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 Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Also by this author: Infinite, The Orphan Queen
Series: The Orphan Queen #2
Also in this series: The Orphan Queen
Published by HarperCollins on April 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance
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In this stunning conclusion to The Orphan Queen, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen. This epic fantasy duology is perfect for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
Princess Wilhelmina is ready for her crown, but declaring herself queen means war. Her magic is uncontrollable and now there’s a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.
Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. Princess Wilhelmina’s ability might be just the thing to help reclaim her kingdom—or ruin it forever.
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows is EVERYTHING I want in a sequel and probably the most compelling argument for why duologies are the greatest that I can find. For real, this sequel to The Orphan Queen is a gripping book that follows the character development and challenge facing Wilhelmina, main character and heir to the vermillion throne – future Queen of Aecor. I would be doing you a disservice if I did not tell you that you need to read The Orphan Queen and then come back and read this review of The Mirror King because I know how people feel about spoilers and I kind of feel like you absolutely do not want me to spoil the first book for you.
The Mirror King essentially picks up where The Orphan Queen leaves off. Patrick, the total douche, has tried to kill Tobiah. However, it didn’t work – Tobiah made a miraculous recovery thanks to one of the Ospreys – Wilhelmina’s ragtag group of royal orphans from Aecor. So, anyways, as a result of Wil’s going to the wraithland, she has turned the wraith into an unpredictable and dangerous boy who is hellbent on protecting her much to the detriment of those around Wil.
Anyways, so Wil must navigating figuring out how to get Aecor back from Prince Colin who is ruling there in her absence, but he doesn’t want to give it up. Meanwhile, Tobiah is about to marry Meredith and give up being Black Knife and it is break Wil’s heart. Also, the wraith is coming and they don’t have much time to figure out a way to prevent and combat it. In The Mirror King, things are certainly intensely paced, barrelling toward quite the epic ending.
I love the changes that Wil’s character undergoes in The Mirror King. I love that she has to make some really hard choices. AND! She actually makes some mistakes and has to deal with those mistakes. Sometimes I hate when series have characters who of course have character growth, but everything they do is perfect and there’s no mistakes or even any real learning in the process. I think a large part of development is failure, and thus, I like that Wil fails a lot. She is certainly one of my favorite protagonists and I think that her two book character arc is an important one.
As for the romance in The Mirror King, which, you should guess has something to do with Tobiah, I simply must say GIRL in a super loud voice as I normally do when something exciting happens romance-wise. So, okay, we all know from The Orphan Queen that Wil is in love with Tobiah, only, Black Knife Tobiah, not King Tobiah. Yet, of course, she knows nothing can ever come of this because of his engagement to Meredith. Still, the two are fighting this immense chemistry and trying to do what is right for their individual kingdoms. Basically if you like books with impossible love stories and zero love triangles, Jodi Meadows has got you covered with The Mirror King and also The Orphan Queen.
So, I won’t lie, I have always had a little bit of trouble picturing what wraith are and what the big deal is about them — like, why people can’t just live with them and why magic is so bad. I liked that this book helped to expand on my understanding of why they are so scary. Meadows brings the action up to another level — involving the wraith. We see the threat and why they keep losing lands to the wraith. I loved that in this book there is a wraith made flesh and we do get to learn a whole lot more — except for the fact that Wil treats the wraith boy quite terribly. I mean, I get it and get why she does, but still, a large part of me was like DO YOU SEE THE GIFT AND OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN? OBVIOUSLY NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE MOPING. Granted, I am a reader and have a broad view of the situation and Wilhelmina is a fictional character. Pish posh to logic. Anyways, if you still have confusion about wraith, this book will unconfuse you.
The Mirror King does a superb job of expanding on what we know about the Indigo Kingdom and Aecor. It clarifies more about the magic and both the good and bad it can do — as well as what the world was like before magic was essentially outlawed. I also really enjoyed the political maneuvering in this book. Let’s just say that Prince Colin is the worst and I think that he should have been axed much sooner in the book, but I also kind of like the interplay between him and Wil and how she outmans him. Like — I think politics and sociology is an important part of world building because it makes a world seem more believable, thus, Meadows does a really great job here because I can certainly imagine all of the issues that plague the two kingdoms and there’s just some unexpected action too in Aecor and it is the best.
To me – one of the marks of a great series is that you feel a little bit bereft after finishing it – even when you find the ending to be utterly perfect. The ending of The Mirror King has so much meaning infused in it. And I just cannot imagine this series ending any other way. Yet, I was sad to complete this book because it was SO GOOD YOU GUYS. So, now, I am quite eager to gobble up My Lady Jane and continue to push this duology on all of my YA fantasy loving friends. Meadows has outdone herself with these two books — I liked them even better than the Incarnate series, which I loved. So, despite being sad and a little empty that the duology is over — I have to recommend due to how AMAZING and how satisfied I am with these two books.
Other Reviews of The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows:
Carina’s Books – “a stunning sequel”
Christina Reads YA – “a lot of magic, a lot more political intrigue”
Books And Prejudice – “I love, love, loved it. This book… It’s amazing.”
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