Book Tuesday: The Orphan Queen

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Title: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Pages: 400
Buy:Amazon

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.

Wilhelmina is the princess of the conquered Aecor.  She’s one of the few orphans that survived the One-Night War that murdered her parents, the King and Queen, and changed her life forever.  She and her rag-tag group of orphans make up the Ospreys, a group dedicated to taking back their kingdom.  She and her best friend, Melanie decide to go undercover at the Palace and help her cause by becoming a spy.  Danger lurks at every turn especially with the growing threat of the Wraith that keeps spreading across the land.  With the unexpected aid from the vigilante the Black Knife, Wil discovers she might have the power to save them all, but at what price?

There is an Orphan Queen support group on Twitter and for good reason.  This book was cruel–cruel with the mother of all cliffhangers!

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Wil is a character that really comes into her own throughout the story.  At first, you think she is rather meek and malleable having everybody make the decisions for her.  As the plot progresses though, you see her really start to question those decisions and finally find the courage to stand up for herself.  Prince Tobiah was great, along with his cousin and bodyguard, James.  I think James was my favorite character in the whole story.  The Black Knife was a great match for Wil, but was I the only one who totally knew who he was from the beginning?

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Patrick and the rest of the Osprey’s were great, but I don’t think we got too much of an emotional attachment to them yet.  Melanie was a very conflicted character and I’m interested to see how her story plays out.

The world building was very well done, especially regarding the Wraith.  Jodi Meadows created a horror out of what was once a highly prized ability.  I loved the description and scenes when Wil was investigating it–some of the consequences of the Wraith’s power were down-right chilling.

You will be wanting to pick up the sequel after you finish this because with that ending you have no choice.  You are forewarned.  I promise you though its totally worth it.

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