Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Title: Long May She Reign
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Published: February 21st 2017 by HarperTeen
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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 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 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.

Freya 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, Freya 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 advisors. 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.

Long May She Reign was such an interesting book. It has more of a dark and sad tone, but I really liked it. It was more of a murder mystery than anything else and I wasn’t even sure myself who the murderer was until the end. I did have my suspicions but I thought the whole journey to the answer was well executed.

Freya loves Science and logic and so the court has zero appeal to her. If she can avoid any interaction, much to her father's dismay, she will. When the Royal Court is eliminated by mass poisoning, it pushes Freya from low on the Totem pole of succession to Queen. Taking on this role is much more than Freya bargained for but with her sharp mind and skills she is determined to solve the murders. Not only for justice but to protect her life as well. I loved Freya as a character. She ends up changing and developing so much because her new responsibilities demand it of her. She has to find a way to be the Queen she wants to be and the one the people need. Her whole journey is quite interesting.

I enjoyed the side characters as well. Naomi is Freya’s best friend and I love that they don’t lose that when she becomes Queen. It’s nice to have someone that you aren’t suspecting of murder on your side. There is also Madeleine and Fritzroy as well as the advisors of the council. There are few suspects but that doesn’t mean they are not deadly.

The plot was really interesting because of the murder mystery. I felt the romance was light and so it worked for the book. Freya ascent to the throne and the murders take center stage. The tone is really dark and sad. So many people have lost so much so it’s not like people are dancing around. I liked that it wasn’t just ignored and pushed in the background.

I found that the book was a quick and enjoyable read for me. There was no lag in the plot and nothing was particularly drawn out. Definitely one I would recommend.