Format: E-Galley, 432 pages
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Freya was never meant to 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 the 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.
She 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, she 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 advisers. 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.
Rhiannon Thomas’s Long May She Reign is being compared to The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling. The story is a standalone story about Freya Nystrom, the girl who is 23rd in line to the throne currently being held by King Jorgen of Epria. But, on the night of the King's birthday celebration, there is an attack, and nearly everyone is poisoned. Freya, who left the party early with her best friend Naomi to resume her scientific experiments, finds that she is now the Queen of Epria.
Long May She Reign's Freya is a wonderful character. She's geeky in many ways, shy in others, but never take her for granted. People have discounted her shyness and strangeness because of who her father is, and the fact that she never does well when speaking with others. Her strangeness is probably her greatest strength and asset along with her determination to use her mind to travel to the continent and make the next bit scientific discovery. Her courage is what gets Freya to the point of discovering who was behind the poison attack, and why.
As Freya and her council are rushed to the Fort where she is supposed to safe, she understandably is confused and perhaps a bit disconnected from everything. After all, who would ever think that someone so far down the list of possible heirs would actually become heir? There are those who don't trust her. There are those who think she is to be blamed for the poisoning. After all, Freya has a panic attack, and rushes out while everyone else stayed behind. I loved Freya for her adoration for her cat Dagny who she would rush to face assassins in order to save its life.
Freya meets a variety of people who you have to decide whether or not you trust them or not. There is Madeleine Wolff, who is now Freya's heir. Where was Madeline while all this was happening? How about the King's bastard son William Fitzroy? Freya spends an extraordinary amount of time with Fitzroy after she has her own lab brought to the Fort. This leads to them becoming allies after a bit of hesitation. But, can the alliance hold up through scrutiny, mutiny, and possible war between Freya and those who stand against her reign?
This story is think with political intrigue, but the most fascinating part of the book itself was the mystery, and who was responsible. I dare say that I can't actually hate the villain, and that's a curious position to have. You will just have to read the book to understand why I am saying this. I can totally relate to Freya in regards to being socially awkward and having panic attacks while around too many people. It has taken me years, and I still haven't resolved my issues. Freya grows leaps and bounds and maintains her social position even in the eyes of people wanting her gone. I do love that Freya surrounds herself with some strong willed women like Madeline, & Naomi, as well as some of her guards that she trusts implicitly. While there is a hint of a possible romance angle, it doesn't take a whole lot of the story line. I am glad of that, and I am happy that found this book entertaining.