The Wolf of Oren-Yano by K.S. Villoso is the first book in Chronicles of the Bitch Queen series. A big thank you to Orbit for sending me a copy of this book. Let’s just jump straight into it.
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.
A Wolf of Oren-Yaro fights to make it right, down to the last breath. A wolf of Oren-Yaro does not beg. A Wolf of Oren-Yaro suffers in silence.
I’ve been putting off writing this review as I know that I’m not going to be able to do it justice. This is an extremely character driven fantasy which I don’t read very often but oh boy did this book consume me!
The world-building was amazing, we are in an Asian inspired world which is absolutely beautiful. I could vividly see the villages and towns which we visit. I really took my time reading this book which I don’t usually do, I just didn’t want to leave the world that the author has created.
We have really fleshed out characters in here, Queen Talyien (Tali) is badass without having to be prim, proper and perfect. She also makes really smart decisions, for example, there’s a part where I believe 5 guards are about to attack her and she knew that she couldn’t take them all on at once so she had to think of a different way out. We don’t see this very often as the female badass usually has to be better than everyone and can fight multiple guards at the same time. This made me really appreciate the author and the writing even more.
I absolutely love Khine and I hope he remains a central figure in the second book as the banter between him and Tali made me constantly smile, I feel so connected to these characters.
This is definitely a new favourite book and I would honestly read it again which I very rarely do. I need the second book The Ikessar Falcon in my life as soon as possible.
What has been your favourite book of the year so far?
See you in the next one…