Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 400 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Orphan Queen series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5 stars
I really loved Meadows Incarnate series, so I was very excited to read her next series. I ended up absolutely loving this book! It was an absolutely wonderful YA fantasy. I loved the thieves, the intrigue, the secret identities and the magic. I think it was quite a bit better than her Newsoul series.
Wilhemia (Wil) was taken to the Indigo Kingdom when they conquered her homeland and left her an orphan. Since then she has helped to form a rebel group known as the Osprey. The Osprey is a group of orphaned children from her homeland who are dedicated to winning back their kingdom’s throne. The Osprey do a lot of thieving to make ends meet, but Wil’s most recent assignment is to infiltrate the Indigo Palace and find information vital to their rebel cause.
Wil and her friend Melanie end up posing as refuge nobles from a Wraith fallen kingdom, but by night Wil will still haunts the city streets as a thief. During one of her jaunts she meets the mysterious Black Knife, who is a vigilante in the Indigo Kingdom. Wil is trying to balance all these roles but the biggest threat may not be the Indigo Kingdom at all, it may be the Wraith that is slowly devouring the world one kingdom at a time.
There is some wonderful world-building here, excellent characters, and an engaging plot. Some parts of the story were a bit predictable, but overall I enjoyed the story and found it incredibly engaging. While this isn’t wildly creative or anything it is a very engaging story with interesting story elements.
The Wraith reminds a bit of the Nothing from the classic movie The Neverending Story; although the Wraith seems to be more magic based. The whole idea of a girl who is displaced nobility making her living on the outskirts of her enemy kingdom reminds a bit of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas. Still, given that this book does a great a great job blending some interesting world-building and magic elements and I think fans of classic fantasy will enjoy it.
There is a lot of action here and I enjoyed that a lot. There is also a lot of intrigue. Of course, the Wraith, looms in the background…a large mystery that Wil is desperately trying to solve.
Wil is an excellent character; she is heroic and brave but still makes mistakes. I enjoyed reading about her a lot and thought she was an admirable heroine. The Black Knife was my other favorite character; he is mysterious and a vigilante of sorts. On their night time missions Wil and the Black Knife both push each other both in their fighting skills and in what they believe to be true. They both learn and grow from each other and I loved that.
Overall I really loved this book. It was a wonderfully done fantasy with excellent world-building, an engaging mystery, intrigue, action, and excellent characters that are easy to love. I am very excited to read the next book in this series, The Mirror King, when it comes out in March 2016. Highly recommended to fantasy fans and fans of YA fantasy.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge