I received this book for free from ALA Midwinter 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
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2015-03-10
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: ALA Midwinter
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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.
I really, really loved this book. It’s so exciting when you get to start a new series and even more exciting when you fly right through the book and love it! I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. It almost felt like a mash-up of those three books with a little bit of Batman mixed in there. That might sound weird, but it worked. Believe me.
There is a lot going on in this book. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep it all straight and I’d get lost along the way, but it actually worked really well together. Once I got the hang of the alliances and kingdoms and the wraith, everything else just fell into place and it all flowed really well together. Sometimes when there are so many elements happening at once, something just doesn’t fit in, but it all fit together nicely, especially the further on in the book I got. Pieces just kept falling into place and I loved that.
One of my favorite things about this book was the characters. I really love Wilhelmina. She started off knowing she was the princess of a fallen kingdom and wanting to do nothing but get her kingdom back. She was a fighter and a protector but not really a leader. She spent so much time thinking about those who were close to her and protecting them that she hadn’t really spent the time thinking about what winning her kingdom back would really mean and what the best way to do that was. When she had the time to think about it, everything changed. I loved to see her go through that and, in a sense, really grow up and become a leader of her people. And even though she changed and grew up throughout the book, I liked her both in the beginning and at the end. I also like that we know who she is from the very beginning. There’s no big reveal about how she’s the lost princess or anything. We just know.
The supporting characters in this book were so good, too! They were so well developed and interesting and had me questioning what I thought was going to happen. They didn’t always turn out like I thought they would or do the things I wanted them to. They kept me on my toes and turning the pages and I loved that! There is some secret identity things going on and some romances and while I didn’t necessarily like every character in the book (which we aren’t suppose to do), I loved the roles they all played. I can’t wait to learn more about them in the next book and see if some of my predictions are right about where they might be going and planning!
Which leads right into the next thing I need to talk about. This book has one of the biggest, meanest cliffhangers ever. And I’m not exaggerating. At least, I don’t think I am. Maybe there are some out there that I haven’t read yet. But this one is seriously bad. I definitely had one of those moments turning the page back and forth wondering if maybe my ARC had been missing a page or two. And maybe it was. I’m still holding out a little hope that when my finished copy shows up, there will be a couple of more pages in the end of it. It’s definitely what I’ll be looking at first thing I get my hands on it! I don’t want to keep hammering on the same thing, I just want to prepare all of you for the pain that comes at the end of the book. It’s so good, but most definitely painful. In some sick way, I kind of loved it. But mostly I just want to know what happens right after the book ends! I NEED TO KNOW!! If anyone has any kind of information about this, please share it with me!
Okay, enough with that. I feel that I’ve warned you plenty about the pain this book can cause. And I certainly don’t want you to be turned off by that. It’s definitely worth the pain. This book was seriously good and very addicting. If you’ve read all of the Throne of Glass books and need a new series to start, I highly recommend this one. It’s full of action, political intrigue, princes and princesses, runaways, secret identities, spies, magic, a little bit of romance, and a kick-ass heroine!! I loved it! Now go read it!