Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review + Giveaway: The Orphan Queen

The Orphan Queen #1
Jodi Meadows
Young Adult/Fantasy
400 pages
Katherine Tegen Books
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

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.

The Orphan Queen has all the elements that will thrill avid fantasy lovers, giving us a misplaced royal heroine who can fight better than the man standing next to her and think on her feet just as skillfully, all while hiding an illegal magical ability and entering into a tense and complicated (but exceedingly well done) romance. While there's a bit of an info dump in the beginning chapters as one of Wil's young partners-in-crime recounts the history of their conquered kingdom and the magic that currently threatens their entire world, it does allow us to get our bearings quickly before Wil and Melanie infiltrate the ruling family and uncover more secrets than they bargained for.

Wil, as mentioned previously, is a standout heroine, a young woman torn from her family and forced to live in the shadows with those who suffered a similar fate, theiving to survive and biding her time until she can make a play for her throne. While her royal countenance and ingrained sense of superiority does peek out on a rare occasion or two, on the whole she wants nothing more than to help those she was forced to abandon years ago and defeat a seemingly invulnerable enemy that grows stronger with every passing day. There are moments when she could easily cling to the history of her family and her kingdom as she remembers them, closing herself off to the possibility that all was not as it seemed, but instead she embraces every piece of information she uncovers and allows it to expand her worldview. She's then able to adapt and adjust, becoming the type of leader anyone would be grateful to follow and someone we root for unflinchingly.

The romance between Wil and the vigilante known as Black Knife is beautifully subtle yet thrumming with enough tension to add an extra flutter every time our hearts beat, remaining largely drama free until the very end when the truth of Black Knife's identity is revealed. It's perhaps easier than intended to decipher his daytime alter ego early on, but the fact that the reveal isn't much of a surprise doesn't detract from the relationship itself, and it remains one that will likely prove to be of the stunningly complicated–and painful–variety in the next book. We're left with an epic cliffhanger, so those who dread them should beware, but while things for our characters are looking bleak on the final page, there's still a pervading sense of hope that what's happened can be undone, and we know that if anyone can make it so, it's Wilhemina.

Rating: 4/5

Find Jodi:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

• • • • • • • • • • •


Thanks to the amazing folks at HarperCollins, I have one finished copy of The Orphan Queen to give away on the blog today! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US only.

A huge thank you to Hannah for organizing this tour and letting me be a part of it:) Be sure and check out all the participating blogs for more reviews, guest posts and giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
3/9  - Good Choice Reading (Review)
3/10 - The Irish Banana Review (Guest Post)
3/11 - Reading W/ABC's (Review)
3/12 - Icey Books (Quote Candy Wallpaper)
3/13 - Alice Marvels (Review)

3/16 - No BS Book Reviews (Guest Post)
3/17 - Supernatural Snark (Review)
3/18 - Book Shelfery (Q&A)
3/19 - Addicted 2 Novels (Review)
3/20 - Mundie Moms (Review)


  1. I would pick the world of Princess of the Midnight Ball or Throne of Glass.

  2. You're making me curious about Wil, it doesn't seem that she had an easy life but I'm curious to see how she is there. thanks for the review!

  3. Probably the world of Snow Like Ashes.

  4. Throne of Glass because Celeana could be my BFF.

  5. Great review! I have been curious about this one. Will sounds like an awesome kick-butt heroine. I will definitely add this one to my TBR list. Thanks for the great giveaway! Oh, and I'd choose to live at Hogwarts..that counts right? ;)

  6. A lovely review. Can't wait to read this one - it sounds and looks absolutely gorgeous!

  7. If I could live in a fantasy realm it'd be Hogwarts

  8. Yay for a well done romance, especially in this genre! That is sometimes hard to come by.
    I love the premises of this Jenny and I really think I would enjoy this one too!
    I would love to be in the world of H.P. but only if I was a witch as well, otherwise, boo! What would the fun be in that? :P

  9. I unfortunately didn't love this one as much as everyone else did. :( I think I ended up hyping it up for myself, but I kept comparing it to other fantasy books I have read (bad idea obviously) and it paled in comparison for me. I needed more action and fast-paced storylines. I'm glad you enjoyed this though, Jenny despite the info dumping at the beginning.
    Wonderful review! :)

  10. This is a perfect read for me right now, Jenny! I've been on a Fantasy kick of late and with a strong heroine, I'm completely sold. It sounds like something along the lines of The Winner's Curse which I've loved recently. But what I love even more is the romance, that's what lacked lately in my recent fantasy novels. Great review, Jenny! :)

  11. I've been eager to get my hands on this one for months so now that it's finally out i can't wait to devour it! So happy that you enjoyed this one Jenny! I definitely need some good fantasy in my life right now.

  12. YESSS! The cliffhanger is rather horrible and heart wrenching and had me complaining about it out loud! ;)

    And yes, I simply adored this one and loooved Wil's character growth! And yes, Black Knife's identity was not a big surprise for me but I looooved the reveal as it happened!

    Great review, Jenny!

  13. I liked her All Souls trilogy so I am eager to try this one. I think the romance sounds fantastic, the kind I love. I really must get around to this sooner or later.

  14. The author's debut novel didn't click with me, but I think I'd like to try her new series. I'm glad that the romance is subtle but is still there.

  15. Hogwart's and Harry Potter's!

    I have a US address but rafflecopter might show my location outside US because I’m doing a semester abroad

    thank you so very much :)

  16. I.am.THRILLED that you enjoyed this one Jenny, I had high hopes for it so seeing that you liked it makes me breathe easier haha! Wil sounds like the kind of heroine I could really root for and the romance factor sounds really appealing too :D Now I'm even more excited to get my hands on this pretty^^ Thanks for the lovely review and good luck to everyone entering the giveaway! xx

  17. I've been curious about this one. I love fantasy, as you know. And what a great cover!
    As for the question for the giveaway, if I were to live in a fantasy world I'm not sure which I would pick! They tend to be a little scary and magic while fun and all, tends to have a dark side. I'm thinking Maria V. Snyder's fantasy world (I think all her fantasy books take place in one world). I love the healers aspect she has.

  18. I would pick Naomi Novik's world from His Majesty’s Dragon: A Novel of Temeraire. I'd love to be in a world with intelligent, thoughtful dragons.

  19. I just got my copy Jenny and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to meeting Wil and Black Knife. This is a new series that I can't wait to devour :)

  20. Thanks so much for the review and the giveaway! Picking a fantasy to live in but if I had to choose....IDK. Can't pick one.

  21. This has me curious, I love a good fantasy and this sounds well done. Wil and Black sound wonderful. Lovely review Jenny

  22. Would it be too cliche to say Harry Potter's world? Lol Next would be in the world of The Looking Glass Wars series.

  23. Hogwarts for sure as long as I got a wand too :) thanks for sharing!

  24. I think I'd live in the Shire, the quiet, peaceful part. Thanks

  25. I would choose the dark and twisted Wonderland from A.G. Howard's Splintered Trilogy! Or Harry Potter, of course!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Not really sure because they are all kind of dangerous.

  27. I have no desire to live in any of the fictional worlds that I have read about. They all have their positives, but they all have too many negatives as well.

  28. Hogwarts would be interesting!!

  29. Man that cliffie almost killed me! :-0

    I agree that Wil and Black Knife's relationship was amazing, and in no way ruined by the reveal (and how easy it was to guess). I can't wait to find out what happens next because OMG that was a stressful last page!

  30. I would definitely say Harry Potter, but Middle Earth would be really fun too!

  31. This one sounds like something I would like, I especially like the title :) It's been in my TBR for a while now - Wonderful review, and I'm happy you enjoyed it <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  32. I'd love to live in the world in Throne of Glass, yay for magic!

  33. OMG, that's a difficult question and I'm quite fickle. I love the world of Harry Potter.. but also that of C.L. Wilson's The Winter King AND Terry Spear's Highland Wolves... . Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. I would definitely like to go to either a dystopian like Divergent/ Hunger Games or The Games of Thrones world! Thank you for this amazing chance! :)

  35. Harry Potter or Throne of Glass!