Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Source: Physical ARC lent to me by a seriously generous and wonderful fellow blogger, Gail
I loved this book so much. Jodi’s INCARNATE series was so awesome, which made me super excited for this book. I met Jodi at the Vegas Valley Book Festival. One of the questions I asked the panel she was on was, “If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?” Her response was, “a unicorn.” Ever since then, I’ve loved her as a person as well as a spectacular author. Here is your synopsis:
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.
1. The world in this book is fantastic!
In Wil’s world, magic is outlawed because it produces an evil consequence called wraith. Wraith is about to take over their land, so the king has outlawed magic because of that imminent threat. Along with the high society of the court – complete with fancy dresses, balls, and mounds of food – there is always the underlying fear of wraith. So, since magic is outlawed, of COURSE Wil has magic. They have a funny name for people who use magic. They call them flashers. I always found it hilarious, because I have a way different picture in my mind of flashers.
2. I love that Wilhelmina goes by Wil.
My dad named my sister and me “girl” names, obviously, but he gave us names that when shortened, employers wouldn’t know if we were boys or girls. Of course, on all of our professional documents, we go by our full names, but it’s a great concept. My full name is Andrea and I go by Andi as a nickname. I love that Wil does this, especially because she knows how little power women have.
3. BLACK KNIFE
When we first meet Black Knife, he is trying to thwart Wil. She is attempting to steal stationary from a warehouse for forged papers. Black Knife shows up, and we hear about how he is constantly trying to catch them for stealing. Black Knife is not the police, he is kind of a Batman-esque vigilante, yearning for justice. He knows the law is iffy at best, so he takes matters into his own hands. Anyway, he dresses all in black, with a silk mask over his face, and even though we only see his eyes, he is still a hunky dreamboat.
4. The villain(s).
So, Wil infiltrates the palace in order to harm the current monarchy. Her family was slaughtered by this monarchy ten years ago, and she is the rightful queen and heir to the throne. There is one conversation with King Terrell where they are eating breakfast, and you get super confused. At first, he’s the villain, and then he’s kind of…not. He’s totally a man looking out for his son, and from that point on, you feel really torn about him. Prince Tobiah and Wil have met before. She actually saved him, so it’s kind of a miracle he doesn’t recognize her. Prince Tobiah is a total snoozefest. He’s cold, distant, and always bored. The ladies of the court are also villains. I’m not going to tell you much about them, because spoilers.The other villain here is something intangible, but also tangible. That’s honestly the best way I can explain it. It’s called wraith, and it destroys the land because of magic. It is created as an after effect of using magic, almost like an incandescent smoke. You can smell it and feel it, but unless it’s concentrated or infused a being, it’s more a malevolent presence than anything. Yes, you read that right. It infuses animals with its evil and engorges them to huge heights. There are also the glowmen, who are tainted by wraith, who pretty much serve its purposes. Coolest. Concept. Ever.
OVERALL: FIVE STARS!!! However, let me warn you, the ending is brutal. Like, I hated books for like a second and half when I finished this book. Luckily, there is the #OQSupportGroup on Twitter who can help you through this and be your shoulder to cry on. This was full of adventure and intrigue. And, it was light on the romance, which I loved! Click the link to pre-order, you’ll definitely want this tomorrow!