Release date: April 5, 2016
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.
This second and final book (it is a duology) in The Orphan Queen series was filled with so much development and excitement, that until the last page, I was chewing on my fingernails. The stakes were definitely higher, when at the end of the Orphan Queen, Tobiah gets a mortal wound. Now, in the aftermath, Wil does what she can to restore him, while also securing her kingdom. There is a power struggle going on, and she is trapped in the middle of it. Adding to her troubles is the sentient wraith she called to life, who is now her devoted servant, but with twisted ideas of what makes her happy. She is hailed and shunned, alike, and while the kingdoms are warring over power, there is the looming threat of the encroaching wraith.
During the course of this book, Wil has to learn the hardships of being a queen and a leader firsthand. There are instances when she has to let go of the life she had beforehand, be something other than the Osprey that she was. Her identity crisis was so neatly depicted with the allegory of her handwriting. James was such a great character in this book – he becomes a wonderful confidant and friend to her. The change that befalls them in the second half, then, made me fearful of how the book would end. It was sad, sure, but not an unhappy one. There was resolution and hope, and even the romance convinced me this time around. There is something truly sweet about them together, and dropping the masks they had donned. Overall, a fitting conclusion for this fantasy series, though I am sad to see it end in only two books.
Received a free galley from Katherine Tegen Books, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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