Review: Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Published: November 15, 2022

Pages: 480

Format: NetGalley e-ARC, Thanks Harper Voyager!

Goodreads Blurb


“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.”

My Review

Oh, Xingyin how I had such high hopes for you. Don’t get me wrong, I think that a lot of her personal growth, in regard to her family, was amazing. The love interests though were really hard to follow and get behind.

This book starts shortly after book 1. Xingyin is with her mother and trying to heal from all the events in book one. Her life force is quickly becoming stronger and we learn that there’s a reason for that. In fact the main antagonist of this book is after the reasoning but I don’t want to give it away. I loved her relationship with her mother in the first book. We get some surprises in this book and I’m glad that she got what she always wanted- her family. I just didn’t feel the bond was as strong as I would have liked. I think part of the problem is that there’s so much chaos and they are strung all over the place.

The biggest downfall of this book is the love triangle. It’s quite easy to figure out where Tan is going with this and who she ultimately wants Xingyin to wind up with. WHY all the heartbreak though?! The constant back and forth?! I’m so sorry but I just can’t get behind the treatment of book one and the flip-flop in book two. I get how it’s important to the overall plot but that’s what this felt like. It was just there to get the plot to connect and make sense. I still didn’t feel the emotions of either one of the guys which made the ending a bit surprising.

I did enjoy my time with the story in this book though. We get to see so much more of the different worlds and that was awesome to see. I think that might have been one of my favorite parts. This world is large and there are so many different moving parts, Queens, Kings, and they all have their own powers/magic. I loved learning about them all and getting more of the bigger picture. The plot itself was also much more developed and interesting than in book one. There are a lot of twists in turns and some really high and low points. I did manage to cry a bit, haha.

Overall, I did enjoy this one a tad more than the first book. I do love the world-building and all the magical aspects of them. The mythology and cultural elements are amazing. She is a very descriptive writer and I felt like I could picture everything so clearly. For me, the biggest drawback of this duology is the love triangle. I never connected to either one through Xingyin and it felt like friendship more than anything. Love triangles are personal preferences so I can see how many people love these books!

Thank you so much to Avon and Harper Voyager and Negalley for an e-arc to review.

9 thoughts on “Review: Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan

  1. I’m the odd one out I think as I preferred the first one. A lot of this second one seemed to just be revisiting places that we had been in book one. I did love the duology as a whole though and thought the ending was brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Damn the love triangle! I’m glad to hear that lots of other elements were great though. I really enjoyed the world-building in book one so I’m excited to hear that there’s more of that greatness here. I think I will give this a chance one day 🙂 Great review, Leslie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: November Wrap-Up! | Books Are The New Black

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