Freya is 23rd in line for the throne. At a party that contains all of the who-who of the kingdom Freya leaves early and the whole party is poisoned to death. Suddenly Freya, a scientist at heart with social anxiety, is Queen and thrust into the most coveted position in the kingdom. She must win the trust of the people, fix a very corrupt court, and stay alive long enough to figure out who tried to kill everyone.
Oh I wanted to love LONG MAY SHE REIGN. I honestly saw the cover and thought I needed this book. The cover is quite gorgeous. Then I saw the author and remembered that I have read Rhiannon Thomas’s A WICKED THING. She writes good YA but it is a bit more like young YA. Reading the synopsis made me think maybe this book would be more mature. I was right and wrong about that. Although parts of this story felt fantasy book familiar it was well written and had me really absorbed in the story. It is a stand-alone, so right away I made two assumptions.
- There won’t be a ton of world building. It’s okay because there was just enough to set the scene for me.
- There will be a super happy ending that ties up all the loose ends. That didn’t happen but the last line had a big impact on me. Maybe the best last line I have ever read.
I had grown quite attached to all the characters and there was this major issue not resolved, at least not in the way I was hoping it would be. I will say that I really enjoyed reading it. In fact I was a little sad when it was over because I wanted more.
I didn’t like Freya right away. I didn’t like her to have social anxiety and I didn’t like her to be so science-y. I can’t remember the last time I read about a character with social anxiety. There just isn’t enough of this topic in YA. I was wrong in my initial assessments of her. The social anxiety was well handled in my opinion, and the science really came in handy. I know some would argue that the social anxiety seems t just go away, but I think in growing into her role Freya found ways to handle it.I do wish the author would have explored how she did it a bit more.
Freya also has this super chill cat which at first I didn’t like but he grew on me. Freya also has a good female fiend that I was automatically suspicious of. While I am happy to say that my suspicion was unfounded, I know exactly why I felt that way. It is rare to see a genuine female friendship without ulterior motives. I came to realize that this book was full of surprises for me. Freya grows up a lot throughout this story and her transformation is pretty significant. There is so much I loved about her by the end of this story that it was hard to let her go. I do like how everything ended up, and that it was a bit open ended.
I am not even going to touch upon the love interest. I have very mixed feelings about it. I enjoyed reading this enough to recommend it. The mystery of who-done-it felt second to seeing this girl succeed in ruling the kingdom. Although the mystery didn’t hook me, the surprises about Freya herself were enough to keep me interested.
Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
Published by HarperCollins on February 21st 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Romance, Royalty
Also by this author: A Wicked Thing
eARC provided by HarperTeen
The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.
Freya was never meant to be queen. Twenty-third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of the court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.
She may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, she knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom—and her life.
Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisers. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her but also wanted more power for himself.
As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.