the dragon of jin-sayeng – k.s. villoso | blog tour + arc review + giveaway

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso


Series: Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #3
Published May 4th 2021 by Orbit
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Representation: Filipino author, Filipino characters

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

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.

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours for choosing me as one of the participants in the #BleedForTheDragonthrone and #SandugoSaBayan tour. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you’re interested in the other tour stops, check out the schedule!

☾☾☾☾☾☾

trigger and content warnings:
  • Ableistic language (not direct, relayed from Yeshin), Death, Cutting of Limbs, Violence Against Children, Threatening Child, Described Blood, Animal Cruelty, Misogyny, Rape (off screen), Emotional Abuse, Lifechanging Injury, Execution, Torture, Mutilation of Corpses, Gore, Probably decapitation

“What have you done?”
“What must be done.”

Now that Queen Talyien is back, many memories of her father started to resurface. It spanned from being a loving, caring father to someone who Tali cannot imagine would have sold her out to a foreign prince. As she uncovered the extensiveness of Warlord Yeshin’s plans, she’s stuck with forging her own path and continuing down the one that her father has sent her out for.

Tali’s filled with flaws which made her so real. Her fear of being her father’s daughter, of being queen, of being a mother had suffocated her for ages. Tali’s growth is phenomenal. She’s such a complicated person who holds the title of a queen but cannot use it.

Talyien’s world is in shambles. Thanh needs to be found and his DNA checked, Jin-Sayeng’s internal politics is in disarray, magic that caused madness in dragons starts to affect people, and a vile prince adamant about marrying Tali. Everyone is vying for power, power, and more power. Moments of respite are few and far between. Violence and death and blood are in abundance.

For most of the book, Jin-Sayeng is in war. As she desperately finds her missing son, Tali hopes to rally people who still believed in her rule but all she got were betrayals and greed. She slaughtered people and seen others get slaughtered. Despite everything, Queen Talyien tries her very best. Her love for her people, her country, and her son is palpable.

Mistakes are like spilled wine. Like shed tears. You can revisit the circumstances as much as you want, but there is no returning them to the vessel, no erasing the pain. 

The legacy of her father continues to weigh down on Talyien. Every warlord and every citizen has their own expectations of how Talyien should rule and what her next actions should be. Revelations upon revelations about Yeshin’s long-term schemes continued to stun Tali silent and render her helpless. Sins of the previous generations are now passed on to their children. Not only does Tali have to carry that burden, but the rest did too.

Feelings between Khine and Talyien are more drawn out and obvious in The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng. I’m so glad that they finally got that little small window of happiness before she went back to the violence. The only man who deserves everything is Khine who consistently supported Talyien.

While he loves her, Khine recognized the burden on her shoulders. Though he loves her, Khine understood that whatever they feel for one another cannot truly be acted upon. Talyien has her responsibilities as queen and he wouldn’t stop her from doing what needs to be done. His selflessness and awareness of the situation make Khine the best.

I came to terms with my feelings towards Rai. He isn’t a bad person but was often misguided in his opinions and swayed by his surroundings. The things that he put Tali through in The Wolf of Oren-Yaro and The Ikessar Falcon are still eye-roll-worthy and unforgivable but he has definitely become a better character. I liked that Tali and Rai had multiple conversations about their past and their son, Thanh.

“Leave the past to rot where it belongs,” he said. “It is time for you to make new ground. Be the queen you could be. Show them what you are worth.”

I didn’t know what to expect from The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng except that I needed to be mentally prepared for war and death. I cried during the “Chronicles of the Bitch Queen” chapter and then continued to be teary-eyed until the very end. K.S. Villoso made me feel something for a dragon that I barely just met.

K.S. Villoso concluded the Chronicles of the Bitch Queen trilogy beautifully. For the amount of mess the characters are in, everybody got their own ending and every problem was wrapped up nicely. A skillful storyteller, K.S. Villoso managed to balance character developments and world-building. Tali got to confront the truth of her father’s actions, wrote her stories with her hands, and still had so much room for love in her heart. I’m in awe of this brilliant trilogy. What an epic journey.

☾☾☾☾☾☾

author information

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

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giveaway

Prize: The Literary Culture‘s Revenge of the Bitch Queen collection
– inclusive of: exclusive tapestry, book sleeve, and merchandise inspired by the series
Winners: 1 PH winner, 1 international-based winner
Giveaway link: http://tinyurl.com/bleedforthedragonthrone

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