Monday, July 23, 2018

The Orphan Queen ( The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows

Image result for the orphan queen
Age Range: YA
Pages: 416
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishing
Publication Date: 05 April 2016
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Rating: 4 Stars

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.

My Thoughts:

In the spirit of honesty, I would never have picked this book up for myself.  The synopsis didn't excite me and, for me, there was just no real pull to the book, but I picked it up anyway because I knew a friend of mine would love it.  I decided that it wouldn't hurt to buddy-read it with her and I am very glad I did.  I enjoyed it far more than I had expected; I found it to be a good reminder that sometimes it is good to branch out and read something I normally wouldn't.

I really enjoyed the worldbuilding in this novel.  I took me a couple of chapters to really understand the inner workings of the world and the various aspects of the magic.  However, once I got that down I felt that it really hit the sweet spot, the world wasn't too complex nor did it leave me feeling like I needed more.  It was actually quite straightforward for a fantasy novel which I found quite refreshing.

I really liked Wil, she was strong, fierce, and an amazing fighter.  All things that make for a great main character, but what I liked most about her was her sense of morality and loyalty, not only to the nation she lost but also to her close-knit group of friends.  Wil didn't always make great choices but she made them not while thinking about herself but about those she loved, which only made me love her all the more.  Her loyalty made her seem more human and less that inhumanly perfect warrior queen that seems common in literature.

In fact, the only reason the book received four instead of five stars was due to the fact that I was able to call some of the plot twists. I felt that while I loved the journey, there were too many instances where the book had foreshadowing just felt too obvious and made it too easy to guess the plotline.  This being said, it has a killer cliffhanger that I did not see coming and has left me jonesing to get my hand on the next book. 

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