A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Overall I thought The Orphan Queen was an entertaining read though I would consider on the lighter end of the fantasy side. The aspects I felt the book excelled at was the magic system Meadows created. Using magic in this world left remnants called Wraith that was thought to be destructive. I loved that as it spread across the land it was like a virus destroying and reshaping the life it touched.
I felt that the characters lacked a little something for me though I’m not sure exactly what. I had trouble truly connecting to any of them on a deep level. Even so I did enjoy the action scenes and storyline. I really loved that Meadows gave her main character, Wilhelmina, the skill of calligraphy and forging documents. I thought this was a nice, unique touch for a young adult fantasy that I’ve not seen used before. I thought that her loyalty and protective nature for the Ospreys was realistic and made her likeable.
Black Knife’s character felt a tad ‘done before’ but he was still a fun character that provided a nice touch to the story and presented some nice interactions between him and Wil.
I felt that some of the twists were pretty obvious and I’m not honestly sure they were really supposed to be that surprising. I did enjoy that Wil lived in the Palace of her enemy and had to interact with him on a daily basis. I thought her ability to see his better points was an interesting touch.
Fair warning the ending was evil to the extreme-be sure to prepare yourself for a cliff hanger.
I enjoyed Meadows foray into fantasy and felt that her use of magic had vast potential and created some interesting moments. I felt a slight disconnect from the characters that in some ways impeded my compete enjoyment of the story though it was well worth the read.