Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Release Date - April 5, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 544 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads 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.
A fantasy series depends on it's world building. It is what makes the difference between a decent read and a fantastic one. This means everything about the world that has been created should be developed within the pages of the story. The setting, history, rules and characters are all just as important as the plot. A compelling cast of characters will not make up for a lack of development elsewhere, even if the novel is well written and unique.

Being a duology did not allow this series to come into it's fullest potential. The Orphan Queen felt perfectly paced, and filled with potential. The Mirror Queen, however, felt hurried. The storylines came across as crammed, and rushed into a space that just couldn't contain them. There are many unexplored and unanswered aspects to this story and this impacted my enjoyment of this novel as a finale. It reads like an action packed, if overstuffed, second novel in a larger story rather than the conclusion of one. It felt like an author attempting to finish up an ambitious story in a space much too small for the story they are telling and the narrative flow was impacted as a result.

The magic of this world is the element that gets the least attention and has the most unanswered questions. I, personally, wanted to learn so much more about it than we did. I wanted to dive into the hows and whys of the wraith. I wanted an explanation as to where it came from, and how it worked. Perhaps magic is unexplainable and that is the point being made, but I wanted something more from it.

There are plenty of positives and moments that shine brightly to make this an enjoyable (if sometimes frustrating read). The characters are where Jodi Meadows truly shines. They are vibrant, and complex. She knows her characters inside and out, and that makes itself obvious in every single interaction between them. These characters are the heart of the story and they create the emotional connection to the story that allows you to still fall within it's pages. I believe that character driven readers, like myself, will especially enjoy this story because of the strength in which they are written.

I anticipate that the ending will be polarizing. There will be those who love it, and those who feel it's too abrupt. I, personally, loved that we leave our surviving characters on the cusp of their futures. There doesn't need to be a tidy bow tied around the story with a fully realized happily ever after. It's enough to know that the characters go on after our time with them ends, and that is the sort of ending we get here.

This is a series that was filled with potential. I only wish it had been given the space, and time to reach that potential. While I was left unsatisfied by certain elements of the story, I think fans of Jodi Meadows' previous work will enjoy this offering as the elements they loved from her previous books are here. I, personally, am still looking forward to whatever Jodi Meadows' writes next because the elements I loved were enough to outweigh the elements I wasn't fully sold on.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read THE ORPHAN QUEEN yet, but this is a series I'm interested in. I never really picked up Jodi Meadows' other series, but this one really caught my attention. I'm sorry to hear that the second book didn't give you everything you were looking for. I'm definitely still interested in this series though, even just to test out her writing and the elements she brings to her stories. Thanks for the honest review :)


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