The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
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.
Publishes in US: March 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books Harper Teen
Genre: YA fantasy
Series? The Orphan Queen #1
The Hidden Prince (The Orphan Queen, #0.1) Published June 2nd 2015 by Epic Reads Impulse
The Glowing Knight (The Orphan Queen, #0.2) Expected publication: September 1st 2015
The Burning Hand (The Orphan Queen, #0.3) Published December 1st 2015)
The Black Knife (The Orphan Queen, #0.4) Published March 1st 2016)
The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen, #2) Expected publication: April 5th 2016
Buy it: HarperCollins
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This one did get off to a bit of a mixed start for me I like Wilhelmina aka Wil and how she was trying to protect the other kids that were left behind as orphans when a neighboring kingdom slaughtered her parents and the ruling class, since her kingdom had such magic users which they thought was responsible for the curse.. She is an heir and feels the responsibility for them, and wants to reclaim her kingdom, Aecor. The other pressing issue is the wraith, the nasty by product of magic began to effect the land, bringing a stench along with mutated and strong and unnatural beasts and humans transformed into monsters who used so much magic for power.
It's the fantasy set up with a little bit hard for me to understand with all the political alliances and such. But that sort of thing is usually confusing for me no matter the author. I got a hang of the major players enough to start really enjoying and loving the story.
I did understand how she was trying to take back control of the kingdom and that she had a small group to help her do it they were planning to infiltrate the castle that is now in rule and also knew that she had an enemy the Black Dagger that has been showing up whenever they are going on missions. I like I will and how she was trying to protect the other kids that where left behind as orphsms when their parents who were the nation's rulers before they were killed. I also like the closeness that the group and how tight knit they were family whether not everyone was actually related or not. I was really sad when some of them began to turn on each other.
Wil may have been the orphan queen but she is strong. She's learned to fight, and she has to steal in order to feed others. She fights the wraith creatures with and with out magic. I admired the lines that she would not cross and her determination and will power to make that happen. She is fierce and a protector. She is determined and smart. But I love that she also has some unique talents. She is super talented at forgery and I am surprised how much that helped her and got her into the castle for her undercover, and was able to advance the plans, and help protect her people without being suspicious.
Love this quote as she answers as a duchess (the answers in quotes) and what she really wants to say.
“What do you enjoy doing?”I was really surprised at some of the turns, and people who I thought was enemies that became a strong alliance. There also was a romance involved, and it was slow developing and increasingly complicated because even though they both understand who the other is at heart, they have to keep so many secrets including their true identities.
I was suspicious of everyone, but there were some, like the prince's cousin that I loved. He treated Wil disguised as a ruling class refugee from a kingdom that the wraith made impossible to keep living there. She is supposed to get their military plans, the castle layout, etc. But she begins to see some of them as people who are just in impossible situations, acting in what they truly believe is in the best interest of their kingdom, the only way to save them.
Wil is a magic user, and she struggles with not using it, because while her kingdom viewed magic as something to use when necessary instead of it being banned like the king of Skyvale and many others believed it should be banned completely. She is very interested in trying to solve the problem, but she doesn't by into not using at all, and wonders if her parents were on to something by continuing to use magic, or if they were just being blind to the huge and detrimental effects. But Wil wants to discover the problem and figure out a solution. She sets this as priority over taking her land back and that is when the division in the Ospreys begins.
I suspected a few people of being the black knife would be but the ending in the reveal was awesome. I gotta say I kind of agree with her mom with all my gosh is that really where the book is ending? That's horrible. Only horrible in the best way though dear readers because of.what happened and how long we have to wait too find out how it ends.
Despite my floundering (totally my issue not Jodi's), I quickly fell in love with the character and the plot, how it would all turn out. I will certainly be finishing this series, and would like to make time for novellas as well.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you want to rule a kingdom?