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BLOG TOUR: The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

If you want to know my thoughts on the first and second book of the Chronicles of the Bitch Queen, click HERE and HERE.

 *I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour.

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #3)

Author: K.S. Villoso

Publisher: Orbit Books

Release Date: 4 May 2021

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Diversity Tag: own voices, authors of color (Filipino author), poc rep (Filipino characters)

Cover artist: Simon Goinard

Content/Trigger 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 (it’s Tali after all)


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.


* * *

Where one problem ended, another one begins.

Have I told you that Queen Talyien’s life is colorful? Yeah, now she’s ready to paint the town red with the heightened tension of revelations and emotions that is The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng. Now we’re back to her own land, finally thank you very much, and if you thought that everything’s going to be just fine now that she’s with her people....WHY?? Why would you think that?? Oren-yaro is teeming with Yeshin’s shadow and crawling with secrets that threatens to undo everything that Talyien thought to be true.

This is not an easy read (although easier in comparison to Ikessar Falcon hahah sorry, I do have that stressful gripe with Ikessar Falcon even though I liked it hahahaaha), but I can promise you that everything that goes into every scene is well thought of and essential to the story. Villoso never puts filler scenes just because she feels like it. 

Apart from that, you would really feel that everything that K.S. Villoso writes on paper has meaning and draws from the real world. It would grip you and hook you because it’s a mirror of the world we live in today – not just politically but also, and especially with the toxic familial expectations that have long-term repercussions on the world that they would leave behind for their daughters – especially when the shadow of a man he was still eclipses the person shaping her daughter today. AND DAMN!! The best plot twist to ever happen in Yeshin’s genius mind was his own daughter UGHHHH!!!! Send help, I’m hyperventilating again!!! SOO GOOD.

You know what, there are so many nuances that I would like to tell you... there are so many points but I just finished this literally lalast night and I'm a mess 😭 So with that, if you also wanted to have further and more intelligent discussion on this masterpiece, you could go to this review because omg, everything is ON POINT (my reviews are based on emotions, I'm not sorry 😂) and watch our favorite bookclub discuss on this channel, thank you.

- - -

My heart is a constricted mess the whole time I was reading The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng but I'm okay. Thankfully I came out of this conclusion satisfied and whole 🥺

One of the things I was afraid of diving into the third and final book of The Bitch Chronicles is that I would not be satisfied (Afraid I may be, but hesitation to pick this up was not in the cards for me bitches. I'm ALL IN). The world is bigger in Ikessar Falcon and I was wondering how the hell would this crazy mess wrap itself up in the most satisfying and best ending possible? Well, in my head there's none but bitch, in K.S. Villoso's brilliant mind, there fucking was! 

I ended the second book, The Ikessar Falcon, more frustrated than I was starting it and my initial expectation going into this final book was I would be more tired and frustrated but damn people, my EMOTIONS were all over the place!!! I'm- 

Momma Talyien, I'm--

(Just a side note: This book is the perfect mother's day book. Not the first one and not even the second, but THIS. Momma Tali, ever the Filipino representation of a mom, would take all chances if it meant having her son back safe and sound, her safety be damned. Talyien is a mother first, queen second.)

This is the best conclusion to ever grace the face of my kindle. The character arcs and the lack thereof, the character redemptions and the fucking lack thereof, the plot, the theme, the hunger for power, the corruption, the evil of the world, the conclusion, my baby (Khine🥺), the fucking audacity of men, and just EVERYTHING is worth going through Ikessar Falcon for just to get to this ending. I guess you could say I love The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng and this is my favorite among the three now, couldn't you? Yes, I agree. 

Now everything below is my emotions typing, okay? There would be minimal spoilers(promise super minimal lang), so if you haven't read the trilogy, continue at your own risk.



You know how Talyien grew up with a monster parent yet she never forced anything on her son? Yes, that's the answer! hahahha. lol, what am I saying?? She didn't become the parent her father was and I am crying because of this. I was actually crying at every scenes of Tali as a mother. She literally went through hell and back for her kid (I cried a lot during Tali's labor and then my hear never stopped feeling like it was breaking for the whole duration of the book)

Despite everything that falls on her shoulders as a royal, as a ruler, as a queen, she never once turned her back on her son as other mothers would do just to save her own ass. Queen Talyien is the true definition of what a mother should be ❤️


The ACIDITY, you asshole. 

How dare you made Talyien go through Books 1 and 2 as if you wore condoms while hshusdjxnnd-ing your mistress!!! AS IF YOU'RE A SAINT, MYGOD, RAYYEL!!

Okay, emotions aside, you know I never really liked Rayyel ever, I'm a Khine baby from start to finish. Rayyel's like a walking handsome fuckboy who's not dumb btw (he's actually intelligent, can you believe that??), but in reality, is just a stupid stupid boy?

I'm so angry at you Rayyel piece of trash!


For what it's worth, Yeshin is the true genius here.

I love that this book tackled that there is a wrong way of loving people, that even parents who are expected to give unconditional love have that capacity to love in a toxic and abusive way we thought wasn't possible. 


Arro was never a big character and there was a time when I questioned if he's real to Tali or not but damn, aside from my baby Khine, Arro is the truest of all the truths to Talyien🥺  Please, I'm crying again just remembering Arro as the true father to Talyien.....


Khine, the love of my life. You deserve the world. ❤️


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.

BLOG TOUR: Pillow Talk by Alyssa Cataluna

Monday, April 5, 2021

I am not very fond of reading poetry, and I've just divulged this information in my philmyth readathon tbr, but I have always enjoyed reading poems made by people that I may not know personally, but I know even on a surface level. This is, I guess, my very first review of a poetry book here on my blog so go easy on me.

Title: Pillow Talk
Author: Alyssa Cataluna
Published by: Self-Published
Published on: April 4, 2021
Format: E-book
Rating: 4.5 ✨ (5 stars on goodreads)


A collection of poems carefully picked to describe my teenage years while suffering from Bipolar II Disorder.
When I first made this booklet, I initially had a more pessimistic theme in mind. I had wanted it to be the anti-thesis of the "Love Conquers All" idea that had gotten popular in the mainstream.
But as I got older, I realized that it described the vicious cycle that I was stuck in. I noticed this pattern while I curated my poems for my booklet--my strongest poems were often written at my best or at my worst.
But it's never one or the other, it's a slow transition. Like I said, a cycle.
The poems in this booklet were a manifestation of my symptoms. It's not perfect, and it's a whirlwind of emotions but I hope you grow to appreciate the vulnerability like I did.

Trigger Warning: Depression, suicide ideation, and self-harm

* * *

It's not easy having people know your innermost feelings and desires and I admired Ysa for putting her thoughts down and sharing it to the world, which, I think is important now more than ever. Pieces like Pillow Talk could find someone who shares the same emotion and find solace in Alyssa's writing.

This poetry booklet is heart-wrenching and raw. It feels as if a friend is pouring her heart out to me with nothing but her mind, her world, herself.

PILLOW TALK noun (n)
Private conversations, endearments, or confidences exchanged in bed or intimate circumstances between spouses or lovers.

Now, one might mistake, from the title alone that this poetry book is a conversation of love, but it's more of a one sided conversation, a one person letting you know her thoughts, not to the person she is talking to, but to her notes, on her paper, only on her mind. 

One of my favorite poems in this collection is titled, AGAIN, because I feel like it's what every person falling in love feels like -- like they could do anything, be anything, and make something -- yet there's an overwhelming feeling of an ending looming...

As I went on to read this in one sitting, let me tell you how I felt, because that's what poems are for, right? For me this felt like a song that started mellow, trying to tell you who she is and baring to you how she is then you came and she came with her walls down and by this point the song picks up its pace along with my heart, which is now racing because her love is an overwhelming emotion and I can feel it. Now it's ending... it's ending and all her thoughts run free inside a cage she has no way of getting out, and then it ended. I really thought there was more and the abrupt end got me, like what? I thought there would be a few more pages. Well, I stared at the wall for a few more minutes after the fifth.

Lastly, this book is bared emotions and you'll feel like you're inside her heart and you'll be all her physical manifestations of what's happening inside her mind, so please heed the warnings that were thankfully included before the start.

Thank you, Ysa, for sharing your art and for sharing your heart. ♥️


Alyssa Cataluña, the author of PILLOW TALK, is a bookish content creator from Cebu, Philippines. She likes to illustrate portraits in her free time and aspires to be an Audiobook Narrator in the future. She also writes poetry, apparently.



Emman | | Emmzxiee_07
Elena | | TheQueenReads


Deej | | heyoitsdeej
Mouie | | a cup of mouie


Mark | | smarkth
Richard | | bibliophilicrichard


Veron | | muggleandhisbooks
Nae | | inkhaven


Joel | | descendantsofposeidonreads
Angela | | angelamarie.reads

BOOK REVIEW: Anina ng mga Alon by Eugene Y. Evasco

Friday, March 12, 2021

Nakita mo na ba ang mundo sa labas ng iyong mundong ginagalawan?

Ako, hindi pa gaano at hindi pa lahat, at kaya ako nagbabasa'y dahil sa pagkukulang ng aking mata na makita at malaman ang hinaing at problema ng mga taong wala sa bilog na aking ginagalawan.

Nang mabasa ko ang Anina ng mga Alon, lalong umigting ang aking paniniwala na sa pagbabasa, makikita mo ang mundo sa mata ng iba't ibang tao, at sa librong ito, nakita ko at nadama ang mundo sa mata ng mga Badjao — ang kanilang pamumuhay at ikinabubuhay, ang ganda ng kanilang kultura at paniniwala, at ang kanilang pagmamahal at pagrespeto sa karagatan na nagbibigay ng kanilang mga pangangailangan.

Title: Anina ng mga Alon
Author: Eugene Y. Evasco
Published by: Adarna House Inc. (2nd Edition)
Published On: 2014
Format: Paperback, 114 pages (won from a giveaway by Kat)
Rating: 4.75 ✨(5 on goodreads)


Isang Badjao si Anina, lumaki sa piling ng mga alon. Kabisado niya ang mga awit at damdamin nito tulad ng isang kaibigan. Bilang kabataan, nasa edad siya ng paghahanap ng kaniyang sarili sa komplikadong mundong kaniyang ginagalawan. Ngunit paano nga ba ang maging katutubo at mahuli sa gitna ng kahirapan at karahasan?

Samahan si Anina sa kaniyang pangangarap, paglalakbay, at pagkamulat sa katotohanang kahabi ng kaniyang buhay bilang Badjao. Sa kuwento ni Anina, makikilala rin ang isang mayamang kultura ng mga katutubong namumuhay sa karagatan at hindi pa ganap na nauunawaan ng karamihan. (From Goodreads)

*   *   *
I will give you an everyday scenario as I commute daily to and from work and an actual same scenario from when I was studying in Manila for college.

For a 10-30 minute ride in a jeepney along the major roads of Manila and Cavite:

  • One kid will give you ang pao with letter asking for a few coins from your pocket for he is hungry.
  • One father complete with papers and all will ask you to give alms for his son is sick in the hospital
  • One mother with a baby would give out her hand asking you for money or food for the baby is hungry.

One of them is a Badjao whom we rarely, if not at all, interact with. Maybe you gave her a few of your coins or maybe you didn't, but at some point in your life, here is what you've heard about them: THEY CAME HERE IN THE CITY TO SEEK A BETTER LIFE THAN THE LIFE THEY HAD BACK HOME.

Partly true, but after reading Anina ng mga Alon, I am ANGRY.
Manila may be the place of opportunities and dreams, but not everyone who dreams, dreams of a life in the city. Mostly, people were driven out of their homes and were forced to settle in the place of smoke and dirty streets — far from the rich soil they were uprooted from or rather, from the rich ocean they were fished out of.

As many of you already know, I don't read much Filipino books but am always on the look out for gems to read, and this book just hit the nail on the head with the story laced with the gods the Badjao prays to, the rituals they engage in, the songs of the sea, and not only with the story itself, this is the writing style I am most looking forward to reading in Filipino-written works. It is poetic and lyrical without overdoing it so the message just came across loudly and clearly. The imagery is so rich and vibrant that I can feel the cool breeze of salty air on my skin and the song of the waves lulling me and taking me to a place I've never been.

This is a very emotional book, one that would rip your heart bit by bit but thankfully, it ended with an open but hopeful note. I am also hoping that more people would read this short story so that more of us city-dwellers would understand the plight of the indigenous and celebrate the rich culture of the minority. 

Anina is a story of finding oneself amidst the noise of the world.
Anina is a story of finding out what you want, going for it........ hoping for a change, but life doesn't work that way, does it?
Anina is a story of being a woman wanting something that society tells her she cannot be....and she never did. 
Anina is a story of family and tradition and culture.

The book is the the closest thing to reality as it is. Some dreams are never really achieved, but you gotta point forward because going in that direction is the only way to move.

Anina ng mga Alon is a story worth telling.
It is a story worth reading.

*   *   *

Evan Y. Evasco is a writer, editor, translator, and collector of children’s books. He is currently a Full Professor at the UP Kolehiyo ng Arte at Literatura. Some of his new books at Lampara are Ang Nag-iisa at Natatanging si Onyok, Ang Singsing-Pari sa Pisara, Ang Beybi naming Mamaw, and the Filipino translation of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. In 2014, he won the UP Gawad sa Natatanging Publikasyon sa Filipino (Malikhaing Pagsulat category). He became a part of the Hall of Fame of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2009 and is currently a Fellow of the UP Institute of Creative Writing. He was accepted as a Research Fellow to the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.

BOOK REVIEW: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Friday, January 29, 2021

I could have sworn that this would be a new favorite, but unfortunately it goes to the notable reads of 2020 (according to my youtube video, I was only able to put 2 notable reads so I'll be doing a full blog post for my notable reads of 2020  books that are great, but weren't my favorites). I would still recommend this book though, to other people who haven't read it yet, because it's a book that you either would love or would not. 

BITCH, just look at that cover!! THAT COVER!!!
Yep, it's GORGEOUS!✨

Title: Where Dreams Descend
Series: Kingdom of Cards Book 1
Author: Janella Angeles
Published by: Wednesday Books
Published on: 25 August 2020
Format: Hardcover (won from a giveaway by Gavin)
Trigger/Content Warnings: Misogyny, mind manipulation, possessive behaviour, trauma 
Rating: 3.5✨ (3 on Goodreads)

Where Dreams Descend is about a female born magician, Kallia, who is trying to break free from the cage she was imprisoned into her whole life. She feels that she is destined for something grand and she knows that the whole world must know of her name because of the magical prowess she possesses. 

Kallia is a showgirl from the Hellfire House run by Jack, who is also a born magician. Once Kallia turned her back from Hellfire, she joined a grand contest for magicians called Spectaculore, but the thing is, women were never meant to be contestants. Women are meant to be accessories to male magicians — assistants with sexy outfits to entice audience for the boring and repetitive acts of mediocre magicians — that "graces" all stages every time. But magic is in Kallia's veins and she's about to wipe these other male contestants' asses off, yet everytime Kallia is on stage, something bad happens and contestants go missing. Why? It's about time you find that out yourselves, people. Pick up the book! 


Before I go into anything, I just want to say that what I loved mostly about this book is how it mirrored the society that is still present up to this day  even when we're well way past that patriarchal bullsh. Women are just as capable, not just objects to men's fancies, and it was all well portrayed in Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. 

I mean, how could I be annoyed at our main character for being confident when in reality, men act just the same. Men strut their confidence and arrogance like an armor that is meant to glorify them, but when women wore that very same armor, it's arrogance that is worthy of being stripped off of them. I know that some people may get irritated by Kallia's over confidence, but what I saw was a struggling woman in a man's world. She knows she is capable and she's going to let the whole world know about it. 

When you really look at it, Kallia wears a mask as a result of her trauma, and being in a man's world without a suit of armor, she would be left trampled upon by the mysogynists who think women can never do what they do. So Kallia, ya go gurl!

So over all I enjoyed the last 20% of the book and I had problems with the execution of the story in general. It felt longer than it needed to be because it goes in circles and it's repetitive without a chance of being resolved at all. It was like, Kallia performs, chaos ensues, she rests because the performance is exhausting, practice for the next act then repeat

I wasn't rooting for Kallia to be honest, because we don't see much of the competitors and they were all written off as bunch of mumbling idiots who think dicks are better than vaginas. Anyway, it left me with a lot of questions rather than be satisfied at the ending. The book felt like a complete prequel, a complete back story to the true story, which is the second book, and that left a bad impression on me. I don't mind a cliff hanger, honestly, but if it left me feeling dissatisfied with how it ended and initial questions weren't answered, that would just irritate me. 

Lastly, before I go to my spoilery bullets where I might be ranting about the book (or not?), I just want to say that despite my initial indifference to this first book, I would love to dive into the next book because I can't go on with my life without knowing how Kallia's story would end! Reading the synopsis of When Night Breaks, I felt like I got even more confused but I hope it would get better so I'm looking forward to 2021 for this book.