Title: Orphan Queen
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.10
Published: March 10th, 2015
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.Taschima's POV:
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 was Julianna, a general, and occasionally the orphaned Princess of Aecor. I was anyone I needed to be."I like many other bloggers received an e-copy of this title for reviewing purposes months ago, only to find out the e-copy was just an excerpt. I am glad I didn't read the excerpt because it does not do justice to the book as a whole. The first part of the Orphan Queen is the least exciting part, the part that almost feels like every single other YA fantasy title out there. After Part two is that it starts getting real good.
"When the Indigo Army invaded Aecor almost ten years ago, every adult living in the palace was slaughtered, and the highborn children were brought to Skyvale, the capital of the Indigo Kingdom. We escaped the orphanage a year later and named ourselves after the national animal of our conquered homeland.What makes Orphan Queen special is its brand of magic, the conflict between the kingdoms (because there is no black and white easy answer, it is very complicated and everybody is a little at fault), the vigilante that takes it upon himself to cleanse the kingdom of its problems, and the one girl who is supposed to save a kingdom and a world from the plague of magic with the help of a small group of orphans.
The Ospreys, these children, were my life. Without them, I had nothing.But with them...
With them, I would take back my kingdom."
"Regardless, they're our way into society. Try to be polite."Wil is the orphan daughter to the King and Queen of the Aecor kingdom. When the rival kingdom attacked her home she was spared, but only because she pretended to be someone she was not. Now she is just a kid trying to survive and keep those under protection alive. Her and the Ospreys have trained in order to be formidable when trying to get their kingdom back. She goes into the rival kingdom's palace under the identity of another dead royal in order to get valuable information that might help her save her kingdom. She also harbors the secret of her magic. She commands inanimate things, tells them what to do, and they do it (like for example she would tell a rope to untie itself). She might be future queen, but she is not the leader of their group. Because of this she doesn't feel worthy of the crown and is willing to do anything in order to earn her throne. She is likable and under the circumstances a very real character. I liked her immensely, specially since she was willing to do things nobody else was in order to save not only herself and hers but the entire world. Also she has snark, and I love myself some snark.
"I'm always polite."
You're [Wil] always eyeing people's valuables. That's hardly polite."
"Magic was forbidden in the Indigo Kindgom, and Black Knife didn't care how it was used."At the beginning Black Knife was a little too black and white on his approach. Magic is what brought forth the Wraith, the toxic by product of magic which warps whatever it takes over, so Black Knife figures everyone who even dares to use magic must be in the wrong because they are putting their individual needs before the entire world. So he bags and tags them like any other criminal. After he meets Wil, and she asks him the hard questions, he starts to realize not everyone is bad and some just use whatever tools they have at their disposal to survive. Black Knife is interesting, and kick ass, and awesome, and charming... I am a little in love with him myself. He and Wil have this connection, this spark between them, that cannot be denied, and their chemistry sizzles off the page. Also he always wears a mask so no one finds out his real identity, how very super hero of him (and hot, definitely).
I enjoyed how the writer treated the conflict between the kingdoms. Nobody is inherently evil or good, they all have their reasons for doing what they did (even though some went a little too far with their choices). There is no evil King who just WANTS to take over every single part of the world, there is no time for that with the threat of Wraith in the horizon. The only real enemy is the left over magic and what it is doing to the world. I am curious to see how this "Wraith" came to be, and I am really hoping we get answers regarding it on the next book.
Because I am totally picking up a sequel, and I sure recommend this one. If you only read the excerpt I say give it another shot, get into the story, really into it, and then it shall be worth it. Recommend for fans of Throne of Glass and A Darker Shade of Magic.