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I Belong

Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Long May She ReignTitle: Long May She Reign

Author: Rhiannon Thomas

Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery

Series: N/A

Publication Date: February 21, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062418688 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062418685 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Zed


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 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.

Quick & Dirty: A scientist for a queen and a deadly golden cake.

Opening Sentence: A hundred doves burst out of the pie.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Freya wants nothing more than to spend her days as a scientist, experimenting in her lab. But when most of the court dies at the King’s banquet, she becomes Queen by default. She was 23rd in line for the throne but through sheer bad luck, all previous heirs are dead and there’s a handful left to take the throne but Freya has the most legitimate claim.

“I mean no disrespect, Your Majesty,” Susan said, “but I do wish you hadn’t told her that. It’s no good to give them false hope. What these children need is food, a home, a chance for work when they’re older, maybe. Hope won’t keep them alive.”

It’s an odd story and I really liked Freya’s character; her awkwardness and logical thinking. Being queen means she’s stuck in a position she didn’t want, never imagined and that many of ‘her people’ are unhappy about. Plus, the real murderer is still out there and she needs to prove her innocence in order to be accepted as ruler.

I expected Fitzroy to be a bit of a troublemaker because initially he was an anomaly but he soon turns out to be pretty, well,  boring. He helps Freya lots with her experiments and it’s evident to all but her that he likes her, but besides being an admirer he didn’t add much to the story. Madeline and Naomi are Freya’s supportive best friends and I felt that they complimented the story well.

“Well, I assume it means you like me. But how do you like me? It’s an imprecise word, really, don’t you think? I mean, do you like me like I’m your friend, or do you like me like you-like me in a different way?”

My problem with Long May She Reign was that the book dragged longer than necessary. I’m sure the main points could have been covered in a far shorter space of time. Freya took an age to first accept her position as queen and then even more time to do something productive; her reign was as fun as watching paint dry. The story lacked humour, which for me is a must-have. I appreciate the serious undertone of ruling a Kingdom without supporters and trying to find a murderer but I’ve read bleaker tales that have managed to keep me engaged with a smile.

Notable Scene:

My father knelt with a group of men and women I vaguely recognised – some of the king’s old advisers, I thought. Torsten Wolff knelt by another pew, and Fitzroy. A smattering of people.

This couldn’t be everyone who had survived. It couldn’t be. The others must have simply stayed away, unwilling to see me crowned queen. That was all.

Don’t lie to yourself, I thought, anger rising out of nowhere. No one else was left.


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Long May She Reign. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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