Book Review: Songs of Insurrection (The Dragon Songs Saga #1) by J.C. Kang
This Asian-inspired epic fantasy was an excellent read. I was hooked by the prologue! A dragon trapped in the body of a human, thought to have been lulled to sleep by magical music – and I was like “give me more!!!” I have the feeling he’ll be a BIG part of the story in later books (this is book one of four).
This first book sets the scene with Princess Kaiya, the youngest child and only daughter of the Emperor struggling between following her dream as a musician and doing her royal duty as a political tool in a marriage organised by her father.
Kaiya is determined to learn the Dragon Songs, the legendary music that was thought to have lulled the dragon many years before. When a mysterious, and handsome, foreign prince comes calling for aid for his war-ravaged country, Kaiya is sent to greet him as a fob off. But he’s also interested in the Dragon Songs and she soon finds herself on an adventure to find the instrument and revive the music. Music that also has the power to stop wars and fend off attackers – when performed by the right person.
Interweaved with this story is that of a rebellion brewing in the north. And we follow the pov characters of Jie, a half-elf spy, and her spy colleague Tian, a childhood friend of Princess Kaiya, but since banished from the palace. Jie and Tian are on the tail of illegal shipments of firepowder and unravelling a plot that threatens the Emperor and his empire.
When Kaiya is offered as a bride to appease the rebellion leader, Tian, Jie and the princess’ stories collide with an epic battle. Kaiya is a hugely likeable character. She is fearless, yet also mindful of her royal position. She’s kind but can be forceful when necessary. She considers all those around her and, although written off as a woman, she is clever and bold, willing to put herself at risk to save others.
It soon becomes clear that the plot – thought solved – is just a teeny part of a much bigger scheming and I can’t wait to read the next book to find out what happens next! I loved the evocative descriptions of the sounds the music made and the Asian flavour, with place names, ceremonies and descriptions. The action and fight scenes were vivid and just long enough to move the plot along but not get boring. Highly entertaining.
My rating: 5/5
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>> The first two books in my grimdark epic fantasy trilogy In the Heart of the Mountains are out now. Book three is COMING SOON! Melokai (#1) is available at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play Books and Barnes & Noble. Violya (#2) is available at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play Books and Barnes & Noble. Read more about my books here. <<
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