by Jodi Meadows
Amazon / Goodreads
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.
Review:The Orphan Queen is a wonderful fantasy adventure. Wilhelmina has so much to overcome, and discover about herself as she struggles to be the queen her people need, and it made for some fantastic character development and drama. Wil was faced with so many perils throughout the story and it kept the suspense and my interest very high. Wil had to deal with the wraith, with trying to get back her kingdom, with the Black Knife, and with some of her friends who might not be completely on her side. There's so much going on with this plot.
Not only does the book have to show how Wil deals with all of these things, but it also reveals, slowly, what happened to put Wil in the position of the orphan queen. Just the plotting of this book is exceptional. I enjoyed how complex it was, but I was never confused and the pace of the story never waned.
Wil is an intriguing protagonist too. She's an exceptional fighter, a clever and talented artist, a compassionate and nurturing mother-figure to the younger members of her band, and she takes her responsibilities very seriously. The strength of her character is impressive, and I also loved that she could be snarky and fun sometimes too. She's an amazing character to get to know. And almost matched by how awesome it was to get to know the vigilante Black Knife. He is an interesting enigma, but so wonderfully admirable, and I loved that Wil grew to appreciate that about him. Their relationship was another great aspect to this story. And as if there wasn't enough to this story, it's also wonderful to have a little mystery about who Black Knife is behind the mask!
I absolutely loved diving into the world of this book. There's so much to the plot, the characters and the world-buliding that it was totally engrossing and a vivid and emotional read. Unfortunately it comes with a pretty hefty cliffhanger - one that made me flip pages back and forth, just to make sure I wasn't missing something. Ugh, the anguish! But I'm only so upset over it because I loved the book so much!