Review: The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso

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Love it!

FEELS PROTECTION SHIELDS UP!~

Time to read the sequel to The Wolf of Oren-yaro. I am… probably going to weep horribly at some point during this thing.

Oh, and I got a free copy of this book, and here is my honest review of it!

“For if Yeshin’s sons had not been killed and he had not been compelled to march to civil war, I wouldn’t have been raised the way I was—the bearer of everything, his heir in every way, both sword arm and womb. I would have never been betrothed to Rayyel, never been born.”

The spiral to madness begins with a single push.

Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst 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 to Jin-Sayeng beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and unimaginable horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles–creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. 

To save her land, Talyien must come face-to-face with the worst enemy of all: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. For the price for failure is steep, her friends are few, and a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war. 

Despair is a cliff in front of you while an army marches at your back. A broken sword in battle, a quiver with no arrows, a hangman’s noose. It is water in your lungs when all you want to do is breathe.

Oohhh Tali. I missed you a lot.

This volume in the Annals of the B-WORD Queen (Thanks, Amazon) was just as compelling, maybe even more so than the first. I really liked the Wolf of Oren-yaro, but The Ikessar Falcon grabbed onto my attention and wouldn’t let go. Even while I was on vacation! I was sitting in my in-laws living room reading while they watched TV (I might have peeked a bit) and did other suitably social activities. I had a good half of this thing read in 2 days. That’s pretty great pacing for me! 😀

Tali and company are still across the sea from their homeland of Jin-Sayeng, stuck by an embargo put there specifically to prevent her from leaving.. for rather nefarious purposes. Tali is desperately trying to find a way home so that she can save her son’s life, which is threatened by… nefarious reasons. I’m really trying not to be too spoilery. REASONS.

I love love love a book with some well paced, well thought out, and believable romantic tension between characters in it, and this one is chock full. The tension between Talyien and her potential romances was really well done, and my poor feels got suitably jostled (in a good way… sort of?) quite a few times just on that aspect of the book. Gods above and below, Tali. What. The. Actual? The last quarter of this thing was a rollercoaster of emotions. I have the feels for these characters. Feels shields do not adequately protect me. WHY DO YOU HURT MY FEELS TALI? WHY DO YOU ALL HURT ME SO?

But that stuff isn’t all there is here. My various gods, Villoso has crafted a fantastic world here with all kinds of intrigue happening all over it. There’s interesting stuff happening on one side of the world while entirely different but also interesting stuff is happening on the other side of the world… and then it starts to all come together and make sense as a whole as plans are revealed and allegiances are made known. This one brings a bit more attention onto the magic that this land has, and some of the creatures, dragons and not-so-dragons that live within it. There are interesting ideas regarding something like possession here.

It was such an incredibly hard book to put down, and as such I would consider it a really great sequel. I think a sequel really great when I like it even better than the first book in the series. This one did that! It was full of action, characters that I loved to love, including a whole bunch of new ones to love or not love, or recurring characters that were a tad more prominent here than in the first book. There was a great deal of action, and badass sword fighting and monster poking and arena fighting with spears and stuff. There was all sorts of shenanigans happening making each chapter end with one of those events that you can’t *not* continue to read about. The wee hours of the morning come far too quickly with books like this.

Once again this volume is full of intricately described food as well. I can clearly see some of the foods that everyone is eating and I’ll admit that my mouth watered a bit from time to time…. Many snacks were had. Many quick lunches to sate a suddenly-grumbly stomach. 😀

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But Kristen, there’s no grilled cheese in this book! Well… I think Tali would appreciate a good grilled cheese, a *gourmet* one, even. 12 grain bread, imported European butter, and artisan cheese. Fit for a queen!

I gave The Wolf of Oren-yaro a 4.5/5 stars, but I definitely think I enjoyed this one an entire .5 more, so it most definitely gets 5/5 stars! I can’t wait to see what is in store for me in the next volume. I shall get my rice cooker, deep fryer, steamer, and griddle prepared for the onslaught of ‘oh, shit that sounds delicious… I should make some food’ that will inevitably happen. 😀

You can see this book on goodreads here, and grab a copy of it here!

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