Congratulations to Jodi Meadows! You have officially caused my first intense book hangover of 2015.
Here’s what you need to know about The Orphan Queen:
- It’s fantastic.
- You should go buy it/borrow it from your local library immediately.
- When you get to the end, you’ll scream at Jodi (even though she can’t hear you) for ending the book where she did and making you wait another year for the sequel.
Ok, I know you’ll probably want to know a bit more than that. (But really, you don’t need to.)
Wilhelmina should be the queen of Aecor, but ten years ago, the Indigo Kingdom took over her country. They killed her parents and left her an orphan. She’s spent the last several years with the son of her parents’ general, becoming an accomplished fighter, forger, and spy. Wil plans to infiltrate the palace under a false identity, learn what she needs to in order to bring down the Indigo Kingdom, and regain her throne. She isn’t going to let herself get distracted by the vigilante boy she’s begun to fall for. She has to take back her throne for her people’s sake. They need her.
But more than the Aecorian people need Wilhelmina. The entire Indigo Kingdom needs a savior. It is about to be taken over by wraith–the mysterious by product created whenever anyone uses magic. No one knows that Wilhelmina has magic, or that it’s possible her magical abilities could save them all. At least as long as she doesn’t make a fatal mistake…
For some reason, fantasy is always hit-or-miss for me. This one hit it out of the park.
Our Jodi Meadows Interview
So I was fan-girling like you wouldn’t believe when Ms. Meadows agreed to do an interview for us.
Carrie Jo: I know THE ORPHAN QUEEN will be your fourth published book. Did you write any others before the INCARNATE trilogy?
Jodi:Absolutely! Very few authors publish their very first book. Counting just the completed manuscripts, INCARNATE was the seventeenth book I wrote. (I think that’s on the high end.) And I had lots of partially written things in there, too.
Carrie Jo: What has been the most unexpected part of being a published author?
Jodi: I was lucky in that I had a several published friends from the beginning, so I got to see a lot of what they went through early on. There wasn’t a lot that surprised me, really! I am always a little stunned by how much of authoring is administrative work, though, like taxes, emails, phone calls, marketing. . . . When’s an author supposed to write?
Carrie Jo: What was the seed of an idea that became THE ORPHAN QUEEN? Do you usually dream up characters first, or plot points, or jump off a single mental image?
Jodi:Usually, it’s characters in a situation. Sometimes it’s a tense situation, like with OQ — a girl rescuing a boy, maybe unwisely. Sometimes, it’s two characters meeting in a hallway and I just have this sense of something else going on. With Incarnate, I knew the world first, but I didn’t know the story until I met Ana walking through the woods.
Carrie Jo: There were so many great relationships in this book–friendships, THE ROMANCE, political marriages of convenience, surface friendships that masked intense dislike, etc. Which relationships are the most fun for you to write? Which were the most difficult?
Jodi:I really loved writing Wil and Mel. They have such a solid friendship after years together. While things are rocky in this book, the two girls really know each other. They’ve been able to count on each other for their entire lives.
And, of course, my other favorite relationship to write was Wil and Black Knife. I love the dramatic irony of someone knowing something but not everything . . . and, you know. That whole tangled mess of identities. Love it.
Carrie Jo I loved that Wil’s talent as a forger has led to your interest in calligraphy. Has your writing led you to any other hobbies?
Jodi: Not so far, though my other hobbies have informed my writing! I played the flute all through school (and still do, when I have time to practice), and I know how to spin (and knit, and crochet) yarn, which will inform my next book (I hope — I have to write it first).
Carrie Jo: If you could spend the day hanging out with one character from OQ, which would you choose and why?
Jodi: Theresa, one of the Ospreys. She’s a sweet girl, and she’s unlikely to get into too much trouble.
Carrie Jo: What’s your favorite fictional couple?
Jodi: Oh I have a lot, but let me capslock to tell you the way I feel about Peter and Olivia from FRIENGE. AAAAHHHH!!! THEY BELONG TOGETHER. ALWAYS. IN ANY UNIVERSE. *DIES*
I could continue raving about this book and how much I NEED to somehow become more than one-time email friends with Jodi Meadows so she’ll send me the sequel that only lives on computers right now. But I won’t bore you. Just trust me that this is one book you simply have to get your hands on.
Thank you to HarperTeen for sending TN a copy to review and to Jodi Meadows for her interview.