February 10, 2020

Blog Tour Review: The Wolf of Oren-Yaro

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro immediately earned a spot on my TBR when I learned it was a fantasy novel written by a Filipino author and that aspects of the story were inspired by Filipino culture. Plus, it's the kind of fantasy novel that I generally enjoy - a female heroine must do everything she can in order to protect her reign, her kingdom and those she loves. Happily, I did end up really enjoying this one!

It took a little while before I was hooked by the narrative. That has a lot to do with the author's narrative choice to have main character Talyien tell the story as if she were reliving the events in the past, which didn't 100% end up being my cup of tea. But eventually, other aspects of the tale - the intricate setting (with inspiration drawn from Filipino societal structure and culture), the plot (with familiar tropes that I was totally behind) and the characters (fierce and brave and impulsive Talyien (who isn't always right and shows considerable growth by the end of the story); I also really enjoyed the secondary cast of characters and the variety and color their personalities gave to the tale) - reeled me in and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next.

For me, with fantasy series, it generally boils down to one thing: Did I end up caring about the characters enough to want to continue their journey in the second book? The answer, in this case, is yes. I'm very curious to see where Villoso intends to take Talyien in the second part of her story. The Wolf of Oren-Yaro was a solid fantasy series starter, and I'd recommend checking it out if the synopsis appeals to you.

The Wolf of Oren-yaro by K.S. Villoso will be published by Orbit Books on February 18, 2020.
Buy the Book: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

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. | Website / GoodreadsInstagram / Twitter

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