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I have been so excited ever since I got chosen for Caffeine Tours’ #DethronetheDragonlord book tour! It was earlier this year when I had the opportunity to read and review The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, and I am still not over the sheer amazingness that is Queen Talyien. This is one book that, I would like to believe, is a must-read for any hardcore fantasy fan. I do hope that my review will convince you to pick up this series.
🌸THE WOLF OF OREN-YARO BY K.S. VILLOSO // MY FAVOURITE COMPLEX HEROINE WITH A NASTY BITE & A SOFT HEART
THE IKESSAR FALCON by K.S. VILLOSO
The spiral to madness begins with a single push.
Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power.
To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be.
The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.
🌸 Cover artist Simon Goinard
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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 quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
K.S. Villoso is one hell of a writer. Not only are their characters written with distinctive personalities and all their flaws on display, but the plot of their books are so well-balanced; there’s humour, action, romance, and self-discovery. Told from Tali’s perspective, the sequel to The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is a no holds barred type of book. Reading this book felt like sitting on the edge of a seat that was set on the edge of the world, and in spite of the long, painful drop, you can’t help but lean a bit more forward. K.S. Villoso is an awe-inspiring author with the way they pull the strings of the different plots. From afar it all looks so complicated but the closer you look, you begin to see the patterns they form.
For this review, I wanted to share some of the themes in The Ikessar Falcon that stood out to me.
the sins of a woman – The Ikessar Falcon is more than just about a woman on a quest to save her son. Rather, this book peels away the expectations laid upon women. For example, Tali is expected to secure her throne thought it might cost her her son; even before she became queen, her worth as a wife had been determined by her bethroted though their mistakes were the same; as Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, she is expected to be cold and calculative. It’s infuriating how Tali’s actions of cheating on her husband were held over her head by Rayyiel for years on end, and when confronted by Tali, his own excuse is the folly of youth. Tali’s “mistake” led the to ruination of her reign while Rayyiel’s were met with compassion. Gender inequality is political and The Ikessar Falcon explores these disparities through Tali’s many introspective narratives.
We cling to what is broken when we have no choice. Even love that tastes like poison, that presses like a blade on your throat, is better than gaping emptiness.Chapter 20: The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso
the scarlet thread of a toxic family – Warlord Yeshin left his daughter a heavy legacy; one that she believed she had to fulfil. Tali consistently brings forth the ghost of her father in the form of remembered phrases and taunts. Shocking details are revealed through these flashbacks of what Tali’s relationship with her father had been like. One of the things I appreciated was how the author showed Tali’s conflict with knowing that, in spite of all his wrong doings, she loved and missed her father.
Stripped to his core, her was the one who had nothing. Stripped to mine, I was still too much Yeshin’s daughter.Act III – Chapter 10: The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso
Each of the characters, the antagonists included, made me feel different emotions. I was actually surprised that I found myself starting to admire Lo Bahn’s character! Agos was quite the complicated one, Nor earned every bit of my respect, Rai can jump over a cliff, and Khin – oh, Khine – I’ll always have a soft heart for him. I love how distinctly each one were written with their flaws so readily on their sleeves.
The Ikessar Falcon is a highly gut-wrenching book that left me staring at the wall a while after finishing it. If you are a reader who appreciates, well-written and thoughtful themes paired with a fast paced action, I highly recommend picking up this series!
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.
Schedule: Week 1 (INTL)
Schedule: Week 2 (PH)
🌸 Have you read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro?
🌸 What’s your must read fantasy book?
🌸 Who is your favourite mother figure from a fantasy book?