Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Series: The Orphan Queen (bk. 1)

Genera(s): High Fantasy/Romance

Subjects: magic, kingdoms, queens and kings, princes and princesses

Setting: The Indigo Kingdom (The map in the book resembles Virginia and Maryland)

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Wilhelmina Korte

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 391 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover 

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Tegan

Summary/ product description: “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 Review:  I enjoyed this book a lot. I’m a fan of Jodi Meadows’s Incarnate Trilogy, so I was excited when I found out about this book. The title made me unsure of whether I would like it. I’m not a fan of high fantasy that sticks to the whole classic, historical medieval Europe-like society. This one was different, thankfully.

It’s got kingdoms and magic, but there’s some mention of technology created by magic, like railroads and architecture, and now that magic’s banned, they use gas light. The magic has created wraith the way using fossil fuels has caused global warming. It’s almost an alternate world, or a metaphor. This book is full of fighting creature made by wraith, deception and scandal. The Orphan Queen is similar to books like the Young Elites by Marie Lu, Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch and the Red Queen by Victoria Avyard.

Wilhelmina is an interesting heroine and narrator. She’s a princess trying to take back her kingdom. She pretends to be a duchess to gain entry into the Skyvale Palace. She also forges documents and has learned to copy handwriting. She’s great at fighting and jumping from rooftops. She can animate objects with her magic. She’s part of the Ospreys, a group of orphans of Aecor’s nobility. Their parents were killed in the One Night War, and their kingdom taken over by The Indigo Kingdom.

There’s also a vigilante called the Black Knife. He’s kind of like the fantasy version of Arrow or Daredevil, but he wears all black and uses a sword. I really enjoy the combination of fantasy and superhero elements. The Black Knife doesn’t have magic or powers though. I was not surprised when I found out his identity. He’s obviously not some random street guy. He’s someone that Wil has meet earlier, not wearing a mask. No spoilers though. But I find the whole vigilante romance kind of hot.

I can’t wait for more. I’ll read anything by Jodi Meadows.

Cover Art Review: I love that cloak on the cover. So beautiful. And the colors are gorgeous. Indigo like the kingdom. I with the jacket was actually metallic.

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