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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Synopsis From Goodreads

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.
Source: Christmas Present

My Review
4 Stars

Standalone YA fantasies have become a rarity and this, plus the beautiful cover drew me to this book, back when it was first realised. I have been waiting for the cost to come down so I could buy it, but I put it on my wish list this Christmas and received the beautiful hardback edition, and I love it inside and out. This book grabbed my attention within the first few pages. Freya has such a humorous way of describing the king extravagance at court, and I just loved her internal monologues.
After the tragic and unexpected turn of events, Freya goes from the outcast of the courts to being thrown into the deep end of court politics. Cautiously making friends, looking beneath their 'court masks' as she saw them before, ands seeing them with fresh eyes, getting to know people beyond her preconceptions.
The plot of the book begins as a new queen finding her feet, and investigating the murder of her predecessor to ensure her own safety. But as the book progresses it become more of a race for answers to prove her innocence in the face of a civil war. I loved this progression of motives behind the investigation. I also loved the mix of tactics used to solve the murder with the blending legends, and scientific knowledge. I enjoyed the relationship between Freya and those around her, from her tense relationship with her father, to her hesitant friendship with the next in line and her budding feeling for the late King's illegitimate son.  
Although I loved all these aspects of the book, I just can't give it 5 stars, it didn't blow me away. I think I was expecting a bit too much of the book. and I feel as though the concept didn't reach its full potential which is why I couldn't quite give it the 5 stars. However, don't let that put you off reading it, as I really enjoyed this book and smashed though it in a few days even with the family here over the busy Christmas period.