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The Warrior Moon

(Ascendant #3)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  324 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The Warrior Moon, the sequel to The Phoenix Empress and striking conclusion to K Arsenault Rivera's wildly buzzed about epic fantasy, which began with The Tiger's Daughter

Barsalayaa Shefali, famed Qorin adventurer, and the spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, have survived fights with demon armies, garnered infamy, and ruled an empire. Raised together since birth, th
Kindle Edition, 656 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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tw: gore; body horror

I would have liked this just as much as book one if it was a little shorter. This book adds in additional perspectives that we didn't get in the first two books, and that bogs it down a bit. For a story that revolves around a w/w romance at the core, I care about those characters more than other side characters. This did finally add in so much more fantasy that was teased in the first book, with more talk of gods, myths, etc. Due to its length and meandering, I did get bored
May 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
*June 26, 2019*
656 pages. Guess I'm buying the audiobook as well so I won't get bored out of my mind reading flowery prose describing something that can be summed up in one short sentence. Jesus, take the wheel.


*May 19th, 2019*
You're probably wondering why I decided to add this to my TBR considering I despised the two other books in this trilogy.

Well, I put in the time and effort to finish The Tiger's Daughter and The Phoenix Empress and I sure as hell want to finish the last book. This will be
Trey Weller
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See, I enjoyed The Tiger's Daughter and The Phoenix Empress quite a bit when I read them last year. Both of them feature lovely prose and a story that we haven't seen a gazillion times before told in a unique way. I grew to really like spending time with Shizuka and Shefali, and found myself rooting for the two of them. But I recognized, with all their storytelling and letter writing, that in many ways they were the poetic prelude to The Warrior Moon, this 650 page beast of a book. If this book ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Two years ago, I read the first book, The Tiger's Daughter, and it stole my heart and ran away with it. The writing rendered my breathless and I was completely thunderstruck by it, by the story, by the characters, by the worldbuilding, by the narrative -- it was an epic fantasy like no other I could think of, a sweeping fantasy of powerful women, rising goddesses and true love made legendary. And what a fresh of breath air, for an epic fantasy set in cultures inspired by Asian culture and histor ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lgbtq
*cries for eight days, weeks, months, years, centuries*
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story worth reading; a satisfying ending to the adventures of Barsalai Moon & Shizuka Sun. All the loose ends were tied and I wasn't surprised to see a character return from the first book. I enjoyed the story because the words on the pages allowed me to feel the hardships of living on the Steppes, the pomp of palace life and the confinement of a city. I'm not sure some of the profanity used was available during this time period but it's not my book. The fact that another body of work ...more
Kate De Oude
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A story that pulls you in with a dense fantastical narrative where the author places faith in the reader to remember everything from honourifics to proper etiquette to moments that occurred two books ago. But if you can dedicate yourself to it, The Warrior Moon is a story like no other. All I ask now is that Rivera please tell us what happened to Shefali in the eight years since the end of The Tiger’s Daughter. Please. just a spin-off novel, I have to know.
Nikki Jeske
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magical. Intense. Emotional. Overwhelmingly spiritual. The best of the series so far. I couldn't put it down & even now I want to keep reading. The next book can't come soon enough. ...more
Lisa (Rover Reads)
I lack the words to share just how much I love this trilogy.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another stunning Asian-inspired fantasy in the Ascendant series!

I love everything about this series - the fully-realized Asian fantasy setting (I'm a sucker for linguisics, and there is an amazing system of honorifics used with personal names), LGBTQ characters (including the protagonists), and thrilling stories with characters I actually care about. This one has even more twists and heart-wrenching reversals of fortune than the prior two books, and I loved it even when it broke my heart! I high
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Completely gorgeous and epic

I love this series! I get caught up in it whenever I pick it up, and it stays with me for a long time afterwards. Gorgeous!
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the strongest of the trilogy.

One scene midway through the book really exposes a critical flaw in the entire trilogy: (view spoiler). The flaw here: this is about the only scene I can name where the protagonists succeed through good thinking, planning, and action. Basically everything else that happens in this series, either the bad guys do it because of thinking, planning, and
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21st-century, fantasy
I am so confused about my relationship with these books. On the one hand, the premise and world building and language delights me. On the other hand, I am always just...meandering though them and so rarely pulled along. I read a chapter and put it down and then come back and keep going. But also I keep reading them because I find the language in particular so compelling.
I wish I had a better sense of what it was that worked and didn't for me from them, but I'm so glad I read them.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
This book made me more sad than I thought, I wasn't ready for that many losses over the book, I thought that there would be at least more scenes with Baoyi with her aunts, as much as I'm disappointed with Baoyi's anger, I kind of understand her resentment . Otgar, Alshara and Baoyi are easily my favorite characters from the books and I'm glad I've got to know them. ...more
Why couldn't I get into this? I really liked the 1st book; 2nd had a slow start/middle, but I liked it too. Like it was too abstract, less tangibly real & relatable. ...more
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweeping and epic conclusion to a trilogy that is poetic as it is brutal, as beautiful as it is heart-breaking.

Our heroines set out on their final journey to defeat the creature who has infected their lands and their peoples for generations, stealing hearts and lives for his own twisted ideals.
Shizuka, our Peacock Princess, our Phoenix Empress and Dog Ear general, who dealt with the darkest of her inner demons during book two of this trilogy, now must face her bone-deep fears as well as rea
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Ugh I’m so sad! This book was just meh for me. Honestly, this book was an oxymoron. It was too long and too short.

It was too long, because the author elaborated on unnecessary things, in my opinion. Yes, character development is important, as is seeing the characters’ internal struggles. However, there was too much about banal items that we didn’t need to know.

On the other part, the book was too short. I’ve said in my previous review of book 2, it has a lot of plot holes. One of the main charac
Grace Maliska
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
best in the series of a favorite series

The full Ascendant series by K Arsenault Rivera beautifully balances unforgettable love with magic, mystery, social critique, and political intrigue. This lesbian feminist series leaves a lasting impact with unforgettable characters developed through an expertly written perspective-switching style. Spanning the silver steppes of the nomadic horse clans to the opulent palaces of the Empire's capitol, the characters navigate cultures while deconstructing hist
Beautiful. So beautiful, and satisfying, and epic, and graceful.

And did I mention beautiful? Because it really is, not just elegant in its phrasing, but with every phrase carrying meaning that gives a beauty to the overall construction of every paragraph, every scene, every chapter. I commented to my husband in the middle of reading this that Rivera could have a chapter that was just one of her main characters in the bath and it would be beautiful, and fraught, and significant, and developed, an
Adam Maloney
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have I said before how much I love this series? Because I love this series.

With an epic clash of all too human gods, K. Arsenault Rivera brings her Ascendant trilogy to a close in the gorgeous novel THE WARRIOR MOON. In this book she continues her streak of writing absolutely heartbreaking tales about love, failure, and loss that still somehow shimmer with hope beneath an inky surface

I really don't want to say anything further for fear of spoiling something. Just go - go now - and pick up copies
Lauren Dunn
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-ma
Much better than the second one. The story happened chronologically! I love the characters in this world, the plot was interesting (though it did drag in some places), and there was, in my opinion, the perfect amount of wrap up after, you know, the big thing at the end of the book happened. That last bit seems like such a small thing, but I've read so many books where the wrap up is either way too short, focuses only/primarily on the MC, and/or reeks of "and nobody ever had problems again, the e ...more
Susan Holmstrom
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t cry easy. It’s something I pride myself on. That said, this book had me sobbing on an airplane. It was the perfect culmination of the series, every plot fulfilled, every question answered, every character on their own path. This series wrecked me. Lesbian warrior queens who love each other fiercely and save the frickin world in the process. There’s nothing in this book not to love. These books are so special and unlike anything else I’ve read before. As a queer person, seeing this kind o ...more
Kylie Q. Rada
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know whether I'd give this book a 5 ⭐s if I had read it at a different time, as I am not a multiverse traveler. But in this moment, in this universe, I read it during the pandemic of 2020, and it was just what I needed. K Arsenault Rivera's writing is nothing short of *chef's kiss*. And I stan Shizuka and Shefali. Like, YA paranormal fantasy OTP level stan. Also REDACTED?!?!?!?!? How DARE she?????????? (A character had a thing happen and it HURT ME.) ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really had high hopes for this book but, it was so needlessly long. Don’t get me wrong I love a 1000 page tome but this thing just dragged. Cut about 200 pages of useless side characters chatter and it would have flowed allot better.
Julie Johnson
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great addition I know there is another book coming out but this feels like the end of a trilogy
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable. Good ending to the series. Tho was a tad long- about halfway through I almost gave up. Glad I stuck with it tho.
The Phoenix.
At Last.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great conclusion to this trilogy, that really pays off all the troubles the characters have been put through previously
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Puerto Rico born and New York raised, K is a lifelong fan of all things nerdy. She drew on her love of tabletop gaming for her debut novel, THE TIGER'S DAUGHTER. An out and proud queer, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner. ...more

Other books in the series

Ascendant (4 books)
  • The Tiger's Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency, #1)
  • The Phoenix Empress (Their Bright Ascendency, #2)
  • The Ascendant Trilogy: The Tiger's Daughter, The Phoenix Empress, The Warrior Moon

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