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Fantasy Friday: Songs of Insurrection by J. C. Kang

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.

Amazon Link: Songs of Insurrection (The Dragon Songs Saga #1)

Author: J. C. Kang

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 3/5 stars

I’ve read other books in the Legend of Tivara world, so I recognized a lot of the characters and settings. This helped because it’s a very dense novel with tons of information, character names, political intrigue, and a multicultural society with multiple magic systems. I knew about the Black Lotus clan and their stealth martial arts techniques, which border on supernatural, and the elves were in another book as well. But it was my first introduction to the Dragon Songs which seem to use qi. Also, the Ayuri Paladin magic was yet another type. The fast plot doesn’t give a lot of time to absorb the information as it keeps flying out.

But if you like epic fantasy with politics and dense world-building, this book will give it to you in spades. Dragons! Orcs! Magic! Imperial courts! This is a sprawling world with multiple series and entry points to try it out. This one wasn’t my favorite, but I enjoyed the Black Lotus clan series and I think there might be other books that I appreciate, so I’m willing to keep trying them. J. C. Kang certainly writes with very vivid descriptions and a lot of historical knowledge that he adapts into his Asian-inspired fantasy novels. And of course, it’s always cool to see music-based magic. I hope there is more information about the dragon songs in future books.

I enjoyed the chance to see Jie again (still my favorite character) and I liked Kalya’s compassion, and Tian is endearing in his nerdy way. I was intrigued by the music-based magic but it wasn’t given much room to develop in the first book. Overall, it felt a little repetitive to be constantly dodging assassins and trying to figure out so many conspiracies. I’ll come back to this series when I can concentrate on all the details, and maybe take some notes.

Songs of Insurrection


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