Review: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

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The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

Pages: 531
Published: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5
My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

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.

The Mirror King is the second book in The Orphan Queen duology by Jodi Meadows.  To be honest, I felt pretty impartial after reading The Orphan Queen and had given it 3/5 stars.  However this book was much more interesting and I’m really glad I had decided to pick it up.  Jodi Meadows has a real talent for the high fantasy writing style, and although the book was rather slow in certain areas it ended up being a really good read.

This review has no spoilers.

Wilhelmina, our main character, does show some growth throughout the book.  She honestly is pretty childish in the first book, and I think that’s what threw me off at first.  However, she grows up in TMK and really starts to make sound decisions with sound reasonings.  Unfortunately, one thing that really irked me was how she treated the wraith boy… It was pretty shitty and really sad.  Wraith boy was pretty much like an enamored puppy and although he was all “power”, I couldn’t see a justification for Wil to treat him like absolute shit.

We explore a little bit more of the kingdoms, which is pretty nice.  One thing that always frustrated me about certain fantasy authors was that they would make up an elaborate world and not let us explore it.  To me, world building and exploring said fantasy world are vital in actually making it come to life.  Imagine hearing about Hogwarts and not actually “experiencing” it, the HP storyline would have completely combusted.  Jodi Meadows actively decided to show us some places in the kingdoms and how they function.

Magic-related plot holes are everywhere.  There is an agreement between the kingdoms that no magic is supposed to be used, but it still is… in almost every chapter..  And magic plays some huge roles throughout the book.  And now that I’m reflecting back on it I’m kind of frustrated Meadows even made this a thing, why waste our time?

Magic is expressly forbidden, so we can’t repair a factory that would 100% help the poor”

A COUPLE CHAPTERS EARLIER: “Please woo these inanimate objects into doing ____ things”.   *snap snap magic happens*
There you go!”

There is a romance, and the storyline doesn’t suffer because of it.  I really enjoyed the slow building romance in this novel because it wasn’t at the core of the storyline.  Rather, it was just an aspect that played along nicely.  We really do watch Wil become who she is destined to be, and she is never stereotypically “saved” by a male.  Wil is a strong MC who really doesn’t need a man to rescue her and that makes this so much more enjoyable.  I’m really happy Meadows didn’t fall into that ugly pit of YA bullshit.

The ending was bittersweet, and the side characters are memorable.  Each of the sacrifices, betrayals, and friendships in this series play a significant role in the series.  Although they weren’t the best they also weren’t one dimensional.  You are kept on your toes trying to figure out the motives behind many characters, and it was really enjoyable to do so.

Overall, I really did enjoy this series.   Although it wasn’t the best series ender, it wasn’t a “meh” book either.  I’m kind of bummed it’s only a duology but I think Meadows did an excellent job wrapping it up.  I could definitely see an epilogue being released just to let us see what has happened in the kingdoms.  I definitely recommend this book.

4/5 stars.

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