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The Wolf of Oren-Yaro

(Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  123 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 can’t 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, I’m going to start my review with the only con I
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. :)
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
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found K.S Villoso on reddita 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-authoredepic 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 fresh.
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
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
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 isn’t boring. She’s strong: both physically and mentally, although she’s not the best monarch around. Jin-Sayeng - her country expects the leaders and monarchs to be ferocious, the true “wolves of Oren-Yaro”. While Talyien’s skillset allows her to meet the standards,
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 it’s a fascinating journey getting there.

K.S. Villoso challenges so many conventions of the fantasy genre, it’s 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
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I really liked this one. It’s a single pov that takes place in the same world as Jaeth’s Eye, though it isn’t 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,
Petros Triantafyllou
Looking forward to reading this - sounds like a gem.
The Nerd Book Review
I will be doing an interview with the author for the podcast shortly. I enjoyed Villoso’s writing style and how she wrote in the main character’s voice.
I did find it a little tough to follow the place names but I admit that’s because I’m an American and don’t have a lot of experience with Asian sounding names and places. Luckily our main character, The Wolf Queen herself, Talyien, isn’t on a crazy winding journey during this book. She journeys to our main city and one other during the course of
~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

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. As ...more
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I am calling the cops on this book and sueing it for emotional distress. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THIS??? it was so brilliant and in every way drastically different from what i expecting from it and i??? loved it??? i must admit it took me around 20% to get into it but once it got going, boy oh boy was it a ride.

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
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.

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
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
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
Jan 08, 2020 marked it as to-read
- character driven epic fantasy
- author of color
- strong female protagonist
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I keep telling myself I don't need to request any more review copies, but then I look at this cover... *wistful sigh*
Deb Stark
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this book and loved the world the author created. There were twists and turns enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Yna the Mood Reader

Everyone who knows me is aware that fantasy is not really my thing. Given the chance to pick a genre, I’m a girl who goes for the romance and the contemporaries. But when Shealea posted about this, a high fantasy written by a Filipino, I was ready to go out of my comfort zone and jump on this adventure.

I’m so happy that I made this decision because this read was such a great one. From the first page, the book was able to draw me in and hook me. It’s a book I never wanted to stop reading because
Veronica ( moon & coffee. )
A-/B+ | Despite the fact that Talyien was one of the most frustrating characters I have read this year, I truly enjoyed this magnificent, character driven novel with its lush Filipino-coded world. Talyien is surely one of the most interesting characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. The worldbuilding is woven into the story in such a superb way that I could vividly see, smell, feel, hear, and taste the universe. This adult fantasy novel is unapologetically Filipino and it ...more
Jan 24, 2020 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
'They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.'


I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The opening hook for this book is fantastic (it's partially quoted in the synopsis), "They called me 'bitch', the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me." I mean, how can you not want to read more after that?

This book was a really enjoyable read. I wish we could give partial stars. For me this was a solid 4.25 with just a few minor things
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author kindly sent me an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
If you enjoyed "The Agartes Epilogues" then you will LOVE this first book in a new series from K.S. Villoso.
I was full of praise for Ms Villoso's previous 3 books, but this one... this one is just superb. The story pulled me right from the start and kept pulling and pulling right to the end... and is still pulling me now.
The writing is so easy to read, with a perfect injection of humour in just the right places and more than
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Solid but flawed" is how I'd rank this book. 4 stars feels a little generous - 3.5 is more about right - but I liked what I liked well enough that bumping it to 4 feels reasonable.

To get the critiques out of the way: I found the plot very unfocused. I firmly believe, to quote Shepard Book, that how you get there is the worthier part, but this book felt like it kept losing the path. I'm all for self pub books, but editors exist for a reason. This could have benefited, I think, from an outside
Holy shit. Despite some person spoiling the book's ending but shamelessly tweeting about it, I am blown away.
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: July 2018: The Wolf of Oren-Yaro 1 5 Sep 08, 2018 10:53PM  

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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)
“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.” 6 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.”
More quotes…