A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.
“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”
Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.
But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.
Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.
Title: The Wolf of Oren-yaro
Author: K.S. Villoso
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication date: 18 February 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
This was such a great fantasy read. Idk what’s in the water this year but there are some amazing fantasies and written by women in a way that just makes me want to tattoo all their names on my arm, inside a badly drawn heart.
Moving onto this book specifically, it is a lush high fantasy with a greatly written MC. I mean the hashtag for this is #hailthebitchqueen do I really need to write out the reasons she’s awesome? Okay, I’ll list a few. She is badass but super vulnerable underneath all her pointy layers. She’s like Shrek, an ogre/onion with layers. More than that though she is a supremely flawed character with the best intentions at heart and I loved that about our Queen so much. Yes, our, I’ve decided she’s my Queen too, I’m now Oren-Yaro made. Another reason to like her is that she’s actually a huge cinnamon roll in disguise and her love is so strong that it sends on her the craziest missions for those she cares for.
Next, we have a great cast of supporting characters, there aren’t too many which is a huge relief because sometimes I think people give me way too many characters to deal with and I end up forgetting who is who *cough* GRR Martin *cough* [I still love him, but, I needed a spreadsheet for those characters]
Also, this is first-person told from the MC’s perspective and it’s really refreshing to read a fantasy done in that POV.
Despite all the fierce fighting, assassination attempts, political turmoil, and plots under plots, this was actually a story of love. Not a romance, but how one person’s heart can cause so much trouble and love so fiercely for her people, her son, her husband, and wow, let me tell you, that level of love isn’t really given to us in a lot of fantasy books.
The world-building is on point, it’s a diverse and rich world and we’ve only seen the tip of it! That’s beyond impressive, especially because Villoso’s world-building never detracts from the plot/storyline, instead, it constantly enhances it.
There are probably at least 52 reasons I could give you to read this book but about 26 of those reasons are Talyien centred. So, if you like fantasy, you like magic, history, world-building and kick-ass characters, go #HailTheBitchQueen and read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, it’s an amazing read. 4 huge cups of coffee from me!
Thank you so much to Caffeine Tours and Orbit Books for an eARC of this, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review as part of the tour. It felt like an honour to be part of this and I’m really excited to read more reviews from this tour. [Also remember the first leg of this tour was in December, check out their posts when you get a chance!]
About the Author
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.
The Rest of the Tour