Wednesday 24 April 2024

Book Review: Sound the Gong by Joan He (Historical Fantasy)

Sound the Gong (Kingdom of Three #2)
Joan He
Text Publishing
30 April 2024
eBook - PDF
Historical Fantasy
ARC via NetGalley

All her life, Zephyr has tried to rise above her humble origins as a no-name orphan. Now she is a god in a warrior's body, and she has never felt more powerless. Her lordess, Xin Ren, holds the Westlands, but her position is tenuous. In the north, the empress remains under Miasma's thumb. In the south, the alliance with Cicada is in pieces.

Fate also seems to have a different winner in mind for the three kingdoms, but Zephyr has no intentions of respecting it. She will pay any price to see Ren succeed-and she will make her enemies pay, especially one dark-haired, dark-eyed Crow. What she'll do when she finds out the truth-that he worked for the South all along...


It took me a few chapters to get back into the story with Sound the Gong and remind myself where things had left off in book one. Nonetheless, once I was back on track, it was enjoyable. The relationship between Zephyr and Crow remained the most compelling aspect; I was less fussed about the power struggles between the kingdoms. That meant I was more engaged in certain moments than others, but overall this was still a worthwhile and satisfying conclusion to the tale, with good pacing throughout and easy-reading prose. I am giving it four stars. For new readers, you will need to have read the first book before picking up this one or the story will be too confusing to follow. Recommended for fans of historical fantasy.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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