Today I am happy to be hosting a stop for the Storytellers on Tour Book Blitz for Songs of Insurrection by J.C. Kang. There is a giveaway at the end of the post where you can win yourself a paperback copy of Thorn of the Night Blossoms by JC Kang, and there is also a launch promotion for Songs of Insurrection at the moment. Anyone who orders Songs of Insurrection at the special launch price of $2.99 from March 12th through March 20th is eligible to receive a 6×9 double-sided cardstock print of the cover art of books one and two in The Dragon Songs Saga series! Get all the details here: https://jckang.dragonstonepress.us/2021/01/25/new-songs-of-insurrection-pre-order-gifts/
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review, all views are my own.’*
Only the lost magic of Dragon Songs can save the world. Only an awkward girl with the perfect voice can rediscover it.
The Dragon Singers of old summoned typhoons and routed armies, liberating mankind from the orcs before fading into legend. Now, with the world again facing a new cataclysm, the power of music stirs in Kaiya, a naïve misfit with the perfect voice.
Without a master to guide her, she must rely on Hardeep, a disgraced foreign paladin, to help awaken her latent magic. His motives might not be entirely noble. When he leads her to the fabled Dragon Scale Lute, which only a Dragon Singer can wield, it is up to Black Lotus Clan to intervene.
Because the instrument’s fell power can save the world…
Or destroy it.
J.C. Kang is an author that I’ve been aware of for a while, so I leapt at the chance to pick up this one, and I got to experience it both in writing as an audiobook and I enjoyed the narration, although I found myself making more progress with the book as it was easier for me to lose myself in the world. Songs of Insurrection was an interesting read, and very much fed into my current desire for books that have that Dungeons & Dragons flavour in the mix, even when it’s as subtle as it was here, more like a homage woven into the background, with the way the characters work to hone key skills, and the secondary paths and quests that surround the main storyline.
However, where this book truly shines is the worldbuilding. Kang has built up a fantastic world that has breadth and depth, with so many little details and nuances that it is wonderfully easy to slip into this world while feeling as though you are discovering it with each turn of the page. I particularly liked the pairing of fantastical elements, with a real-world influenced setting, with Asian history and culture forming a rich backdrop, that is enriched by the different cultures around it. This is a beautiful world, and Kang gives us moments to just appreciate the world, while also leaving us with the feeling that there is more to learn and explore. We’re not just given the beauty though, because there are clashes between individuals, between cultures, and the characters and the relationships that they form, and the conflicts, all build further into that world, and there are times when it is messy, or dark, and it just adds that extra dimension to the worldbuilding.
The plot was well-written and relentless, and it is one of those that once it gets going pulls you along like a leaf in a stream, and as with the world, there was a lot of interconnectivity. There were consequences to choices and conflict, that went beyond the immediate impact, which was something I really enjoyed.
Where I did find the book faltered a little was with the characters. Firstly, there are quite a few to keep track of, which in addition to the richness of the worldbuilding can be a little overwhelming. I also found that while the characters for the most part had the same nuance as the world and plot, I never felt a particular connection with them – especially with the female characters – and it was the world and the plot that carried me through, and there were a few places where it was the world keeping me anchored in the story. However, the relationships that develop, and the human conflicts were believable and well-written, and this is the first book in the series so there is time for that to change and develop, and this book has done a fantastic job of establishing the world.
I want to spend more time in this fantastic world that Kang has created, and I will be checking out the rest of the series.
About the Author:
JC Kang’s unhealthy obsession with Fantasy and Sci-Fi began at an early age when his brother introduced him to The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Trek, and Star Wars. As an adult, he combines his geek roots with his professional experiences as a Chinese Medicine doctor, martial arts instructor, and technical writer to pen epic fantasy stories.
Prize: Thorn of the Night Blossoms by JC Kang – One (1) paperback
Starts: March 12th, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: March 15th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
You can enter here:a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.