Length: 432 pages
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.
I didn’t really know what to expect in LONG MAY SHE REIGN, but overall, I enjoyed it, and I’m definitely going to check out more of Thomas’s other works! LONG MAY SHE REIGN follows Freya, the twenty-something person in line for the throne. After the majority of the court gets poisoned and killed, Freya becomes queen and has to navigate the kingdom and solve the mystery before she herself gets killed. I really liked this concept; I thought it was fun and original, and it was pretty realistic and representative of kingdoms in the historical period in which this story is set. However, this novel was less of a fantasy than it was a murder mystery in a kingdom/fantasy land so don’t go into this expecting lots of fantasy aspects. As a result, there was less world-building as it was set primarily in the Fort in the kingdom.
While I would have liked more world-building and immersion in the fantasy land, I did think the characters were quite well-done. I liked Freya as a main character; I appreciated her aptitude for science, particularly chemistry (I may be biased because I love chemistry too), and her unwillingness to give up. The side characters were pretty multi-dimensional as well, and none of them seemed flat to me.
One of my only reservations was the romance. This is a spoiler, but Freya eventually ends up with William Fitzroy, who is the late king’s son from a mistress. I don’t know about you but I just was a bit turned off by the prospect of incest, no matter how distant the blood line is. I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too sensitive—inbreeding in historical times were common, I guess, but I don’t know, I couldn’t really connect with the romance. And y’all know how much I love my romance.
Overall, LONG MAY SHE REIGN was pretty enjoyable. It was interesting reading about Freya’s struggle as the new queen, and there was ample political intrigue. Although the novel lagged in a few parts, I did find Thomas’s work to be intriguing. If you enjoy mysteries in fantasy kingdoms, I definitely recommend checking this one out!
Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.