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The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng
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- Trade Paperback $17.99 $22.99 CAD
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"The stunning conclusion of the Chronicles of the Wolf Queen series is filled with high-stakes action, emotions, and magic, with an ending that will not disappoint." (Library Journal, starred review)
In The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng, the queen of a divided land must unite her people against the enemies who threaten to tear her country apart. K. S. Villoso is a "powerful new voice in fantasy." (Kameron Hurley)
THE STORY SO FAR…
The chosen lie on a bed of nails.
Trapped across the sea, a long way from home, the queen of Jin-Sayeng finds herself not-quite a prisoner of the slumlord Han Lo Bahn. Everyone is wrestling with the aftermath of the ill-fated visit to the Anzhao government office, which ended in the deaths of both the Anzhao governor Zheshan and the emperor’s Fifth Son, Prince Yuebek.
Or so Talyien is convinced. In the political upheaval that follows, she is captured by the acting governor, Qun, who seems to want to find Talyien’s husband, Rayyel, as much as she does. Qun is an ambitious, opportunistic rat, but she senses other forces at work. She is broken out of prison by a woman claiming to be from the Shadows, a group of assassins once employed by the Ikessars. Now led by a rich merchant, Dai alon gar Kaggawa, they have come to bring Queen Talyien home.
Talyien distrusts them, knowing this aid will come with a hefty price. She refuses. Ditching her guards Nor and Agos, she heads on to her husband’s last known location with only the con artist Khine Lamang at her side. Their journey is fraught not just with danger, but also with Talyien’s feelings of dread over meeting her husband yet again. She is reminded all too often that she would rather be free than chasing after the very shackles that had imprisoned her all her life. Yet to turn her back on her duties would be to turn her back on her son, whose life is at increasing risk the longer she stays away.
They venture to the Ruby Grove, an area known for its vast quantities of featherstone, a volatile substance that enhances magic spells and is used to strengthen spell runes on structures, even when the raw material is deadly to those who live among it. Talyien meets up with Nor and Agos again, and is gravely injured during an encounter with white dragons when she falls into a patch of the toxic featherstone. She wakes up in a crumbling village in Phurywa, where she is nurtured back to health by Khine and his mother, Mei. Here, she learns that the elders have been freely giving blood to the local priests under the guise of helping find a cure for the ailments that plague them from living in the area. Talyien’s husband has been seeking these same priests. He and Talyien agree on an uneasy truce after he reveals that his desire to kill their son if he’s a bastard stems from fear of what his mother will do to the boy if she finds out. Because he is a bastard himself, it positions the boy even further as a proper successor. The meeting leaves Tali feeling more hollow and raw than ever before.
They travel to the temple up the mountain to meet with the priests, only to realize they’ve walked into a trap orchestrated by none other than Prince Yuebek, who is very much alive despite looking less so. Held together by magic, he reiterates his offer of marriage to Queen Talyien while pointing out that her father would have never wanted a bastard to be her husband.
They are attacked by walking effigies and mages. The effigies, for some reason, all fall to the ground, and Tali and her companions barely escape the temple with their lives. Rai is gravely injured. Tali learns from Agos that the Shadows have extended the same offer to him back in Anzhao and that he has led Lahei to her. The agent reiterates her offer.
While Talyien processes the events, she finds out the reason why the effigies stopped working—the elders, whose blood had provided a connection that gave the effigies life, all committed suicide, sacrificing their lives to free themselves from the taint of blood magic.
In the wake of Khine’s devastation over his mother’s death, Tali agrees to accept the Shadows’ assistance. They scheme their way out of the embargo from the city of An Mozhi. The Shadows take Tali straight to the Kag, instead of Jin-Sayeng, where she meets Dai Kaggawa himself.
Dai’s term is simple—her son’s hand in marriage to his daughter. Tali wants to refuse, but Dai won’t give her that opportunity yet, and instead takes her straight into the Sougen that she might see Jin-Sayeng’s troubles with her own eyes: The people are turning into foul, bloodthirsty monsters. The same phenomenon that occurs in the dragons in the area is now affecting the locals, and if an answer isn’t found soon, Jin-Sayeng will be overrun. But the threat of civil war prevents Dai from doing anything. The region’s warlord and his sons seem adamant in embracing the mad dragons, consequences be damned—instead of finding a cure, they want to tame the beasts instead.
Talyien visits the Anyus in their city of Yu-yan, and is attacked by a mad dragon. During the fight, Eikaro Anyu is taken, and she chases after him into the mountains. She manages to find him, alive but gravely injured. With no choice left for survival, Eikaro Anyu decides to trade places with the mad dragon, allowing its corrupted soul to go into his body while his own rides the dragon instead. His body falls from the sky and dies; Eikaro lives on as a dragon.
The tensions in the region escalate as Dai Kaggawa blames the Anyus for his daughter, who was injured in the dragon fight. A proclamation from the east declares Talyien Orenar’s claim on the throne as void until she can clear her name and prove she hasn’t planted a false heir. When Talyien explains to the Anyus that she thinks it is a foil created by the Zarojo prince, they decide to retaliate against the Kaggawas.
The timing of a civil war, right at the mention of the Zarojos’ arrival, strikes Talyien as odd. But Huan, Eikaro’s brother, claims he knows nothing. She returns to save her companions from Kaggawa’s growing fury; during the process, her cousin and Captain of the Guard, Nor, defects, claiming that Talyien’s mismanagement of her affairs has jeopardized the nation and her own daughter’s life. Dai Kaggawa reveals his secret: that he is two souls in one man. One is the son of a merchant, the other the son of a would-be king—despite his words assuring Talyien otherwise, his lust for power is suddenly evident. Tali wants nothing to do with it.
Down to three companions, Talyien escapes Kaggawa’s clutches, only to land in Qun’s. She is taken to Kyo-orashi, where the warlord San sends her to battle a dragon in his arena to prove her might to the people. He is working with Qun, who still wants her to be queen—Yuebek still needs to claim his prize. Tali fights the dragon and realizes it is Eikaro, who seems to have grown mad and no longer responds to her voice. Before she is fatally injured, Khine arrives, provoking the dragon as part of Warlord San’s show—if he sacrifices his life for the queen, the people will see her as truly worthy.
Tali manages to set the dragon free before he kills anyone; she faces the crowd in defiance, killing a smaller, weaker dragon from the dungeons to end Warlord San’s show. Qun’s plans to use the Zarojo soldiers to save her in front of the crowd is foiled, and he leaves in a huff.
Khine almost dies from his injuries. Furious over his antics and fearful over what else he might do to protect her, she decides to set him, and his feelings, free by sleeping with Agos.
Her actions, once enough to drive Rayyel away, don’t work on Khine. He insists on following her anyway. They journey to Oren-yaro, hampered by Qun’s attacks that are meant to slow them down so he can arrive in Oren-yaro first, where he claims he will kill Talyien’s son if she doesn’t submit to his prince. They are also attacked by assassins.
During their escape, Tali—in a moment of weakness—admits to Khine she thinks she is growing mad. Her vision from Yuebek’s dungeons felt all too real, and her own exhaustion is pulling her from both ends. They share a kiss, one that is over quickly. Khine takes off with an assassin after him; Tali takes care of the rest. She reunites with her husband, Rai, once more, and finds out that Kaggawa must have sent the assassins. At the same time, they sort out their feelings over their marriage and Tali’s son, whom Rai is still not sure is his. It is revealed that he was crushed by the revelation that he might not be his simply because he loved the boy.
They reach Oren-yaro and reunite with Khine, who finds a way to Tali’s castle from the tunnels underneath Old Oren-yaro, where her brothers had died after dealing with the last Dragonlord’s mad dragon. While dealing with the last assassin, she has visions of what happened to her brothers, and finds the truth lying at the bottom of a staircase: Her father was, indeed, responsible for bringing the dragon to Oren-yaro. His hands are drenched with the blood of his own sons.
Her son is missing when she arrives in the castle. She encounters Qun, who claims to know where he is if she would just follow him. This is revealed to be a plan to get Tali to sacrifice herself. Qun wants her to jump and break her body, so Yuebek could stitch it back together and she would stop running away and become dependent on him. Not knowing what else to do to save her son, and echoing Mei Lamang’s sacrifice, she jumps.
But a woman like her doesn’t break easily; she catches Qun off guard when he jumps down to check on her, and kills him with a rock. She returns to Rai, and they find their son in the great hall. Before they can have a proper reunion, the Shadows arrive, and Tali learns that Agos was working with them and had let them into the castle. He says he had worked out a deal with Kaggawa where he would spare Tali’s life. The only price he wants now is Rayyel.
Agos and Rai fight in the throne room. Tali knows that Agos can kill Rai, who isn’t a fighter, but he refuses to listen to her order to stop. Just before Agos can deal Rai a fatal blow, the Ikessars arrive and shoot him with arrows. Agos falls to the ground and dies.
The story ends with Tali being taken as prisoner in her own castle, awaiting a trial while the fires of civil war begin. With no one to save Jin-Sayeng, the whole nation hovers at the precipice of destruction…
WHERE THE ASHES LIE
Courage is overrated, or so cowards like me say.
Courage implies choice.
Magister Arro used to lecture me about the nature of things: how a tree must remain a tree, for instance—straight and stalwart, branches spreading to the sky, roots reaching down below. Build a fence around a sapling and the tree will break it as it grows—swallow it, even, wire and wood sinking into the trunk like it was quicksand. “And so,” my father said once, interrupting such a lecture with a sweep of his arm, “a wolf must remain a wolf, no matter what. Never forget this, Talyien.”
Presumptuous, pious, arrogant Oren-yaro. No wonder we were hated and feared. Hated more than feared, if you learned to read between the empty smiles and polite gestures. I once took pride in the fear I wielded, cloaking myself in my father’s rhetoric like a child wrapping herself in a blanket to ward away the cold. But if I remained a wolf, I was now a lone wolf, one yearning to break free as hunters tore after her with spears and arrows. No pack to be part of, no cave to hide in, no moon to howl at… it wasn’t courage that kept me running. They had branded my son a fugitive, and a trial was hanging over my head like an executioner’s axe; to stop would be to entertain a fate worse than death.
It made me wonder what my father thought of me, holding me as an infant. Did he see a girl-child, no more than a babe that carried his eyes and his smile? Did he count my small, delicate fingers one by one, or stroke my hair with his thumb while a part of him swore to change his ways? The servants used to say that the old man doted on me. Without a mother in the picture, I was irrevocably Yeshin’s, and they said he guarded me with the same ferocity he murdered his enemies with. He didn’t like the nursemaids leaving me alone in my crib—I was a bad sleeper, and he insisted they carry me in a sling at all times. And if I woke up in the middle of the night, he would tear down from his quarters to snatch me from my wet nurse’s arms and sing me back to sleep himself.
Tall tales, people say. This could not be the same Warlord Yeshin of the War of the Wolves, the same man who once drove his horse into an unguarded Ikessar hamlet, fifty men behind him, and cleared the way to the village square with his spear. By the time he was done, his horse was red from the neck down. But I could believe it. I could remember his smooth voice, the way his chest rumbled as he pulled my blankets up to my chin and sang me to sleep. On summer nights, he would use a paper fan to chase the warm breeze away, long and furious enough that his arm must’ve stung from the effort. I was his, and nothing in the world could change that. I never doubted what he would do to protect me.
A girl’s naivety. Even before I learned of my father’s dealings with Yuebek, a part of me always knew that the truth could be as complex as a shaft of light through a cut gem. Turn it, view it from another angle, and it shifts. Sometimes it is telling, a burst of clarity on a dark streak, brightness to chase away shadows.
Sometimes it is blinding.
A wolf must remain a wolf.
You are courage, my father used to tell me. You are strength. I carried his words deep within my bones, seeds that would sprout into the person I would become. Would I have survived the circumstances of my son’s birth had I not been Yeshin’s daughter? For the entirety of my labour, all I wanted to do was close my eyes between the tremors and blood, and die. Instead, my father’s voice—the one that seemed to echo inside my head years after his death—told me not to be ridiculous. Women dealt with this pain all the time. Would his daughter be defeated so easily?
But it wasn’t really a choice, you understand. And so it couldn’t have been courage.
You can’t argue with a voice like that without looking like a madwoman. Reasons were excuses to Yeshin. Did it matter that I had been unattended in a damp, dark cave while my remaining guardsmen fought rebels on the road below? The Ikessars had insisted that it would be a good omen if I gave birth in the Dragon Palace; for some irritating reason, the council agreed. I was forced to pack up late in my term and waddle on the road after my husband, who had been living there for a few months to attend to his duties as Minister of Agriculture.
Screaming into a piece of cloth stuffed into my mouth, my hands clasping the wet dirt under me, I counted the dripping of water from the walls between my groans. The pain that spread from my spine down to my thighs and around my belly did its fair job of drowning out my fears. I didn’t really have time to wonder if my guards were winning. If they were, it wasn’t as if they could help at all. The bastards couldn’t even keep my handmaids and the midwife alive during the ambush. If they lost—well, perhaps the rebels could hurry up and put me out of my misery.
“There’s still a dozen up in the woods!” Agos called as he came stomping into the cave. He was covered in more blood than I was and yet at the sight of me, terror flared in his eyes. His face paled. “Gods, Princess, is it time yet?”
I spat the cloth out. “No, I just like to pull my undergarments down and lie on my back for no reason.”
He stared at me for a heartbeat.
“Of course it’s time, you son of a—” A tremor seized me. I bit back into the cloth before it passed and screamed into it until my ears rang. I’d never had a mining pick jammed into my tailbone before, but I imagined that this might be exactly what it felt like. Agos took a step forward and I threw the damp cloth at his face.
Perhaps I looked worse than I felt, because he didn’t even protest. “Is there anything I can do?”
“What the hell can you do?” I hissed. Another tremor sent my fingers digging into the ground so deep, I could feel the soil under my fingernails. The contractions were coming in faster, each one tightening my insides more than the last with a force that left me breathless. “—back out there and finish those bastards!” I managed to cry out as I felt the child inside of me turn. “Now!”
He shuffled his feet. “I’ll… I think… I’m sure the men have it covered. I have to stay here and protect you. Are you… do you know how to… did the midwife tell you anything?”
“Gods, Agos, just stop talking!”
Something clenched inside of me and I found myself sitting up. The sounds that clawed their way up my throat felt different, sharper, more urgent. Sweat pooled around my throat and dripped down my chest with each tremor, which now ended with a pressure that threatened to rip me apart.
“I think,” Agos said, not realizing how dangerously close I was to stabbing him in the gut, “that you have to start pushing.”
I responded with a groan.
You are a wolf of Oren-yaro, I thought. This is nothing to you. Or so I contended, even as all of my parts felt like they were being pulled at the seams. The contractions were no longer giving me time to breathe or think—the entire bottom half of my body burned as if it was on fire. I began to push in an attempt to stall the pain and instead found the pressure barrelling its way out of me, wet and sharp and tearing. For a moment, maybe more, I was convinced it was my guts sliding their way out of my body. The stink of slime, blood, and rancid sweat filled the air.
I couldn’t really see what was happening between the darkness of the cave and the haze of pain, but I caught sight of Agos breaking from his stupor and stepping forward. I didn’t have the energy to push him away—my only focus was on the child that slipped out of me so fast that I almost didn’t realize it at first. Agos caught the child. “It’s a boy,” he managed, before handing him over to me. There was an odd expression on his face.
My attention drifted to the child in my arms and then that was it—nothing else mattered, not Agos or the screaming outside or the pain of my ripped parts. Even the contractions that followed as I laboured to push the afterbirth felt weightless. My shaking fingers traced a line across the infant’s forehead and down to his smooth cheeks. The blinking, wrinkled face was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. The smell of my son’s damp hair and the sound of his soft breathing restored me to my senses. I felt the fog recede from my thoughts. I remembered there were still bandits outside and reached down to wrench the dagger out of my belt.
My son had yet to cry. I always thought that infants came out bawling—instead, he just stared back at me, as if wondering if the dishevelled woman before him could really be his mother. I noticed his eyes looked like mine. Like my father’s. My heart tightened. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel about that.
“Someone’s coming up the path,” Agos said. He drew his sword.
My hand tightened around both the dagger and my son. I wasn’t going to let them take us without a fight.
Agos’s stance relaxed as the shadows of my guardsmen appeared at the entrance. They bowed. “We’ve cleared the road, Beloved Princess.”
I allowed myself to breathe. “Are they all dead?”
“Some,” one continued. “The rest ran off. We’ll have to send a party after them.”
“Not until the princess is in Shirrokaru,” Agos broke in. “Our priority is getting them back to safety.”
“Them—” The guard swallowed, noticing the infant for the first time. Wordlessly, he fell to his knees. The others followed suit, leaving only Agos standing. “The blood of the Oren-yaro is strong,” the guards said in unison. “Warlord Yeshin will be pleased.”
I grew nauseated at their words. I always knew the child I carried was Yeshin’s grandchild. That he was heir to the Dragonthrone, the first Dragonlord that would ever carry the blood of two royal clans—the Ikessar and the Orenar. But now that I was looking at this child in my arms, he was only my son, only my boy with those eyes and dear gods, that mouth, that smile…
It filled me with terror. The word heir was damned, a word that doomed him to a life of servitude and chains. I felt an urge to get up and run off with him, to scream at them to find someone else. I didn’t want the burden of Warlord Yeshin to loom over my child like storm clouds, threatening to burst with enough floodwater to wash him away. I closed my eyes and willed away the urge to shelter him, to protect him from the worst of my father’s legacy. What was there to protect? Didn’t Yeshin have the largest army in all of Jin-Sayeng?
Yet I had the sense that for me, it was already too late. I was made in Yeshin’s image, the nature of things careening down with me like a shadow—ever-present, impossible to deny. With or without the mold, my funeral bells had begun.
A lone wolf. An apt description. What else do you call Yeshin’s child as she sits in silence in her own domain, seven days undisturbed, unattended save for a handful of servants who ensured she was kept fed and clean like a kennelled dog? Seven days home, and no one who could’ve called themselves family or friend had spoken to me. I heard of comings and goings of various officials and royals over the last few days, but they presented themselves either to Ozo or to my husband, Rayyel.
I struggled to remember I was once queen.
Because you couldn’t see it even if you tried. Since my return, the servants handed me my meals, replaced my sheets, laid out fresh clothes, and accompanied me to the bathhouse without ever once looking me in the eye. An almost impressive feat, had I been in the mood to be impressed. But I wasn’t. These were people who had known me my whole life, who had served my father when I was little and once seemed to have cared for me in their own way.
I found it hard to believe that they respected Ozo enough for them to forget the way things used to be. He must’ve made threats on their lives, their families. I could see it in their empty faces and dead eyes. Polite, but walled in, unreachable. I tried to speak to them honestly, to call those I knew by name. I was met with abject silence. As the days wore on, I started to see less of them. Lately, my meals were left on a tray outside the door, and the servants stopped coming.
To be seen, but not heard; to know that they uttered your name between hissed breaths and gritted teeth, and if you disappeared into thin air they would carry on as if your substance could be sustained by their falsehoods. Perhaps you are prepared to take such things from your enemies, but from your own? From the people who claimed to care for you, even love you, who once assured you they would never turn on you come hell or high water? They had lives to live, and for that they were willing to bury me at first light.
I couldn’t even muster anger. All of that left with Agos the night he turned on Rayyel—my husband’s life in exchange for mine and my son’s, an equation so simple for him he didn’t even see he was being used like the rest of us. It was difficult to become angry with a dead man, especially one whose insolence had saved your son. Agos had handed Thanh over to Kaggawa as a hostage just before the Zarojo soldiers could kill him. A treachery deflecting other treacheries—there was an irony in that somewhere. Be damned if I could be bothered to look, though. The double-headed spear of grief and fear had rendered me incapable of much else. Certainly not the rage that would’ve once vaulted me over the window and straight to wherever Ozo had cloistered himself, to demand he hand back everything.
What had he taken, anyway, that I hadn’t thrown away myself?
I stared at the walls of my chambers, trying to silence my thoughts, to remind myself I’d made it this far. There was still a chance for me to regain my crown and sit on the throne as was once promised. I was no longer that young, naive queen who left this castle a year ago. Beaten gold is still gold. Thinned, it remains unyielding. So fashion it into a chain. Strangle your enemies. I was Yeshin’s daughter. Tainted as I was by the weight of those words, I could take everything that was good about that and show the land that despite all the cracks, despite all the mistakes I’ve made, despite that my own father didn’t think me worthy, I had what it took to be a capable ruler. If I could be queen again, I would show them. I could rise from these ashes and be the leader they had yearned for all these years.
The knocking from the window broke my thoughts. I pretended to ignore it, but the sound persisted. With a sigh, I made my way to the end of the room and undid the latch. Khine stepped in, his hair damp from the drizzle. Water dripped from his boots.
A correction—no one I would consider family or friend had come to talk to me. Lamang was neither. After everything that had happened the past few days, I wasn’t sure how to examine my feelings for him under this new light. His presence continued to give me an odd mixture of anticipation and repulsion.
“Go away, Lamang,” I muttered, walking towards my bed.
“You’re the one who opened the window,” Khine pointed out.
“Do I have to throw a bucket of cold water on you?”
“I happen to know that you don’t have one handy.”
“I have a chamber pot. It’s full.”
“Now, now. Let’s not be hasty.”
“They could arrest you for this, you know,” I pointed out. “The bastards should just kill me and be done with it.”
“They wouldn’t do that.”
“Who’s they, Khine? Because between Ozo, Ryia, and Yuebek, I can think of about a thousand reasons.”
“They wouldn’t do it now, with the whole nation’s eyes on you. They’d make it look like an accident, at least. Poison in your food, maybe throw scorpions on your face while you slept…”
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to scare you into coming with me,” Khine said, holding out his elbow and patting it. He gave a sheepish grin. “Come on. They won’t miss you for an evening.”
“You tell me that every night. We’re not in the empire anymore, Khine.”
“I know we’re not.” Khine’s face grew sombre as he reached for my shoulder. Carefully, he turned me around so that I could face him. “I’m sorry. I know this may be one thing too many, but this… this is the last night of the vigil. They’re lighting the pyre at dawn.”
“They won’t let me see him,” I said. “I already asked.”
“They don’t have to know.”
- "Villoso has built an intricate world of politics and people, filled with honest, sometimes chaotic relationships and bad decisions that hook readers throughout. The stunning conclusion of the Chronicles of the Wolf Queen series is filled with high-stakes action, emotions, and magic, with an ending that will not disappoint."—Library Journal (starred review)
- "Villoso brings her Chronicles of the Wolf Queen trilogy to a strong conclusion. Fantasy readers who enjoy well-drawn characters, bloody battles, and noble sacrifices will welcome this."—Publishers Weekly
- "The power plays are woven tightly into the action, as Villoso broadens her worldbuilding and adds some surprising twists ... A must for epic fantasy readers."—Library Journal (starred review) on The Ikessar Falcon
- "Villoso crafts believable, complex characters and spices up the politics with dragons and magic. Fantasy readers will enjoy this intricate epic and be pleased by the broadening scope of the series."—Publishers Weekly on The Ikessar Falcon
- "The Wolf of Oren-yaro is intricate, intimate, and intensely plotted. Full of subtle poignancy and remarkably genuine characters - even the rotten ones. I loved this book."—Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld, on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "A powerful new voice in epic fantasy. Villoso deftly creates an intricate and compelling world of high fantasy intrigue and adventure dominated by a crafty, whip-smart heroine determined to unite her kingdom at any cost."—Kameron Hurley, author of The Light Brigade, on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "Deeply compelling and wonderfully entertaining, The Wolf of Oren-yaro feels at once timely and timeless. K. S. Villoso's lush and finely crafted world envelops readers from the first page, as she takes us on an adventure full of heartache, hope, and triumph. It's a fabulous read!"—Josiah Bancroft, author of Senlin Ascends, on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "Intimate and epic. It compels you to read on, because it's a story about people not characters, civilizations not settings, and deadly power plays not sanitized throne-room politics."—Evan Winter, author of The Rage of Dragons, on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "A tale balanced on the blade's-edge between intrigue and action - and then Villoso twists the knife."—Gareth Hanrahan, author of The Gutter Prayer, on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "Delivers complex and intriguing characters, and an action-packed plot full of surprising twists and deep, vivid world building."—Melissa Caruso, author of The Tethered Mage, on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "[A] remarkable tale of nonstop tension, action, and betrayal . . . This excellent work will appeal to all readers of epic fantasy."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "Readers will be swept in by this strong protagonist and stunning worldbuilding, with a plot full of questions and surprises. Villoso's cunning, exciting debut is a new fantasy epic that readers will clamor for."—Library Journal (starred review) on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "Villoso's debut draws on Filipino culture and myths to create a detailed fantasy world and uses the first person narrative of a beleaguered queen to explore a tale of secrets, lies, betrayal, and treason."—Booklist on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "K.S. Villoso's The Wolf of Oren-yaro is a fascinating read, driven by a well-drawn cast of characters in a beautifully imagined world."—Book Page on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "The Wolf of Oren-yaro is a high-fantasy thrill ride that fans of the genre will appreciate, particularly those thirsting for a strong female main character."—Ars Technica on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- "K.S. Villoso dismantled the heavily stereotyped strong female character within epic fantasy and built it anew. Queen Talyien is flawed, beautifully so, making her one of the more realistic female characters I've read to date."—Hypable on The Wolf of Oren-yaro
- On Sale
- May 4, 2021
- Page Count
- 640 pages