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Book Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas | Yay for sciencey queens! Nay for…a lot of other things.

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Title: Long May She Reign

Author: Rhiannon Thomas

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Part of a Series?: No

Links: Author Website, Goodreads

SynopsisFreya 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.

For a book that uses the word “massacre” on the back, this book was actually a pretty light epic fantasy. That was somewhat surprising, considering, again, the word “massacre”, but really, this book was more about the political side of things, which a side of poisoning and death.
I’ve been really looking forward to this pretty much since it was announced. It’s such a fantastic idea: nerdy teenage girl becomes queen after everyone else gets murdered. But I did have some problems with it, but first, the things I liked!
  • NON SEXIST FANTASY WORLD. It’s sad that this makes me so happy, but books without sexism are so rare, that this was welcome and refreshing.
  • Focus on female friendships! Again, a sadly rare thing in fantasy, but Freya’s two closest friends were both girls, and there was no petty backstabbing stuff, which, again, tends to happen in epic fantasy if there are two girls who are friends.
  • Freya would die for her reproachful, extremely poofy cat.
  • It was all so gloriously science-y and nerdy. Freya reads stuff and does experiments and builds a laboratory in the dungeon. Which, come on, HOW AWESOME IS THIS?
  • At first, Freya was protrayed pretty accurately with social anxiety. But notice how I say “at first”.
What I didn’t Like:
  • Freya’s social anxiety just seemed to disappear. One minute it was there, and one minute is was gone. Which is disappointing for several reasons: a) because it was an accurate protrayal which rarely happens, and b) Because it just doesn’t work that like. Anxiety, social or not, just doesn’t disappear because it isn’t convenient.
  • Freya looked down on everyone who wasn’t nerdy and science-y. I get that you base your whole life around your science, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who chooses to not go into science isn’t as good as you.
  • Freya had a couple of brief stumbling moments as a new queen at first, then she became perfect, and she became perfect by doing the opposite of what her advisers tell her to do because naturally royal advisers know nothing. It’s not like it’s their job or anything to help the royal make good decisions. NO, that would be crazy. 
  • This kingdom seriously needs to sort out its priorities. You throw jewels in the river during a funeral, tax the people because you threw jewels into the river, and then arrest people who can’t pay this stupid tax? Or, what about your entire court was just poisoned, but you don’t make sure that every single thing that goes in your new queen’s mouth has been checked? YOU GUYS ARE THE ROYAL ADVISERS, WHICH MEANS YOU ARE SUPPOSEDLY INTELLIGENT, AND EVEN A NOT-SO-INTELLIGENT PERSON WOULD REALIZE THIS IS AN AWFUL IDEA.
  • The ending was anticlimantic and honestly rather stupid. I can’t go into it without spoilers, but…no go from me.
  • The romance is… not good. While I am pretty sure that Freya’s mom was related to the royalty through the queen, not the king…the romance with Fitzroy, the king’s son, was…problematic. For one, their relationship went from like one to one hundred really really fast. I got the feeling they kind of hated each other, then suddenly they were in love? Really??
Yeah, this book disappointed me. It was still an entertaining read, but I had a lot of problems with it, and it wasn’t as great as I hoped, or as good as it could be.
ThreeStars
Have any of you blogglings read Long May She Reign yet? If so, how’d you feel about it? Yay or nay on it?
Happy Monday,
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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas | Yay for sciencey queens! Nay for…a lot of other things.

  1. I think I might check this out, because the good parts sound really good, but problematic insta-love seems kind of ehhh. But it’s kind of nice to know that not every book out there nowadays is a series! It’s not often to find a YA standalone fantasy anymore.

    Like

    1. It’s not super problematic, especially because I’m like 99% sure they’re not related, and even if they were, they’d be so far off related that it’s not a HUGE problem, but still.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My thoughts exactly. I loved the concept of the book and Freya herself was a decent character, but it wasn’t anything mindblowing or memorable. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Like

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