Published: March 10th, 2015 by Katherine Tegan Books
//Goodreads//The Book Depository//Indiebound//Amazon//
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.
She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.
She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.
She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.
Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.
It's never been a secret that I love Jodi Meadows. Back when I first read - and 100% loved - Incarnate, I was probably 14. (And so, SO embarrassing. Cringe-worthy. I don't even want to think about this. I am so sorry.) So of course, when I got back into the blogging community and saw that she had a new novel, I immediately had to go buy it. (And wound my poor, poor checking account.)
Wilhelmina is a fantastic narrator. Strong, determined, and incredibly caring, Wil is trying to take back her kingdom from the man responsible for the murder of her parents - the murder that she herself had to witness at quite a young age. She struggles with the urge to use magic to get her out of the sticky situations she often finds herself in. But magic is, of course, forbidden, and so Wil tells herself only to use it in emergencies. (And let me tell you, there are a lot of them.) Wil felt very natural and genuine and I truly enjoyed reading from her perspective. I was always rooting for her because I love how brave she is. She wants her family, her Ospreys, to have their kingdom back, too, but at the same time, there's a fire in her - someone else is ruling her kingdom, her legacy, and that someone is responsible for the massacre of her parents and many of their friends.
"A queen who wouldn't take risks for her people wasn't worthy of being a queen at all."
In other news: Black Knife. I love the idea of him. These people live in villages fraught with fear of the approaching wraith, and the masked vigilante Black Knife provides hope for them. They leave messages on walls, pleading for his help. Children play game after game with each other, pretending to be Black Knife. He's definitely a character I enjoyed. The problem is that I saw his identity coming from miles away. There weren't many options for who he could be, and his real identity was a pretty obvious choice. While I'm happy with the man behind the mask, I wish more had been done to throw us off the trail.
"Somehow, with that single command, I'd brought the wraith to life.
And it knew my name."
"Wishing has never changed anything for me."