Apr 18, 2016

Review--The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

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.

Jodi Meadows’ The Mirror King took me a bit longer to read than its predecessor and I am sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. I liked The Orphan Queen rather well, but The Mirror King seemed to move at much slower pace. And during that time, I felt like not much was happening. I couldn’t see where things were going. Every now and then something exciting would happen but then I felt like we were back to sifting through the mud while trying to reach the other side.
It’s possibly the hype surrounding this duology gave me higher expectations than I would’ve had initially. Before this series didn’t really come onto my radar but then I heard soooo many good things about it, I broke down and picked it up. While I can’t say I am disappointed I did, I can’t say I am glad I did either. Like I said, I enjoyed The Orphan Queen quite well. I had a few minor issues, but not too many. Here I was completely and utterly bogged down by its pace. But if you’re prone to enjoying reads with a bit more political intrigue and focusing on that, then I’d say you would likely enjoy this one more.
We pretty much pick up right where we left off in The Orphan Queen which ended with a doozie of a cliffhanger. Though, naturally, if you think about it, you knew the outcome already and sure enough, you’d be right.
But there’s also other pressing issues taking up Wilhelmina’s time; one is the wraith boy who has pretty much attached himself to her side and the other is trying to reclaim her kingdom from Tobiah’s uncle, and then there’s also the problem that is Patrick still being on the loose and killing in her name. Tension is high and to make it all even worse, Tobiah pushes his wedding to Meredith to an earlier date.
As I said, this read was rather slow for me, but there were still times of great action, they were just too few and far between for me to enjoy. Around halfway, or just past, Wil goes with Colin back to her original kingdom for so long ago.
Chaos eventually ensues and naturally that leads to disaster as there’s still the looming problem of the wraith that needs addressing and dealing with. Then there’s a new mystery surrounding James that pops up and it’s one I didn’t really see coming whatsoever! That was pretty jaw-dropping to say the least.
Sadly, Wil and Tobiah were separated for most of this book. First it was the looming presence of this upcoming wedding and then Wil leaves, so it’s actual distance between them. There were hardly any swoony moments. And when there were, it felt wrong to enjoy them because Tobiah was engaged. I’m not at all a fan of cheating. Even when it came to this particular scenario of arranged marriages, and basically unwanted ones. If you’re going to actually marry, you shouldn’t be kissing the one you’re truly in love with.  It’s a messy situation, I’ll give you that. But I still didn’t care for the way Tobiah handled it.
The ending was one filled with many emotions. Not only do we have an epic battle going on, with the wraith included, but sooo much more happens. My hearstrings were pulling in so many directions. So much chaos and other “stuff” happening, it was a whirlwind of events. This had been what I was looking for the entire 500+ pages. Then those last few pages were just as emotional and endearing as other moments had been. The ending definitely leaves a smile on one’s face for a multitude of reasons. It’s the kind of series finale I always enjoy, one that gives you a happy and hopeful feeling that the characters you’re leaving are a in a good place and that quite possibly, their adventures will continue on without us. That part is a little sad, but I like to think these characters aren’t done having adventures even if we’re not there to read about them.
While I wish I could have loved this duology whole-heartedly, I alas did not. The first book was more enjoyable for me and I had high hopes that The Mirror King would’ve surpassed the enjoyment I had with its predecessor, but it was just not meant to be I guess. Since this is my second flop with the author, I’m wondering if it’s a “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of thing where I just can’t quite get into the writing style. I am likely to try a final time should the next book intrigue me, but I might be more hesitant about which ones I choose.
If you’re a fan of fantasy with a dash of dystopian, because I still believe this is one of those rare dystopians that show a future that lives with past like settings and whatnot, then this would be the read for you. There’s a lot of in-depth world-building to this series, and I think that’s where it lost me. For me I sensed too much focus on all the politics of the world and not enough focus on characters or story-building. But that’s just me. Dozens of others have enjoyed this series, so don’t mind me being the odd duck out!

Overall Rating 3/5 stars


  1. ohhh :( sad you had a few issues with it. I loved this book very much. Duology sometimes don't focus on what the reader desires to see.... At least you enjoyed it.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  2. That's a shame. I still plan on reading this series to see whether I enjoy it, but seeing you had problems with the pacing doesn't give me much hope. I tend to be more character oriented and action loving so I'm not sure if this one will be a win with me. Great review!


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