Books and Bookish
Songs of Insurrection Book Tour
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
I am lucky to be chosen as one of the participants to review and promote J.C. Kang's Songs of Insurrection, as part of the book tour launched and organized by Caffeine Book Tours, whom I am grateful for the opportunity of granting me complimentary access to the e-book. There's nothing more exciting than kicking off my first tour experience by sharing my honest thoughts on the book and treating its gorgeous cover with a sprinkle of creativity.
Songs of Insurrection is a fantasy-filled novel set in a non-western magical world incorporated with real-world elements to keep the reader hooked to its narrative. J.C. Kang's vision for a world he built shines through the nuances of his writing and the layers he expertly weaved with adult themes that address racism, racial microaggression, misogyny, and torture, all the while making the narrative appear complex. The combination of how the story goes and how it was told is surprisingly what stood out to me the most. With that said, Kang is an adept craftsman at layering out a fictional world without disposing necessary plot elements.
Other notable points worth giving this book a shot are the characters' perspectives that drive the plot forward. It is impressive that, despite the differences among the main characters, Kang manages to complement and patch these perspectives to build a dynamic among them. However, given that this is the first book in the series, the reader must provide room for development and growth for its characters, which I believe will be more evident as the story progresses in the sequels.
If you're an Asian who's looking for visibility and representation in the fantasy genre, where world-building is well-crafted and characters are as engaging and dynamic as the plot, I recommend Songs of Insurrection to your TBR list.
More information on the book and author are provided below.
Title: Songs of Insurrection
Author: JC Kang
Cover artist: Binh Hai
Publication date: 02 March 2016
Age group: Adult
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.
Trigger and Content Warnings
Racism and racial microaggressions
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.
He currently lives in New England, where he works remotely for a social justice theater company.