Published: April 5th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Series: The Orphan Queen Duology
Source: ARC won in a Twitter giveaway
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Magic
Synopsis: Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.
HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.
HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.
HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.
Spoiler Free Review:
After the very abrupt and emotionally draining cliffhanger of The Orphan Queen, I was eagerly anticipating the sequel. I was very lucky to win a giveaway of the ARC. The Mirror King truly did not disappoint and I absolutely loved it. The Mirror King begins right after the end of the first book and I was immediately thrust back into the action. Prince Tobiah has been injured and we are literally thrown into the midst of the action and chaos. After Tobiah recovers,both him and Wil struggle with the conflict of the wraith and living up to the expectations of King and Queen.
Like I mentioned, I was immediately thrust back into the action. I didn’t have an issue with the pacing and found it to be very fast paced even if every scene wasn’t action filled. The plot, as they say, defintely thickened. We’re faced with many different conflicts and the storyline took so many unexpected turns. The issue with the wraith is the most central conflict and it took some strange turns. I did like how it stayed the most significant issue and it took a long time to tackle. There were many repercussions and regrets which made the outcome very realistic. In addition, there was the wraith boy who I formed a love-hate relationship with. While I find him to be quite fascinating, he was extremely dangerous and violent and there were many time when I wished he never existed. All in all, the plot was excellently developed and wrapped up pretty well.
So in addition to the wraith conflict, Wil had to face even more crap, as do all main protagonists. Like I’ve mentioned in my review of The Orphan Queen, one of my favorite topics discussed was identity and Wil’s struggle on understanding who she was. There was still that insecurity, but I noticed the obvious growth in her character. There was Tobiah, who is now revealed to Wil as Black Knife. It was interesting to see their interactions and relationship since both are now unmasked. Black Knife was never a completely different person than Tobiah, but merely a different aspect of his personality. Their relationship was as expected, very complicated. Some of the conversations they had were so emotional and heartbreaking, it made me feel all of the feels. I loved the letters they sent to each other and how they slowly unmasked one another. Jodi Meadows really exceeded my expectations when it came to Tobiah and Wil’s relationship.
I also really appreciated some of the side characters, specifically Meredith, Tobiah’s fiancee. Meredith plays a bit of a more prominent role in this book. I feel like the author could have easily made her into a irritating, unnecessary “bad word.” Instead, she was portrayed as kind, selfless, bold and friendly. She was a strong character and was tough in her own way. I liked that Wil and Meredith formed somewhat of a friendship. Despite the rumors about Wil, she trusted her and tried her hardest to make Wil feel welcome. Meredith absolutely did not deserve what happened to her and if I were to choose an underrated female character, she would be the first to come to my mind.
The ending of the book was very solid and it wrapped up pretty well. There were losses and other conflicts to deal with, but a great conclusion. Overall, I would highly recommend this duology. You will be introduced to a unique and fascinating world that deals with fantasy, politics, as well as conveying the message of identity and truly finding out who you are are and what you’re capable of.
Rating of The Orphan Queen Duology: 4.5/5