|K.S. Villoso is widely known in the SFF community for her Chronicles of the Bitch Queen series which includes: The Wolf of Oren-Yaro and the recently released The Ikessar Falcon. She is also well known in the self-published industry, where her publishing career began. One of her lesser known works is The Blackwood Marauders and it envelops all of K.S. Villoso strengths as a writer. Strong characters with gray morals and hidden agendas, great plot twists, and a well developed world which feels real and frightening to live in.|
I received this ebook in exchange for an honest review. This is a fresh take on a farm boy finding his own path in the world and a dukes’ daughter fed up with royal society. The story has two POV characters: we have Luc or “lucky” and Roesna the Dukes daughter. After Luc fails his exam to go to military school, he is thrusted into a gang of marauders and ultimately joins them in their quest through the Blackwood forest hunting demons before they can destroy his home. Roesna wants nothing to do with her family as her father wants to marry her off but she has plans of her own. Eventually, these two characters find each other and the plot drives full speed towards the ending. The plot moves smoothly and the characters are what drives the story. You feel for these characters as they struggle in a very harsh world. With twists and turns around every corner, you will be on the edge of your seat for the whole ride.
This story made me question the hard choices that we have to make in everyday life. What would you do if your dreams are crushed and left with no other choices? Would you forsake all your morals to protect the people you care about? How far would you go to escape your fate? These are instances that we face in real life to varying extents and it is ultimately up to the choices we make that define the person we want to be.
This book is a standalone, but K.S. Villoso left it open-ended when it comes to future entries in this world. Whether you pick up this novel or her Bitch Queen series, know that she is an author on the rise and will be a force in the SFF community for years to come.