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 Knight, The 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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