The Orphan Queen

Jodi Meadows. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-231738-4
First in a fantasy duology, this tale of a young royal fighting to retake her country from invaders intertwines espionage, secret identities, a debate on the ethics of violence, and the threat of Wraith, a supernatural force that seeks to overwhelm conquered and conquerors alike. A hypercompetent fighter, forger, and spy, 17-year-old Wil keeps her magical abilities secret, since magic has been banned as the cause of the relentless wave of Wraith that has destroyed neighboring kingdoms, turning harmless animals into devouring monsters and perverting nature wherever it spreads. Wil's more mundane transgressions of the Indigo Kingdom's law are enough to attract the attention of a mysterious vigilante, Black Knife. Wil increasingly finds herself disagreeing with her own leader, the ruthless Patrick, and coming to trust Black Knife. Though Black Knife's identity proves unsurprising, along with the outcomes of Wil's interpersonal relationships, Meadows (the Incarnate trilogy) delivers a powerful coming-of-age story as Wil discovers that there are "lines [she] will not cross, not even to take the vermillion throne." A cliffhanger sets up the concluding volume. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lauren MacLeod, Strothman Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/23/2015
Release date: 03/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-06-231739-1
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-231740-7
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