(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Harper Collins on March 10th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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.
Gah!!! Holy cliffhanger!!!
The Orphan Queen is the first in a series by Jodi Meadows and I loved everything about this book. Forgive me if this review comes across as a little incoherent as that tends to happen when I have to try to put into words what I think about a book that I really enjoy.
Wil is a princess and when she was orphaned, her kingdom was taken by the Indigo Kingdom. Ten years after her parents were killed, Wil is a member of the Ospreys, a group of orphaned noble children fighting to take back Wil’s throne. To do this, Wil and her best friend Melanie, will need to infiltrate Skyvale Palace and find a way to win her kingdom back from the inside.
First, I loved the world that Meadows created and developed in this book. The idea that magic has created a toxic substance that is taking over the land added a mix to this fantasy that I haven’t seen before. Magic is outlawed due to the fact that every time someone uses magic, the wraith gets stronger and creates another horror that has never been seen before. It is destroying the land and it is a threat to the people.
Second, the story itself was great! Wil is an orphan who has watched her Kingdom be ripped away from her family and now she is fighting to get back what is hers and also attempt to make things better for her people. Along the way she comes to find she can rely on some people but can’t on others and not only did I love seeing Wil change along the way but also the people around her as they learned more about each other and what really was going on.
Finally, I love when a story has wonderful characters that I can get behind and root for – which there was no shortage of in this book.
The Ospreys were essentially Wil’s family and although she was the heir and eventual queen to them, the leader of the group was Patrick (Lein) and he was hard to read. I can’t say much about him other than he made me very, very angry. Melanie (Wil’s best friend) was another one that I wasn’t really sure about her agenda. I thought I had her figured out but then she would do something completely opposite of what I expected. I wanted to like her but I was on the fence with her for the whole story and couldn’t believe how things ended up between her and Wil.
Wil herself was an interesting character. She is tough and strong and has had to be but she also knows that what she is setting herself up for in taking over her kingdom is a huge responsibility and it is hard for her to be around the same people who killed her parents. She also isn’t completely sure what she believes regarding magic now that she has seen what the wraith can really do and it has changed her.
While Wil and the Ospreys are wandering the streets, they also run the risk of running into Black Knife, a vigilante who hunts magic offenders and hands them over to the watchmen. Wil needs to be careful to ensure that she not only doesn’t get caught using magic but that she also doesn’t get caught by him using magic.
I can’t say a lot about Black Knife, mostly because his identity is a mystery (he wears a mask) and while Wil is worried about him, she also starts to respect him as they continue to cross paths. I loved seeing the way their relationship changes as the story progresses. Not for any reason other than the fact that they both have a goal to make things better for the people of the Kingdom. The banter between the two characters was great and I loved how we were able to experience the transition of how they felt toward each other.
The other character I will mention here is the prince. His story is definitely interesting and I thought he was a solid character. It is clear he also wants to do what is right for the Kingdom and the people. I thought Meadows did a great job of tying him (and Wil) to the history of the deaths of Wil’s parents and bringing the story back to where they both are today, trying to do what is right.
Admittedly, I finished this book and immediately had a reaction…you all know how I feel about cliffhangers, right??
In a normal situation this ending would have made me rate a bit lower but as I continued to think about it, the entire story had me at the edge of my seat and I couldn’t put this down so I couldn’t do it – it had to be a 5 star for me. If you don’t have this book on your TBR list, definitely get it on there. There is a lot of action, magic, mystery, and of course, some swoony boys!
I loved everything about this one and I seriously can’t wait to see where Meadows takes the rest of this story. Be warned, you might (read: you probably will) find yourself throwing the book when you finish the last page but it will only be because you are like me and you don’t know how you are going to wait for the next book of this series. **Please note, I would never recommend throwing your books…they should always be handled with care. **
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!