The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows

The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi MeadowsThe Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Published on 5 April 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Orphans & Foster Homes, Young Adult
Pages: 531
Format: Hardcover
Source: my home library
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RRP: $29.99
5 Stars

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.

I feel like I need a disclaimer for this book, seeing as it took me over a year to read and I’m rating it 5 stars: the length of time it took to read this book is my business, however I consider this to be a large book (500+ pages) and I was reading it in hardcover, which started to become uncomfortable. Combine that with 4 very distinct parts that provided a perfect stopping place exactly halfway through that could have split this unwieldy tome into two smaller books, and that’s exactly what I felt when I set it down for so long. I’d reached the perfect point to finish the first half of the story, and I needed a fair bit of time to prepare for the second half of the book.

That being said, I did finish the second half in only a couple of days when I was once again prepared to read it.

We once again follow Wilhelmina, the orphaned princess who has fought valiantly to protect her kingdom and its use of magic. No longer concealing her true identity, Wil grapples with the weight of her responsibilities and faces new challenges as she seeks to reclaim her throne strictly through peaceful means. With the arrival of a mysterious character who will do anything to please her, this isn’t always possible.

One of the shining aspects of this book is the evolution of Wil’s character. Her growth from a determined rebel to a queen struggling to balance her personal desires with the greater good adds depth and complexity to the narrative. Her choices are not easy, and the consequences of her decisions ripple throughout the story in ways that affect the plot and the decisions and reactions of other characters. It all feels quite organic.

I also loved so much the character relationships that shifted and changed throughout the book. Again, it felt organic, and watching Wil negotiate friendships and dangerous enemies she has to pretend to have alliances with was thrilling and exciting.

The plot is a web of political intrigue, magic, and personal vendettas. It explores the consequences of inaction in the face of impending catastrophe, drawing parallels to real-world debates about pressing global issues. As the story unfolds, character motivations are revealed, and each action is driven by their distinct, well-crafted motivations, adding depth and authenticity to the tale. I even loved how some characters did incredibly terrible things for Wil, to help her or please her, or because they thought it was what she wanted or needed.

I found the ending rather bittersweet, and I am unashamed that I cried a bit. Maybe the idea of reaching the end of the book was one of the reasons I put it down for so long. I’m very much looking forward to reading this sequence again.

Nemo
Nemo

About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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