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.
In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.
★ STARRED review
Princess Wilhelmina “Wil” Korte returns to reclaim her kingdom in this sequel to The Orphan Queen (2015).
The action picks up where the last book’s ended: Crown Prince Tobiah of the Indigo Kingdom has been fatally wounded by Wil’s former ally. The intense opening sets a pace that never falters. Tobiah is saved, but his brush with death doesn’t deter him from attempting to fulfil his father’s dying wish that he marry Meredith, though his heart belongs to Wil. The many barriers between Wil and Tobiah are heartbreakingly real, making their romance that much more compelling. The most pressing concern though is the encroaching “wraith”—toxic magical residue that warps everything in its path. Wil finally makes it home to Aecor, her kingdom, but problems persist: her (well-founded) ever present fear that she won’t be a capable queen, her complex relationship with Tobiah, and how to battle the wraith, among others. Truths are revealed, sacrifices are made, nothing is easy—there are no cure-alls (magic has its price) or deus ex machina endings. This story’s the perfect length, and though it’s hard to say goodbye to lovable, flawed, strong Wil, such a well-crafted, enjoyable, and immersive story helps ease the pain. It is a crying shame that Wil—who’s self-described as brown-skinned—is whitewashed on the cover.
Here’s hoping for more tales set in this intriguing world. (Fantasy. 14 & up)
Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee, WI):
Wil’s true identity as Princess Wilhelmina of Aecor has been revealed after she saves Skyvale from destruction. The wraith-boy she created to do so is now a constant problem she has to deal with, along with catching Patrick, her former friend who keeps killing in her name, and trying to save Prince Tobiah and tamping down her feelings towards the Black Knife side of him. All of that pales in comparison to the wraith mist, which is now moving faster than ever before and steadily creeping closer to the Indigo Kingdom’s borders. Wil will have to decide where her heart lies and figure out how to become queen, before there is nothing left to be queen of. This book was just as good as THE ORPHAN QUEEN, if not better. Every part of this book is great. Jodi Meadows knows how to write engrossing fantasy worlds with layered characters and the perfect amount of romantic intrigue. If you haven’t read THE ORPHAN QUEEN, read it now.