- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen (February 21, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062418688
- ISBN-13: 978-0062418685
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Long May She Reign Hardcover – February 21, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Freya's dream of escaping court life and delving deeper into her scientific studies is almost within reach. After leaving the king's birthday party early to work on a project, she is horrified to learn that most of the court was poisoned, resulting in her being next in succession as queen. Most of Freya's advisers, including her father, want her to continue with the old ways of the court and punish those responsible for the murders. Freya wants to use her intelligence to learn not only how the people were murdered but why. While investigating, Freya first suspects but then befriends court darling Madeline and the charming, not-so-foolish Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of the former king. Thomas's novel focuses on Freya's struggle to embrace who she is, rather than who people want her to be. Although there is a constant threat of danger, this historical fantasy is slow-paced at times. A brief romance and a swift ending may also leave some readers wishing for more, while a few plot threads feel too convenient. Still, the world is richly built, with its own history and godlike heroes who have renounced the decadence of the kingdom. VERDICT A solid purchase with a strong female lead for libraries where fantasies circulate heavily. Suggest to teens who enjoyed Jennifer A. Nielsen's The False Prince or Garth Nix's Sabriel.—Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, FL
“A thoughtful and thrilling tale. ” (Kirkus Reviews)
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, can we talk about the fact that this book is a YA fantasy stand-alone?? How often does THAT happen?? It’s a nice break from all the fantasy trilogies and series out there. But after reaching the end of the book, I must say.. I actually wish there WAS going to be a sequel. This first book was basically all about securing Freya’s reign and finding the murderer. But now that the murderer has been dealt with, I’d love to see Freya’s ACTUAL reign, see what kind of a queen she’ll be. I still have a lot of questions that I want answered!
There were a LOT of secondary characters. I read the first 100 pages of this book really fast and then didn’t pick it up for two days (because life, not because of the book), and I actually had to go back to page one and skim 130+ pages to remind myself of who everyone was. But I don’t want to say that’s the fault of the book, necessarily. I think it was because of my reading situation.
Overall, I’m really, really happy I picked this up. Everything I couldn’t stand about A Wicked Thing was much improved in Long May She Reign. Thomas’s writing was SO much better and I liked the characters a LOT more. Though the book was still a bit long (in my opinion), it was a much faster read, with far better pacing, and it held my attention way more. I’m really glad I gave Rhiannon Thomas a second chance and I’m very excited to see what she does next.
So this was a nice change.
It's a fantasy in the sense that the world in which it takes place doesn't exist, but there's no magic in this book. Well, in the author's words, but you get what I'm saying.
This book is a very character-driven mystery. It is political intrigue and plotting and fantastical whodunit that takes place in the court of Epria (I think that's the name).
I loved the awkward heroine, Freya, and her story of self-discovery, scientific discovery, and all sorts of discoveries. She does not excel at everything and is a scientist at heart and an introvert by nature. This story of her fitting into her new status of queen while trying to figure out why she is even in the position to have to do so is well worth the read.
I really liked this book. That being said, it's all from Freya's pov and she's a tad Bones-ish. Some of the other characters could have been fleshed out a bit more.
I get tired of series that seem to continue well past the time they probably should have ended, but I'd be happy to see a second book with these characters.
Story: Freya is very far down the dynastic line and hopes to spend her life exploring science rather than finding a husband and making children. But when a royal celebratory party leads to the the poisoning deaths of every other heir before her, she finds herself suddenly crowned queen. Along with the hunky and misunderstood illegitimate son of the late King, Freya will use her scientific lab to find out not only the poison used but also how it was administered. But there are those who suspect she was the poisoner - and her reign may come to an abrupt end if she cannot prove she was not involved in the murders.
The story moves briskly and certainly the story is decently written. There is an understated romance but the focus is on the science and discovery. The worldbuilding is fairly undefined and created to fit the story rather than being an organically grown milieu that would have been much more believable. Freya is a capable protagonist and author Thomas gives us a surprise ending with the final murderer reveal, though it was clearly telegraphed and easily guessed.
Admittedly, I didn't find Freya or any of the other characters very interesting or nuanced. There are no vicious or truly greedy characters and all the misdeeds are done through misguided motivations or incompetence rather than avarice. As such, the story did lack a bit of edge; I wanted a Moriarty but ended up with a lot of characters who wouldn't even cut it as a Disney villain. All of the characters could have used a lot more depth.
In all, Long May She Reign is a decent book that could have used a bit less science and much more edge. A little darkness would have made all the brightness that much more interesting. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
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