Paperback, 496 Pages
By: K.S. Villoso
“Remind me,” I murmured, “why a single moment is enough to outweigh the rest. Why fickle tempers rule over steadfast hearts.”
My history with this book dates to back when it was first acquired by Orbit. I have heard about the self-published book but after it got some edits and got a new cover, I knew I was gonna read it. And funnily enough, one of the main reasons I wanted to read this was the name of the series: Chronicles of the Bitch Queen sounds like a very powerful and creative name so I had to know what all the hype is about.
The reason I kept putting off reading this one was that it had mixed reviews and I saw many people saying that the queen was insufferable yet unworthy of her title of a bitch Queen. I finally read this one along with The Fantasy Guild and I surprisingly enjoyed it.
Now after seeing many of the discussions in the group chat, I found myself agreeing with most of those criticisms because when I read those parts, I kind of had those exact same thoughts. That being said, I found that I was enjoying it for unclear reasons (Maybe I had very low expectations) I did not consider a DNF (Like the club’s last read Tigana which I DNFed) and I think I finished it rather quickly!
The writing itself was not bad, I found the prose to be good and it flowed well. I did think there were repetitions (I am the Bitch Queen/ I am a Wolf…etc) and there were places that telling was used in place of showing and yet I think it just flowed well.
“They called me “bitch”, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”
I think it is hard to say that this is a character-driven book but it certainly does not focus on the plot either (more on this later). I can say that the main thing was the Queen’s journey of self-discovery albeit it being repetitive, without much growth and also it kind of comes off as YA-ish! There was kind of a love triangle (Square?) and I did not understand the dynamics when it comes to the romance in this book. (Why the hell were everyone falling for the Queen?!)
I expected more from the Queen herself, the cover kind of shows her as someone strong and with a sword but in the book she was only a shadow of that. I did not know also why she deserved those titles because the title sounds like an exaggeration. I know there were bad choices being made here but let’s be honest, we all make these! I am usually irritated by those when they are bad and unbelievable but I can say some of them were logical here (An example of an illogical one is her not reading the letter mentioned early on as I was never convinced and not facing her husband with some of the facts!).
The world-building is too simple, I can’t say it is bad but it was lacking, I was surprised by the presence of Dragons in the story! (They are a thing of the past but I am pretty sure we will be seeing them in the upcoming titles).
I don’t know what to say about the plot because there was not much going on. It was basically the Queen trying to find her husband and bring him back home, things go not as planned and then it is chase and run kind of story. I believe and hope that the plot will be better in book 2 though.
“Five years of regret has a funny way of fermenting inside someone—like wine, it had only gained potency over the years.”
Summary: I enjoyed The Wolf of Oren-Yaro despite all the criticisms my friends and I had for it. I think it could have used more showing, less telling, a tighter plot and more focus on the queen’s “tough” side. I still think it is good enough to make me go for 3 stars and not less and I am definitely reading book 2 which I just feel will be better!