After almost 4-month break, I finally got to the final book of J. C: Kang’s Dragon Songs series. Why the delay? Well that’s a story of its own.
I was reading the series at the end of 2020, and Kang decided to do re-publish the whole series, with extra scenes and covers updated to thematically match the newer side stories, somewhen during that time. And he took down the second editions of all the books just as I was finishing the third book – without me knowing, of course.
Why would he make the e-book unavailable for almost 4 months while the print versions remained on sale is something I’ll probably never understand, but it makes no sense whatsoever. This edition went on sale in late April, at which time I was reading another series, so it had to wait a couple days more.
I was slightly disappointed by another blooper as soon as I opened the book – no proper chapter formatting. And thus no estimates on chapter length, which are something I use a lot on e-books to decide whether to read a few more chapters or put it aside for a moment. I’d understand such a mistake for a newbie author, but in the THIRD edition of a successful series? That’s quite a failure in that regard.
With the technicalities, on to the story. Despite my long break, I got back to it easily – which alone is something, because I tend to forget details fast and my memory for names isn’t great either.
Geros, the main direct antagonist was someone I resumed hating pretty much as soon as he appeared on paper, and I say there’s nothing better than a villain you can truly hate. Same as many, he’s been a pawn in a clash of bigger fish, but many of the decisions that made him a villain were his and deliberate. The issue with him, and that was the case in the third book and before, was that his progress was way too easy, compared to the other characters. Sure, a great deal by being well-prepared, having people working ahead of him to make his way easy, but it still led to “okay, another easy way in for him” moments way more than it would be good.
Most of the other characters, good or bad, had some challenges to overcome – be it the collaborators, the traitors, or the protagonists. The main focus was on Kayia, Jie, Tian, and those around them, and everyone in the main trio had some major challenges to overcome that directly hindered them, which made the ending a bit more satisfying.
The finale brought almost all the important (and still alive) characters to one place, and the last ~30% led to revelation that wrapped up most of the story quite nicely. The ending was relatively satisfying and made sense, though it leaves things open for a potential continuation.
The book kept the same spirit, so to say, as the previous three books. As mentioned above, there were some technical issues, which I don’t factor into my rating – the 5% minus compared to the first three books is caused by the lack of challenge for Geros and some bits in the ending that didn’t seem completely clear on Jie’s part of the story.