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Review: The Orphan Queen

July 2, 2015 in Book Reviews, YA Fantasy

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Orphan QueenThe Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Genres: Fantasy, YA Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
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.

 

 

in-brief

 

5-words

MAGIC, THIEF, ROYALTY, EVIL, SECRETS

Things I liked

* good, strong heroine

* romance that didn’t overshadow the action

Didn't Like

* it took me a wee while to get into the story

 

Who Should Read It

* fans of YA fantasy

Rest of the series*DEFINITELY
My Thoughts

Wil is the rightful Queen of a fallen nation. Her home, Aecor, was conquered by The Indigo Kingdom ten years ago when she was still a child. Her parents, the King and Queen, were put to death in front of her. Hiding her identity, the children of the court were put in an orphanage in The Indigo Kingdom. These children of nobles escaped the orphanage to form a group, The Ospreys. The group is lead by Patrick, the son of a general who served Wil’s parents, their intention being to win back Aecor and reinstate Wil onto the throne.

As part of the plan, Wil poses as a refugee Duchess from the neighbouring country of Liadia and finds a place in the palace of The Indigo Kingdom’s royal family in Skyvale. She breakfasts with the King, Terrell, the enemy, and dances with the Prince, Tobiah, a boy she met ten years before. Wil soon realises through her time in the palace that there is a more pressing issue to be dealt with than Aecor; the wraith that is moving slowly eastwards, gradually swallowing everything in sight.

Wil is a warrior. Her years as an Osprey have ensured she is a capable fighter, and indeed thief. Stealing to keep her friends alive, Wil has encountered the vigilante The Black Knife, an anonymous black clothed figure who turns in criminals. He starts as an enemy but Wil soon realises that he might just be doing some good.

I have to admit that I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did. It took me a wee while to get into the story but once I did I absolutely loved this novel!

Wil is a brilliant character. Despite being a strong heroine she displays insecurities, something that I personally feel is important for a character to be believable. Her story evolves beautifully, from an orphan Queen trying to reclaim her home from her enemies, to an orphan Queen who realises the destruction of the oncoming wraith and resolves to help to prevent it for the good of all. Her relationship with Patrick, the leader of the Ospreys, is an interesting one. I enjoy watching it progress over the course of the book and indeed seeing Wil grow throughout.

A relationship I particularly like is that between Wil and The Black Knife (another great character). For the majority of the book we don’t know who is behind this masked vigilante, and similarly he does not know who Wil is. Their interactions are great and the progression of this part of the story was really interesting.

Yes there are elements of predictability about this book, but honestly that didn’t bother me. I loved the story and its execution. While there was a romantic element to this novel it didn’t overshadow the story and that’s just how I like romance in books to be!

There’s a bit of everything in this book – hate, love, fighting, betrayal, deception, magic, evil, darkness, opulence, I could go on. It all comes together to create a fantastic story that will leave you wanting more. I can’t believe we have to wait until March 2016 for book two!

It’s worth noting that there are actually four prequel novellas being released as ebooks between now and the release of The Mirror King. So if you enjoy The Orphan Queen there’s something to keep you going while you await book two.

All in all, I loved this book. It far exceeded my expectations and is definitely worth the online hype.

Top Ten Tuesday #21: Books I’ve Read In 2015 So Far

June 30, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. If you’d like to participate too, see here.

Top 10 Tuesday Strupag

This week the topic is…

  Top 10 Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015

I’ve read some cracking books so far in 2015 so here are ten of them, in no particular order. I’ve linked up any reviews if you want more information.

 

1Uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

No surprises with this one. A beautifully written work of fantasy  that combines magic, fairy tales and a little romance. Great world building and a strong female protagonist. I highly recommend this book!

 

 

 

 

 


Words of Radiance HB2

 

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive #2)

If you love an epic fantasy then I highly recommend this series. I read the first book, The Way of Kings, last summer and loved it. However, Words of Radiance was even BETTER!

 

 

 

 

 

3

The Versions of Us

 

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

This is a cracking book! It follows three different courses that the lives of Eva and Jim may take following a chance encounter. It’s clever, carefully crafted and an all-round great read.

I have a Q&A with Laura Barnett here if you fancy a read – she’s so lovely!

 

 

 

 

 

4

A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I’ve talked about this book a lot. A fantasy with alternate Londons, magic, awesome world building, fantastic characters… it’s got it all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5No Other Darkness

 

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary (DI Marnie Rome #2)

The second in the DI Marnie Rome series (Someone Else’s Skin is book 1) sees DI Rome with a new case to crack – identifying the bodies of two long dead children and discovering exactly how they died. I love Sarah Hilary’s writing, this is just her second book but I honestly can’t wait for her third!

 

 

 

 

 

6

Smiler's Fair

 

Smiler’s Fair by Rebecca Levene (The Hollow Gods #1)

Epic fantasy, multiple viewpoints, fantastic world building – Smiler’s Fair has it all. I have just got my hands on the second book The Hunter’s Kind and I’m desperate to start reading it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7Girl at War

 

Girl at War by Sara Novic

The story of ten year old Ana who lives in Zagreb at the time of the Yugoslavian civil war. Although this is a work of fiction it is an eye-opening and powerful read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Red Rising 1 2

 

Red Rising & Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Red Rising 1 & 2)

These books! When I first heard about Red Rising being set on Mars I honestly wasn’t too fussed, however I was swayed to read it by all of the great reviews I was seeing. I’m SO glad I read it now!

 

 

 

9

Tearling 12

 

The Queen of the Tearling & The Invasion of the Tearling (review soon) by Erika Johansen

(The Queen of the Tearling #1 &#2)

After reading mixed reviews I really enjoyed The Queen of the Tearling, however  I found it a little predictable. The Invasion of the Tearling is NOT predictable. I can’t wait for the third book!

 

 

10Orphan Queen

 

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (review on Thursday) (The Orphan Queen #1)

Honestly, I heard good things about this but I wasn’t sure if it would live up to the hype – it did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read all the novellas that are being released between now and book 2. It’s an easy, very enjoyable read.

 

 

 

What have been your favourite books that you’ve read in 2015?

It’s Independent Bookshop Week!

June 25, 2015 in Bookish Posts

I should perhaps have posted this earlier in the week… oops. So it’s Independent Bookshop Week this week. A week where we celebrate and support independent booksellers across the country.

IBW2015

Last year I shared with you one of my favourite bookshops (see here), The New Bookshop in Cockermouth. My in-laws live in Cockermouth and I can’t visit them without sticking my nose into the shop and leaving with a book or five 😀 I love discovering new bookshops and supporting independent sellers.

bookshop crawl large

As part of the IBW celebrations there will be a nationwide Bookshop Crawl on Saturday 27th June! This year the Bookshop Crawl challenge is to #giveabook. So pop out on Saturday to an independent bookshop, pick up a book and gift it to a loved one… or a stranger if you’re feeling generous!

If you take part in the Bookshop Crawl make sure you post photos on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #bookshopcrawl and #giveabook…. there are prizes to be won! Full details on how to participate can be found here.

Oh and make sure you’re following @booksaremybag over on Twitter as they are giving away books as part of their #indiebookaday IBW celebrations!

#indiebookaday

 

HAPPY BOOK BUYING!!

Top Ten Tuesday #20: Favourite TTT Topics

June 23, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. If you’d like to participate too, see here.

Top 10 Tuesday Strupag

This week the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish are celebrating FIVE YEARS of Top Ten Tuesday with the topic…

  10 3 Favourite Top Ten Topics We’ve Ever Done

Now, I’m only on my 20th TTT so choosing 10 seems rather excessive so instead I’m going to pick my 3 favourites so far.

I thought about not participating this week but I really wanted to congratulate The Broke and the Bookish Team on five fantastic years! Although I only recently started participating I’ve been reading these posts on blogs for such a long time and have found some great recommendations through them. So thanks ladies and congratulations again!

 

1

 Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books

every flight

 

 

2

10 Books For Readers Who Like… 

(this was an open choice, I choose 10 Books For Readers Who Like To Explore New Worlds)

Worlds Whole

 

 

3

10 Book Related Problems

bookmark

 

I’d love to hear which TTT topics you have most enjoyed over the past five years.

Kindle Kandy #1

June 19, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Kindle Kandy

Suzi over at The Book Dame hosts a weekly feature called Kindle Kandy. The idea is that we scan our bookshelves and ereaders for books we own but haven’t yet read.

The Book Dame

 

My TTT this week was all books on my shelves that I haven’t read, but I didn’t think to look at my Kindle. So, after seeing Suzi’s post I decided to take a flick through my Kindle and see what gems might be hiding on those virtual shelves.

I’ve picked out three that stood out to me…

 

STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven proof.indd

DAY ONE
The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the earth like a neutron bomb.
News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%.

WEEK TWO
Civilization has crumbled.

YEAR TWENTY
A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe.
But now a new danger looms, and he threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.

I have no good reason as to why I haven’t read this yet. I’ve only heard good things about it PLUS GRRM himself recommended it.

Have you read this? Is it as good as everyone says?

 

WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

we were liars

 A beautiful and distinguished family.
 A private island.
 A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
 A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
 A revolution. An accident. A secret.
 Lies upon lies.
 True love.
 The truth.

So this is another book that I’ve heard only positive things about. I think I’m a bit worried about reading it in case it doesn’t live up to the hype.

Any thoughts?

 

 

THE ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE by Robin Hobb (Farseer Trilogy #1)

Assassin's Apprentice

 

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill–and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

I completely forgot this was on my Kindle, which I guess is kind of the point of Kindle Kandy eh?

Have you read this series?

 

I wish I was one of those people that can read multiple books at one time, perhaps then I’d feel less guilty about my towering TBR? Anway, I’d love to know if you’ve read these and if you think I should be reading them this summer… I’ll try and cram them into my Summer TBR.

Remember to check Suzi’s post to see what Kindle Kandy treats she has this week – hint: giveaway.

Have a fantastic weekend. Happy reading all! x