This was the first book I read of Jodi Meadows, and I throughly enjoyed it. At times it was predictable, but it in no way detracted from the adventure in this book.
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.
The book starts with adventure—Wilhelmina (Wil) and her band of Ospreys, liberating some stationary—and it is also where we first meet Black Knife, a vigilante who becomes more prominent later in the story.
I liked Wil, though I thought she was a terrible spy. Not that I can blame her, really. I mean, if I had to go back to a palace where my parents murders were and pretend like you don’t know them, I would have a hard time with that. While she is a great fighter, she starts out as more of a follower than a leader, always going along with what Patrick—the leader of the Ospreys—plans. As the story goes on though, and she learns more about what actually happened that day her kingdom was conquered, she becomes a leader.
I thought the character development was good, and I look forward to seeing what the second book will bring. Especially since the ending left me with a cliffhanger, because I refuse to accept that what happened, happened. It didn’t. No.
The thing that I found predictable was the identity of Black Knife. There were several clues in the story, so when we actually learn who he is, I was not surprised. I was interested, however, to see Wilhelmina’s reaction.
I was happy that romance in this story was more of a secondary storyline than a main feature. There were flirtations, sure, but that was not the focus, and I found I liked that about this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book! I definitely recommend.
Rating: 4/5 stars
[The Orphan Queen, by Jodi Meadows (Katherine Tegen Books) 391 pp., $17.99]