Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan

Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan is an epic fantasy inspired by Chinese mythology.

Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan

Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan is the conclusion to the Sunday Times bestseller and standout debut fantasy of the year, Daughter of the Moon Goddess. Delving deeper into the magical world of Chinese mythology, Heart of the Sun Warrior continues with Xingyin’s story. After winning her mother Chang’e’s freedom from the Celestial Emperor, Xingyin thrives in the tranquillity of her home on the moon. However, her peace is threatened by the discovery of a strange magical healing power possessed by the osmanthus plants and the concerning changes in the Celestial Kingdom, as the Emperor tightens his grip on power. As an unspeakable terror threatens the realm, Xingyin must rise against it before it destroys all she holds dear. 

As in Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Tan proves herself to be a skilled and talented author here. Her writing is at once whimsical and lyrical. Tan utterly transports you into Chinese high fantasy with her incredible world-building and beautifully written descriptions, creating a world in your head that you could never before imagine. Tan’s lyricism aside, she also excels in crafting action scenes, showing that her writing talents have no bounds. Heart of the Sun Warrior will have you at the edge of your seat. It is action-packed, filled with adventure, and fast-paced. 

What really makes the novel is the characters and their relationships. In this sequel, Tan delves further into the love triangle between Xingyin, Liwei and Wenzhi, further complicating their relationship and creating an interesting development in their emotional connection to one another. In Daughter of the Moon Goddess, it was difficult at times to grasp any sense of real intimacy between the characters, but this is an issue Tan has definitely rectified here. She crafts their relationships in a way where you find yourself rooting for every character equally. There is no real preference between Liwei and Wenzhi as a partner for Xingyin as both demonstrate their willingness to sacrifice themselves for her on multiple occasions. This made for an especially interesting dynamic as it broke the stereotype we typically see with love triangles where the author ‘ruins’ one love interest so that we root for one over the other. The greatness of the love triangle also lies in part with how wonderfully Tan writes Xingyin’s narrative. We find ourselves emotionally invested in both love interests because we see how deeply Xingyin feels for them. This demonstrates what an incredible job Tan does of evoking emotion in her readers. 

Heart of the Sun Warrior is an enthralling tale of love, family, and sacrifice -  a wonderful conclusion to perhaps one of the greatest fantasy duologies of all time! 

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