy everything.
Heart of the Sun Warrior had a lesson that we sometimes forget, all stories have a different point of view, the hero can be the villain to the monster, and the monster was someone’s child. Xingyin comes to learn this lesson later in the book when she meets the Goddess of the Sun Lady Xihe and must ask for her help even if Xingyin’s father slays the Sun Goddess’s Sunbirds.
I really liked the mythology in the Heart of the Sun Warrior book, the gods and immortals were very interesting. How the marriages among them connected all the clans and the difference between those who were elevated to immortal and those who were born. Xingyin is a special case with both of her parents being born mortal and her mother being elevated when she was pregnant with her, and the power of all immortals’ manifests in different ways.
I liked the Heart of the Sun Warrior and while the ending was somewhat sad, the author leaves it open to a possible next book to have Xingyin find her love.
If you like fantasy-based stories, then I recommend Heart of the Sun Warrior. Here a woman will face off against all immortals to save her home, her family and free her friends.