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May 15, 2015

Shelley Liked It: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Series: The Orphan Queen 1
Format: Hardcover | 400 pages
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Borrowed Library
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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.



THE ORPHAN QUEEN begins a brand new two book series by the author of the Newsoul trilogy. THE ORPHAN QUEEN is the story about 17-year old Princess Wilhelmina Korte, and her struggles to retake her kingdom. Ten years ago, Wilhelmina's kingdom of Aecor, was torn apart in what the survivors and winners are calling the One Night War. Wilhelmina and other highborn children were rounded up and taken to an orphanage in Skyvale, where they escaped and became a group known as the Ospreys. 

Wilhelmina, her best friend Melanie, and Patrick Lien form the core of the group. They're scrappy. They can fight. They steal in order to survive, and they have planned out the ultimate revenge against King Terrell of the Indigo Kingdom who was responsible for killing all of the lords and ladies of Aecor, including Wil's mother and father. This revenge starts with Wilhelmina and Melanie taking the identities of Liadian high born ladies, and infiltrating the Indigo King's castle looking for key information.

THE ORPHAN QUEEN is set against the backdrop of a world where magic isn't allowed, and a no magic alliance is in place. The use of magic can get you killed. It is not a new vibe that Meadows offers, but it is interesting when you realize that they weren't messing around, and that YES there was a reason for abandoning magic since it created something called the wraith. The wraith created strange monsters, and creatures called the Glowmen who have overrun entire countries.

I saw the betrayal coming a mile wide. It was apparent from the moment the character was introduced that they were up to no good. Then, when Meadows does a flashback to the One Night War and who was really responsible, you get a better grasp of what is really happening, and why. It's hard to trust characters intentions when you know they don't have the same reasoning as the heroine of the story. It's what makes this a good story, and one that isn't groundbreaking. Didn't make Wilhelmina's supposed best friend look good either, but then again, the story isn't about her, is it?

Wilhelmina's adversary and romantic entanglement is Tobiah, the crown prince of the Indigo Kingdom, and the person who carries a dangerous secret. Being the masked vigilante called The Black Knife who appears whenever Wil or her Osprey's are around, Tobiah carefully leads a double life, while fighting against crime, those who wield magic, and those affected by the wraith. He also is the reason Wilhelmina finds herself without a country to rule. On one hand, Tobiah is the sheltered prince who wasn't allowed to attend normal schools. On the other hand, his freedom as the Black Knife brings him face to face with the girl who saved his life the night of the One Night War.

I've been hearing all about the cliffhanger ending to THE ORPHAN QUEEN since before the book was released. Thankfully for me and anyone else who actually liked this story, Meadows says that this is part one of a two part duology. So, no, I won't bitch or complain about the ending. For now. Still, it's a long wait until the sequel, The Mirror King, comes out in 2016. In the meantime, Meadows announced that she will also be releasing FOUR separate novellas; The Hidden Prince (June 2, 2015), The Glowing KnightThe Burning Hand, and The Black Knife

Hopefully, Meadows will answer questions about Wilhelmina's powers, and how she did what she did at the end of this book. I do hope the rest of the Osprey's, who made choices of their own between following Wilhelmina, or Patrick, find a way to survive. I do believe that James would be the perfect partner for Wil. I really liked him. He was a bit more straight forward than Tobiah, who really left Wilhelmina in a tough spot with THAT ending! I know I've said that I resent 3-way love triangles. I think I've overstated that stance over the past year. However, if Wil and James were to find a connection, it would be better than yet another twisted triangle.




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28 comments:

  1. I am still upset over the copy I got at EW wasn't an arc but a sampler!!! I love that this is only a duology and the novellas are must reads for me.

    Fab review, Shelley!

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  2. Thanks Shelley, great review. I love this type of read

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  3. Hmm...I don't quite get the premise...but glad you liked it!

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  4. After I read the first 11 chapters that I got from Edelweiss, I instantly wanted more. Sadly, I have yet to buy the book. Hopefully, there will be a sale soon on the Kindle book, or I'll wait a little longer to get me a physical copy. Either way, I'll be finishing it. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I was lucky enough that the library had a copy. Love my library! Thanks, Lekeisha!

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  5. This is a new to me author but I really like the sounds of this story and that cover is awesome.

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    1. It really is! I like the covers to the novellas also.

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  6. I can't believe I still haven't read this. Bad me! Wonderful review, Shelley & thanks for the cliffhanger warning :)

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    1. Oh, no problem Ramona. I heard about the cliffhanger on Twitter!

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  7. Not normally a young adult reader, your review is intriguing. This is one of those stories that sounds like it could be made into a movie. I like the cover, too! Hugs and Happy Friday! Ro

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  8. Sigh, love triangle. How original

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    1. It really doesn't take up all that much time or space in the story. Just enough to make you wonder is all.

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  9. I really did love this book as well. Was fortunate enough that a friend loaned me an arc. I also thought that the Princess was a strong character. I didn't mind the love triangle and Jodi Meadows is amazing.

    Grace @ Books of Love

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    1. I didn't either. It wasn't in your face the entire book.

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  10. This sounds like a great fantasy. Fantasy is a new love of mine and am still not too familiar with the authors, so thank you for the recommendation.

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  11. Wow. I don't know if I've ever read a duology before. I'm not normally a fan of cliffhangers but considering you don't have 3 more books to read, it's not so bad.
    P.S. I never had to switch your bloglovin feed. You were automatically switched I guess because I checked and it says I'm following you.

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    1. That's a good point, Kristen. Plus, this cliffhanger was the perfect place to stop before jumping into the sequel.

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  12. Hah, such a long wait for the one! But it's interesting to see a world that has magic but is forbidden for anyone to use it for fear of danger. It's definitely not original, but it's something nice to read every now and then especially since fantasy is usually about magic in the first place! I can't wait to get this one. I liked her YA fantasy previously, although it was a bit too much in the romance, so I hope the love story in this one is not as overwhelming.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. I do hope you get to read it soon, Faye!

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  13. I would prob bitch about the ending, lol. I am so sensitive to cliffhangers. sometimes they work though.

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    1. I think this one might work for you, Jennifer. It's the perfect spot to stop, and then pick up in the sequel.

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  14. I've been really curious about this one. I may have to grab a copy and pick it up when it's a bit closer to the release of the 2nd book. I like that it's a duology though.

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    1. Agreed! Duologies make it much easier to take cliffhanger endings!

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