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The Orphan Queen #2

The Mirror King

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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.

531 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

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Jodi Meadows

23 books4,621 followers
I write books. I snuggle cats. I drink coffee.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 830 reviews
Profile Image for Jodi Meadows.
Author 23 books4,621 followers
July 10, 2015
This book has been proofread and is on its way to becoming a beautiful hardcover.

Coming your way April 5, 2016.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
March 17, 2016
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Book Two of The Orphan Queen series
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

Dear All Other YA Fantasy Authors: Take notes. You want to write a conclusion to a duology or trilogy or series in general? THIS is how you do it. Complex, heartbreaking, developed, gorgeous and so so so satisfying, in the end. How NOT to break your readers' hearts and yet, still twist their emotions and feels and have them hanging on desperately. Jodi Meadows SLAYS in The Mirror King (and I don't necessarily mean that literally - or do I?).

Do I dare summarize this book? It starts exactly where The Orphan Queen ends, with that tragic and totally scary ending. I will say, that certain part of the ending is not permanent. WHY it is not permanent, I won't say. But anyway. Wil is determined to find Patrick, who is trying to rally people to support him in taking Aecor - in Wil's name. Wil knows that taking Aecor means declaring war on the Indigo Kingdom, and she doesn't want that. But you can't always have what you want, something both Wil and Tobiah realize. Both of them must make decisions that will hurt, but the decisions will be for the greater good of their respective kingdoms.

This book. I don't even know where to start. Can I just tell you all that it was AMAZING, a perfect conclusion to the series, and a must-read? I thought The Orphan Queen was fantastic, but The Mirror King probably beats it. Both are getting four stars from me, but it's more like super super SUPER close to five stars. I'm a tough nut to crack when it comes to five stars.

I love how Meadows digs even deeper in Wil's character, and her mind. Is she brave enough to go after Aecor, despite her alliance with Tobiah? Is she good enough to be a queen? Is she ready? Yes, she was born a princess, but is she a capable queen? Wil has so many insecurities in this novel, and all of them are legitimate and understandable and I love how Meadows skips none of them. Wil is every bit of the tough and kickbutt and strong woman that she was in The Orphan Queen, but she has matured and developed into someone who must think of the greater good.

Oh Tobiah. He too undergoes character development that comes from a heartbreaking event. Seeing him making difficult decisions and indirectly pushing Wil away is heartbreaking, but you can't help but understand what he's doing and why. I adore Tobiah. He's regal and strong and someone I'd want in my corner, but he also has insecurities and doubts, just like Wil.

I won't say much specifically about the plot, because I don't want to accidentally spoil anything. But I will say that despite this book being nearly 1.5 times the length of your average YA book, I read it in practically lightning speed. I couldn't stop reading. Meadows just kept throwing twist after twist, crazy event after crazy event. So much of this book happens because of the wraith boy, and the wraith, and a different villain who is creepy. Meadows concocts a really intriguing and heart-pounding and exciting story! Coming down to the climax and ending of the book felt like a high-speed gallop to the finish line. I couldn't read fast enough!

The romance isn't the center of the book (just like how it isn't in The Orphan Queen), but it is important and somehow, ever-present, even though it's not physically always present. I like how complicated Wil feels about Tobiah. These two aren't your average couple, and they can't just be together because they want to be. They struggle and push and pull and hurt and fight. I love the romance in this book.

I'll wrap this up now. I won't say anything specific about the ending, except that I loved it. There is a bittersweet part to the ending, but the ending is so good, guys. It's not cookie-cutter perfect, but rather, VERY realistic for a fantasy novel, and satisfying. SO satisfying, I promise!

What I Did Not Like:

The only complaint I have is that I didn't think the author did the best job of recapping the big things that happened in The Orphan Queen, in the very beginning of The Mirror King. Typically authors use the first chapter of a sequel to kind of get readers back into the world, and remember what happened (the major things) in the previous book(s). They do it by dispersing the recap throughout the chapter. I think because the author started this book EXACTLY where The Orphan Queen ended, she couldn't really work in the dispersed recap? I'm not sure. But I'll be honest - I read The Orphan Queen over a year ago. And besides the CRUEL ending, I didn't remember some pretty significant things, like certain people's names, or the fact that THIS guy is good and we actually like THIS girl. I caught on as it unfolded but now I want to reread The Orphan Queen (which isn't a bad thing).

So I guess I recommend a reread of The Orphan Queen, before starting this book!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly highly HIGHLY recommend this series. It's only a duology and this is the second book, so you don't have to wait in agony like I (and many others) did. If you like YA fantasy, read this series. If you don't like YA fantasy, read this series.

If you like to read, read this series. Or maybe you don't like to read? Read this series.


4.5 stars. What a perfect (I say "perfect" but not in a "cliche perfect" kind of way) ending to a wonderful series! I love this duology something fierce!
Profile Image for Jenna.
263 reviews77 followers
December 23, 2020
WOW! What a conclusion.
This duology really improved with the second book. It was less predictable (still predictable, but lesser so), explanations and answers were revealed, the plot moved swiftly and it was thoroughly enjoyable. 4.5/5 stars!!

The story picks up right where we left off in The Orphan Queen. The kingdom is in disarray, the wraith is moving much faster than anticipated and politics, alliances, romance, death and magic combine in this fabulous conclusion.

I'd recommend this more so to young YA fantasy lovers because this series while having some mysterious magic, it is not a very complicated world. Most of the story lines you can predict, although in The Mirror King, it’s a tad less predictable. The main idea is the wraith which I think is pretty cool but unfortunately, the story can lack some depth. I really enjoyed this book, for those seeking a harry potter or queen of the tearling read, this is not it. This is a cute, fun, fantasy duology that I think would be well suited for a TV show. I could see certain scenes turning in my head as I read the series. If you have read it, let me know what you thought!!

The rest of my review will contain spoilers

Poor Meridith. I think that death could have been avoided if WILHELMINA ACTUALLY TALKED TO THE WRAITH BOY. That was extremely frustrating as a reader, reading that she neglects him even though he continuously provides needed answers about the wraith. It's just plain dumb and I don't like that.

Tobiah and Wilhelmina's reunion was sooooooo cute.

I didn't like how at the ball suddenly everyone was hitting on everyone?? Like tone it down please.
The story line with James was tragic. I couldn't stop picturing a 9 year old boy dead on the road. The poor mother, realizing her son had been dead all along. Of course she loved magical James but now she had to remember her 9 year old son and think about his death. THEN HE SACRAFICED HIMSELF. Ugggh poor James

This book really moved at a faster pace than the first but that was okay because we got to the good stuff faster.

Tell me what you guys thought!!

Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
320 reviews2,124 followers
June 22, 2016
3.5 Stars

As soon as I finished The Orphan Queen, I dreamed about The Mirror King and I wanted it like yesterday. And, surprisingly, I got it back in September -- thanks to the Edelweiss gods. And then I read. And read. And read. But I was in no way invested into the story. I was probably not in the right mood, but suffice it to say, I dropped it at 43%. Still kept it on my currently reading shelf though. And now that it was finally published, my conscience dictated -- get your shit together and finish the damn book.

And I did.

And *gasp* I actually liked it!

“This was love without masks.”

There were several big flaws that led to the initial dropping. First and foremost, the first half was, simply put, B-O-R-I-N-G. Uninteresting. Moving at a snail's pace and without an adequate plot. Not even Tobiah's and Wil's sexy chemistry were able to keep me glued to the pages -- the situation there was already effing weird since Tobiah was on his way to marrying Meredith, which I quite liked. Coming back though, there was a clear juxtaposition of mere secondary plot lines thrown into our faces without bringing out the big guns. Imagine, I was downright disappointed.

Secondly, the problem that irked me to no end was how the romantic closure was handled, I mean -- come on, we all knew and expected that Tobiah and Wil will somehow end up together; it's just one of that predictable aspects every series has. AND I WAS PUMPED FOR THAT. But still, even if the cliche is there, you wish for it to be handled in a clever manner. And that is certainly not what happened in TMK. It's the reason why I dropped it, the reason why I thought I'd DNF it. Because it angered me, disgusted me and simply left me speechless at such a crap way of twisting the plot to the author's liking. I wanted something plausible, something sneaky, not something so straight-cut it's basely. I was pissed off and thank goodness I was because in the end that's what prompted me to give it another shot and another go -- which, in turn, culminated with a higher rating than the one I would've given it if finished then (probably 1 or 2 stars).

Thirdly, Wil -- she was stupid stupid stupid. Not on the whole -- she had a fantastic character development, she was standing her ground, becoming a young and fair leader; kind, resourceful, bold, all attributes a queen should have and I admired her for her queen like demeanor.

No, she was stupid in one department only -- her relationship or rather her communication with the wraith boy, Chrysalis. Everything that went awry in the first part, eye-roll inducingly so, could have been avoided if she had sit down, overcome her prejudices and understand and unravel this creature she conjured into being. Living under the impression that by locking him away into a closet all problems would be solved only managed to render her an idiot and trigger lousy plot-developments. I was embarrassed by her embarrassment, for goodness's sake!

Thank the heavens, that also changed once we crossed the half threshold. I'm not kidding, it was like a totally different book, at least that's the vibe I got. Suddenly, the book was unputdownable. I was hooked. I was enjoying the political undertones and Aecor's dilemma of red vs blue. And, most importantly, I loved seeing Wil develop on her own, separated from Tobiah, proving that she's just and has lots of integrity.

Not to mention those two jaw-dropping twists I seriously did not see coming -- James; Tobiah. The one concerning James I prepared myself for since it was hinted at from the prequel, but I didn't have a clue what it could possibly be about. And oh dios mio! That kind of revelation messes with your head. And I was instantly grateful I finally found the cleverness I wanted woven into the plot.

The Tobiah one, on the other hand, left me shell-shocked. I had to pick up the remains of my mind after being blown away. Consequently, these two twists combined to offer surprises in a wonderful manner.

I'm not gonna lie, the wraith business felt all over the place during both books. No rules, no clear understanding of how it works, how it can be fought and how it must be approached. Add Chrysalis into the mix and, essentially, the weirdness is at a whole other level. It did provide thrills, however. And honestly, this particular spin on magic was compelling. It's just, you know, a superficially constructed "villain".

Other things I should mention: I liked the tension that Prince Colin and Patrick brought to the story and I loved a certain brilliant (although gut-wrenching at the time) twist that enabled Wil to inherit what was rightfully hers. Melanie and the remaining Ospreys were nice and supportive. Meredith was a great character as well. James was from another planet, because he was practically perfect. It was like seeing Chaol under a new personality. On top of that, his dynamic with Tobiah was all Chaol and Dorian, Dorian and Chaol and my heart was quadrupling itself whenever they were around each other. Also, the friendship between James and Wil was sweet and gave me giddy feels.

Despite my issues with the romance, I did not hate THE ROMANCE. You get me? That I adored. Tobiah and Wil are so head over heels in love with each other and the few and far off between times in which they got hot and busy were deliciously torturing and addictive. They truly complete each other. THE SHIP HAS LANDED IN THE HARBOR AND MY SOUL SINGS SERENADES.

“I want every part of you. The nameless girl. The Osprey. The vigilante. The queen. Wilhelmina, you have a hundred identities and I love every one of them.”

But oh those final scenes killed me from so many points of view. First, there was a sob fest and I wanted to hide under the covers and cry for the rest of the night. Prepare yourself, it's cruel. Afterwards there was an avalanche of heartwarming, fuzzy FEELS starting from the idea of an army of tiny vigilantes and that freaking perfect list that had me grinning like a moron. I was in LA-LA-LAND. So happy and satisfied. It was a good, strong conclusion, with the emotional turmoil set to make it unforgettable at least for a while.

For all its faults, I still loved this book. It just occurred to me that was my same stance on the first installment. It's kind of my guilty pleasure -- enrapturing, chaotic and eternally romantic. The Mirror King has the subtle magic of a light, entertaining read and the icing on the cake is that it has flavors of forbidden love, political schism and innovation. Proper tasty, indeed.

Profile Image for Kirsty-Marie Jones.
409 reviews45 followers
September 24, 2015

Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,691 reviews1,268 followers
March 12, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I couldn’t let you die.”

This was a YA fantasy story which picked up right where The Orphan Queen left off.

Wil was a strong leader in this and proved how determined she was to be queen. She did have some problems restraining her wraith friend though.

The storyline in this did lose me a bit and I felt quite bored. There was something that happened at the 43% mark which made me sit up and take a bit more interest, but I soon worked out that I was mainly reading this for the romance rather than any of the other storylines, which was a bit disappointing.

The ending to this was pretty good, and I was satisfied with the way things worked out.

6 out of 10.
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews827 followers
December 30, 2020
5 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Carlos Cipa – Secret Longing
Dark Fortress – Wraith
Instrumental Core – Hope

Genre: high-fantasy, YA
Stuff: half-apocalypsys, magic, little game of thrones
Fail: contrived coincidences
WOW: twists
POV: 1st-person, female
Love-Geometry: none

“No matter the masks we wear, we always end up together.”

First of all, I decided not to waste my time on detailed reviews of books I'm not very angry with or really excited about. So the following text would be kinda compact and spoiler-ish. Be warned!


This book was indeed better than its predecessor, but once you've noticed illogical things, you can't unsee them and they would bother you much.

I don't get how people may fight each other for doomed territories. Why anyone would want a throne if there are no wars to wage and no gold to roll in? Okay, MCs love their kingdoms, but their opponents have no reasonable goals. How can I see them as decent villains? Why don't they understand how stupid their little game of thrones is while there is Wraith which is going to kill everything and everyone? There was a scene there this misty thing did already come and antagonists decided to try their strength against each other. Right about time!

So, yes, the plot is a mess (again) if to look closer. But the characters are no better, at least for me. The only heroes I liked were a sidekick James, an Osprey-boy Connor, and a weird creature with a weird name Chrysalis. And that wasn't enough for not skipping passages during my read.

Connections between people weren't developed properly. I never felt Wil and Melanie's friendship. Never! Wil and Tobiah's love shone while their interactions, but not in between. Also, I can't recall how exactly they fell for each other. And you know why? Because Jodi Meadows was telling about it in The Orphan Queen instead of showing the process. MCs have chemistry and history, but the latter in word only.

I have to give the author a credit for plot-twists. Even I without being invested in the story had huge goosebumps and very real tears. One of such moments was at the wedding. Yes, I knew poor Meredith would die, but I thought it might happen later. The other was Tobiah's revelation about James and his (Tobiah's) power. And here illogical stuff comes back again. Aside from the fast healing, James never struck me as a doppelganger or something without his own will. I expected him to have magic or Tobiah being a healer like Connor, but... It's really simple to surprise your audience if you don't give any cues away. And Tobiah's power is such a contrived coincidence! Also, Wil was eager to use her magic, 'cause this was a part of her. Tobiah managed without it somehow. Even during really dangerous situations he never wished for help. What about survival instinct? You never think on the verge of death, you do anything you can. And his power is pretty handy. Wish for something and that's yours. But he refused it, controlled it even. But how? He never had a chance to train his magic.

The ending was far-fetching and full convenient circumstances. Does magic have limits? When Wil brought to life Chrysalis she passed out for a day. And now she charmed the ocean. Fucking ocean! And everything's ok. Nice. The so-called villains died super fast and for nothing. The sacrificing scene was really touching (I cried), but no wonder, since the 'lambs' were my favorite heroes! Oh, and Chrysalis as a character went through an amazing development. At first, he was annoying and creepy, and then creepy and cute.

All in all, this series has a very unique premise, but its execution is far from great. It's like a slovenly sewn satin dress - the fabric is rich, but stitches are ugly. Your enjoyment would depend on your love for the main characters, 'cause this is the only way to forget about the rest inconsistency.

The Orphan Queen (Королева сирот):
The Hidden Prince (Оберегаемый принц) #0.1/2
The Glowing Knight (Раскаленный рыцарь) #0.2/2
The Burning Hand (Пылающая рука) #0.3/2
The Black Knife (Черный нож) #0.4/2
The Orphan Queen (Королева сирот) #1/2
The Mirror King (Зеркальный король) #2/2
Profile Image for Grace A..
373 reviews40 followers
August 20, 2022
If you are looking for an incredible YA high fantasy, this is your book.
The world building was phenomenal. The wraithland, the indigo kingdom and their customs, and the magical infrastructure of the Aecorians created a beautiful fantastical world I enjoyed experiencing.
Wil, the heir to the Aecorian throne, and Tobiah, king of the Indigo Kingdom, were from a generation that had suffered the effects of war and was determined to overcome whatever faces them without lunging into another war. This ideology was not popular among some of their family and friends, it was like diffusing a ticking bomb, sometimes it blew up in their faces, but in the end they weeded out the bad seeds, but of course, not without a dire cost.
The complicated love story that unfolded between Tobiah and Wil kept me turning the pages. Love was not as simple as finding a love interest, they had a kingdom full of people that needed their attention, and a looming threat over their kingdoms. The tug of war was between love and country; choosing love over country was not an option because lives depended on it, and finding a balance between both was quite tricky.
It was a beautiful read, I enjoyed this series. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Crystal | decorating.reader.
386 reviews190 followers
January 1, 2016


This book is so dang good. I don't even know what to do with myself right now.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,131 reviews437 followers
July 31, 2016
I adored The Orphan Queen, and have been waiting, somewhat impatiently, until the library copy I had on hold became available. And, the wait was worth it! I devoured the book in less than a day, and even when I was finished, I immediately went back and reread my favourite parts - which was most of the book.

Now that everyone knows exactly who Wil is - namely, the lost princess - Wil's life is in a bit of turmoil. Tobiah was shot at the end of The Orphan Queen, by the traitorous Patrick, and Wil will do anything to heal him, including using forbidden magic. She continues to become Black Knife and is determined to find Patrick and make him suffer for using her name to destroy. No matter how hard Wil tries to do right, her magic, and the unintentional creation of a wraith boy, ends up destroying more and more, and causes a rift between herself and Tobiah. When they discover Patrick has fled to Aecor, and is gathering people under her banner, she immediately leaves, trying to get some space between herself, and her feelings for Tobiah - and maybe, she left at just the right time.

I love Wil, I really do. She even got better in this book, which I didn't think was possible. Now that it's all out in the open about who she is, she is under more scrutiny, and the restrictions placed on her are chaffing. Even though she is the lost princess, she is still the leader of the Ospreys, and it's in her blood to be out there, helping and protecting, not being locked away in a tower, all 'safe'.

That was the main thing that brought Wil and Black Knife together, and now that Wil knows exactly who Black Knife is - namely, Tobiah - she's conflicted. She loves Black Knife, but loathes Tobiah. How does she reconcile one with the other? And, once she does, she's faced by the fact that Tobiah is getting married, and Meredith is a wonderful person, who doesn't deserve to be hurt.

The plot and action were amazing. It started somewhat slow, dealing with the shooting of Tobiah, but once it started, it all started. Everything seemed to come all at once, and there were times I didn't know how to feel, my emotions were just all over the place. This book is definitely one for the feels, and the romance was extremely swoon-worthy, especially when it comes to a certain list. I'm sort of gutted that it's only a duology, but everything was wrapped up - I just want some more ;). I'd definitely recommend this!
Profile Image for Sharon.
505 reviews257 followers
December 26, 2016
I really wanted to like this series, especially because I am a HUGE fan of Jodi Meadows' other works, but I just could not connect to the main characters and the overall story.
-Some of the plotting: There were some realllllly awesome plot twists, especially in the middle to end. I did not see them coming at all!
-James: He was such a loyal, good friend. I loved how thoughtful and supportive he was throughout the series
-Realistic character developments: We saw Wilhelmina struggled to be a good queen - It was realistic to see her make some mistakes and learn, and I appreciated this part of her character development (even though it was frustrating to see her pretty much keep on screwing up)
-Wraith Boy: Most interesting character, loyal, powerful, and could be sweet. I loved how he pretty much held all the power, but he followed Wilhelmina like a puppy. He was just so strange and different, with his mixture of power and vulnerability.
-Ending: Quite satisfying overall (more details in the spoilers section at the bottom of review)

-1st half of the book did not catch my attention. I was honestly bored (It did get quite better in the 2nd half though)
-Romance: It felt lukewarm and quite cliché. I think out of all the romance scenes between Wilhelmina and Tobiah, I only found 10% of it cute. There was also that sticky situation about him being engaged... (more details on the spoilers section at the bottom of the review).
-Wilhelmina, in general: While I appreciated Wilhelmina realistically struggling to be a good queen, it was still very annoying at times. She made a lot of excuses (some were valid, some were weak). She was also very passive-aggressive with how she dealt with Wraith Boy. Here she had this weapon, this monster child I guess you could say, and yet... the way Wilhelmina handled him was the worsttttt. She knew she wanted to keep him as a weapon/safety guard, but she didn't communicate well with him at all. Every time he screwed up, she yelled at him and treated him like shit. I mean obviously I understand why she didn't trust him - he made many mistakes and killed many people, and I didn't condone it. However, it did not make sense to me how she was handling the situation because she really needed to teach him how to use his powers for good, so all the murders would stop. I felt like she should have been nicer and smarter about him - nicer because he was basically a child and she was the "mother/creator." How could he learn how to be decent when all she did was lock him up and yell at him when he screwed up? She already knew all he wanted was her attention and approval. I felt bad for him, even though he was technically a monster. She could have so easily been decent and respectful to him. All she did was yell at him, blame him, while not taking advantage that he would literally do anything for her approval. On the other hand, she also should have been smart about it. Even if she didn't want to be nice, how can you expect him to help you properly if you don't communicate with him? Locking him in a closed space to "control" him seemed unhelpful when she could just be honest with him. (Fortunately, she did learn to appreciate him way, way later on, but for the most part, she treated him like shit even though she was the one who created him and wanted to use him to her advantage.) (That was a major long rant, whoops)

I gave it 2 stars because I was for the most part bored and disappointed. I could not connect with the main characters or the romance. I did, however, liked some of the shocking plot twists in the middle and end of the book - verrrrrry impressive and I literally did not see them coming at all. In addition, I loved Wraith Boy and James, even though they were side characters. In contrast, Wilhelmina was conflicting for me because I thought she was irritating and weak for a protagonist - at least she did grow a bit through the course of the series. Overall, it was an OK read, but could be better.

Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below)
Is there a happy/satisfying ending?
Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level?
Favorite scene?
What age level would be appropriate?
Profile Image for Belinda.
1,003 reviews
June 9, 2016
4.5 stars. This book is amazing. So meticulously plotted. I had been biding my time with this book. Although the ending of OQ had completely killed me, I was scared to pick this up and see how it ended. I feared it wouldn't go the way I wanted. My fears were unfounded. Don't get me wrong, I was surprised by a lot of things. Everything did work out, just not quite in the way I expected.

I loved the growth Wil and Tobiah went through. They learned a lot about each other and themselves. Both of them are being put into power too early for their liking. They're young and they have doubts. They're insecure about their abilities to lead their people and protect them from the wraith. They'll do everything in their power to achieve it, even if it means sacrificing their own wants and needs. Seeing them work together for a better solution was heartwarming. Having them come to terms with certain aspects of themselves and the things they were willing to do really made them strong characters.

The plot though, oh man. Political intrigue is off the charts in this, and it's oh so good. Everything is very character driven, which I loved. I was never quite sure what was going to happen next. The wraith boy was a wildcard. He was like a young boy. He wanted to please Wil, but his actions and the way he interpreted things were unpredictable and left him dangerous. Danger is coming from all sides. Prince Colin refuses to let go of Aecor, Patrick is on the loose, and the wraith is coming closer. It's a lot of problems for Wil and Tobiah to handle, but they do a good job of things.

The friendships of Tobiah and James and Wil and Melanie are great. Friends will get you through the hardest of times. Best friends will always be there for you. Protecting you, listening to you rant, giving you a shoulder to cry on, etc. I love awesome book friendships.

Honestly, Meadows did a fantastic job with this duology. Everything comes together wonderfully, and even though it ends on a bittersweet note I wouldn't have it any other way. The ending was fitting for such large problems. I have faith in Wil and Tobiah. I am sad that the books are over because I love the characters, but I'm glad this book was everything the duology deserved.
Profile Image for Ann (annreads).
243 reviews313 followers
April 14, 2017
“Reasons we should get married:
Because I love you.
We both look good in black boots.
I spent some time without you, and I didn’t like it.
You make me happy.
I make you laugh.
I like the way you fight.
You see through my masks.
I really love you.
You love me, too. (Though you’ve mostly said this while yelling, so perhaps I should have double-checked.)
Army of tiny vigilantes. (I have name ideas.)
Various political reasons that make sense but don’t fit with the theme of this list.
I’m holding your handwriting hostage. You can have it back when you say yes.”

Ahhh loved this series so much!!❤️
Profile Image for Jessica Reigle.
541 reviews29 followers
February 13, 2017
This book was epic. Hands down, my favorite Jodi Meadows book to date. Everything about this was what I wanted (and more). From the cover (which I can't stop staring at) to each and every word.

I will say, out of all the lines in the book, I still feel like the very first line of the book is my favorite. It's powerful. It's dangerous. It's enough to stop your heart with aniticipation and even worry.

A full review will come closer to the release date but this is definitely a book you want to pick up in 2016. Read the Orphan Queen, if you haven't already because you don't want to miss this.

My only complaint is that I wish there were an epilogue. I really wish there was one.

Review posted at Step Into Fiction

This review is going to be short, it's going to be sweet and it's going to get to the point. There is not much I can say about this book without spoiling it so I'd rather not say much at all. I want each and every one of you to experience this book the way I did; clear minded with excitement, anticipation and most importantly, the unknown. We all know that the cliffhanger was brutal and this book dives right in where The Orphan Queen left off. The first line of this book says a lot; it's probably one of my favorite lines from the entire book.

There is so much growth in Wil in this book; we saw some of it in The Orphan Queen but the way she matures in this book is astonishing. I feel for her, I respect her and more importantly, I support her. Fictional character or not, she feels real and the feelings you have toward her, toward her goal of ruling Aecor are real; there's no denying this.

James. He's one of the my favorite people and favorite things about this book. Hell, he's one of my favorite people of this entire series. He is a true and loyal friend through and through. Another person who surprised me was the wraith boy. He's fascinating in so many ways; terrifying, as well.

This book is filled to the brim with action, tension, drama and moments that make your heart hurt. This book is everything I'd want in a fantasy book (and some aspects, more than I could've hoped for).

My only negative thing about this book is I wish there were a few more chapters or at least, if anything, an Epilogue. I really feel like it was missing that and especially with how popular epilogues are - I was disappointed the ending was so abrupt. This, out of the entire book, was my only complaint.

Thank you so much to Harper Collins for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tammie.
1,310 reviews149 followers
October 1, 2017
Princess Wilhelmina is ready for her crown, but declaring herself queen means war.

Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter.

The Mirror King had all the elements I love in a fantasy; soaring highs, a few heartbreaking lows, tough moral decisions, masked vigilantes, some romance, and even a map. While the magic and how it worked wasn't all that detailed, and we've seen this type of story before in several other fantasy novels, (the wild magic escaping a barrier and ruining the land kind of thing) I honestly didn't care. This was a perfect conclusion to the duology, and while I'm happy this didn't get dragged out as a trilogy, I do feel like I need more Black Knife!

If you read this duology I recommend reading the short prequel stories between book one and book two. There are four of them and they offer some insight into Prince Tobiah and Black Knife that you don't get in the books.

Review also posted at Writings of a Reader
Profile Image for Kells Next Read .
527 reviews525 followers
May 28, 2016
Heart recking but wonderful conclusion to this amazing duology. I need a moment to grieve my fave characters.

Dam you Jodie Meadow...*Bawls* Dam You!!
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,230 followers
October 16, 2015
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I didn't mean to read this book so early -- okay, okay, I totally did -- but I couldn't help myself! I can't be blamed for how amazing the first book was and how I longed not to have to wait for the sequel. And just a word of warning, but this is going to read like less of a review and more like me coming off my fangirl high. =)

When I started this book, I thought, "No way can she finish this story in two books. NO WAY." And then when I got to about 85%, I just knew there had to be another book in the works. I mean, to tie up all the loose threads with only that much of the book left? I just didn't think it was possible. But Jodi Meadows continues to defy the limits of what is possible and what is not with this series and especially with this book.

This sequel/finale was incredible. Sometimes, I find that my ability to perceive the outcome of a story is the bane of my existence because it makes some books SO predictable. I didn't have to worry about that at all with The Mirror King. Meadows just trampled my expectations and any preconceived notions I had. This was literally me for most of the book:

For starters, because of the title, for some reason I got it into my head that it would be more focused on Tobiah and his kingdom. And then when I realized it wasn't, the separation anxiety set in. You know...when two characters you adore together end up separated for a big chunk of the book and you have to suffer through it. This usually seems to happen in the second book of a trilogy and then when the couple reunites in the final book, things are...awkward between them. Well, this is a duology so we get to skip the whole middle book -- hallelujah! -- but Wil and Tobiah do have their own kingdoms to run now, so Wil's departure was always inevitable. But I hated the way they parted.

In fantasy novels, I've come to learn that authors love to kill your darlings. And they rarely feel any remorse about it. So, I should have expected all of the death and violence in The Mirror King, especially with that maniacal Patrick on the loose, but it still came as a shock to me. Every. Time. Obviously some deaths were harder to accept than others. I ran the full gamut of emotions with this novel, especially because I never knew what was coming or who might bite it next.

Here's the thing. I like trilogies. But I loathe when the story could be told in fewer books and the narrative is drawn out to make it stretch a full three books. Meadows made every page of this duology count. I never wanted for action or swoons or even villainy. It's the ending to the story I didn't even know I wanted when I got to that heart-breaking cliffhanger in The Orphan Queen. This sequel/finale was far better than I could have ever hoped for and I already can't wait to re-read it!

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Sarah.
137 reviews234 followers
April 5, 2016


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Well, well, well, Jodi Meadows. I hope you're proud of yourself. I hope it makes your heart sing to know that you have completely broken my feels. I thought you ruined me with the ending of "The Orphan Queen" (read my review), but then you went ahead and just HAD to write "The Mirror King". What the heck, Jodi?!

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, I can move on to my review. First things first, if you liked "The Orphan Queen", then you will absolutely LOVE "The Mirror King". It's everything you loved about the first book, taken to a whole new level. It's intense, heart-breaking, intriguing, hopeful and powerful. To watch Wil continue to grow and find herself as a character was my absolute favorite part of this book. She's the kind of character who isn't afraid to admit she's made mistakes and accept the fact that sometimes she has no clue what she is doing or how to prepare for it. But, she is also fiercely protective, loyal and will do whatever it takes to fight for those she loves. It was  a revelation to go on this journey with her, and I felt so connected to her character throughout this entire series. Huge props to Jodi Meadows for creating such a compelling character.

For as much as I loved Wil, I also became so connected to the stories of Tobiah, Melanie, James and even the Wraith Boy. The fact that Meadows was able to create this ensemble of characters that I cared so much about, is a true testament to her talent as an author. Each had their own history, motivations and authentic story arc, and ultimately, added so much to the story. Speaking of adding to the story, the relationship between Wil and Tobiah is so heart-wrenching. It's totally complicated, messy, and honestly, they have everything going against them. Things are NOT easy for these two to find a way to each other.

As you may have gathered from "The Orphan Queen", Meadows is NOT afraid to make some shocking narrative choices, and that trend continues in "The Mirror King". There were moments where I straight up gasped and was completely shocked by the turn of events. I love a book that keeps me on my toes, and you guys, this book does just that. It got to the point where I just had to accept the fact that nothing and no one was safe. It was truly epic and just brought the book to a whole new level. Not everyone can get their happily ever after, but even in the darkest moments, one can find a way to give meaning to their lives. For every choice Meadows made in this book, she gives a completely authentic and believable reason. Even if it hurts like hell.

Oh, by the way, the end of this book is absolute perfection. I'm not saying it some of it doesn't rip your heart out completely, but the way in which it does so is perfect! How's that for being a big tease!?

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"The Mirror King" is a beautiful and haunting conclusion to an epic fantasy series. The story of Wilhelmina and her quest to reclaim her destiny broke my heart and put it back together again.
Absolute Perfection!

floral feathers3

This review was originally posted on what sarah read...
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,693 reviews856 followers
June 22, 2016
Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.

Dammit. I honestly did not expect to dislike this book. I’m actually rather bummed out about it! The Orphan Queen was such an entertaining read. I fell in love with the characters, and I was so intrigued by the plotline. I truly though it had the potential to become something really amazing… but it didn’t hit that mark for me. At all. *pouts*

Reasons Why The Mirror King Was a Disappointing Finale:

1. The pacing was off. I liked that the story began right from the end of the previous book - though that may have been a little confusing for readers who had to wait the year for its release? It was definitely hooking and emotionally impacting… but after that it was hard to get into. The plotline was messy and really just all over the place for at least the first 65% or so. The storyline was plodding. It just never seemed to have any momentum. It kind of just stagnating in this preparatory state, seemingly waiting for something exciting to happen to kickstart it… and that exciting thing didn’t happen until the 85% mark. The ending was undeniably action-packed and 100% more entertaining and engrossing than the rest of the book… but it was too little, too late.

2. The ending was a non-ending! *growls with frustration* Open endings aren’t always bad, but they very rarely work in fantasies. They’re just too unsatisfying. We’ve invested a lot of time getting to know these characters and this world… and we barely get a resolution? Not fair! If the pacing had been better than there would have been more than enough time to wrap everything up. This ending just felt lazy - the author didn’t know how to solve the problem realistically, so she didn’t. Not. Cool.

3. The unanswered questions and lack of world-building. This is kind of tied to the point above, but the I’m still so damn confused about this Wraith situation. We had a whole sequel to explore what the wraith and the wraith boy situation, but we didn’t get enough answers. I’m not sure what causes the Wraith or what it is exactly or… well, a lot of things. The wraith boy still confuses me, and so does the magic system. I don't understand how someone can have magic (is it hereditary or not?) and how it works. I’m just not happy that we didn’t get the answers we needed!

4. The plot twists. While I admire that Jodi Meadows completely and utterly threw me with some of her plot twists, they didn’t always sit right with me. They felt kind of forced, convenient answers to the problems that the characters were facing. For example,

5. The romantic drama in the first half of the book. Look, I adore Tobiah and I like Wil but the drama? Ugh. I couldn’t deal with it. The cheating is still cheating - no matter the situation - and I didn’t care about it as much as I wanted to. I loved them together but their world was literally falling apart around them. I just wanted them to focus on solving the Wraith problem before sucking face.

6. Wil lost her spunk. I don’t know what happened but the strong-willed, kind-hearted protagonist we met in the first book lost her way in this sequel. She felt distant and cold from us readers. I didn’t understand her motivations. She felt kind of jumpy and inconsistent in her thinking. I just couldn’t relate to her.

With that being said, this book wasn’t all doom and gloom:

• Jodi Meadows completely shocked me at three points in this story ()... and I mean completely shocked me. I love being surprised by books so that’s a massive double thumbs-up in my book.
• The romance made me smile in the second half of the story, once most of the drama had run its course. I’m not denying that it’s kind of cliched and sappy, but I just adore Tobiah too much to care. It’s nice seeing one thing in his life go right!
• Did I mention I like Tobiah? Yes? Well, I’m saying it again. I loved Tobiah!
• I’m still in love with this world and the concept of magic having such an ugly side. I don’t think I’ve read about a magical apocalypse like this before, and if had been executed better, it could have been incredible.
• The last 15% was truly captivating. The action was on point, the character really grew and it made me tear up. Too bad the actual ending was so disappointing…

Overall, I don’t regret giving this series a go because I did really enjoy the first book. But there’s no denying that I wasn’t satisfied with this finale. I’m definitely going to be checking out Meadow’s other series though. She has fantastic ideas. I just hope her next/previous trilogies have better conclusions!

Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
530 reviews647 followers
November 2, 2017
*1.5/5 stars*

Usually I'm not prone to DNF many books, because sometimes my curiosity to see how the story will end is quite masochistic apparently, but boy did I want to DNF this one. I didn't enjoy reading this book, the charactes and unecessary drama made me honestly annoyed, I was bored and skimmed long passages of the story. This isn't the worts fantasy in the world or anything, but I did give book one two stars and that instalment was way more enjoyable experience for me than this. I didn't enjoy any of the characters, there were few deus ex machina moments, and the ending was way too abrupt to bring real closure to me. I don't even know what to say, because I really thought I'd like these books much more. I guess Jodi Meadows duology just wasn't my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,695 reviews702 followers
March 26, 2016
This one took me some time to get into. I'll be honest and say that I'm guessing it's mostly my fault since I didn't reread the first book before starting this one.

There are a lot of things that happen in this story and I won't spoil it for anyone. There's some swoons and heartbreak and laughs and it's just a rollercoaster. There were a few things I didn't see coming and while I would have like a little more from the ending, it was pretty satisfying.

**Huge thanks to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Suzan.
562 reviews
January 11, 2020
Hiç bekledigim gibi istediğim gibi gitmedi,Bu kitapta iki güzel şey vardı James ve tılsım çocuk💃
Eğer tobiahin nişanlısı ölmeseydi onunla beraber olsaydı kesinlikle okumayı bırakırdım zaten o kısım ve tobiah tamamen saçmalıktı o söyledikleri neydi öyle?
Kurgu olarak öğeler olarak çok güzeldi Ama ilk kitabın verdiği tadı vermedi 👀
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Arzu.
127 reviews
October 30, 2019
Ayna Kral

Kitap olayla başlayıp olayla bitti. Öncellikle sonu tam bitmiş gibi gelmedi bana. Sanki bir şeyler eksikti, yarım bırakılmıştı. Tılsımlı çocuk çok sadık bir karakterdi ama hep işleri eline yüzüne bulaştırdığı gerçeğini değiştirmiyor. Tobiah beni sinir ettin bazı yerlerde. Ama Wilhelmina senin hep yanındaydım, senin gibi ne istediğini bilen ve almadan durmayan güçlü bir karakter okuduğum için mutluyum.

💪 Mıy mıy kadın karakterleri hiç sevmiyorum beni kitaptan soğutuyor. Bu kitapta böyle bir sorunla karşılaşmamak güzeldi. Boş zamanınızda krallıklarla özdemiş fantastik seri okumak isterseniz hemen okumaya başlayın.

Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
445 reviews838 followers
August 6, 2017
Reasons we should get married:

· Because I love you.
· We both look good in black boots.
· I spent some time without you, and I didn’t like it.
· You make me happy.
· I make you laugh.
· I like the way you fight.
· You see through my masks.
· I really love you.
· You love me, too. (Though you’ve mostly said this while yelling, so perhaps I should have double-checked.)
· Army of tiny vigilantes. (I have name ideas.)
· Various political reasons that make sense but don’t fit with the theme of this list.

I’m holding your handwriting hostage. You can have it back when you say yes.

Profile Image for Gillian.
458 reviews1,069 followers
April 12, 2016
3.5 stars, I think?

AHH, I'm confused and torn. Because there were a lot of things I loved--the last 150 pages or so had me absolutely hooked--but there were also a few things I don't. THe middle was a slog, but the first 200 pages were fabulous and intense and full of horrid consequences. Truth be told, I think this should have been two books, for reasons I'll go into in my full review. And there are a couple worldbuilding-y things I don't love, while others I do (dislike: the CHARACTER NAMES, the way the kingdoms don't seem to have a lot of innate culture, THE CHARACTER NAMES) (love: the Wraith. GOD, I LOVE THE WRAITH).

Plotwise, the book vacillates between absolutely brilliant and a bit slow. Book, why don't you make my reviewing life easy??? The characters also have periods of being dull and periods of being wonderful. I still have no connection at all to the Ospreys, but Melanie suddenly became a vivid character. But I was always emotionally tied to Wil, Tobiah, and James a LOT. The ship gave me a ton of feels, and the END gave me a ton of feels. I loved the very GRAY themes of this book, and the travails of leadership and whatnot. AND THE WRAITH BOY IS EXCELLENT.

I'm such a mess of conflicting thoughts, but overall, I think this was a strong series finisher, that, though it unwound in fits and starts, ended on its highest note.
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
September 25, 2015
Omg!!! Jodi!!! I freaking loved this and I'm so sad it's over I want more!!! But this was a brilliant finale. I bawled my eyes out and I grinned so hard my cheeks hurt.
Profile Image for Amber.
879 reviews68 followers
March 17, 2017
Jodi Meadows just wrote herself a perfect duology.

Plot: When I read The Orphan Queen two years ago, I was in shock. It was a perfectly balanced book with complex characters and I wanted more. Lightning struck twice with Jodi Meadows because The Mirror King was almost better (or better, I'm still undecided) than its predecessor. The Mirror King picked right up after the earth-shattering cliffhanger of The Orphan Queen and I don't think I managed to stop holding my breath until the very last page. In The Orphan Queen, the biggest conflict was behind secret identities and the looming threat of the wraith. Surprisingly, The Mirror King was able to introduce additional conflict, in a very natural manner, to develop Wil's character. Meadows dug deeper into the world and the characters to create a masterpiece. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to reread this book as soon as I finished.

Characters: Meadows excelled in writing wondrously complex characters. No one was inherently evil, but everyone had a motive behind their actions. In The Mirror King, Wil was able to come into her own skin and learn what struggles came with power. In respect to keeping this review spoiler-free, I'll leave my analysis to this.

Worldbuilding: The fantasy world of The Orphan Queen continued to impress and engage me. I loved learning about the history of the kingdoms and how magic users became feared and hated. While The Orphan Queen focused primarily on the Indigo Kingdom, I was happy to see The Mirror King visit other parts of Meadows' world.

Short N Sweet: The Mirror King was the best conclusion I could possibly ask for, I encourage of fantasy lovers to start this duology.
Profile Image for SyaSya Syed Nasir.
364 reviews35 followers
August 5, 2017
Omg!! There's so much to talk about this book. The characters, the twist (so many twist), the plot, the romance, the ending (happy and sad ending...it is both I think but in a good way), the writing and etc! I love it! Gonna put my review in my blog tomorrow morning itself! 😍
Profile Image for Serap.
679 reviews69 followers
September 12, 2019
Bu kitabın puanının 4,07 olduğuna inanamıyorum 😯okurken sinir harbi yasatmisti bana,fantastik öğeleri güzel olsa bile bence çok kötü bir kitaptı...
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