Review with spoiler alert: Symphony of Fates by JC Kang

Symphony of Fates by JC Kang

Jen reviews Symphony of Fates, the fourth book in JC Kang‘s Fantasy series, The Dragon Songs Saga.

Reviews of previous books in the series: Songs of Insurrection, Orchestra of Treacheries, Dances of Deception

Thank you to JC Kang once again for the ecopy and your incredible patience in my slow turnaround time. I think waiting 18 months calls for a round of applause.

About the Book
Series:The Dragon Songs Saga #4
Genre: Fantasy/Asian inspired
Publisher:Self-Published
Date of Publishing:December 1, 2016
Trigger Warnings:violence/death/war crimes/rape(offscreen/implied)
Page count:489
Book Blurb
Symphony of Fates by JC Kang

Kaiya escapes her ordeal at the hands of the Teleri Emperor, only to return to a homeland beset by enemies on all sides, and crumbling from within.

As a teenager, she quelled a rebellion with the Dragon Scale Lute. As a young adult, she vanquished a dragon with the power of her voice.

Now, robbed of her magic by grief, Kaiya must navigate a web of court intrigue to save the realm before it falls. Only she can lay claim to the Dragon Throne on behalf of her unborn sons—whether the father is the lover who perished rescuing her, or the hated enemy who killed him.

In the final story in Kaiya’s saga, she must rally a nation, repel invaders, and prove to the world why her family alone holds the Mandate of Heaven

Quote of the Book
Quote Background


She looked at Lord Liu’s cushioned chair. Whoever sat there in these trying times had to contend with bickering lords, corrupt officials, and perhaps an assassin’s knife. Only a fool would want the position. Yet right now, the realm needed her. “I proclaim myself Regent of Cathay.”

Song of the Book

My Own Hero by Andy Grammer

This probably would have worked better for book three and Avril’s song choice for this book, but I didn’t find them in the right order. lol

Review

These reviews get shorter and shorter with each book, as I try my best to avoid too many spoilers. That said this is a review for the fourth book, please be aware of possible spoilers for previous titles.

Symphony of Fates brings an action-packed conclusion to The Dragon Songs Saga as all players converge on Cathay in a mad scramble for power that will change their world.

The setting is stunning. The world is alive and vibrant, and like the previous installments of this series, Kang juggles a huge cast of characters, while bringing grand-scaled battles to life. I can’t say enough about the visuals in these stories and/or the skill in juggling several nations of people around while keeping the focus on just the important players.

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In Symphony of Fates, we no longer have that safe, untouchable feeling, that being a princess gave Kaia in the first couple of books. Now she feels fragile, with only herself to rely on as the world and people around her are full of treachery and her loved ones are lost to her.

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The cool thing about this series has been watching Kaia grow and change over the course of it. Starting with a gullible teenager, to her becoming a princess fully capable of ruling – she has come a long way from that young girl in the first couple of books. And the author has not gone easy on her (or anyone else in this story for that matter).

Each book has rounded out Kaia as a character a little bit at a time. Over the last few books her magic, helped her grow in various ways. Initially, the growth was social- gaining her confidence in herself, later it was politically – gaining a seat, and then it was power through her voice – not just magically, but as a leader who has earned respect through her decisions.

This time around, she doesn’t have that magic to back her up, thanks to the Tiger’s Eye which has blocked her emotions – allowing her to make decisions with a detachment that is needed to function on a day-to-day basis as she recovers from the trauma of her time with Geros, and the loss of her true love.

Because of that emotional detachment, her magic has become inaccessible- there is a certain amount of emotion required in calling forth her voice/music for it to work properly, and now, Kaia must learn to stand-up without the aid of her magic, and eventually she must learn to do the same without that crutch that is the Tiger’s Eye.

Kang doesn’t let anyone off easy. The journey was rough for these characters – the treacheries are close to home and the punishments swift.

There is no sugar-coating, or a fix of what came before for Kaia, after Geros, especially with the fallout of her pregnancy. The author could have chosen to lighten the blow in places but chose not to cheapen the trials of what she went through by giving her an easy out in the end.

I know all I have talked about is Kaia in this review and while I adored Jie and Tian, because they were a little more mature in the beginning, and their parts of the story were actiony – this has definitely been Kaia’s story and I really grew to love her by the end of the series, more than everyone else – even Jie, which I didn’t expect.

To sum it up: Symphony of Fates is a nicely wrapped up ending to this beautiful series with closure all around. I don’t think I have read another quite like it, or one so distinctly Chinese in its feel. The whole series has felt like watching a drama brought to life in my head, with the lovely scene settings, the magic, and the behind-the-scenes political intrigue.

Our Judgement
Let Their Deeds Be Noted - 4 Crowns

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