Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 10th 2015
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.
I was a little wary of this book. I was not worried about the subject matter, this kind of book is right up my alley, but I had started Jodi Meadows’ Incarnate series and DNFed the first book less than halfway through. I didn’t like the writing and I thought the story itself was rather dull. So I was concerned this book might be some of the same. But not every series is the same so I plunged right in.
Let me assuage your fears right away if you have any, this book is nothing like the Incarnate series. In fact, it is infinitely better than I dared to hope. So if you weren’t a fan of Incarnate have no fear of reading OQ, it does not disappoint.
First, let’s talk about the main character. Wilhelmina or Wil for short, is a princess of a conquered land living in the conquering nation. She’s one of my favorite female characters, right behind Celaena from Throne of Glass. Granted, Wil has a bit more of a strong moral code than Celaena does, she’s also not an assassin. He’s very dedicated to the people she loves and cares about, including the subjects she had to leave behind.
There are two very swoony male characters. Thankfully there is no love triangle is sight. I got very attached to James early on, the Prince’s bodyguard. Then, of course, there’s the prince himself who spends most of the book being a massive grump. Don’t lie, those of you who’ve already read it, he totally is.
Unlike Incarnate, things move much faster in this book. I didn’t get the boredom that I got when I was reading the other series. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Or bed. Or floor. Or wherever you read. The writing is beautifully done and engaging the whole way without getting flowery or obnoxious.
I loved this book. The cover is gorgeous and the story inside is one of the best high fantasies I have had the pleasure of reading. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on all 4 novellas as well as the sequel. I also appreciate that it is a duology instead of a trilogy, something I think we need more of in YA.
As soon as I was done I grabbed all 4 novellas, but that’s a different review. Stay tuned for those.
What do you think of Orphan Queen? Share in the comments.
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