Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

TOQThe Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (5th Apr 2016 – US paperback)

Blurb:
When Princess Wilhelmina was a child, the Indigo Kingdom invaded her homeland. Ten years later, Wil and the other noble children who escaped are ready to fight back and reclaim Wil’s throne. To do so, Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom palace with hopes of gathering information that will help them succeed.

But Wil has a secret—one that could change everything. Although magic has been illegal for a century, she knows her ability could help her save her kingdom. But magic creates wraith, and the deadly stuff is moving closer and destroying the land. And if the vigilante Black Knife catches her using magic, she may disappear like all the others…

I am extremely sorry for neglecting my blog and you lovely lot. Life happened. In other news, I finally saw Little Mix perform live and they were spectacular. They slayed. I haven’t been reading a lot lately, which is quite disappointing because there are so many books I want to bury my face in, but I am heading towards the final weeks of my term and it’s my exams soon, so my much needed reading time will be disrupted.

I read Jodi Meadows’s The Orphan Queen last week because I was craving for a fix of fantasy and what I liked most about the book was that it had elements of magic in it. Magic in books is fantastic. Hello, Harry Potter. ‘Nuff said.

So, back to The Orphan Queen. It’s about Wilhelmina, a princess of a fallen kingdom that has been secretly training alongside the orphans of her kingdom after her parents were killed by the Indigo Kingdom. The mission? Learn to kick ass to reclaim her throne as the rightful ruler of Aecor. And how is she going to do that? Infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom and mask under a refugee who had escaped the wraith. Sounds familiar, eh? *cough* Ruined. *cough*

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

Though I must say, The Orphan Queen was a predictable YA fantasy but I guess it worked because I liked some elements of the story, like Black Knife. Who wouldn’t go swooning when there’s a mysterious masked vigilante who moves in the shadows and protects innocent lives? I loved the chemistry between Wil and Black Knife. From their nights scouring the streets of the Indigo Kingdom of wraith creatures to their rooftop rendezvouses, at least Black Knife’s identity was a mystery that made me want to discover. And let’s talk about the banter! Let me be brutally honest. The male characters were quite a bore, especially the prince who was all kinds of dull. Imagine a wall of white paint. Blah! So you can understand my liking Black Knife.

“What do you enjoy doing?”
Forgery? “Writing letters. Drawing.” Picking locks? “Puzzles.” Fighting? “Sewing.”

The world building was adequate and there were times where I had to refer to the map to get my bearings – a huge whoop for books with maps! Not throwing shade at books with no maps, especially fantasy books, but yes. A map is important. Yes, I’m looking at you, Glass Sword! – but I hope there’s more expansion on the houses and the universe in the sequel. However, a world where any essence of magic is illegal and the side effect of the use of magic will result in the creation of wraith. Interesting.

“I was going to have to face the man who’d destroyed my kingdom, and the boy who was the reason.”

The Orphan Queen wasn’t a very thick book so it was a quick read for me. Either that, or the pacing of the book was good and I flew past the pages. Anyhow, it was an enjoyable read where the romance of the book didn’t overwhelm the plot and I can’t say much about the plot development because The Orphan Queen is a duology, so maybe there’s more to Wilhelmina in the sequel. Despite some very similar tropes, I did enjoy The Orphan Queen enough and that ending! Quite a cliffhanger, if I may say so, therefore, I really have to get around to reading The Mirror King.

“Taking me out to robberies, bar fights, and wraith houses isn’t enough for you anymore? I though we were happy.”
“Only the best for you, my lady.”

With some badass fighting scenes, clever banter between the characters and a tinge of political intrigue, I’d definitely recommend The Orphan Queen if you are looking for a fix of YA high fantasy. It’s slightly tinged with romance, so don’t worry, if you’re quite hesitant to pick up the book because you’re worried that the romance clouds the other parts of the book, because the swoony, kissy parts are only featured towards the end of the book.

I’d like to thank MPH Distributors for sending me a copy for review. Have you read The Orphan Queen? What did you think of it? Did you think Black Knife’s identity was predictable?

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