Book Review: The Orphan Queen

The Orphan Queen
By: Jodi Meadows
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: March 10, 2015
Genre: YA fantasy
391 pages
Source: purchased by reviewer

This came up as a Kindle special a while back, so I grabbed it up while the price was right. It was on my tbr list anyway, so it was a great opportunity to get started on this series.

I have one complaint about this book: it feels like it's divided into two parts, and those parts are marked by which boy is the focus of Wil's attention and loyalty. It bugs me to read books where a female makes her life revolve around a male, when I know that those books are marketed to adolescents. Kids need more examples of females standing on their own two feet.

I recognize, however, that this book is the first in the series. Many of the characters will grow and change as they journey on, and Wil is certainly at an age when do a lot of self-discovery. The loyalty shift in this book is evidence that she's already started the process, and I have high hopes that she will be a fantastically thoughtful, independent ruler when the series concludes.

The Orphan Queen features good world-building with strong characterization. There are some similarities to the Snow Like Ashes series, with a young heroine learning that she is much more important than she thought she was, in a world where provinces struggle for political power and control over magical forces. This book features a governing body that asserts power over magic by abstaining from using it, though, while SLA's governing body wants to harness it by using it. The trope lacks originality, but readers enjoy it time after time.

This is a solidly enjoyable read for lovers of the genre. I liked it a lot, and I expect to love subsequent volumes even more. The Mirror King is already on my tbr list, and comes out in the spring. If you want to read as the series is released, you just have a few months to get this one read and be ready to go.

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.


  1. OOoh nice! Sounds like an intriguing read! Might have to keep an eye out for a sale again! Great review!


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