The Ikessar Falcon by: K.S. Villoso

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 home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible 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 confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.

Content Warnings: Blood and gore, murder, suicide, infidelity, elder abuse, death of a loved one, ableism, discussion of sexually assaulting a child, suicidal thoughts, and war themes.

Please don’t read this review if you haven’t read book one as some book one spoilers are necessary to discuss book two.

Much like book one, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, I had no idea what kind of journey we’d experience in book two. There were many twists and turns that had me reeling including the ending. Already deeply invested in Tali’s journey I raced through this book that had me feeling all sorts of emotions.

We pick up immediately after book one ends as Tali is trying to catch up with her husband, Rayyel, to stop him from further endangering their son. With a husband whose stubbornness, and family issues, rival her own she’s desperate to do whatever it takes to prevent all-out war and ensure her son’s safety. With more secrets coming to light it’s getting harder for the Queen to know who she can, and can’t, trust as she tries desperately to return to her kingdom.

Like many fantasy stories, there’s never a simple path from point A to point B. We are taken on a journey that has Tali traveling all over trying to gather information and hoping to gather allies as she’s forced to slowly navigate her way back home.

This book is full of assassination attempts, political manipulations, unearthed secrets, sacrifice, betrayal and so much more.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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