Title: The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng
Series: Chronicles of the Bitch Queen, #3
Author: K.S. Villoso
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publishing Date: May 4th 2021
Age Category & Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Synopsis: The stunning finale to the Chronicles of the Bitch Queen trilogy where the queen of a divided land must unite her people against the enemies who threaten to tear her country apart. K. S. Villoso is a “powerful new voice in fantasy.” (Kameron Hurley)
Queen Talyien is finally home, but dangers she never imagined await her in the shadowed halls of her father’s castle.
War is on the horizon. Her son has been stolen from her, her warlords despise her, and across the sea, a cursed prince threatens her nation with invasion in order to win her hand.
Worse yet, her father’s ancient secrets are dangerous enough to bring Jin Sayeng to ruin. Dark magic tears rifts in the sky, preparing to rain down madness, chaos, and the possibility of setting her nation aflame.
Bearing the brunt of the past and uncertain about her future, Talyien will need to decide between fleeing her shadows or embracing them before the whole world becomes an inferno.
**Thank you so much to Shealea @ Caffeine Book Tours and Orbit Books for providing me a copy. This, by any means did not affect nor influence my review.**
T/CW: death, violence, animal cruelty, misogyny, rape (off screen), emotional abuse, execution, gore
WRITING, CHARACTERS, SETTING
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng continues the journey of Queen Talyien and her fight to keep herself, her loved ones—especially her son, alive and safe, and to keep her throne as the queen and to protect her people from the enemies. It is the last installment in The Bitch Queen series. It is written on Talyien’s point of view and is set firstly on Oren-Yaro’s soil before going to other locations allowing us to explore this world more the way we did on the previous installments.
My relationship with Talyien, as a reader and a character, reminds me of my relationships with some people in real life. It can be complex, but you know it is real. This is how I know Talyien’s character is far from many fictional characters out there. She is complex and just so human. I started this series wanting to really like her but was not really able to. Then as the series progresses, I have learned to accept her for what she is- a human like me with many flaws. Like a friend who will continue to make me worry because of their actions and decisions at times, but I will continue to support and love.
I love her character development. Such an imperfect but a strong woman who knows where her heart and what her priority is—the people. She embraces her humanity, the way she can repeatedly make mistakes, that there are many truths that can be hard to swallow about a person, that these applies to all of us, this book acknowledges it. And it continues to examine not just the complexity of humans as individuals but the complexity of our relationships with one another.
It is filled with a mix of characters I love, I support, I do not like, I am suspicious of, I am mad at, and more. As well as exciting and intense moments. It is both a character-driven and plot-driven story which I really loved. It definitely left me with no chance to be bored.
FAMILY, POLITICS, & MORE
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng tackles many themes and asks questions including what does it mean to be a leader and to be the one being led? to be someone’s parent and to be someone’s child? to acknowledge your mistakes and the harm that you have caused? To change? To be a family? to love? How can people, though no longer here, leave their prints on us and affect our lives as if they never left at all? These and many more. It keeps you thinking and asking your own self.
Like the previous installments, it also heavily talks about politics. It is one of my favorite aspects of this series, but also one that really causes me stress. Some of it reminds me of the Philippine politics. Though we do not have mad dragons, many people in power act like monsters who destroy the livelihood and take away the lives of many people from the countryside especially the farmers who feed this nation, and just deliberately cause the suffering of many in this nation in general for their personal gains.
From Talyien’s values, to the emphasis on the farmers’ importance to their nation, to some characters’ names, even to the view of the rice terraces from the window of a study room, there are many things, including subtle ones, that felt familiar to me as a Filipino. And that one of the reasons why this series feel different from many and feels so special for me.
This book has really made me look back to how far Talyien has come and makes me feel proud. The end was very satisfying. I almost cannot believe that this is the last installment. I will definitely miss it.
Again, as I have said in my review of The Ikessar Falcon, I really appreciate the recap. It definitely helped a lot in making me remember the thoughts and feelings I had while reading the previous installment.
I am also not really a big fan of long books (in my standard), but I enjoyed every minute while reading and did not feel like it was dragging no matter how long it is.
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng is such a powerful and satisfying end to The Bitch Queen series, just as expected. It did not disappoint. It is filled with powerful and complex characters and asks difficult yet important questions. I highly recommend, especially if you are looking for a fantasy that features strong female characters, politics and talks about our humanity.
K.S. Villoso was born in a dank hospital on an afternoon in Albay, Philippines, and things have generally been okay since then. After spending most of her childhood in a slum area in Taguig (where she dodged death-defying traffic, ate questionable food, and fell into open-pit sewers more often than one ought to), she and her family immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where they spent the better part of two decades trying to chase the North American Dream. She is now living amidst the forest and mountains with her family, children, and dogs in Anmore, BC.
I am a part of the #BleedFortheDragonthrone / #SandugoSaBayan tour organized by Caffeine Book Tours! Today is the last day of the tour. If you have missed it, and to check out the other tour contents, please click the banner for the tour schedule. And do not forget to enter the giveaway below!
Win The Literary Culture‘s Revenge of the Bitch Queen collection (inclusive of exclusive tapestry, book sleeve, and merchandise inspired by the series)! There will be 2 winners, 1 from the Philippines and 1 international-based. Click the link below to enter!