Book review: Dances of deception

After a reading break that was longer than intended, I returned to JC Kang’s Dragon Songs series, with the third book. Despite being quite a long read, I managed to read the book in a week.

The second book seemed a lot like an end to one part of the story, with the dragon Avarax banished… again.

Thus, it was quite likely the plot would go back to the increasingly unstable situation the world’s nations had found themselves in. Kayia had set out on a diplomatic journey in hopes of negotiating the extradiction of the traitor who influenced much of the first book.

And before she can even try, things are going downhill. As if the plots threating her homeland weren’t enough, the Bovyans are nustering in force with a carefully-laid plan to put their enemies out of the picture one-by-one, and she gets a first-hand experience.

This is followed by what was the most-gripping part of the story for me, as the city is thrown into chaos and violence and Kayia is forced to abandon her plans – and the city, which gets increasing difficult as the Bovyan leader has her own plans for her (and they’re nothing pleasant).

What follows turns from politics-heavy story it was in the first two books into a fantasy adventure as Kayia, TIan, and a small group of Kayia’s guards try to outrun the Bovyans in hopes of getting home on their own, as the ship they took couldn’t help them out of the town when it descended into chaos. With enemies all around them, they also make a few friends along the way, though only some of those meetings turn into something long-lasting.

Eventually, Kayia’s refuge in the mountains comes to an abrupt end as the enemies catch up with them, which sends the book on a fast-paced finale with not-so-small amount of risk taken by most characters, and sacrifices made.


Read date: 17.-23.1.2021
Published: 30.8.2016 as True Colors of Betrayal, republished 7.12.2017 under the current name.
Goodreads/Amazon rating: 4,30/??? (note: the book is currently de-listed on Amazon as another re-edition is in progress for the series)
My rating: 85%
Length: 724 pages (Kindle edition)
My highlights


A slight disadvantage is the almost exclusive focus on Kayia – and while this doesn’t seem as a bad thing, there are a few things that could be better answered with just a few short scenes from different points of view (I can’t say what those issues are without spoilers). Another issue is that, due to the re-edition, I won’t be able to read the final book until May (it’ll be on sale again on twenty-somethingth April).

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