Published: March 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Series: The Orphan Queen Duology #1
Source: Overdrive (Ebook Library)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Magic
Synopsis: 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.
Spoiler Free Review:
I expected this to be about a bad-ass female heroine taking her rightful place on the throne, alongside her loyal best friend. There is so much more to the already complex plot. The story was a fast paced ride that had me turning the page. I was able to finish this in one sitting. There were so many plot twists, an unexpected betrayal, and so much more that caught me by surprise. Even after the story ended, the story was still in my mind and in anticipation for the next installment.
The main protagonist is Princess Wilhelmina Korte, Crown Princess of her homeland. After the war, Wil is left an orphan until she is rescued and trained as part of the Ospreys a rag tag team of orphans who steal to survive. The Ospreys have devised a plan that Wil, alongside her best friend, Melanie will take down the king and Wil will take her rightful place on the throne.
Wil is your typical female heroine. She’s clever, resourceful,tough, and stubborn She didn’t exactly stand out to me, and I didn’t really connect to her character. In fact, none of the characters didn’t stand out for me except for Black Knife. I did like how Wil was conflicted about her identity. She had to uphold so many identities in this book and was very mysterious even though the book read in first person. Wil also dealt with PTSD from her parent’s death and was still traumatized after ten years.
The premise of the story didn’t sound very original. However, the “wraith” concept was what stood out to me. It was very fascinating but at the same time, really complicated. It took me a while to understand what the Wraith, but, it had a huge effect on the kingdoms and the plan that the Ospreys plotted.
Black Knife was my favorite out of all of the characters. To be honest, I wasn’t very impressed in the beginning, since he was irritating. But, he was resourceful and clever. All throughout the book, there was the anticipation of when the dude would finally reveal himself. He was more than a vigilante and I really wanted more of him. When they did finally reveal his identity, I will admit I was disappointed. Highlight for spoiler: I honestly was not expecting Black Knife to be the prince. I was happy to know that the story wasn’t going to be lost queen and prince romance. It gets tiring after reading it in many fantasy books. I did come to accept it after a while that Black Knife is a vigilante prince.
The main downfall of this book was the friendship with Wil and Melanie. I wanted it to be two best friends saving the kingdom together. There was some friendship dynamic with Melanie and Wil, but not as much as I expected. Really, one of the main reasons I picked up this book was in hopes of an awesome friendship dynamic. Wil and Melanie definitely had their moments, but, I was expecting a little more. How their relationship ended in the first book seemed rushed and was also unexpected.
The ending was really unexpected for me. I wanted to toss the book out the window, even though, I was reading it as an an ebook. I paced around, freaking out. The cliffhanger was really an edge of your seat moment. I came to accept that some endings are really there for anticipation for the sequel.