Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 5305
Heart-stopping fantasy with swoontastic romance
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
It took me a while to gather my thoughts on THE ORPHAN QUEEN by Jodi Meadows. It’s just one of those books that are so ridiculously good that the words to express their awesomeness don’t come. I drew a blank. I wanted to take my word doc and fill it with words through sheer force of will alone. “Here, Almighty Word Doc, take these thoughts, emotions, THE FEELS, and the oh-my-Gods and put them into a clever review!” It didn’t work.

Oh my stars is this a fantastic book. Jodi… Ms. Meadows. I heart you.

First off, The Orphan Queen opens with this dedication:

If you wear smiles like armor—
If you put on personalities like clothes—
If you can’t show the world all that you are—
This book is for you.

Wow. I knew I was in trouble. I was right.

The Orphan Queen is a tale of Wilhelmina “Wil” Korte, surviving princess of a conquered kingdom called Aecor. Her people, her family, were slaughtered when she was a child after refusing to sign an alliance banning the use of magic. Several other children survived and were put into orphanages in Skyvale, the kingdom that killed her family. But they all escaped into deserted lands to regroup, calling themselves Ospreys after a bird on their former kingdoms crest. For years, the Ospreys learned to fight, to steal (to feed themselves), and to impersonate others. They forged documents, they spied on their enemies, and they formulated plans to once again claim their homeland. When Wil is tasked with impersonating a dead girl of noble birth in order to gain access to Skyvale Castle and all its secrets, she knows she can do it. She has to do it to get her throne back.

But there’s more to her trip to Skyvale than she ever anticipated.

The Wraithland, lands consumed by the supposed by-product of magic use and its grotesque caricatures of life within its borders, is closing on Skyvale. Glowmen and wraith beasts hunt the streets and only the vigilante, Black Knife, is there to help those who can’t protect themselves. Patrick, Wil’s trusted advisor and general of the Ospreys, has ulterior motives for her trip to Skyvale and demands a price higher than Wil is willing to pay. Secrets are being kept from her by her best friend, and Black Knife becomes a trusted ally in the streets of Skyvale, Wil’s only departure from the noble mask she wears at the castle. As more and more secrets are revealed, Wil second-guesses whom she can trust and what the real threats are to her family’s kingdom. But to what lengths will she go to do the right thing?

I loved The Orphan Queen so much. It’s the perfect blend of a relatable young adult voice and beautiful fantasy. The pace never lingers, and I found myself skipping tedious things (like eating or sleeping) in order to get to the next chapter.

Wil is just the perfect embodiment of a strong female protagonist. Sure, she can kick some serious tail, but that’s not what makes her strong. It’s her drive to do the right thing. She is presented with some shortcuts or to merely ‘look the other way,’ but she doesn’t. Wil knows what’s right and wrong. She knows in order to be a good queen to her people, she must stand her ground and hold true to her ideals of right and wrong. And she does. Boy, she digs in her heels, and I love it. Do all of her decisions end rosy? Nope. But she’s seventeen, and maybe a little on the impulsive side. But she thinks of her people, her kingdom, first. When she learns the true fate of magic users, flashers, like her, she knows she must do what’s right, even if it goes against everything she knows her parents would have done.

Let’s take a quick second to talk romance. Holy buttered biscuits! As Wil spreads her wings through the night streets of Skyvale, she forms an unlikely partnership with the Black Knife. Their banter is engaging, their one-up-you-isms are hilarious, and I couldn’t get enough, even if I knew who Black Knife was very early on. And let me just say, being kissed through a mask has never been hotter!

The world building of The Orphan Queen is breathtaking. Full sensory overload! From the golden sun reflecting off the western mirrors of Skyvale, to the stench of Wraith, the musk and funk of the lower caste alleys, to the urine-soaked streets (so sorry CJ LOL), to the bountiful spreads of food at the castle, it was all there. I tested, I smelled, I felt, I heard, I saw every last detail of the Indigo Kingdom and her various lands. Jodi swept me away with her vivid descriptions.

I laughed, I cheered, I shook my fist, and I cried through Wil’s journey. In the end, I nearly threw the book, but in the OMG-how-DARE-she-end-it-that-way way. And it’s true. Ms. Meadows leaves you with the sweetest, most gut-wrenching cliffhanger that you may not forgive her. Who am I kidding? Of course you will. I’m practically frothing at the mouth for the second book.

In the end, The Orphan Queen is a superb book full of heart soaked to The Feels and loss that cuts to the bone. It’s about a girl searching for herself in a world stigmatized by the misunderstanding of those who are different, like her. Wil is stuck between what she’s known to be true and what truths she learns on her own. A battle in which many, many people can relate.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

My Love is All Around
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mommy Bear shows Baby Bear how love is all around...
I'm not a Mouse!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia really doesn't like her nickname - mostly because it...
My Panda Sweater
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The other kids may laugh, but I always feel safe...
One Day on our Blue Planet... In the Outback
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From breakfast to dinner, dusk to dawn, children will love...
Mrs Bibi's Elephant
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming story with a message as big as an...
The State of Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Dre and Dean have got my vote!"—Adib Khorram, award-winning...
My Calamity Jane
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to 1876 America, a place bursting with gunslingers,...
Little Creeping Things
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
A compulsively readable debut with a narrator you just...
Fae's Deception (Queens of the Fae Book 1)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Brea Robinson is a murderer. That’s what everyone tells...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This beautifully illustrated novel is a compendium of Artemis Fowl's...
The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning...
Personalized Notebook Doodles Adorable Pets Coloring Book
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From hamsters and hermit crabs to cats and canaries, you'll...
The Last Summer
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For the first eleven years of their lives, neighbors Lila...
The Falling in Love Montage
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two girls embark on a summer of montage-worthy dates (with...
Super Puzzletastic Mysteries: Short Stories for Young Sleuths from Mystery Writers of America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling author Chris Grabenstein and the Mystery Writers of America...

Latest Member Reviews

The Falling in Love Montage
 
5.0
"THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE is a beautiful YA contemporary romance that follows Saoirse (Seer-sha). Saoirse speaks to the reader..."
Crave
 
4.3
"After the death of her parents, Grace comes to an Alaskan boarding school. Once there, she senses something is 'off'..."
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
"YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living..."
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
" I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth centers around a..."
Pumpkinheads
 
4.7
"I am pretty new to graphic novels so when I won a copy of 'Pumpkin Heads' on GoodReads I was..."
Burn
 
3.7
"BURN imagines a world that is just like ours, except that dragons exist. Dragons have been around for longer than..."
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
 
5.0
"WONDER WOMAN: TEMPEST TOSSED is a fantastic new story featuring Diana coming into her own. She has been raised among..."
The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight, #2)
 
5.0
"THE ARCHER AT DAWN is a fantastic sequel in the THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT trilogy. This second book picks up..."
My Calamity Jane
 
5.0
"What worked: This is a fun paranormal twist on historical figures set in the Wild West of 1876. I loved..."
Where Dreams Descend
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK This book was everything I wanted and more. It begins with Kallia and her performance. It quickly descends into..."
The State of Us
 
5.0
"THE STATE OF US is a really fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows the children of two political rivals. Dean's..."
Live Like Legends
 
5.0
"LIVE LIKE LEGENDS is an absolutely fantastic YA fantasy romance. We follow Kalista, who is a princess born to be..."
Blood Countess (Lady Slayers)
 
4.3
"Visually, this book is a gorgeous work of art, splattered with blood from cover to cover. For those familiar with..."
Like Sisters on the Homefront
 
4.7
"Top 3 reasons to read LIKE SISTERS ON THE HOMEFRONT: 1.) The characters- Gayle, a NYC girl sent to..."
Daphne and Velma: The Vanishing Girl
 
3.7
"Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley are opposites. Daphne is popular, traditionally pretty, and sociable. Velma prefers books and information to..."
Felix Ever After
 
5.0
"Felix has never been in love, but he wants to be. He wants the experience of opening your heart, having..."
The Sullivan Sisters
 
5.0
"Eileen, Claire, and Murphy Sullivan used to be close. They had their special traditions, their shared laughs, and their shared..."
The Summer of Impossibilities
 
3.7
"THE SUMMER OF IMPOSSIBILITIES is a YA contemporary about friendship in the vein of THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS...."
Tarnished Are the Stars
 
4.3
"FEEDBACK I actually really enjoyed this story. The beginning was a little confusing because there wasn’t too much explanation of..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"San Solano, Texas is not only known for its Southern charm but also gruesome murders that took place fifty..."