The Ikessar Falcon
Author: K.S. Villoso Genre: Adult Fantasy Publisher: Orbit Books, September 24th, 2020
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.
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.
Author website — https://www.ksvilloso.com/
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/kayvilloso
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11740784.K_S_Villoso
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/ksvilloso/
Twitter — https://twitter.com/k_villoso
**Special thanks to Caffeine Books Tours and Orbit Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review**
It has been such an honor to participate in the blog tour for The Ilkessar Falcon, the sequel to The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, hosted by Caffeine Book Tours! While I enjoyed the first book in the series, this book absolutely blew me away. The hype is real and this series is one you should be supporting and biting at the chance to read it (especially since so much of what I enjoyed in the first book–the worldbuilding, the characterization, the TENSION, is continued and elevated even further, here). So, let’s get down to it!
- TENSION. I thought the first book did an amazing job of increasing the tension and constantly making you more worried about what is going to happen next. After reading this, it almost feels like child’s play, for The Ikessar Falcon pulls back on no punches. In fact, it’s almost as if you’re expecting a punch and instead, you get a sword rammed through your core. It’s shocking, it’s painful and yet, just when you think it can’t get any worse? Hello pain, my old friend. Masterclass in tension, honestly.
- The shock value. I’m not the best at predicting what is going to happen next, even during the obvious moments. But, even if I had such a talent, I don’t think I would have felt that way in terms of the plot of this story. I’m being vague to avoid spoilers, but there is a specific moment towards the end of the first act that had me shaken. And that wasn’t the only time, either.
- The intricacy. I love not only how delicious (and not just because of the amazing inclusion of food details; something I loved from the first book and that continues here!) and intense the plot develops, but how even the most minute and seemingly innocent details and hints are brought back into focus and actually have importance to the main narrative. There is a certain ship-bearing character who we learn has a very interesting proposition who I remember distinctly from a story Tali spoke of from her youth that I wondered would pop back up again, despite believing it to be story meant to simply show some of the beginnings of Tali and Rai’s relationship. But, wow was I wrong and whoa did it come back with a bang. But it’s that kind of intricacy that takes this novel to the next level.
- The character development. With how well-written the characters were from the first book, it isn’t surprising that I formed distinct opinions of them. And yet, as the characters grew and we spent more time with them, I found some of those opinions shifting, while others solidified. My respect for Tali raised, as well as Nor. Khine will forever have my heart–and continue to break it. Lo Bahn surprised me, in good ways. Rai…remains complicated (which is surprising, given the level of hatred I had for him at the end of Oren-Yaro) and a character-who-cannot-be-named disgusts me as much as I have to be impressed by their schemes. Oh, and I dislike Agos. Quite a bit. I don’t think I’m meant to, necessarily, but…oops?
You are all alike—Ikessar hens and Oren-yaro dogs with your empty words and your empty smiles and your meaningless tenets, dragging this land down, bringing us all to ruin.”
- Nothing. I honestly cannot think of a single thing. This book takes off with a bang and doesn’t slow down. The writing itself is fantastic, the characters fleshed out and put in the worst situations, the plot is shocking and intense, I mean…what more can you want from a novel?
So, no surprise that I rated this 5 out of 5 stars. Some authors worry about suffering from second-book syndrome or worry how the sequel to the start of the series might be perceived, but Villoso has no reason to. I loved this book even more than I did the first and it’s most likely going down as one of my favorite reads this year.
Thank you so much again to Caffeine Tours for the opportunity to join on the blog tour! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour and to purchase yourself a copy of this book, when it comes out on the 22nd!
Amazon — https://amzn.to/30mmCRC
B&N — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ikessar-falcon-ks-villoso/1128717569?ean=9780316532716
Book Depository — https://www.bookdepository.com/Ikessar-Falcon-K-S-Villoso/9780356514499
IndieBound — https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316532716
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35661274-the-ikessar-falcon