Synopsis from Edelweiss:
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.
About: Long May She Reign is a fiction novel written by Rhiannon Thomas. It was published on 2/21/17 by Harper Teen, an imprint of Harper Collins, 432 pages. The genres are fantasy and young adult. This book is intended for ages 13 and up, grades 8 and up. According to Harper Collins’ website, the company is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, originally founded by two bothers, James and John Harper in New York City in 1817 and currently has publishing operations in 18 countries. Please see below for more information about the author.
My Experience: I started reading Long May She Reign on 3/7/17 and finished it on 3/11/17. This book, unfortunately, failed to grab my attention as much as the synopsis did. Throughout the book, I feel like I was reading a mystery & suspense book instead of a fantasy book. There were hardly any fantasy in place. There were talks of The Forgotten, but there were no actions made. There were science experiments to test the poison or a chemical reaction but that’s more like crime scene investigation. This book is an okay read and I was not thrilled by the happenings in it.
The story follows Freya, an awkward and anti-social girl, even at the age of over 20, she still couldn’t fit in. She is 23rd in line to the throne. She likes scientific experiments and is working toward creating a heat warmer. She attends the King’s birthday but sits alone and when an idea strikes, she sneaks off to go home to her lab to try the experiment. Late that night, her father came rushing looking for her with horror on his face. Her father feared she was dead because everyone who attended the King’s birthday celebration ended up dead. Freya is now crowned Queen of Epria. As she struggles to the challenges of being Queen, she is left to face with a lot of struggles the King left behind. The King spent more money than he can afford, the citizens are sent to prison for the inability to help pay for the funeral, an opposition is being blamed for the mass murder of the King and his court, etc. Queen Freya wants to take it upon herself to figure out who carry out the mass murder because she couldn’t trust anyone.
Queen Freya is unlike any Queen I have read. She sets up a scientific lab in the old torture chamber to conduct her scientific experiments. She doesn’t care for beauty or fashion as long as she can get the job done. I like how she prefers to have collected all proofs before arresting someone. I like how she trusts herself rather than be swayed by others. I like that she gets her hands dirty instead of having someone do it for her. I like her friend Naomi and other supporting characters. The suspense is great and I almost couldn’t guess whodunit. The genre should’ve been thriller/mystery/suspense/science fiction instead of fantasy because there is hardly any fantasy in this book. Queen Freya’s insecurities with her love interest is a bit naïve. I feel like she’s 15 sometimes instead of over 20. Her thinking, worries, and course of actions for war is too light. She chooses to spend a lot more time figuring out who the murder is than the time it takes to figure out how to protect the throne. I think this book could be better if toss out the queen and fantasy concepts and give Freya the title of private investigator or something.
Pro: mystery, investigation, science, strategy, suspense, easy to read, light hearted, standalone
Con: lack of fantasy & magic, murder investigation lead by a girl who likes science experiments hardly qualifies the expertise for the job of interviewing suspects
I rate it 3.5 stars!
About the Author:
Rhiannon Thomas is an English Lit grad from Princeton University. She currently lives in York, England, in the shadow of a thirteenth-century Gothic cathedral. When she isn’t lost in YA fantasy, she writes about feminism and the media on her blog, http://www.feministfiction.com. Visit her online at http://www.rhiannonkthomas.com. (Info obtained from Edelweiss).
More Information about Harper Collins
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author, Rhiannon Thomas, the publisher, Harper Teen, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.