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.
A fairly generic fantasy that, while entertaining, doesn’t bring anything new to the genre. We have an undercover princess in hiding, a kingdom that needs to be liberated, the princely son of the enemy king who really isn’t so bad after all, a mysterious crime-fighting vigilante, and throw in a handful of supernatural creatures terrifying the continent for good measure. Sound familiar?
The beginning of the book was very much telling, not showing, which always irks me. I understand that the setting, particularly in high-fantasy novels, needs to be explained to the reader, but doing it so obviously via a character telling it to their companions who already know is just, well, frustrating.
Let me reiterate that the book wasn’t necessarily bad by any means, but having read a number of YA fantasies, I found it fairly formulaic and predictable. It also took me a while to get into, but once I passed the halfway mark, things progressed rapidly. Despite my criticisms, I loved the little snippets of snark and humour, the level-headedness of our MC, and the well-mannered, if fairly bland male lead.
Indeed, if you like strong, capable heroines who dabble in courtly intrigue as well as midnight crime fighting and espionage, along with fantasy elements of wraiths, creepy landscapes and a little bit of magic, then do give the book a go. For me, I just needed a little bit more depth, detail and emotional connection to the characters.