Monday, 7 March 2016

Review: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

Title: The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)
Author: Jodi Meadows

Release date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 387

Source: Edelweiss

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'm still reeling from all the feelings I had reading this book! The Mirror King is a fantastic sequel to The Orphan Queen, and a great end to the series. I'm left wishing for another book so I could still read about these beloved characters.

The Orphan Queen ended at a pretty brutal point, with the Inundation and Tobiah bleeding profusely on the balcony after he was shot at. There is chaos everywhere, and Wilhelmina doesn't know what to do. She needs to find someone to save Tobiah, but she also needs to pursue Patrick and bring him down before he causes more trouble for the kingdom. With Tobiah unconscious and dying, Wil needs to look to herself and find the strength of a queen, so she can save the people she loves most, and gain back her kingdom.

This book is a complete roller coaster of emotions! It's really long, and divided into four sections. The length didn't matter to me - everything was necessary, and it was all interesting. Well, except for some political stuff, but that's because I'm not a fan of reading about politics in YA. I know it's unavoidable in fantasy involving kings and queens, though. I loved all the intensity and the action, and we do get to see quite a bit of Black Knife action! And as mentioned in the synopsis, Wil becomes Black Knife too. So there are two now, and it's awesome.

Wil surpassed my expectations throughout the novel. We know how determined and strong she is from the previous book, but in this she goes all out. She's more desperate, more angry and more fierce than ever. But she's also still trying to figure out how to be a queen, how to lead people. She's thrust into that role too fast, and she's drowning in things to do. Luckily, she has a few trusted and loyal people to help her out. There are the Ospreys, of course, and Tobiah and James and even the wraith boy she created by accident, who now exists to serve her.

Tobiah just about stole my heart in this. We got to know both sides of him separately in the previous book, but in this we see them both together. It's hard for Wil to accept that Black Knife and Tobiah are the same person, and that's a struggle for her to overcome in this. But it's clear later on, seeing how Tobiah puts on a bored, uncaring mask when he's Tobiah and shows his real self as Black Knife. We also get to see Tobiah as his real self without the Black Knife getup, and those parts were my favourite. He's king now, and has a lot more responsibilities, and a duty to his kingdom that involves marrying someone he doesn't love. Tobiah makes a great king. He loves his kingdom and his people, and he's willing to sacrifice anything to make sure they're safe.

There aren't too many sweet Tobiah-Wil scenes because of everything that's going on, which was a little sad, but I loved every bit of what we do get. Those two love each other like hell, and it's obvious from they way they are around each other. I'm surprised people didn't figure out their relationship before. They complement each other nicely, and it was fun seeing them out fighting wraith monsters together as Black Knives. Also, their banter had me laughing out loud at certain moments.

I adore all the Ospreys Wil had with her at the palace - Connor, Teresa, Carl, Kevin. I think that was it? They were so cute, misbehaving constantly and eating pretty much everything they could. Oh, and the amount of times Wil caught them with silverware and other valuable items in their pockets... It was hilarious! We get to see more of James in this book, and I was really glad about that. His relationship with Tobiah is so strong, and it's amazing how much they care about each other. James will never let anything happen to his best friend, and Tobiah feels the same.

I don't want to say too much about the wraith boy, who is actually given a name in this book, by the way - Chrysalis. He's changing a lot throughout the novel, looking more and more like a human. But he's unpredictable - despite the fact that he obeys Wil and he strives to protect her, he is after all made of wraith. He's not human, and he ends up causing a lot of chaos. He does help Wil a lot, but I was quite torn about what to think of him throughout the book. By the end, though, I loved him, despite everything.

I thought the twists and shockers were all done in the first book and this one would be more straightforward, but man was I wrong! There were still things I never saw coming in this book, a couple of very big reveals included. Jodi Meadows, how do you do it?? The plot threads interweave so well with each other even with all the chaos and war going on.

There is so much more I want to say about this, and I know I'm leaving out a lot, but I don't want to make this too long. And I also don't want to give away too much about what happens. Be prepared to stay up late into the night reading this, because you won't want to put it down. The ending is bittersweet, but I loved the way it was done. I really, really want more now! More Wil, more Tobiah, more everyone I grew to love in this duology. Needless to say, this has been one of my favourite YA fantasies so far.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4.5/5

2 comments:

  1. Yay :D Amazing review Richa. <3 I'm so so glad you loved this final book. I did too :) SO GOOD. Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts about it. <3

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  2. Yaaaaaaasssss, I adored this book so much! It took my breath away! In my review, I wrote something like, authors take note on how to write conclusion novels in YA fantasy! AHHH! Meadows completed the story perfectly. <3

    Fantastic review, Richa!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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