The Orphan Queen (Orphan Queen Series #1)

The Orphan Queen (Orphan Queen Series #1)

4.7 46
by Jodi Meadows

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An epic fantasy filled with adventure, intrigue, and romance from Incarnate series author Jodi Meadows. This duology is perfect for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

When Princess Wilhelmina was a child, the Indigo Kingdom


An epic fantasy filled with adventure, intrigue, and romance from Incarnate series author Jodi Meadows. This duology is perfect for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

When Princess Wilhelmina was a child, the Indigo Kingdom invaded her homeland. Ten years later, Wil and the other noble children who escaped are ready to fight back and reclaim Wil’s throne. To do so, Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom palace with hopes of gathering information that will help them succeed.

But Wil has a secret—one that could change everything. Although magic has been illegal for a century, she knows her ability could help her save her kingdom. But magic creates wraith, and the deadly stuff is moving closer and destroying the land. And if the vigilante Black Knife catches her using magic, she may disappear like all the others. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Hidden identities, allusions to environmental concerns, a clever heroine with a worthy potential love interest, and some monster-mashing fight scenes elevate this romantic series opener. A cliff-hanger ending will have many readers exclaiming aloud their impatience at having to wait for the sequel.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Meadows deftly juggles a multitude of plot points here, managing to link each element to Wil’s growth as a character. A cliffhanger ending puts a beloved character’s life in peril, ensuring both a sequel and readers’ clamoring for it.
C.J. Redwine
One of the most compelling fantasies I’ve ever read. Fans of strong heroines, secret identities, and terrifyingly dangerous magic should put Jodi Meadows at the top of their ‘to read’ lists.
Danielle Paige
THE ORPHAN QUEEN casts its spell from the first page. Exquisite, captivating and romantic —Jodi Meadows’s world forbids magic, but THE ORPHAN QUEEN is brimming with it. I loved this book!
Publishers Weekly
First in a fantasy duology, this tale of a young royal fighting to retake her country from invaders intertwines espionage, secret identities, a debate on the ethics of violence, and the threat of Wraith, a supernatural force that seeks to overwhelm conquered and conquerors alike. A hypercompetent fighter, forger, and spy, 17-year-old Wil keeps her magical abilities secret, since magic has been banned as the cause of the relentless wave of Wraith that has destroyed neighboring kingdoms, turning harmless animals into devouring monsters and perverting nature wherever it spreads. Wil's more mundane transgressions of the Indigo Kingdom's law are enough to attract the attention of a mysterious vigilante, Black Knife. Wil increasingly finds herself disagreeing with her own leader, the ruthless Patrick, and coming to trust Black Knife. Though Black Knife's identity proves unsurprising, along with the outcomes of Wil's interpersonal relationships, Meadows (the Incarnate trilogy) delivers a powerful coming-of-age story as Wil discovers that there are "lines will not cross, not even to take the vermillion throne." A cliffhanger sets up the concluding volume. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lauren MacLeod, Strothman Agency. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Wilhelmina—more frequently known as Wil—is a princess. However, she's a royal who's more used to stealing food than curtsying in a palace. Wil's homeland of Aecor was conquered 10 years earlier by the Indigo Kingdom and Wil and a band of other orphaned children of Aecor nobility have been living secretly as refugees in Skyvale, the capital of the Indigo Kingdom. The teen and the other refugees have plans to take back their home by infiltrating the palace. As Wilhelmina's mission inside the palace proceeds, it is complicated not just by her secret ability to practice magic—which has been forbidden for almost a century—but also by her connection to the vigilante Black Knife, a masked figure who helps the poor and the weak in the streets of Skyvale. Fans of Katniss and the Sisters of St. Mortain from Robin LaFevers's "His Fair Assassin" series (Houghton Harcourt) and other strong, vengeful female heroines will root for Wil, as she plots revolution, struggles with her conflicted feelings for Black Knife, and discovers more about wraith, the toxic by-product of magic. Although this series opener starts off with poorly executed exposition to provide the necessary background, the plot quickly picks up pace, and the highlights of this novel are the subtle lessons in the sacrifices and responsibilities of leadership, as well as the unique way in which magic use and wraith are echoes of our own world's debate about environmental justice.—Evelyn Khoo Schwartz, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC
Kirkus Reviews
A displaced teenage queen acts as a thief, spy and vigilante while plotting to reclaim her throne.The One-Night War stole the lives of Princess Wilhelmina Korte's parents and her kingdom, Aecor. Ten years later, in Skyvale, capital of the conquering Indigo Kingdom, Wil and her band of ragamuffin teens, the Ospreys, are attacked by glowmen—humans corrupted by wraith, the noxious supposed residue of magic, which is forbidden—and survive only with the help of vigilante Black Knife. Patrick, leader of the Ospreys, sends Wil and her friend Melanie to the Skyvale Palace as spies. There, Wil has an understandable but frustratingly difficult time controlling her anger—especially toward ailing King Terrell and aloof Prince Tobiah—even under threat of exposure. Wil reconnects with Black Knife—known for targeting thieves and magic users—and a bond slowly builds, despite Wil's magical abilities. Some may guess Black Knife's identity, but that doesn't diminish the intensity of the inevitable kissing scene. What's not so obvious is the connection between Wil's magic and the encroaching wraith; readers will have to wait for that. The story is not perfect. It's pushing credulity that Patrick, so young himself, trained the Ospreys so well, and problems sometimes resolve rather simply. Still, solid worldbuilding, interesting characters and just enough romance make this an enjoyable read. Despite what's possibly the most agonizing cliffhanger since Catching Fire, genre fans will find it worth their time. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Orphan Queen Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Jodi Meadows is the author of the Incarnate series and The Orphan Queen. She lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a cat, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.

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The Orphan Queen 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Reading-is-My-Treasure More than 1 year ago
The Orphan Queen has so much hype surrounding it and it really does deserve it. I really enjoyed reading this one and I cannot wait to read the Black Knife novellas and The Mirror King. I LOVED Wil. I loved that she was fully aware of who she was. It seems that most royal heroines discover their birthright or get on the throne through another way, so it was nice that Wil already knew she had a kingdom to take back. I also loved her growth as she took on her role as a leader. I loved her morals and toughness (that didn’t turn abrasive). She seemed . . . different from most royal heroines Black Knife was one of my favorite parts of the book. Oh my, he was amazing. I puzzled over his identity for such a long time. I was sure he was one guy, but I didn't want to get my hopes up too high, so I was also open to the possibility for him to be another guy. It was a mystery for me, which just made the book more enjoyable. I loved Wil and Black Knife's dynamic. They made an awesome duo and OH, the chemistry! I loved it--simply loved it! James was a delight and Tobiah was a grump. I loved both of them, for the most part. That’s all I’ll say about them. Melanie was a good character. I appreciated the presence of a partner in crime, of sorts. She gave the small friendship focus. I would like to get to know her more, though. I really liked the world. The mirrors, the wraiths, the glowmen, the danger, the was REALLY cool. And pretty well built. I need more of it! I really want to learn more about it. I loved the action! There was no dull moment. I also liked how the book dived into it right away. The ending had a big twist--and I do mean BIG. You can sorta see it coming (or maybe I'm just saying that because I had been fearing the event that did happen to actually happen). I refuse to believe it! Yet . . . I've come up with many reasons to believe it. It was a like I was in shock afterwards. I was staring at my computer screen with a blank, wide-eyed stare. There’s a reason why there’s an #OQSupportGroup on Twitter. I wasn't COMPLETELY wowed by the book, but I feel like the sequel will make this series a new favorite. This happens to me with fantasy series a lot, though. I really like the first book, but don’t LOVE it. I usually like the sequels more. (This happened with the Throne of Glass series and maybe even the Grisha Trilogy.) Overall, The Orphan Queen is a great start to what I expect to be an amazing YA fantasy series. You don’t want to miss out on this one!  Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars   *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read. This book has romance, suspense, action, and some mystery. You must read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never leave reviews but with all the crappy books I've bought and then regretted recently i decided honest reviews are hard to come by so i better start doing my part. Easy to get into very engrossing holds you till the end def worth the money
Micaja More than 1 year ago
I'll admit that I was somewhat wary to reading it at first, but the thing is once you start the book, you can't seem to put it down. I read in a day and nearly cried because when I was done I wanted more and had to wait a few months to read the Hidden Prince, but still it was an awesome sauce book.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS I adore Jodi Meadows' Incarnate series, so I was excited to find out that she was writing a fantasy! I am happy to say that this book exceeded my expectations! Wil's parents, along with many other adults, were all killed in her country when she was a child. Now, ten years later, Wil and the other orphan have been living in poverty. It is now finally time for Wil to reclaim her country, and she starts by masquerading as a noble refugee.The threat of the wraiths is becoming more and more apparent, and Wil begins getting involved in an odd relationship with the vigilante Black Knife. Before long, Wil's spying days is becoming more and more dangerous and she can't figure out who to trust. Also, the threat of the wraiths is becoming more and more apparent. This book was absolutely fantastic and I couldn't see anything in this book I dislike (except the end, but I'll get to that later). The entire world was crafted so brilliantly. At first glance, this seems like your basic fantasy world with different kingdoms and royalty, but the idea of wraiths was completely unique and very interesting. As for plot, I was worried that this would be another "I didn't know I was royal" book, but Wil knew she was royal, which made things so much more interesting. Also, I love it when there's the aspect of spying, where no one knows who you truly are. This was with no only Wil and her orphan friends, but the Black Knife as well. Don't even get me started on him! Wil also really made the book, in fact, most of the book was all her. She's very strong, and she has to be. She's grown up in a harsh life, knowing the enemies that took her family, her country, and the life she should've had. Despite some of her doubts, I think that she would make a wonderful queen. As for romance, there is some, though not enough to distract from any major plots. Also, the romance is fantastic and perfectly shippable! Lastly, there's a cliffhanger and it's a doozy. So, be prepared to be destroyed. And for a long wait... IN CONCLUSION Yeah, my review is a big gushing mess, but I LOVED this book! It's a perfect fantasy, with great characters and an engaging plot. Every fantasy fan needs to9 read this book! While I'll be here, waiting for the next one...
SeeingDoubleMorg More than 1 year ago
The Orphan Queen is a magical-fantasy read where Jodi Meadows manages to build a fierce world that is unique only to this book. I loved reading all the details she captured in the pages, about a girl with magic in a world where it is banned, will try to get what was hers back. Wilhelmina, is fighting to get her kingdom back that was robbed from her and her family so many years ago. Her parents were murdered and she had to pretend she was dead to not have the same fate befall her. Now years have passed and she wants to reclaim her kingdom, and make those pay who were responsible for what happened all those years ago.  Wilhelmina, decides to go into the castle under a false identity and collect as much information as she can to help her cause. She soon starts living two lives. Wil, is left with questions about what really happened years ago, and is what she is doing now the right course?  Soon Wil meets Black Knife, a vigilante who keeps the streets safe from thieves and those practicing magic. Black Knife soon starts following Wil and learns some of her secrets, more then she would like. What will Black Knife do with the information? Who is Black Knife? Is someone's motives or intentions what really matter? This book was a little slow at the beginning for me, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. I loved the twists and turns and not knowing what the true back story was until the end. I was screaming at the end of this book with the way Jodi ended it. I cannot wait to read book 2 and I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars.
Andrea813 More than 1 year ago
Fantasy books are a new addition to my reading repertoire. It was never something I thought I would be interested in. I mean I dabbled and enjoyed some and hated others, but the fantasy book reading never clicked. That is until I read the right book and then the next right book and then the next right book. Basically I became a fantasy reading fangirl looking for the next perfect book. The Orphan Queen, fit right in. So freaking good guys! The Orphan Queen is about Wilhelmina, a once princess that is now an orphan fighting for her kingdom which was taken from her by a king that is now her enemy. Devising a plan with the Ospreys, the group of people she has been with since the ‘One Night War’, Wil and her best friend, Melanie, go undercover as spies in the palace to gather information to aid in Wil getting her kingdom back. But between Melanie’s strange behavior, the leader of the Ospreys acting sketchy, and the continuing appearance of Black Knife, Wil’s fight gets harder and harder to decide what exactly she is fighting for and why. I don’t want to lie, I struggled in the beginning reading this one. Fantasy books are newish to me so it sometimes takes a while for me to get into them. I’m used to contemporaries that get right into the story or dystopians that start with the action. I’ve come to learn that fantasy books are about the set up in the beginning. It is about getting you to the point that you can’t put the book down and you don’t want to. I had this trouble with Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta and I started to feel sad that The Orphan Queen was going to be like that for me. And then I hit a part of the story and I was SUCKED IN, INVESTED, NEEDED TO KNOW. What was once Finnikin of the Rock now became Finnikin meets Spider Man and I never wanted the story to end. Jodi Meadows sucked me in with her tale and her characters and I was done for. Wilhelmina was awesome. I mean she was royalty yet she was also a hardcore fighter. She had no fear which made her an amazing ally and a scary opponent. And with Black Knife (more on him later) by her side, almost impossible to beat. Even having been through everything she had been through she was fighting for her people and being a leader to a kingdom that was under the rule of an imposter. But she was also a teenage girl. She was still trying to figure out who and what she was. She was trying to come to terms with her magic (which was outlawed) and her undeniable attraction to Black Knife. At times she would seem so invincible but then you would see the insecurities and your heart would break. Like I said, Wilhelmina was awesome. And Black Knife! What to say about sexy, mysterious Black Knife. He was actually hard to figure out in the beginning. He seemed like the bad guy, turning people in without reasoning, just because they used magic. But as you got to know him through his nights with Wil, you saw there was a complex guy under there. And can we talk about the attraction simmering between Wil and Black Knife? I’m still fanning myself. He is just everything! And finding out who he really is?? Oh yeah, that was fun too. For a book that started out slowish, I freaking loved it. Thinking back on it I now understand all the set up that lead to the second half of the book. The slow burn makes sense now and I can appreciate it for what it was. It set up a phenomenal story of war, fighting, love, and picking sides. It built a world that you as a reader want to see succeed and flourish. It made you feel for these characters. And it made you get to such a worked up level that you almost threw the book when you finished. (Side eyes Jodi Meadows). Pick up The Orphan Queen, and you will 100% know what I mean.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows Book One of The Orphan Queen series Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Publication Date: March 10, 2015 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: Holy guacamole. This book. The ending. Oh my gosh. I literally just finished the book, so bear with me as I write this review. So... my review might not be thoroughly coherent. It might just be a bunch of flails. I might not even make it through the entire review. OH GOSH MY HEART. Wil is an orphan, a princess - orphan queen - of Aecor. She and a ragtag group of orphans from Aecor are trying to take back Aecor. To do so, she and her friend Melanie masquerade as destitute nobles of Liadia, so that they can have refuge in the Skyvale Palace... and get information about Aecor, the armies of the Indigo Kingdom, anything useful that could aid the Ospreys (Wil and her group) in their attempt to reclaim Aecor. But little go as planned with the presence of wraith, Black Knife, and a danger against which even Wil cannot guard herself. I love fantasy. I love epic fantasy. I love high fantasy. Basically, I love fantasy (if you couldn't already tell). It's my favorite genre, and I can't ever seem to get enough. I especially love fantasy in YA literature, because it's amazing and creative and wonderful, but not heavy and boring (like in adult fiction - in my opinion). Jodi Meadows masterfully creates the world in this book. Her writing is lush and rich, and her world-building is very thorough and imaginative. I had no problems picturing the towns, palace, and other locations in my mind.  Wil is a very likable heroine. It was easy to root for her throughout the book, it was easy to see her side of things, it was easy to like her. She is brave and fierce, selfless and intelligent. I liked the way her mind works, the way she thought through things. She stood toe-to-toe with Patrick (the Aecor boy who saved her and other Aecor orphans), challenging his ruthless decisions. She never threw her title in any of the Ospreys' faces, but she always commanded authority when she felt necessary. She fought with Black Knife (the vigilante who has actually been killing wraith creatures, which is pretty noble). She pretended to be a dead noble for weeks, and did an excellent job of it. I really liked Wil, and I hope I continue liking her in this series! There are so many amazing secondary characters in this novel! Wil's best friend, Melanie, accompanies her to the palace, also a dead noble. I liked Melanie, though I definitely questioned her loyalty and her being at times. There was Black Knife, a masked vigilante who is curious about Wil, and always seems to find her. There is James, the prince's cousin and guard, who is a great friend to Wil. He's hilarious, and very flirtatious and sweet. There is the prince himself, who is (as Wil says) "sour". I liked him though. The Ospreys - the orphans from Aecor who are helping Wil reclaim her kingdom. So many well-written, three-dimensional characters that I loved.  This book is broken up into three parts. Wil goes to the palace with Melanie, to obtain necessary information for their plans. But there are things that Wil is curious about, like wraith in Liadia. Wil goes to investigate the fallen Liadian barrier, hoping that no one at the palace will question her feigned illness. I love that there is more than one plot in this book, more than one story. Wil needs to sneak around the palace, to get information. Wil is trying to find out more about wraith and the wraithlands. Wil is also leaving the palace at night, and sometimes tangles with Black Knife (meaning they fight and threaten each other, and possibly kill wraith creatures every now and then). There is a lot going on in this book, so you can't get bored... you might get bored with one part of the story (probably not though), and there is another part of the story to pick you up! There IS romance in this book. I'm purposefully not saying much about the specifics, who is who. But I will say that I LOVE the romance. It's complicated, it's twisted, it's difficult - and what's new, when it comes to romance in fantasy novels? But there isn't a love triangle, there is no insta-love, and I have high hopes for the romance (though I probably should be more wary, for certain specific reasons). The ending is AWFUL. Awful as in awfully heartbreaking. I hate the ending, but it definitely adds to the story, and I see why the author chose to end this book in such a way. It's cliffhanger-y, so if you hate those, perhaps you might be better off waiting until closer to book two's publication (in 2016?!). But then, we'll probably have to wait for a book three... reading and waiting for books is so difficult! ****EDIT: the author confirmed that there will only be two books in this series - a duology! So, not too much waiting. What I Did Not Like: This book loses an entire star from me because of the ending. The cliffhanger is so mean. Like I said above, I get it, but... it's a heartbreaking ending. And so this book gets one less star. Sorry not sorry. Would I Recommend It: I TOTALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE! Fantasy lovers especially, but anyone who enjoys a well-written story (so like, all readers?). Just beware of the ending - it WILL break you. You might be better off waiting for a completed series (see my edit above though - there are only two books to this series!). But hey, I'm not trying to make anyone's decisions for them. I obviously couldn't wait to read this one, so, I'll just suffer quietly. Rating: 4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. Because of that ending. I love/hate it. I love this book though. It's definitely a favorite so far (despite not earning a 5-star rating), and I can't wait to read the novellas, and the sequel novel! In 2016. Ugh.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Aditi-ATWAMB 5 months ago
AAAAAHH. This is my The Orphan Queen re-read which was initially done to serve two purposes: 1) Prepare myself for the GIANT BEAUTIFUL THING that is The Mirror King 2) To Write a Comprehensive Review for it BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME. At this point it seems like I’ve also succeeded in breaking my heart yet again. I’m halfway through my FIRST read of The Mirror King (57% according to Goodreads. WHAT.) AND. UM. WELL. I’m just reading and reading and reading and not at all processing because that’s what I do with good books and wait for everything bad to hit me after. YOU, HOWEVER, ARE HERE FOR The Orphan Queen, SO WELCOME. What is The Orphan Queen? Oh, it is only the book that will get you SO BLOODY ADDICTED you’ll need to have The Mirror King to open and devour right away. Wilhelmina is a spy in the palace in the Indigo Kingdom. She’s the long lost princess of the Aecor Kingdom that stole her homeland and slaughtered her parents. Wilhelmina HAS MAGIC (which is illegal, just so you know). And now, almost ten years later, IT IS TIME TO EXACT REVENGE AND SAVE HER HOMELAND. Except in politics, sly games and vigilantism NOTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE. Especially a young queen’s feelings, and her magic. Wil is, as I was told, A BADASS HEROINE! What makes her stand out SO MUCH in my head though is that the fact that she’s NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. Or holier than thou. Or anything of the sort. She’s scared, she makes mistakes, she pays for her mistakes and she’s ALSO BRILLIANT. She just seemed an all-around REAL character with her fear and insecurities and everything. I love Wil. Another aspect I ADORE about TOQ is the Osperys (yes, even controlling Patrick) and the fact that they could just get things done. THERE WAS NO WAITING ABOUT IN THEIR MISSIONS, nothing less than true grief when they lost one of their own for they are family and all understanding all the time about who the other person is. Also, BLACK KNIFE. AAAH. I did love that there wasn’t a lot of importance given to court drama and social niceties because well, that happens in EVERY book and it would’ve just dragged this piece of gorgeous literature on. I think the ONLY thing I didn’t like (in my first read) is the fact that I predicted a certain reveal about a certain character and it was kind of disappointing because I was hoping I wasn’t right. All in all, A BEAUTIFUL BOOK THAT YOU SHOULD ALREADY BE READING.
Anonymous 7 months ago
This book had me to tears a few times, and I thought I could predict the ending! But no, the ending was unpredicted. Can't wait to read the second book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't usually leave reviews (mostly because navigating the nook tablet is hard enough) but I feel this book, the author, and future readers deserve this little effort. I read the sample simply because of the overwhelming reviews; the beginning is a little rocky, character personalities choppy at best and I regretted buying it for an hour. BUT it does pick up its momentum and fluidity. Do not give up! Part 1 is only worth 2 stars but part 2, and 3, definitely deserve 4-5. Characters quickly develop and flesh out, the plot is progressive and focused instead of flopping around desperately from one useless fight to another. The climax and ending feel a little rushed, as if the author realized she wasn't going to make a deadline and just chopped it off at the end. Then again I'm not a fan of the 'soprano' style cliffhanger. If you already purchased it, I repeat: DO NOT GIVE UP! If you are thinking of buying, please do, and be a little patient; it is worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ashleyann120 More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful book that really draws you into the characters. I love having smart and brave characters that have a purpose behind all their actions, but are still slightly flawed. This book delivers action, romance, and suspense all in one. I find it interesting that all the kingdoms are fighting against each other, and yet, their also all fighting against an evil that is corrupting all the land. I will definitely read the next book when it comes out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good. Really good. But like some of the other reviews said... the ending makes you want to throw your book. But it also makes you crave the next. (I read on a Samsung nook so I didn't throw it. Wanted to though.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally loved this book. Jodi Meadows is and excellent writer! It would be hard to match her Incarnate series, but I believe she has done just that. I'm anxious to read more from her!!
BooksAndPrejudice More than 1 year ago
Okay wow. This book. Wow. This book was amazing. It follows the story(ies) of the lost Princess Wilhelmina of Aecor trying to take back her kingdom from the country that invaded ten years prior, the Indigo Kingdom. She is a spy and a thief working with a rebel group of the lost noble orphans of Aecor when she meets the mysterious Black Knife. Black Knife is known as a vigilante who turns in magic users. So Wilhelmina is afraid of what will happen if he catches her. But after their first official meeting, he doesn't intend to arrest her. And he can't seem to stop following her. Who is this sexy, masked man? You can tell from the beginning that there will be a ship between Wilhelmina and Black Knife. I mean, come on. But I'm on board here. I totally ship it. Even though it was a little awkward with them kissing with masks on But I digress. I was flipping back and forth between two different characters most of the book for whom I though Black Knife to be. If you have read it, you probably know who I am talking about. About halfway through the book I decided which one it had to be with about 90% certainty. And I was totally right. But the reveal is still a pretty big shocker. Read this book! Let's take a moment to talk about the ending. Ughhhhhhhhh. I have a love-hate relationship with cliff-hangers. And this was just pure cruelty. That was not what I expected to happen at the end. Give me the next book NOW!
thejessrae More than 1 year ago
I'm definitely a fantasy fangirl but I always feel like I'm not reading enough of it, so when I heard about The Orphan Queen and found out that it combined fantasy with princesses and spies and magic and that the main character was all three, I knew I'd find a lot to like here. And like I did, absolutely. This is an exciting and mysterious fantasy that still manages to remain wholly satisfying... until the major cliffhanger of an ending! (Seriously, I think I need to have some words with Meadows about that ending. Something very important hangs in the balance and I won't know what happens until the next book!) One of the best parts of The Orphan Queen for me was snappy and smart heroine Wil and, to a slightly lesser extent, the curious character that is Black Knife and their interactions. I was so glad to find Wil to be the kind of kick-butt but also headstrong heroine that I crave in fantasy. Not that fantasy always needs girls like that, but when someone like Wil comes along who can protect herself with both her fighting skills and with her strong will to do what's best for her and the people she cares about, I'm all about it. On the other side, though, I also appreciated that she had weaker moments to balance her out, which made her feel so much more real and genuine. I am undoubtedly #TeamWil for herself and maybe one day for her kingdom, too. As for Black Knife and his storyline with Wil... I don't want to give too much away but I'll say this much: I was immediately drawn in by Black Knife and I actually thought I'd figured out who it was (with a little catch that I wasn't sure how Meadows would explain), so when I discovered where she took that character, I was both very excited and very intrigued regarding how that was all worked out in the background (I expect more info on this in the sequel!). From the start, though, watching Black Knife and Wil interact was such a great change from her interactions with her friend Melanie and with Patrick and the Ospreys, the last orphaned nobility left from her devastated kingdom. It was a refreshing change of pace and it brought out so much more in Wil that when they were together, it almost felt like an escape as much for me as for Wil herself. I think my other favourite thing about the novel was the entire set-up of princess presumed dead becomes spy and infiltrates a rival kingdom's castle and court. Honestly, spy missions and court life are both like my kryptonite, so to combine them together and have a spy mission take place in a court by an imposter? I think I would have been happy no matter how that played out. I enjoyed so much of that storyline that I was actually kind of disappointed when Wil left the court, even though she did it for a V.I.A. (very important adventure). Thus, my only complaints about that whole section of the book was that I wanted the court intrigue to last longer and that I wish there had been a little more detail about the spying that went on. Other than that, Meadows delivered on the parts that I was looking forward to and also provided a punch of a unique adventure to follow it up as Wil learns more about the Wraith. While I still don't entirely understand everything that happened there and would have appreciated it to be a little more clear, I'm excited to get more detail about Wraith and everything that is coming along with it in the next installment.
LoLaJam More than 1 year ago
WIL The Orphan Queen is the first book in a new fantasy duet from Jodi Meadows, and from the start I fell hard for Wilhelmina. She has to be many things at all times - princess, spy, forger, caretaker, soldier, thief, friend. Some roles she wears with pride, and others she takes on for the survival of herself and her captured kingdom. I can't imagine juggling all the plates she does or being as adaptable all the time. But Wil is a doer who will not rest in her mission to rescue her people, including nearly traveling into hell for them. She has magic inside of her, which fills her with both power and fear - because it might be the key to saving her people by stopping the wraith that plague the land, or instead, it could be what destroys everything. I can't imagine making all the decisions Wil has to make, or being all the people she has to become, but she keeps pushing forward despite it all. Wil inspired me. SECRET ROLES Wil must infiltrate the palace of the rival Indigo Kingdom, pretending to be a visiting noble from a land that has been overtaken by wraith. She has a very specific mission in the palace, and to complete it, she assimilates herself into the royal society. Wil is good at acting and does this well. Despite the importance of this mission, Wil can't help but shed her fancy dresses and sneak out the palace at night wearing all black and armed with her knives. This is one of Wil's most secret roles and one she takes on because it's something she enjoys, not because it is part of her mission. Although I think Wil tries to be true to herself in whatever role she is assuming, this is in many ways when she is most at peace. It is also when we are able to see more clearly the person Wil really is, including her fierce heart for her country and for anyone unable to defend themselves. I loved her even more for that. BLACK KNIFE It is at night that Wilhelmina encounters Black Knife, vigilante and magic hater. Wil is both intrigued and repelled by this masked character, and I couldn't wait to learn more about him. Their relationship starts off antagonistically, but it slowly builds into a bond of trust - in each other's work - and camaraderie. Then it changes again into maybe something more. But there's also complications in their relationship that stop them from getting too close. Namely the fact that readers know Black Knife is someone else in his real life, though he's not saying who he is. Although Black Knife intrigued me, he is a character that I didn't felt like I could fully grasp. I ended this book more in love with Wil than him, but still desperate for more. ROMANCE This story has a very slow building romance that had me equally cheering for and worried about, because of the different identities each person wears. I could see the perfection of them together, and clearly understand their connection, but I also got why it was a very bad idea for them to get involved. But oh how I want it to work out! IDENTITY One of my favorite aspects of this story is the way it examines identity. Many characters have several identities, but not many know all of each person's different identities. This made things interesting, because some characters know more than others realize, and it affects their interactions in different settings. But which identity is the real mask and which is the true self, and can each person's multiple selves find peace with each other? I had a great time puzzling this all out.
AsDreamsAreMade More than 1 year ago
Original review Link: 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! 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? 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.
Sarah_K_ More than 1 year ago
THE ORPHAN QUEEN IS FANTASTIC! It really was just as good as everyone said. What I loved: Fantasy Romance Humor I've decided these three elements together make the perfect book. (Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is like this too!) The Story: Wilhelmina has been trying to take back her kingdom that had been overthrown by the neighboring Indigo Kingdom. She infiltrates the Indigo Palace as a spy in order to gain information to help get her kingdom back. Along the way she meets Black Knife who is a vigilante in the kingdom who captures those who use magic. Magic has been outlawed and those who use it and are caught are never seen again. The book is full of wonderful characters, exciting and thrilling moments, and wonderful humor. The Characters: Wilhelmina: Wil never gives up. That's what I love about her character. She'll do whatever she needs to do to take care of those in her kingdom. She doesn't play the victim card from the pain of her past but uses her pain to spur her to continue her mission. Black Knife. Oh Black Knife.....swoon my heart. He's so amazing. Just read the book so you know what I mean.... Overall: READ THIS BOOK, BUY THIS BOOK, READ THIS BOOK AGAIN! The Orphan Queen is by far my favorite 2015 book so far.
alexalovesbooks More than 1 year ago
When Jodi Meadows announced she was releasing the first of a new fantasy series, The Orphan Queen, last year, it was no surprise that I was overjoyed. As a big fan and book pusher of Jodi’s debut Newsoul series, there was no question that I wanted to get my hands on this story! When an early copy made its way into my hands, I tore through it immediately – and then waited a month or two before doing a reread. If I were going to sum up my feelings about The Orphan Queen, it would be like this: OH. MY. GOODNESS. But obviously, I won’t leave y’all hanging like that. So, here’s a bit more detail on what I thought of The Orphan Queen: Part I: The Parade of Players Well-portrayed characters are an essential element of a great story. If there’s one thing I can count on Jodi to do, it’s to create an entire cast of characters for me to love or hate, depending on the character in question. There are many characters introduced in The Orphan Queen, but here’s a quick breakdown of some of the main players Wilhelmina Korte: She’s the princess of the lost kingdom of Aecor, a rebel and spy who operates as part of the Ospreys, a girl too young to take on so many difficult endeavors and capable of wielding magic. Because of her multiple identities, we experience a lot! We are witness to the secret planning sessions, but also see court affairs, the corruption of the Indigo Kingdom and the pursuit of the truth about magic. Wil is easy to like, because she’s clever, capable and determined to fight for her kingdom. She’s always in the thick of things, unwilling to let others fight her battles for her. I really liked seeing how conflicted she could be about what was right or wrong, what was truth or a lie, because it felt like a real struggle that any person – teenage princess and heir or not – would go through too. The Ospreys: This is the group of rebels, all that remains of Aecor’s nobility, and mostly children at that. They’re led by Patrick Lien, the son of the former general of Aecor, whose ultimate goal is to help Wil regain her throne and her kingdom – whatever means necessary. The dynamics between the members of the Ospreys are real interesting as there are usually different opinions on how to handle certain situations. Tobiah: He’s the crown prince and heir of the Indigo Kingdom, which means he’s got a whole lot of responsibility to deal with. He heads up the committee that studies wraith and how to fight them, for instance. Tobiah gives off the distant, aloof vibe of someone who feels superior, often quiet and just on the edge of civil during social gatherings. However, he also often demonstrates kindness, compassion and loyalty when a situation calls for it. Black Knife: He’s a masked vigilante, who appears to have made it his mission to rid the city of wraith and magic users (also called flashers). While he appears to have good intentions for those without magic, it’s still questionable to think about what does happen to the magic users he happens to capture. Still, he’s got a full range of fighting skills and there’s just something so appealing about a masked renegade trying to make the world a better (in his eyes) place. Part II: A Spectacle of a Story The Orphan Queen tells a story with multiple plots threads. While this could potentially be a mess, I’m of the opinion that Jodi masterfully wove them all together to create an incredible story tapestry.Each word contributes to the weaving of this incredible tale. There’s magic, mayhem and
katieb206 More than 1 year ago
The Orphan Queen may be the first book I’ve read by Jodi Meadows but it totally will not be my last. The Orphan Queen is a wonderful start to this new fantasy trilogy that incorporates action, adventure, magic, romance, and betrayal. I’m going to start by stating the one and only reason The Orphan Queen didn’t get 5 stars: the beginning. It took me quite some time to get into Wil’s story. I completely understand that there is a lot of worldbuilding necessary to a new fantasy series but it did weigh down the beginning of the book. Clearly I got past that though and I truly devoured this book once I got into it. Wil is set to be a queen but she’s far from fit to take over at the start. She knows she needs to take control of her kingdom again but she doesn’t quite know how. Also, she may be the queen but she is being told how to rule. Patrick, friend and adviser to Wil, controls almost everything she does. Before she can even consider ruling a kingdom she must learn to rule herself. Otherwise she would be a kind ruler with the best interests of her people at heart. She’s brave, smart, and wise beyond her years. She’s a supremely strong female who doesn’t need a man to rule by her side. The rest of the characters were much more difficult to pin down. Patrick seemed sketchy at first but he had always been Wil’s close friend. Her best friend, Melanie, is also a bit sketchy. She keeps secrets from Wil and neither of them can afford to have secrets at such a crucial time. The younger Ospreys (the orphans Wil takes care of) seemed a bit undeveloped but quite sweet. They all seemed to be good people in bad circumstances. As for the prince that Wil must fool, he’s not at all what she expected and he not be the only one being fooled. The story was captivating. Magic is forbidden because it creates Wraith which is quite quickly destroying all the kingdoms. It’s up to Wil to save her people from the Wraith but nobody knows how to stop it or even how it spreads. The Wraith really is kind of a character in The Orphan Queen. It’s a villain unlike any that I’ve read about. The story also has a bit of mystery surrounding Black Knife, a savior of some, a villain to others. He starts as a villain to Wil but their relationship definitely changes throughout the book. As to who Black Knife is, it’s a bit obvious, at least it was to me. That didn’t really bother me though, it just made me eager for Wil to find out. Let’s just say there were a lot of double identities in The Orphan Queen. Overall, The Orphan Queen will appeal greatly to established fantasy fans but it’s also a perfect introduction to fantasy. Be warned though, the ending will break your heart and leave it in pieces on the floor. It’s a huge cliffhanger so be prepared for a wait!
creativityavenue More than 1 year ago
THE ORPHAN QUEEN by Jodi Meadows is a fantasy story about a girl, Wilhelmina, who is trying to reclaim her kingdom. She poses as the deceased Lady Julianna to gain information from the king who murdered her parents. Meanwhile wraith, the toxic by-product of magic, is poisoning the world and she must find a way to stop it to save her country. Magic is outlawed as a result, and since the guards can't catch all those who use magic a vigilante has risen. This vigilante captures those who use magic for good or bad, and turns them over to the king. I really like the cover for THE ORPHAN QUEEN, and the color scheme. It's unique and interesting. I love Wilhelmina's character (the story is told from her point of view) and she was very easy to connect with. All of the characters, including Wilhelmina, were developed very well. There is no love triangle, although there is romance between Wilhelmina and another character. I loved the way the plot unfolded in THE ORPHAN QUEEN. I had figured out the twist probably half way through the book but I still enjoyed reading the scene where the plot twist actually happened. There's nothing I hate more than events that don't have anything to do with the actual plot, and THE ORPHAN QUEEN had none of those events, which is probably one of the reasons why it kept me enthralled and on the edge of my seat the entire time. There's a part where Wilhelmina travels to the Wraithland and I was dreading it. I thought it would be boring and it was taking me away from the action in Skyvale. Surprisingly it was pretty short and interesting, which was nice. THE ORPHAN QUEEN is one of the best fantasy books I've read in awhile. If you love the fantasy genre and inspiring heroines you should definitely check it out! rating: 10/10
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. This book had great characters and a great plot. I had a hard time putting this book down. I am looking forward to reading the next book The Mirror King!!