Saturday, April 2, 2016

Series Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Title: The Orphan Queen
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Katherine Tegen via Edelweiss

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.

Title: The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Katherine Tegen via Edelweiss

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.
Review by Nara

I really loved Jodi Meadows' other series, Newsoul, and so was quite excited when she announced that she was going to be writing a high fantasy duology. I mean, Jodi Meadows + my favourite genre would definitely be a winning combination. And after reading the series, I have to say, it definitely was.

Book one ends on a massive, horrific cliffhanger that I had actually forgotten about when I started reading book two (it had been a while..). But as soon as I opened The Mirror King, I was thrown straight back into the action and fast pace of this series. Both books have quite a lot of twists here and there that keep things interesting. I have to admit, most of the plot in The Orphan Queen was relatively linear, whereas in book two, the twists were brought up a level and we had more shocking events. Definitely a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. Meadows is totally cut-throat with her deaths. You just don't know who's next.

The romance is quite shippable, with Wil and Black Knife being pretty perfect for each other. I mean, oh man, some of the conversations they had with each other were just like *swoons*. THE LIST (you'll know what I'm talking about if you've read the series). The other characters are quite fantastic too, with all the characters having multiple personality layers. Even the villains were quite interesting to read about, although definitely unlikeable.

Overall, this series is definitely one I'd recommend to fans of high fantasy. While the world was a little simplistic, the plot more than made up for the shortage of world building. I'm certainly looking forward to whatever else Meadows writes in the future.

Really liked it
Overall Series Ratings
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3.5/5

The Orphan Queen: 6 Stars
The Mirror King: 5 Stars