Songs of Insurrection (Daughter of the Dragon Throne #1)
by J.C Kang
Princess Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon.
Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see her as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her voice.
Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm.
When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan– Kaiya’s childhood friend Tian and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)– discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.
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*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *
Rating: 4 stars
Songs of Insurrection is the first novel in the Daughter of the Dragon Throne series. Its main protagonist, Princess Kaiya, is the somewhat naïve daughter of the Emperor who wants to do more for her country than simply marry an arranged suitor as is expected of her. When she meets a foreign visitor to the palace, Prince Hardeep, he convinces Kaiya that she could use her gift of music to help her nation and together they set off in search of the dragon scale lute in the hopes that Kaiya alone can harness its power.
I loved rich blend of Chinese art and culture, together with a heroine who clearly finds her feet and gets stronger in character as the story progresses. The author took great care in their world-building which quickly immerses the reader with imaginative description and well-crafted dialogue. The political aspect was very engaging and it would be easy to pity Princess Kaiya’s position, as she herself might, but instead she uses it to her advantage when trying to do her best for her country.
The only thing I would say, which is why I couldn’t give it a full five stars, was that there were a lot of characters and I found myself somewhat confused in places at the switching viewpoints and trying to sort out who everyone was and where their allegiances lay.
However, this aside, Songs of Insurrection is a very well-written and enjoyable fantasy and I would love to read book 2 in the series.