I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Also by this author: Infinite, The Mirror King
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Also in this series: The Mirror King
Published by Harper Collins on March 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance
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Adventure, intrigue, and romance combine in a new fantasy duology from Incarnate series author Jodi Meadows.
When Princess Wilhelmina was a child, the Indigo Kingdom invaded her homeland. Ten years later, Wil and the other noble children who escaped are ready to fight back and reclaim Wil's throne. To do so, Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom palace with hopes of gathering information that will help them succeed.
But Wil has a secret—one that could change everything. Although magic has been illegal for a century, she knows her ability could help her save her kingdom. But magic creates wraith, and the deadly stuff is moving closer and destroying the land. And if the vigilante Black Knife catches her using magic, she may disappear like all the others. . . .
The Orphan Queen delivers epic fantasy, perfect for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
The story of my reading life is WHY DID I NOT READ THE BOOK I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT SOONER? And you know what? I am kind of okay with that because it means that there is always another good book just around the corner for me. Like, for instance, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows. I loved her New Soul trilogy about Ana and reincarnation. The woman can clearly write fantasy. And I was so very excited for The Orphan Queen. Yet of course, it came in the mail and on the pile it went. I guess that is not necessarily bad because now I do not have to wait as long as all the early adopters for The Mirror King (Hello, April 2016, this is April the person I really really wish you would get here so I could have The Mirror King in my hands). Obviously, I ate this book right up. No shame in that.
Wilhelmina aka Wil aka Lady Julianna is an orphan. Her birthright is Queen of Aecor, a land which is lost to her, seeing as how she is not living there anymore. You see, her parents were murdered when she was a child and she was spirited away to this other kingdom, the Indigo Kingdom and more specifically, Skyvale. In Skyvale, Wilhelmina along with other royal Aecor children live in an orphanage. This sucks so they all decide that living on the street as a children gang is a better idea. The kids get by stealing and such. They call themselves the Ospreys believing that one day they will exact revenge on Skyvale and return to their rightful land. Also? There is this evil magical spirit presence in the land called the Wraith which is a by product of magic and a very bad thing. So the kingdoms all have this no magic treaty which kind of sucks for Wilhelmina because SHE HAS MAGIC. So, anyways, Wilhelmina is about to go on the mission of her life – infiltrating the Skyvale Palace and taking on the identity of a far flung noble girl named Lady Julianna and her lady in waiting, Melanie. Things are about to get tense. ALSO! There’s a vigilante in The Orphan Queen too.
I will totally stan for Wilhelmina. Girl is legit. Sure, she takes a while to find her voice and to gain confidence and believe in herself and stand up to stupid old Patrick, this guy who is like a few years older than her who is currently leading the Ospreys until Wilhelmina is ready. He’s the worst kind of regent, the sort who doesn’t really want to give power back but pretends that he does. Anyways, so okay, Wilhelmina is such a badass. Like, she goes out into the poor sections of Skyvale and sees the refugees and listens to them to learn stories about the wraiths. She wants to be able to fight back and also find a solution, maybe even one that will allow her to keep her magic too. There’s this part where she just strolls up like a bad ass and well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what I am talking about. BUT! It isn’t like Jodi Meadows made Wil perfect. She does let her trauma overcome her at times and has trouble controlling her emotions. This is to her detriment, but truly, it makes her all the more human.
YES THERE IS KISSING VIRGINIA. Sort of like how there is a Santa Claus. Okay, so at first I pulled a Fred Savage and was like is this a love triangle book? But it is not. The romance is the kind where there’s a slow burn and there’s an initial distrust. Also, the two do not really know each other’s identities. I mean, there’s this vigilante who goes by Black Knife and he fights wraiths and helps people and somehow ends up connected with Wil who doesn’t like or trust him at first. And then she joins in and it’s awesome. And there’s this true connection there between them and all of the shipping and then discovering the truth. You guys. The Orphan Queen is such a treat to read. I cannot even anymore.
The society surrounding Skyvale is interesting. I mean, there’s such abject poverty outside the palace and yet everyone in there views things as business as usual. There are plenty of refugees. People are struggling to get by. I guess I liked reading about the big contrast. I also liked that this was a society that reviles magic because of the cost associated with doing magic – being the wraith and the wraithlands, which is essentially the worst.
I loved all the things about The Orphan Queen. I loved the on point pacing. I loved the character dynamics. I loved that Melanie is an on the fence character. I loved James, the bodyguard. I loved Wil’s adventures. I loved the writing. This book you guys, give it a shot if you’re jonesing for some fantasy and magic that does not solve everything. Also if you want a cliffhanger HERE YOU GO.