cover image Heart of the Sun Warrior

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Sue Lynn Tan. Harper Voyager, $27.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-303136-4

Tan’s ambitious if not entirely successful conclusion to her Celestial Kingdom duology (after Daughter of the Moon Goddess) hits the ground running and doesn’t let up. Xingyin and her mother, the Moon Goddess, are finally living peacefully together when an enemy in disguise tricks his way into their domain. The usurper, General Wu, reveals himself to Xingyin at a celebration in the Celestial Kingdom, where he sets in motion a plot to usurp the Celestial Throne. It’s up to Xingyin and her companions, Liwei and Wenzhi, to stop him. To do so, they’ll need to seek out the Goddess of the Sun and acquire a feather from the last remaining sunbird. As mythic battle looms, Xingyin faces uncomfortable truths about herself and must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to save her home. Xingyin’s quest is a nonstop roller-coaster ride, but, after all the buildup, the final confrontation does not feel suitably climactic. The drawn-out ending likewise ties things up too neatly, conveniently fixing all the romantic conflicts. The journey is worth it, but the destination disappoints. Agent: Naomi Davis, Bookends Literary Agency. (Nov.)