Much thanks to Shealea, whose blog is currently on a break, K.S. Villoso, and Orbit Books for sending me a copy for review and for inviting me to be a part of this tour. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own. Also, all quotes are taken from the ARC and may or may not appear in the final published copy.
Title: The Wolf of Oren-yaro
Author: K.S. Villoso
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication Date: 18 February 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
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.
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.
Everyone who knows me is aware that fantasy is not really my thing. Given the chance to pick a genre, I’m a girl who goes for the romance and the contemporaries. But when Shealea posted about this, a high fantasy written by a Filipino, I was ready to go out of my comfort zone and jump on this adventure.
I’m so happy that I made this decision because this read was such a great one. From the first page, the book was able to draw me in and hook me. It’s a book I never wanted to stop reading because the writing style was easy to read and all the happenings were exciting. Though the plot build-up is a little slow, I loved all the little details in the world-building.
The story revolved around Queen Talyien, the Bitch Queen, or Tali. It was told from her perspective and how she was going to survive her reign, her personal life, and all the trials in her way. The book showed some glimpses of the past aside from her present journeys and it is good for a holistic approach to understanding the character and the story.
The Asian culture references throughout the story was such a unique experience and I enjoyed finding little Easter eggs that I can relate to. The fact the author is Filipino means that the details tend to lean toward Filipino culture and this is something that made this reading experience much more special to me. It shone in the lifestyle of the communities, the values, as well as the mouth-watering food that she described. I really loved this because it’s not every day that you get to read a book where you see yourself and your culture being represented without being in-your-face or over-the-top.
Representation aside, the book did not disappoint in providing an intriguing story. There was politics, magic, betrayals, royalty, war, manipulation, and non-stop action. I love how all the characters were developed and how each of them shined and made the story much more special. I liked some, I hated a lot of them, and I felt frustrated with some of them.
I don’t want to spoil much about the book, but what I can say is that the book is worth the read and I am excited to devour the rest of the series! The book will officially out on February 2020, so I am inviting everyone to watch out for the release and don’t miss getting a copy!
My Book Rating Breakdown
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Thrill Factor: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
☁ FINAL VERDICT: 4.70/5 ☁
FOLLOW ALONG THE BLOG TOUR!