Book: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date Published: March 10th, 2015
Date Started: May 1st, 2015
Date Finished: May 9th, 2015
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.
This is a book that I was definitely afraid of reading. Theres just been so many raving reviews about this book, and I’m afraid of being the one person that feels completely flabbergasted as to why I didn’t like it. I did end up really liking the book, but I had a few issues that had me taking a step back for a moment.
So first off, the first 1/3 of this book reminded me way too much of Throne of Glass. I really hate to compare books because I don’t think its fair, but this one was a little too similar for my tastes. So Wil is a girl who watched her parents die in front of her, had her kingdom taken away from her and was casted out as an orphan and joins a secret society. She secretly infiltrates the palace of the kingdom that ruined hers, has flirtatious moments with the crown prince and bestfriend/body guard. This sounds exactly like Throne of Glass, does it not? Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. Once I hit the second part of the book, the book starts to create its own identity and become unique. This is when I started to really get sucked into the book. I don’t want you going into the book expecting Throne of Glass. This book is unique and deserves to be read, even if it does have a few similar traits to Throne of Glass.
When it came to the world building, some of the details were left to the readers imagination. Its not like a lot of the high-fantasy novels that are becoming more popular these days. The one issue I had with the world building was the fact that I didn’t understand the use of magic and what the wraith was. It only really become clear to me towards the end when the wraith became an imminent danger. But I think that was intentional because the characters of the book didn’t understand the wraith and were fighting against time trying to figure out what it was and how to defeat it. It made sense to me that the reader would be left in the dark as well, even though that frustrated me at times.
One thing that I did love about this book was the romance aspect. The romance didn’t kick in until the last 1/3rd of the book. This means that the story wasn’t plagued with a lot of romance scenes trying to complicate everything. The romance did complicate things, but not so much that it took away from everything. I’m starting to feel a love triangle happening, but maybe more of a love square? Which leads me to my next topic, the characters. I loved Wil in this book. She’s not perfect but she’s not so completely flawed that she becomes useless in times of trouble. I also loved the crown prince and his best friend. I wanted to see more of them, and I suspect we will with the sequels and the novellas that are coming out this year. There were also some characters that I hated. I wanted to slap them for being so stupid and meddling with things they shouldn’t be meddling in, but alas, its just another sign of a book that has me invested. I care enough to want the best for Wil.
This was a great fantasy book, although not my favorite of the year. I look forward to reading the sequels and can’t wait to find out what happens because that ending was a cliff hanger.