The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows ARC Review

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 16, 2015
Pages: 531
Song I Played While Reading: Fine by Me by Chris Brown
Rating: 5 stars

After her identity is revealed during the Indunation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated kingdom. When the Osprey's leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil's biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife ti set things right.
Wil's power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraith land she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save her, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith- destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her. 
Though she's ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes that 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 land to rule...

NO, I'M NOT CRYING. YOU'RE CRYING. Just kidding, I'm totally crying. *sighs*
There's one scene in this book that makes me start hysterically laughing. It doesn't matter what I'm doing or where I am, I'll start chuckling to myself. It's one of those scenes that comes out of nowhere, making you stop reading and think to yourself "No. Meadows wouldn't. She... No." and then it happens. 70% of my brain was trying to come to terms with how sudden this change was, while the other 30% started war-crying because YESSSSSSSS, but also NOOOOOOO, but LOLOLOLOLOLOL. I want to scream it from the rooftops.
I'm always shocked by how much stuff can happen in such a relatively small book. To me, a big book is 600+ pages. The Mirror King is just shy of that, and I was wondering how the hell Meadows was going to pull off defeating the wraith, getting Wilhelmina to Aecor while she's sort of stuck in the Indigo Kingdom, whooping Patricks ass, stopping Prince Colin, juggling an awkward love interest, and trying to control the wraith boy. BUT SHE DID IT! Oh man, did she do it. And we still had room for much more stuff that I obviously can't write about, including THAT SCENE. *strangles the book* IT WAS SO GOOD I'M STILL SCREAMING.
I loved seeing the character dynamics and how everything changed once Wilhelmina's true identity was outed. Everything changed, yet still stayed the same to a point. The plot kept me hooked, even more so than The Orphan Queen, since we see more of a political aspect to everything Wil does. This has only rectified my idea that I was, in fact, born in the wrong century. The yearn to jump into this story became extremely painful at points.
Now, I have a soft spot for guys who would do anything for a person. I think it's so incredibly attractive, so you could imagine my glee over the wraith boy. He was obviously dangerous and wicked and could do anything, and he was willing to do whatever Wil asked of him. But he was also like a chid, not realizing that his actions had consequences, even if he did it with a good heart. I gotta admit, I teared up a couple of times when he was being scolded. I wish everyone had tried to understand him a little better. I wasn't sure where Meadows was going with those two, but I had a theory, which ended up coming true.
I loved the slow-burn romance and friendships. Meadows is clearly an expert at juggling multiple characters, and she does it beautifully, with a lot of emphasis on trust and friendship. It was scary to realize how much trust you must have to be a king or queen. You need to trust that the people around you are working for you and not against you. It was a good lesson for Will.
Overall, this was a darn near perfect ending, and I'm so incredibly sad that it's over. I ended up liking Wil, the Ospreys, James, and Tobiah waaaay more than I expected. Thank god for novellas!

"I slid my daggers into their sheathes and took the folded note from my belt. After a second's hesitation, I offered it to him. "I thought if you were going to sneak letters into my room, I should get to have fun, too."
"And you had to dress as Black Knife to do it?" He took the letter, holding it like it might bite.
"Do you know how hard it is to climb over the roof while wearing a gown?"
A sly smile welled up in the corner of his mouth. "None of the court ladies will loan me a gown to try."
"Well that's just rude of them."

"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."

"You've seen the wraith boy. You know about the wraithland." I clenched my jaw. "I hate what happened to the flashers as much has anyone else, but I understand why the world reacted like that. It's fear."
"Fear doesn't excuse a hundred years of oppression and abuse."

"The rest will fall until there's nothing left. I can only hope that all my people find somewhere safe."
"There's nowhere safe," I reminded him.
"But theres still hope."
"Optimistic Knife strikes again."
"That menace."

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