Grade: 4 Butterflies
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Kathrine Tegen Books
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.
It is no secret that I love fantasy and I read a Jodi Meadows book a few years ago and fell in love with her writing. So, needless to say, I couldn't wait to read this book, especially since it's about an orphan queen taking back her kingdom, yes please! In the end, I really enjoyed reading this book and thought it was a great start to a series. However, I didn't love it as much as I was hoping I would. It had great characters, an amazing setting, and an interesting plot, it just didn't blow me away.
The thing that I loved the most about this book was the world. I loved the world building Jodi Meadows put into this book and I loved the whole mirrored city idea; it was very interesting to read about.I also loved the concept of the mist and everything about that. I think why I loved this world so much isn't solely because they are interesting and unique, even though that is a big part of it, but also how Jodi Meadows wrote it. She has a great talent for world-building and her writing just brought the whole world to life. It was so amazing to read!
Jodi Meadows went another direction with this book and the characters. Usually in this situation you expect the main character to be very angry with the kingdom that destroyed hers and would want to kill everyone in sight. Wil was very different than that, she went through a little self-finding in this book and in the end her world views differed from the norm. I appreciated the fact that Jodi Meadows went down a different route than usual. However, I really didn't understand this world-view. I don't understand why anyone would think that plan would work. I understand why a person would feel like that because sometimes violence isn't the answer, but I just didn't understand how Wil's plan would work. However, I did really like the fact that this book went another direction, even if I didn't really agree with it. It made the book unique and the plot unpredictable.
Another aspect of the book that benefited from this abandonment of the norm is the characters. Wil went through so much character development in this book and it was great to read! The only downside is that, in the beginning of the book Wil was very annoying. She didn't stand up for what she believed in and she let people walk all over her; she even let her friends treat her bad and didn't say anything about it. This just really grated on my nerves. However, I didn't take away any stars for this because I knew while reading that her character would go through some growth in this book and so that saved me from really being annoyed with her. On a side note though, I really didn't feel connected to any of the characters. While reading I didn't really care if any characters died or live or got captured. The plot was addicting and fast-paced, so it didn't really affect my reading experience. I just didn't really care about the characters.
Another aspect that I really liked in this book was the romance. This had the perfect type of romance in it. Wil and the love interest, I won't say who because it is kind of a surprise, started out as strangers, then become friends, and then they got into a romance relationship. I love these kinds of love story because the love feels natural and has depth. It makes the romance seem much more realistic. I loved these two together and I loved reading them together!
Finally, the plot. The plot was good, fast, enjoyable, and slightly unpredictable. I say slightly because I guessed who a certain person was about ten pages after we met him. I really enjoyed reading this book and the plot never faltered and kept a constant pace throughout the whole book. However, something bothered me. The ending felt choppy and rushed. The surprise twist at the end wasn't focused on enough. I understand Jodi Meadows wanted to surprise the readers and end on a cliffhanger, but it felt like the event happened and two paragraphs later the book ended. I didn't even fully understand what was happening and the book ended. Sometimes this works with books, but not this time. It just made the book feel choppy and unfinished.
Overall, I really liked this book and I thought that it was a great start to a series! Not only that but this series looks like it is going to be amazing! The plot was addicting and fast-paced, the world was so cool to read and it showed off Jodi Meadows amazing world-building. There was considerable character development with the main character and all of the other characters had good depth. However, I never felt a connection to them and throughout the book I didn't care all that much about them.
This book got...
Beloved, This is a really good book.