Title: Long May She Reign
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Date Started: August 17
Date Finished: August 25
Format: Hardcover from local library
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.
I thought for sure that I was going to like this book, it was The Queen of the Tearling meets The Girl of Fire and Thorns, both books that I liked. But…but…while good in concept – twenty-third in line to throne who finds herself made Queen because of a horrible dinner party? – and I even liked some of the characters, there was just something about this book that seemed to drag. I mean, I liked Freya, she had a brain and she wasn’t afraid to use it. She didn’t trust her gut when it came to acting in court, and while at first I found that charming, it did get annoying as she tried to not get killed by those who thought that she was the enemy. Even Freya’s best friend Naomi got on my nerves, and that was only because it felt like she wasn’t really there, that she was just a shadow. Same thing for Madeline, which I find somewhat disappointing considering how her character developed.
As for Fitzroy, I’m really undecided about him. On one hand I know his character – considering all the Tudor era historical fiction I’ve read – the bastard son of the king who may or may not inherit and is one of the few survivors. He may be the enemy, he may not be the enemy. But in the court where Freya doesn’t know how to act, he may be her only friend. That turns into something more? But on the other hand, I didn’t like him as a love interest for Freya. I mean, I probably should have because he was so nice to her and didn’t think she was crazy because she liked science, but (that word again for this review)… Argh.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. While some of the characters sometimes felt a little flat, there was a good story in these pages.
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