Title: The Ikessar Falcon
Author: K.S. Villoso
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication date: September 24th, 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
The Bitch Queen returns in The Ikessar Falcon, the action-packed sequel to K. S. Villoso’s acclaimed fantasy debut, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro.
Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worse 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 unimaginable horrors – 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 for failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.
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Let me present to you, five of the very many quotes that splayed through me and slapped my feelings. With a chair.
Not even a queen can live with the reassurance that her life will be of value.
This quote, though.. I felt it all the way to the deepest depths of my heart.
“What about you? If you were free to walk away from all this, what would you be?”
“I’d be free.”
More pain. So much pain.
There is nothing worse than grating silence where love ought to be.
A dash of shock for your consideration:
“No–there is nothing we can do. But watch, Beloved Queen.
And of course, some really well placed humour!
“Another ****ing idiot,” I said, “I’m surrounded by them.”
Advanced Reader’s Copy provided by publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I’d like to thank Shealea @ShutUpShealea and Orbit Books for this opportunity!
The absolute first thing that I noticed as soon as I started reading The Ikessar Falcon was the tenor of the protagonist’s narration. The whole narration had a certain emotion that I could feel that tucked into every corner and in all the situations that further unfolded.
To say I was shocked by that emotion was an understatement. I had never seen Queen Talyien, Yeshin’s Bitch Pup, Queen of Oren-Yaro anything but filled with rage and wild purpose, however as I kept reading everything started to make sense and at one point, I was exactly the kind of bone tired with everything as Tali was. The growth and changes we see in Tali is fantastic and there’s just so much that you can feel for her character and I’m including the moments that you are troubled by her decisions and those you’re proud of.
This book is gigantic and I was freaking out because I knew a lot was going to happen and I was scared because I didn’t want a lot to happen *blows into tissue*. The plot for TIF like The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is character-driven with a strong story as its backbone, and with every line that the author has penned down, there is just a wonderful amalgamation of the plot with its character’s arc. They go hand in hand and the book never lets up, never lets you face a dull moment and always keeps you guessing.
As someone who is such a big fan of romance, I always wondered why I loved Tali’s story as I do as I wouldn’t categorise her story as romance at all and then I realised something. This book (and the previous book) is swamped with emotions. They tug and pull and draw you in. And there is love. So very many forms of it. Love for a friend, love for a child, a mother, a sister, a cousin. Every single way that love could manifest, K.S Villoso has allowed it to do so in her writing.
The supporting characters as always are such a large part of the book and Khine is forever in my heart the most soothing character to read a scene about. He provides all the moments of comfort or comedy that you need. He asks difficult questions and he and his strange charming ways are such an integral part of what I’ve come to expect from Tali’s story. He is perhaps wise in a way that even Tali comes to address in this book. Now, Agos. I think Agos always has and still does incite this strange mix of feelings and they often render you unsure where to place him. However, his undying devotion and strength makes you feel like you can always rely on him. Prince Rai … to be honest, I would love to see his perspective of things because there are somethings about him that come to light that I would’ve loved to watch unfold. Yes, apparently I’m a masochist.
A very very happy reading. Five very very impressed, heart-felt stars. Don’t forget to drop by all the other blog stops as well! Stay safe! ❤
About K.S Villoso
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.
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