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.
Description taken from Goodreads.
Overall, the story elements were all there, and I enjoyed this one. Back when I first heard about it, I wanted to put it on my most anticipated list for 2017 but held back because of my previous experiences with the author. I fully expected a book as meh a book as A Wicked Thing was, to the point where I couldn’t even review it, but was pleasantly surprised. Now, I’ll be keeping an eye out for Rhiannon Thomas if she can continue to deliver books that are so much better than the ones before it.
All that aside, let’s get to the problems here.
If there was one thing I wish I could change about Long May She Reign, it would have to be the pacing. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but something about Thomas’ writing makes the plot–which is actually quite smart and thought-through–drag. In the beginning, I couldn’t notice it as much. In fact, the beginning was the best part of the book. The world-building was spot-on, and I loved hearing from a girl scientist protag.
But once the honeymoon period was over, the only sustenance was the mystery. Mystery coupled with action and adventure, like Stalking Jack the Ripper, is easy to get right pacing-wise. Mystery coupled with political intrigue is, relatively, much more difficult. Even though the twists and turns were great, I was reluctant to pick up this book up between reads.
The only other major thing that needed work was the dialogue. I understand that Freya was supposed to be something of a stiff, awkward character, and to Thomas’ credit, Freya did develop well into a capable queen, but her monologues and narration toward the end of the book mimicked what I couldn’t stand about A Wicked Thing. The character expressions were delayed and unnatural.
In the end, I enjoyed this one, and I would like to see what else Thomas comes out with. The potential’s there; it’s going to take some work though. Rooting for her! 2 stars.