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The Wolf of Oren-Yaro

(Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  411 ratings  ·  166 reviews
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
Paperback, 496 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Orbit (first published April 5th 2018)
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Aneta It's a trilogy! The first 2 books were self-published in 2018, and now the series is being published traditionally. (All three books have been…moreIt's a trilogy! The first 2 books were self-published in 2018, and now the series is being published traditionally. (All three books have been finished by the author btw.)(less)

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3.5/5 Stars

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

The Wolf of Oren-yaro is an infuriatingly compelling and addictive first book of a trilogy.

I seriously cant describe this book more appropriately than that one sentence. Let me expound upon it further. The first book in the Annals of the Bitch Queen trilogy by K.S. Villoso is a highly character-driven fantasy, which is probably my favorite type of story direction. That said, Im going to start my review with the only con I had
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ by: Piera
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US today, 3-26-20

4.5 stars

I effing loved it. Read it yourself to decide, dont ask me, Im not your mind 😉

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Mar 15, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Happy book day! This is now available on Amazon for both Kindle and Paperback. Thank you everyone for the amazing support! I'm speechless, overwhelmed, and eternally grateful.

For those who aren't aware, the Kindle version is 40% off until February 5, 2018. :)
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Absolutely all the stars.

OOooooohhh boy here we go. If this book isn't on your to-read fantasy list, you're missing out.

Listen. I'm always a bit nervous when I pick up an adult epic fantasy purely because so often, much of it feels inaccessible or hard to follow due to pages and pages of meticulous world building and heaps of muddied prose. Rest assured friends. The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is an easy (although heart-wrenching) read. It's tightly paced with the perfect mixture of intrigue and mystery
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found K.S Villoso on reddit a year or so ago, I believe on one of the self promo threads they post from time to time. 

I clicked on her name on Goodreads and found that she was from the Philippines, and writes character driven epic fantasy. It's so rare when I stumble upon a non-western female-authored epic fantasy story I knew I had to check it out. I did not leave disappointed, Jaeths Eye had some of the best world building I had read in a long time, and the characters were endearing and
Dyrk Ashton
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thrilling and touching, a personal tale with the scope of kingdoms.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a refreshing change of pace for me from the military sword and sorcery or urban fantasy I usually read, reminding me of the more introspective narrative feel of The Goblin Emperor, which I loved, but with more action, which I greatly appreciated. Villoso can weave a yarn and make us care in a way I haven't experienced in a very long time. Read it and weep - and cheer at the same time.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

They called me bitch, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.

Queen Talyien is a woman devoted to her people and her duty. In this case, that duty is to marry the Ikessar heir, Rayyel, and unite their war-torn lands. She bears the burden placed upon her by her father, whose warmongering was largely responsible for creating the divides that still threaten the well-being of the nation.

However, Rayyel had other ideas. Without warning,
Karina Webster
I loved The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso. Originally a self-published fantasy novel, Orbit published Villosos debut this February and it blew me away. Fast-paced, action packed and well written, Im going to be thinking about this for a long time and Ive already pre-ordered the sequel. What is it about, I hear you ask?

In a nutshell, Queen Talyien inherits the throne of Jin-Sayeng alone her husband, the heir to a rival clan, left her and their son the night before their joint-coronation and
K.J. Charles
Fantasy set in an amazingly developed and vivid alt-Asian world with empires, small kingdoms, warlords and politics. Also dragons (though we don't see many). The narrator is the 'Bitch-Queen' of a small, chaotic and divided nation but we don't get a great deal of bitch in this first instalment: she's mostly running for her life, trying to escape unseen enemies and identify traitors, and working out what's going on, in particular with her estranged husband. That's a big element: beyond survival ...more
Hiu Gregg
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-published
Somewhere along the road, Villoso got the idea that people actually want to know more about the world she created in The Agartes Epilogues and decided to try her hand at a brand new novel, with a (somewhat) completely new cast and a new POV.

Enter The Wolf of Oren-yaro, Book 1 of the aptly named "Annals of the Bitch Queen." Why aptly named? Because the name character is, frankly, a bitch. On the first paragraph alone, she proudly proclaims that she "killed a man and made my husband leave..." all
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant debut fantasy set in an Asian inspired world with a fascinating complex lead character who isnt the monster some think she is. Loved the episodic nature of the tale leading to the wonderful finale

Full review -
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps, when you love less, it is easier not to let the emptiness become a cavern from which you could no longer see the sun.

Born into a life preordained, Talyien aren dar Orenar of the Oren-yaro lives a life of duty to her people, marrying Rayyel Ikessar, heir of a rival clan, in order to unite Jin-Sayeng. The night before their coronation, Rayyel mysteriously abandons his wife, child, and country, leaving Talyien to rule the war-torn lands as Queen alone. Years pass and Talyien receives word
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review

CW: public punishment, gore, xenophobia, kidnapping, imprisonment, death, injury, attempted murder.

From the very first sentence, I knew that I was in for a ride, reading THE WOLF OF OREN-YARO and I was definitely not wrong. Although the book was vastly and drastically different from what I expected it to be and from what it seemed to be in its very first pages, once I adjusted my expectations and got going, it blew
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A challenging story about complex characters in a flawed society, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is a book that takes a long time to get to a point where it offers us any answers, but its a fascinating journey getting there.

K.S. Villoso challenges so many conventions of the fantasy genre, its hard to know where you stand with the story or what to expect. It was one of those rare novels that honestly left me with no idea where it might be headed. Everytime I thought I had a grasp on a thread or a
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"Even after I became queen, the rumors continued. I was powerless to stop them. I should have been more, they said. More feminine. Subtle, the sort of woman who could hide my jibes behind a well-timed titter. I could have taken the womanly arts, learned to write poetry or brew a decent cup of tea or embroider something that didn't have my blood on it, and found ways to better please my man. Instead, Rayyel Ikessar would rather throw away the title of Dragonlord, king of Jin-Sayeng, than stay ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review.

I had been hearing about The Wolf of Oren-yaro for ages thanks to the wonderful folks at The Fantasy Inn, so this book was high on my list of most anticipated reads for 2020. My expectations for this book were sky high, and they were absolutely met. Combining a grim story with high stakes, political intrigue, a healthy dose of deception and betrayal, and a dash of
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-published
Actual rating: 3.5

They called me 'bitch', the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.

I like flawed characters. Good and noble ones are usually boring. Queen Talyien certainly isnt boring. Shes strong: both physically and mentally, although shes not the best monarch around. Jin-Sayeng - her country expects the leaders and monarchs to be ferocious, the true wolves of Oren-Yaro. While Talyiens skillset allows her to meet the standards, her
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I really liked this one. Its a single pov that takes place in the same world as Jaeths Eye, though it isnt necessary to read the previous trilogy.

The story starts fairly straight forward with Queen Talyien, seeking reconciliation with her husband, and for her country, which has been quite divided after their split. We find that things are easier said then done, when the meeting falls apart, leaving Talyien floundering.

I loved the storyteller feel and I enjoyed the single pov a lot, especially
The Nerd Book Review
I will be doing an interview with the author for the podcast shortly. I enjoyed Villosos writing style and how she wrote in the main characters voice.
I did find it a little tough to follow the place names but I admit thats because Im an American and dont have a lot of experience with Asian sounding names and places. Luckily our main character, The Wolf Queen herself, Talyien, isnt on a crazy winding journey during this book. She journeys to our main city and one other during the course of the
~Dani~ LazyTurtle's Books
Read this review and an exclusive interview with K.S. Villoso at Book Geeks Uncompromised!

Queen Talyien inherited a mess.

Jin-Sayeng is country with powerful individual warlords that are unified by one monarch, the Dragonlord, but do not cede to their authority easily. The people of the Jin-Sayeng clan Oren-Yaro have earned a reputation over the years of being called wolves of Oren-Yaro due to their ferocity and everyone expects Talyien to be just the same.

They called me 'bitch', the she-wolf,

Petros Triantafyllou
Looking forward to reading this - sounds like a gem.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-the-book
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro was an enjoyable read. 4🌟~ It had some bits that didn't always work out for me. Mostly plot wise at the end, and the start was a wee slow for me (me and politics 😏😏😏). But the writing is great! And when I warmed up to Queen Talyien ( story is told from her POV ), I had fun following her around and the trouble she was getting into. The world was vivid and came to life through Queen Talyien her observations. It flowed from present to past smoothly and created character depth. ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, net-galley
The Wolf of Oren-yaro follows the story of Queen Talyien of the Jin-Sayeng, the first woman to ever sit the Dragonthrone. Her marriage to the rival clans heir, Rayyel, was supposed to unite the fractured lands, ruled by warring Dragonlords. However, Rayyel leaves the night before their coronation, and she is crowned alone. Five years later, Rayyel has finally requested a meeting with his wife, and Talyien is all too eager to reconcile, even if she might be walking into a trap.

If Im being honest-
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review is here on my blog.

Really a 4.5, but I'll bump it for keeping me up late ;D

This book follows the exploits of Talyien, the Queen of Jin-Sayeng, which is a rather small nation with several factions who all seem to hate each other. The warlords of two rival factions decided to marry their kids to each other and set them to rule together to end hostilities. So, Talyien of Oren-yaro married Rayyel of Ikessar, and just as the coronation was set to go ahead he left her to rule alone.

Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bitch, Queen, whore, warrior, wife, and mother: In The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso, Talyien aren dar Orenar is all of these and so much more.

K.S Villoso's debut novel and the first novel of the Chronicles of the Bitch Queen series introduces us to the protagonist and all-around badass Talyien. Talyien is the Queen. Her longtime betrothed, Rayyel, the Ikessar heir, whom she married to unite the warring clans of her homeland, has left her and disappeared. Now she bears the burden of
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours, Netgalley, and Orbit Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

Oh my freaking gosh! Seriously Im so damn glad that I got to read this novel, and I seriously cannot wait to read the next one and just have a new to me author to love and cheer for.

The people of this
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley, arc
Briefly - I liked parts of this, other parts less so.

In full
The blurb for this book looked interesting. "Queen of a divided land must unite her people even if they hate her". Additionally everything refers to her as the "Bitch Queen". In general that, as an epic/classic fantasy story, had my attention. The book follows the Bitch Queen, Talyien, in a journey to meet her husband. He left her and the kingdom five years earlier just before she was crowned and for reasons that are not clear. This is
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Often in my reviews I like to cover a variety of aspects. How well done was the world-building? The plot? The characters? How was the pacing? The dialogue? Was it all believable? Thought-provoking? How did it handle issues of morality? In this review I want to simply discuss the one thing that makes this book work so very well for me: Queen Tayien, AKA Tali.

I am most pulled into books that have well written characters, and this book was a rare treat for me in that I was able to be so caught up
Travis Riddle
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic start to a series that I'm excited to see play out.

This is a largely character-driven book, which I loved. Queen Talyien is at center stage here, and Villoso dives deep into her past and current emotional struggles, both with her own interpersonal relationships as well as societal expectations placed upon her as a queen and as a mother and wife. Tali's voice was clearly defined, with all of her narration and in-story actions ringing true.

Which isn't to say that this was a plotless
Traveling Cloak
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok

Queen Talyien has been ruling alone for years. Her estranged husband, Rayyal, left 5 years ago under mysterious circumstances, leaving Queen Tal and her son to fend for themselves. Just as greedy warlords are threatening her rule, Tal receives a letter from her husband stating that he wants to see her. Even though the place Rai proposes to meet is in a strange land, Tal jumps at the chance to reconcile. Their marriage was meant to unite the Kingdom, and it has been falling apart ever
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I write character-driven epic fantasy with huge doses of horror, angst, and frustratingly tangled character relationships. You can read more about my work at my website:


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

Other books in the series

Chronicles of the Bitch Queen (2 books)
  • The Ikessar Falcon (Annals of the Bitch Queen, #2)

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“Betrayal has a funny way of turning your world upside-down. As familiar as I had already been with it by that point, it still amazed me how far I could stretch that moment of denial. The thought of what had been—of what could yet be—persisted. Perhaps it is not the same for most people. Perhaps, when you love less, it is easier not to let the emptiness become a cavern from which you could no longer see the sun.” 7 likes
“Our special for today is pork bone stew,” the manager said.

“Pork bone stew sounds excellent,” I said. “Rayyel could use a spine.”

“Is heartless shrew on the menu?” Rai asked without batting an eye.”
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