RELEASE DATE: 06/02/2019
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SYNOPSIS: Born under the crumbling towers of her kingdom, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves. It nearly tore her nation apart. But her arranged marriage to the son of a rival clan heralds peace.
However, he suddenly disappears before their reign can begin, and the kingdom is fractured beyond repair.
Years later, he sends a mysterious invitation to meet. Talyien journeys across the sea in hopes of reconciling their past. An assassination attempt quickly dashes those dreams. Stranded in a land she doesn’t know, with no idea whom she can trust, Talyien will have to embrace her namesake.
A Wolf of Oren-yaro is not tamed. (from Orbit Books)
OPINIONS: Oh Tali, you stole my heart. It is rare enough that dark, epic fantasy is fronted by women, much less by women plagued by emotions, scruples and complex ambitions and intentions. While she is a queen, she is not interested in the amenities and pretentions that come with the throne, but rather in the work needed to unite her people and protect her family. She is clever, fierce and vulnerable. Accompanied by an equally colourful cast of complex side characters, she is faced with adversity throughout the story, which ends on a massive cliffhanger. My e-ARC has an author interview at the end, so I was very surprised when it ended earlier than expected! And now the waiting for the sequel begins…
Its rich, South East Asian inspired setting provided a welcome change to the sci-fi and western-centric fantasy I’ve been reading. It is fantastic to read a story inspired by a set of myths and legends that I am entirely unfamiliar with, and I would love to learn more about Filipino mythology. I am very curious to see how this continues to develop over the course of the series, and what will be revealed about the world’s background. Books like The Wolf of Oren-Yaro highlight both the need and the desire for stories depicting cultures outside of the classic western tradition of fantasy, and the own-voices approach to these stories give them such amazing depth and life.