May 19th

Review of The Orphan Queen

Posted in Reviews

Title: The Orphan Queen
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Date Published: March 10, 2015
Where I got the book: Won an ARC through a blog giveaway by Mindy McGinnis

Goodreads Synopsis: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.

“The Ospreys, these children, were my life. Without them, I had nothing. But with them… With them, I would take back my kingdom.”

This is most definitely one of my favorite books of all time! It has monarchy/kingdom plot elements, love, combat, thievery, forgery, action and adventure. It has questions of identity and morality. For readers of all ages this is a story that would appeal to you.

“They were grotesque, with bulging shoulders and arms, the muscles bursting through their clothing. Two were enormously tall, practically giants, while the others were as wide as doorways. All of them were revolting with red-veined eyes, cheekbones like shelves, and fat lips. They stank of wraith. They were glowmen: men turned into monsters.”

If you’ve read the Incarnate series you know that Jodi Meadows has a very distinct writing style. The only way I can explain it is by calling it “soft”. Her description, dialogue, and storyline are very pretty and poetic. Nothing wrong with it, its just very different. Even her characters tend to be the softer, thinker, dreamer types. In Orphan Queen she takes a turn towards the more “hard” style. Details are more clear, more harsh, more real. The mirror palace was so cool to imagine as Jodi describes it! There is not always one right answer in OQ, and even if there is only one choice it is not an easy choice to make. The plot surrounds a deposed queen living as a thief and forger, her gang, the Ospreys, other orphans from the defeated kingdom of Aecor, a vigilante bent on stopping all magic use and cleaning up the Indigo Kingdom, and an unlikable, cold and aloof, prince. Jodi asks difficult questions in this novel, making the reader think hard about what they would do or what they think Wil should do. Both Wil and Black Knife have to decide who they want to be and how they want to accomplish their goals.

OQ SWAG3

“Women are constantly underestimated. Women can be just as cunning and clever as men, and oftentimes are. Our triumph is simply overlooked or unnoticed, because men do not expect it or know to look for it. . .Use your perceived insignificance to your advantage. Its what we all do.”

The world-building in OQ is exceptional. While I have an ARC, I am eagerly awaiting the finished copy so I can get a look at the awesome map I hear it has! No reader, whether they usually read fantasy or not, should have any problems entering the world of OQ and understanding the history or the use of magic. It is all well described and outlined without any obvious or boring info dumping. While I learned little about the other kingdoms in this world, I would find that information extraneous since our main characters are all from the Indigo Kingdom and Aecor and the other kingdoms are slowing being eaten by wraith(the dark material believed to be created by magic use).

“A queen who wouldn’t protect her subjects was no queen at all.”

I love the multi-faceted characters! Wil is just an amazing main character. Wilhelmina Korte, deposed Queen of Aecor, forger, thief, impersonator, good with knives and an animator, able to awaken inanimate objects and have them follow her commands. She is a fabulous role model for young girls. She is strong and intelligent, but cares for and protects her people and those that can’t care for or protect themselves, even citizens of the kingdom that destroyed hers. A true queen who knows how far to go for the people she loves while still drawing a hard line for herself that she won’t cross. She struggles, realistically, with the decisions she has to make due to the responsibility she feels for the orphans who depend on her and the fate of her kingdom.

“Try to be polite.”
“I’m always polite.”
“You’re always eyeing people’s valuables. That’s hardly polite.”

Melanie is a great foil for Wil. While Wil is motivated by duty and has a strict value system that controls her actions, Mel is motivated by love and allows herself to be lead astray by people she loves. Mel seems stricter, more determined to do what needs done to restore Aecor and return Wil to the throne. In reality Mel loves Wil and Patrick and allows them to tell her what she should do, where Wil thinks independently and refuses to kill to get what she wants and won’t put her Ospreys in danger. Mel’s humor is also a good foil for Wil’s constant state of worry and serious-ness. In the end I think Mel is proving to be a valuable friend, and a quick thinker.

“A memory welled up, like blood from a thin cut, of standing on a ledge and watching my city burn. My hand in Tobiah’s. Tobiah Pierce and me: this was why the Indigo Kingdom had won the One-Night War.”

I could write epic poems devoted to Black Knife and how much I love his character, unfortunately that would involve a lot of spoilers! Continuing the theme of multi-faceted and troubled characters, we have Black Knife. He is a vigilante who seems to be a thorn in the Osprey’s sides. However, his motives are very pure, he wishes to keep the Indigo Kingdom safe by stopping all magic use, catching all the bullies and vandals, and by eliminating the wraith drug trade. He starts out as Wil’s enemy but evolves into so much more, especially when we find out his secret identity! He is a man who makes mistakes but when confronted, does what it takes to fix them and admits his wrongs.

“I was there was the war began. And when it ended.”

The secondary characters in OQ help bring the story to life, and no character feels flat. Patrick is one of those love to hate characters. Prince Tobiah is both intriguing and annoying. James, his bodyguard provides useful information and some depth to Tobiah’s character. The other Osprey’s give Wil’s character more meaning, providing both motivation and explanation for her actions. They give a face to the ambiguous goal for retaking Aecor. Every character and description in Orphan Queen is both beautiful and necessary in its own way. If you haven’t purchased it now that it is available, you most definitely should! Click on any image in this review and you will be redirected to one of our affiliates!

Title: The Orphan Queen
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Date Published: March 10, 2015
Where I got the book: Won an ARC through a blog giveaway by Mindy McGinnis

Goodreads Synopsis: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.

“The Ospreys, these children, were my life. Without them, I had nothing. But with them… With them, I would take back my kingdom.”

This is most definitely one of my favorite books of all time! It has monarchy/kingdom plot elements, love, combat, thievery, forgery, action and adventure. It has questions of identity and morality. For readers of all ages this is a story that would appeal to you.

“They were grotesque, with bulging shoulders and arms, the muscles bursting through their clothing. Two were enormously tall, practically giants, while the others were as wide as doorways. All of them were revolting with red-veined eyes, cheekbones like shelves, and fat lips. They stank of wraith. They were glowmen: men turned into monsters.”

If you’ve read the Incarnate series you know that Jodi Meadows has a very distinct writing style. The only way I can explain it is by calling it “soft”. Her description, dialogue, and storyline are very pretty and poetic. Nothing wrong with it, its just very different. Even her characters tend to be the softer, thinker, dreamer types. In Orphan Queen she takes a turn towards the more “hard” style. Details are more clear, more harsh, more real. The mirror palace was so cool to imagine as Jodi describes it! There is not always one right answer in OQ, and even if there is only one choice it is not an easy choice to make. The plot surrounds a deposed queen living as a thief and forger, her gang, the Ospreys, other orphans from the defeated kingdom of Aecor, a vigilante bent on stopping all magic use and cleaning up the Indigo Kingdom, and an unlikable, cold and aloof, prince. Jodi asks difficult questions in this novel, making the reader think hard about what they would do or what they think Wil should do. Both Wil and Black Knife have to decide who they want to be and how they want to accomplish their goals.

OQ SWAG3

“Women are constantly underestimated. Women can be just as cunning and clever as men, and oftentimes are. Our triumph is simply overlooked or unnoticed, because men do not expect it or know to look for it. . .Use your perceived insignificance to your advantage. Its what we all do.”

The world-building in OQ is exceptional. While I have an ARC, I am eagerly awaiting the finished copy so I can get a look at the awesome map I hear it has! No reader, whether they usually read fantasy or not, should have any problems entering the world of OQ and understanding the history or the use of magic. It is all well described and outlined without any obvious or boring info dumping. While I learned little about the other kingdoms in this world, I would find that information extraneous since our main characters are all from the Indigo Kingdom and Aecor and the other kingdoms are slowing being eaten by wraith(the dark material believed to be created by magic use).

“A queen who wouldn’t protect her subjects was no queen at all.”

I love the multi-faceted characters! Wil is just an amazing main character. Wilhelmina Korte, deposed Queen of Aecor, forger, thief, impersonator, good with knives and an animator, able to awaken inanimate objects and have them follow her commands. She is a fabulous role model for young girls. She is strong and intelligent, but cares for and protects her people and those that can’t care for or protect themselves, even citizens of the kingdom that destroyed hers. A true queen who knows how far to go for the people she loves while still drawing a hard line for herself that she won’t cross. She struggles, realistically, with the decisions she has to make due to the responsibility she feels for the orphans who depend on her and the fate of her kingdom.

“Try to be polite.”
“I’m always polite.”
“You’re always eyeing people’s valuables. That’s hardly polite.”

Melanie is a great foil for Wil. While Wil is motivated by duty and has a strict value system that controls her actions, Mel is motivated by love and allows herself to be lead astray by people she loves. Mel seems stricter, more determined to do what needs done to restore Aecor and return Wil to the throne. In reality Mel loves Wil and Patrick and allows them to tell her what she should do, where Wil thinks independently and refuses to kill to get what she wants and won’t put her Ospreys in danger. Mel’s humor is also a good foil for Wil’s constant state of worry and serious-ness. In the end I think Mel is proving to be a valuable friend, and a quick thinker.

“A memory welled up, like blood from a thin cut, of standing on a ledge and watching my city burn. My hand in Tobiah’s. Tobiah Pierce and me: this was why the Indigo Kingdom had won the One-Night War.”

I could write epic poems devoted to Black Knife and how much I love his character, unfortunately that would involve a lot of spoilers! Continuing the theme of multi-faceted and troubled characters, we have Black Knife. He is a vigilante who seems to be a thorn in the Osprey’s sides. However, his motives are very pure, he wishes to keep the Indigo Kingdom safe by stopping all magic use, catching all the bullies and vandals, and by eliminating the wraith drug trade. He starts out as Wil’s enemy but evolves into so much more, especially when we find out his secret identity! He is a man who makes mistakes but when confronted, does what it takes to fix them and admits his wrongs.

“I was there was the war began. And when it ended.”

The secondary characters in OQ help bring the story to life, and no character feels flat. Patrick is one of those love to hate characters. Prince Tobiah is both intriguing and annoying. James, his bodyguard provides useful information and some depth to Tobiah’s character. The other Osprey’s give Wil’s character more meaning, providing both motivation and explanation for her actions. They give a face to the ambiguous goal for retaking Aecor. Every character and description in Orphan Queen is both beautiful and necessary in its own way. If you haven’t purchased it now that it is available, you most definitely should! Click on any image in this review and you will be redirected to one of our affiliates!

By Kate Woods

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Review of The Orphan Queen

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