THE IKESSAR FALCON by K. S. Villoso – Excerpt and Giveaway!
This week, Orbit announced the cover reveal for book two of K. S. Villoso’s Chronicles of the Bitch Queen series – THE IKESSAR FALCON. It’s a gorgeous cover, with artwork by Simon Goinard and designed by Lauren Panepinto.
The Bitch Queen returns in The Ikessar Falcon, the action-packed sequel to K. S. Villoso’s acclaimed fantasy debut, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro.
Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worse 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 unimaginable horrors – 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 for failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.
To celebrate, Villoso has very kindly sent us an excerpt from the upcoming The Ikessar Falcon AND a copy of book one of the series, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, to giveaway! For details on how to enter, please check our Twitter page.
Be sure to check back on Monday for our interview with Villoso as part of our #WomenInSFF feature!
THE IKESSAR FALCON
A thousand hooves trampled the sky the night my father died.
No words can describe what it feels like to gaze at the man you looked up to—a man you
respected, and loved, and feared—and realize that somewhere along the way, he turned into a
shadow of his former self. That he had, in fact, been fading for years, and was simply doing a
remarkable job of pretending the world wasn’t falling apart. Where there was once power,
presence, and might, now there was only sickness and the stench of death: not yet the sweet-stink
of a rotting corpse, but a moldy, urine-tinged scent, one that seemed to crawl away from his
stiffening body and up the walls to fill the entire room.
The storm started with his last breath. I found myself sinking back into the chair, frozen
in terror as the lightning flashed over his shadowed face, revealing the hollows under his eyes,
spidered with black veins. Deep-green bruises, cracked lips, yellow-white skin, wrinkled as
parchment. I had been instructed to inform Lord General Ozo first should my father succumb to
his illness, but I couldn’t even find the courage to stand, let alone look away from the withered
image of the man who used to be strong enough to lift me on his shoulders. You’re alone now,
my thoughts whispered, a thin thread that sought to wrap itself around my heart. You will no
longer be able to depend on him. From now on, everything falls on you.
The sobs stopped at my throat, settling inside my chest and wrenching the breath out of
me. My eyes burned, but I forced the tears not to fall. What if one of the soldiers walked in and
saw Yeshin’s heir red-faced and bawling away like a child? The other warlords would think us
weak, that they all made a mistake when they bequeathed the Dragonthrone to an Orenar. To an
Oren-yaro. Would I let it all turn to dust after everything my father had sacrificed?
I slowly let go of Yeshin’s hand, curling mine into a fist, before I reached up to plant a
kiss on his wrinkled forehead. It was still covered in a layer of cold sweat. I wanted to say
something, to utter a prayer or words of farewell for a man whose name carried a weight that
could break the world. But silence seemed to be the only fitting poetry for someone who had
lived as Warlord Yeshin had. So instead, I swallowed and murmured an oath that I would do
everything it took to make his dreams become a reality. A united land, prosperous in the way the
Ikessars couldn’t make it, with the discipline and the ideals that made the province and the
people of Oren-yaro stand head and shoulders above the rest. And so even if it meant facing my
fears, if it meant walking the road laid out for me…if it meant becoming someone I was not…
He was dead and yet I still carried on in my head like he was listening. It started there; it
never stopped. And there was never a time since that I didn’t find myself carrying out my duties
to the echo of his voice—to that sharp, lightning-like roar of it, the one that could crumple my