the burden and glories of legacy | the ikessar falcon by k.s. villoso #dethronethedragonlord

by - 6:00 AM


"They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me."

    isbn: 978-0316532716 | pages: 640
    publication date: September 22, 2020 | source: Orbit Books / Caffeine Book Tours
    genre: adult fantasy 
    A M A Z O N   |   G O O D R E A D S   |   B O O K S H O P
    B O O K D E P O S I T O R Y   |   B A R N E S A N D N O B L E S   |   I N D I E B O U N D

preventing total chaos
Following the events of The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, Talyien must to find a way home and save her son before the entire nation erupts into a giant bloodbath. The uneasy alliances she makes and every step of her journey determines the future of the lands her father shed so much blood to unify. We're united with a cast of characters that, despite their imperfections and my misgivings, have grown on me quite a bit (well except for a certain esteemed prince). This sequel easily has all the elements of epic fantasy that I adore but manages to add a level of intricacy that makes it wholly unique. 

love. love is meaningless in our world. we move to the beat of our ancestors, of our clans.

honoring the legacy
Dare I say, the most iconic line of this series is, "they call me the bitch queen?" I swear every time I hear or read that line I just want to fist pump in the air. From the beginning, Talyien has completely redefined what it means to be a strong heroine in adult fantasy. As a mother, she is driven by her love and protection for her son; as a queen, she must grapple with the understanding that her life and decisions are never fully her own. Her struggles, while I cannot relate to personally, resonated with me because of her need to honor the world her father had created. She has to question how his vision was crumbling if it was meant to establish peace and unity among the warlords. 

This explores the conversation on honoring the legacies of the past which is something I loved reading about. Traditions are an aspect of modern and fantastical societies that dictate how our lives are organized. The societal norm and class structures are a construct that we see challenged yet the change that is desired is rarely brought about. Through the lens of Talyien and the Oren-yaro, we are able to catch a glimpse into the power that traditions hold - something that is reminiscent of many Asian cultures. The histories of one's culture are often contradicted with the "progressive pathway" of the present, especially in today's age, and the portrayal of the struggle to balance change with the fear of destroying the past hit me so hard.

some are born with the power to turn the tie even before they realize what they are doing. others...aren't. some of us have to fight to make a difference from the moment we are born. we try to crest along calm waters because we are helpless against the tide, and even then, a single wave might be enough to sweep us away.

no such thing as allies
I am a sucker for plot and high-stakes politics and The Ikessar Falcon delivers that and more. Where the first installment includes inevitable danger and constantly shifting loyalties that hold together Jin-Sayeng, the sequel introduces a whole new level of complexities with the political schemes of the warlords. One of the best aspects of this story, in particular, is how the development of the plot is mirrored by the development of the characters. Talyien is forced to determine how much of her father's legacy she is willing to embody and if becoming Yeshin's daughter is worth the risk of losing herself.

Enemies become allies only for allies to become enemies and there seems to be no end to how far the decisions of the dead continue to control the actions of the living. 

Thank you so much to Caffeine Book Tours for allowing me to be part of #DethroneTheDragonlord - I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher as part of my participation on this tour.

A B O U T    T H E    A U T H O R

K.S. Villoso was born in a dank hospital on an afternoon in Albay, Philippines, and things have generally been okay sine then. After spending most of her childhood in a slum area in Taguig (where she dodged death-defying traffic, ate question 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.

W E B S I T E    |    T W I T T E R    |    I N S T A G R A M
G O O D R E A D S    |    F A C E B O O K


pictures from pexels and unsplash
mountain / map / stone pillars / fields


eek I'm definitely not a good photographer and posing is hard (!!!) but I tried to do the "books with outfit" trend for this cover and decided to edit my playlist into the picture because I needed something to draw attention AWAY from myself...

With everything that happens in this sequel, K.S. Villoso builds the foundation for an absolutely epic finale and I cannot wait to watch Talyien grow into her full potential as the Bitch Queen of Oren-yaro and set the world ablaze.

Who is your favorite strong female character?

You May Also Like


  1. THAT TITLE! I LOVE IT! You review is so good; I especially love your take on traditions and Tali's struggle with it.

    Also, you blog is so pretty!!!

    1. Yay I'm glad you like it - I struggled so hard to summarize the book in a couple words 😅 aww thank you for your lovely comments 💕