The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Skinny: 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.
BFF?: I simply adored Wilhelmina, or Wil as she’s known to her friends. I loved watching her toe this line between follower and leader and once she crossed it, never looking back. I also liked watching herself let things go. While I obviously don’t know what it’s like to be a queen of any kind, I imagine there are SO many pressures. Wil managed to find a way to let go of those pressures and become who she was really meant to be. She quickly became one of my favorite characters and I would love to have her as a BFF!
Readability: It’s been so long since I’ve read a book and couldn’t put it down. The Orphan Queen was a great change. The writing was excellent but light enough that I didn’t feel weighed down. I found it intense and exciting while at the same time funny and heart-warming. But did we really expect anything less from Jodi Meadows? 🙂
Crush Level: 8
I developed a crush on all three of the guys in this book: the prince, the guard, and Black Knife. I swear, trying to figure out who was who and who I liked her with best was one of the biggest challenges of this book. Knowing how my book crushes work, I might have instantly been drawn to Tobiah, the prince, but I felt really dirty for doing so. All through the book I felt like he was supposed to be the bad guy! But he was just so moody and blase, with only little hints of personality thrown in. I think this might say a lot about me… Then we have the guard, James, who is like mister personality and I felt like I had a crush on him too, but more of a friend crush. I liked him and Wil together, but I’m sorry… mister personality cannot compete with moody prince. Moody prince wins every time.
But then there’s Black Knife who I keep seeing compared to as Batman and guys… Batman is like JUST UNDER Thor in my super hero crushes. An all black wearing vigilante who is charming and kind and rescues damsels in distress and fights monsters? Uh… yes please! How is a girl to choose who to crush on? Spoiler answer (highlight): I DIDN’T HAVE TO!!! HUZZAH, JODI MEADOWS!!!
I’m pretty sure this may just be me, but every time I heard “Indigo” I immediately thought about Rainbow Brite. Indigo was one of the characters from the… show? Was there something other than a show? Anyway… as a kid I never quite knew what indigo was but was always intrigued by this character/color.
I already mentioned this as part of my crush level, but there is something so cool about vigilantes. I don’t really think they have a place in real-life society, but in make-believe ones? Yes please!
Wil infiltrates the palace as she is trying to find out information and be able to take back her kingdom. I loved all the made up stories and the lies and deceits… I have no idea how they kept it up!
Commencement Speech: This book…. oh man, I am GLAD I didn’t get an ARC of it! Mostly because I don’t know how I would have been able to read this and not have that many people to chat with about it! I lovvvvveeeeed it! Love, love, loved it! I didn’t really expect not to love it, but didn’t really think about just how much I might love it.
We all know how much I love fantasy, but I feel like I sometimes have a hard time finding fantasy that really resonates with me. Like that sticks with me and makes me go YES! The Orphan Queen was exactly that book. There are so many things I could say about it, but they’d all come out something like “EEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!” Which really wouldn’t make for a good review.
Overall, this book was exactly what I needed. I need more books like it in my life and absolutely cannot wait to find more like it! Except, maybe not ones that have that kind of ending… my heart cannot take it!
Yearbook Quote: “Authenticity was the key to any deception. Sometimes authenticity was disgusting.”
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