Heart of the Sun Warrior is the stunning conclusion to the Celestial Kingdom duology written by Sue Lynn Tan. With an intriguing plot, interesting characters, and a fun read, this is a book to read after finishing the first novel in this duology.
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The second novel and final novel in the Celestial Kingdom duology, Heart of the Sun Warrior is the epic conclusion to Xingyin’s story. Written by Sue Lynn Tan, this novel was just as good as its predecessor, with an interesting plot, dynamic characters, and an overall fun read.
If you’ve read the first novel in this duology, then Heart of the Sun Warrior is a must read. Not only is this novel a fun read, but it was engaging from start to finish. The events that play out during the novel follow a natural order, and it feels like the consequences throughout the plot are real. Besides an engaging plot, the characters developed some more, which was interesting to see. Overall, good read and great finish to a series.
After those baseline answers, let’s delve a bit deeper into my thoughts. If you still aren’t sure about finishing the duology, then read on.
First thing’s first, plot. After the conclusion of the first novel, I wasn’t sure what angle Tan would’ve taken this second novel. There were a few loose ends leftover from the first novel, but I didn’t know where the story could go without saying that Xingyin lived in peace with her mother. But nope, that wasn’t the case. Almost instantly, her world turns upside down, and new characters are introduced to spice things up. I have a post dedicated to a summary of the novel. Be aware that the post will contain plot details from the whole novel, so spoilers ahead. As this is the case, I won’t talk about the plot much more than this, but I will say that it had a nice flow, and each event was a page turner.
When it comes to characters, the prominent ones from the first book are still around. Liwei is still Xingyin’s lover, Chang’e is released from her imprisonment from the Celestial Emperor, Wenzhi, although caring for Xingyin, has created an irreparable gap between himself and Xingyin. With these roles established at the end of Daughter of the Moon Goddess, I wasn’t sure where Tan was going to take these characters. I was pleasantly surprised to see more character development for these characters themselves, but also between each other.
This made the novel intriguing, as the new developments caused shifts between the main characters that I didn’t see coming. Besides the core cast of characters, new ones were introduced as well. Since I want this review to be as spoiler free as possible, I just want to say that the new characters introduced were all interesting. They added another dynamic into the group that was welcome. Although they don’t get as much development as the others, they still change enough to show some progress.
Other than the core cast, I also enjoyed the villain for this novel. He was one of the loose ends from the first novel, and to see his whole story explored was a delight. His existence is like a foil to Xingyin, and it was interesting seeing the differences in perspectives. Now, this villain does some unforgivable things but because of his backstory, I almost pitied him. These are the kinds of villains I enjoy reading about, which led to me enjoying his character.
The final aspect I want to touch on has to do with the quality of the reading. As I mentioned in my previous review for Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Heart of the Sun Warrior reads much the same. The novel itself isn’t a difficult read on its own, which means it has a good flow and pacing no matter the reading level of the reader. Regardless of reading level, the plot points in the novel feel evenly spaced. There’s always enough down time between important points in the story for the reader to relax a bit before the next big event. This especially helps in the heavier parts of the novel, as when the characters are able to breathe and take a break, it’s a great time for the reader to relax too. All in all, I had fun reading the book. It’s been a while since I’ve read a good book, and Heart of the Sun Warrior was great.
With a great combination of a strong plot, interesting characters, and a fun reading experience, Heart of the Sun Warrior is a great sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess and a great way to end the Celestial Kingdom duology. If you’ve read the first novel, then I highly recommend reading the sequel. If you haven’t read the first novel and somehow stumbled onto this review, go read that first novel and then come back. If you’re uncertain about the first novel, I also have a review on that book that you can read here.