Monday, 16 March 2015

Review: The Orphan Queen (!!!!!!!!!!)

The Orphan Queen
Publication Date: March 10th 2015 (US) April 9th 2015 (UK)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher 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.

Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap. That was pretty much me through the last half of The Orphan Queen. I know, I know, I'm being amazingly subtle at how amazing The Orphan Queen is. I will try to resemble my thoughts into something coherent, but you know how it goes with books you love, you never know how to review it. So here's four words to accurately describe The Orphan Queen.
Damn, Jodi Meadows, damn.
I started the Throne of Glass series last year, and read Finnikin of the Rock back in January, and you know the one thing they all have in common? Strong badass female leads. They're all different in their own right, of course, they all bring their own story to the table, and make it their own, if you read a lot of Fantasy, Wilhelmina's is not exactly a unique one, but the world, the characters, are.
Wilhelmina's story starts and ends the night the Indigo Kingdom conquered her Kingdom, Aecor. Since then, ten years later,  she is an Osprey, a band of other children from Aecor, who are silently fighting to regain possession of their land, and give back Wilhelmina's rightful throne. Hiding her identity, and her magic, Wilhelmina and her best friend, Melanie, have a mission which will help them take back their kingdom from the inside of their enemies, but there is more than one threat standing in their way, one being Black Knife.
These. Characters. I already said Wilhelmina's a strong badass female lead from the beginning, but she also goes through a ton of character growth throughout The Orphan Queen, now taking back Aecor is in sight, the inner struggle and worry she's now addressing on being Queen and questioning how she can rule a Kingdom when she doesn't entirely know how to, and while infiltrating Skyvale Palace, and what she finds there, she's also questioning her own Kingdom, and everything she'd been brought up to believe and what made her who she now is. I would've liked to learn more about each Osprey and their backgrounds, but their witty and unwavering. Now, the enigma that is Black Knife.
You guys. Black. Knife. This is where the banter and a lot of questions come into play. Black Knife's a crime fighting vigilante of sorts, he captures criminals, but he doesn't care what crime they committed, but that they committed a crime. He's not a grey area kind of guy, which, in some ways, are good, and in other ways, causes a lot of tension.
But good tension. Really, really good tension. 
which brings me to the romance. THE ROMANCE. It's hard to talk about without spoilers, so here's what you need to know. It's not love at first sight, so no insta-love. No insta-lust. No love triangle. It's like slow burn, but more of  a...change in the relationship kind of romance. And it's damn good and complicated and painful but doesn't take over the plot, My kind of romance. Plus, that kissing scene, it's sexy, just saying.
With witty and badass characters, a Fantasy world that I hope we'll get to explore more in The Mirror King, The Orphan Queen  is vivid and addictive, and an evil cliff-hanger ending that'll make you shout THAT IS NOT A FUNNY CLIFFHANGER ENDING (which I did, like three times now).

Rating: 5/5