Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Review: The Orphan Queen

Title: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult // Fantasy // Magic // Romance
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Format: Physical 
Source: Borrowed (Library)

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.
She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.
She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.
She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.
Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world (goodreads).

You wanted an intense fantasy with a strong female lead and just the right amount of romance? Well Jodi delivered. 

Plot: How do I write this review without yelling at all of you to buy this? I probably can't, but I'll try. As the synposis says, Wil is the princess of a kingdom that was wiped out almost ten years ago. She and a band of orphans are out to get her crown back and exact revenge on those who wronged her. What I love about this synposis is that it doesn't really give anything away. Like anything. So I'll try not to give anything away as well. 

As a spy for The Ospreys, Wil and her friend infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom to obtain vital information on the people who killed her family and other highborn families as well. There she is introduced to a new lifestyle and must get to know her enemy and maybe even feel sympathy toward them. And then there is the Black Knife. The charming young man who jumps roof to roof ridding the kingdom of evil. 

What makes this book a winner is that Jodi Meadows understands balance. The Orphan Queen is not bogged down with romance, nor is it betrayal after betrayal. Meadows gives the reader just enough to make you want more, and I want so much more. 

There is a cliffhanger so please prepare accordingly. 

Characters: Wilhemina is a girl after my own heart. Only a handful of people know her true identity and she is able to flawlessly juggle multiple identities for various missions. She is a spy/princess. How badass is that??? I wish we were able to get to know the Ospreys, but there are select members of that gang that will definitely come back in future installments, and I can't wait to see how their roles develop. 

The Black Knife was a character that kept me at the edge of my seat because, as the impatient reader that I am, I kept trying to guess his identity. Like from his first appearance (I'm happy to say that I guessed correctly). I loved Wil's interaction with Black Knife and that even a nameless vigilante was able to have a bit of character development. 

World Building: The Orphan Queen would have really benefitted from a map. Not to say that Jodi Meadows did not properly describe her world, just that I think her explanations would have been better with a visual representation. Nonetheless, I loved the history of the kingdoms and how some of the kingdoms came to be after the appearance of wraith. 

Short N Sweet: For readers who want their cake and want to eat it too (if cake was political betrayals and romance), then The Orphan Queen is a book you'll want for your shelves!


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