Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

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PRETTY *dies* I AM IN LOVE.

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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.

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This was unexpectedly wonderful!!

First of all, DO YOU SEE THAT PREMISE?!? As in, a MASS MURDER causes a girl who was never meant to be queen TO BECOMES QUEEN??

*swoons*

Plus the cover was irresistibly beautiful.

And, um, the book was pretty great, too. 😉

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This book is different than I expected. First of all, I thought it would be more dark and gruesome. Because POISONING. But it’s really actually quite light and happy! I was disappointed for about five seconds, but the book was so good it ended up being just fine.

The other thing is that this book is super slow and very, VERY political. I happen to LOVE slow books and I usually like political fantasy, and so I was just fine with this aspect. Also, while Long May She Reign is set in a fantasy world, it is more like a murder mystery wrapped in a fairytale. So this is most definitely not fast-paced, exciting fantasy.

The plot, while slow, was super interesting to me. I’ve only read a few mysteries (I don’t usually care for them) and I was very engaged in trying to figure out the murderer. I really liked how Freya’s love of science helped her to figure out the murderer, and I thought it was a nice little metaphor for her journey to becoming queen.

Freya and her character development was my favorite part of the book. Freya has social anxiety, and at the beginning of the book, it is obviously really hard for her, and affects every aspect of her life. I struggle with anxiety too, so I could relate to her fears and worries. Her social anxiety makes it really hard for her to learn how to be queen.  But throughout the book, she gains so much confidence. I can see how to others, Freya’s anxiety might have seemed to vanish. I kind of felt that way at first too, but as I thought about it more, I decided it was still there, but the tremendous amount of confidence and experience Freya gained throughout the book made her anxiety not be such an enormous struggle for her.

Now, I understand that my interpretation of Freya’s experiences is affected by my experiences with anxiety. I also understand that mine will be different from others’ and so will Freya’s.

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Clearly I connected really well with Freya, and I loved watching her phenomenal development. But I also just really, really, liked her. Her voice, the choices she made, etc.

She was a lot of fun to read about!! (Also, some things she said were unexpectedly hilarious.)

What did he mean? Was he saying he liked me as in ‘We’re friends, of course I wouldn’t betray you?’ Or as in, ‘You’re not an awful person, and I’m happy for you to be queen?’ Or . . . or did he mean he liked me, as in he liked me? As in had feelings for me?

Also, Freya is very much a “strong” heroine. But, she (a) is not a jerk, (b) is okay with being a girl and (c) is friendly and nice to other girls. (!!)

And the friendships between Freya and two other girls in the book were just wonderful!! They were so sweet and nice to each other…

…and it was just great. 🙂

I liked the supporting characters as well. They weren’t quite as developed as Freya, but they all had personalities and motives, and none of them felt flat.

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But of course, my mean little analyzing brain had to come up with SOMETHING to dislike.

I didn’t feel like there was much worldbuiling. I got a pretty good sense of the gods of Freya’s world, but not of her actual world. It pretty much felt like a standard, medieval-esque kingdom. It wasn’t necessarily cliche, but there also wasn’t really anything to make it stand out.

I also, sadly, did not care for the romance.

(But is that really that unusual?!? Spoiler: It’s not. I am TIRED of romance in YA. MUST we have it in every. single. book??)

It just felt like…there wasn’t any romance for a long time and Freya and Fitzroy were just friends, and then suddenly they liked each other.

BUT (luckily) the romance did NOT take over the plot. It (mercifully) remained very understated.)

But couldn’t they have stayed friends?? They were SUCH good friends while it lasted and their friendship was a really enjoyable part of the story. I feel like a romance between them could have worked really well; it just wasn’t given enough time to develop. *sniffles*

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But I LOVED everything else. SO MUCH.

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Have you read this book? Does it look interesting to you?? What kind of fantasy is your favorite?? Do you like murder mysteries?? Also, isn’t that cover GORGEOUS??


*No questionable content

23 thoughts on “Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

  1. You’re right the cover is beautiful 🙂 I am a sucker for mysteries and strong female protagonist. Plus a surprisingly high rating from you? I may have to add this to my tbr list which is embarrassingly long…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your blog is one of the best, if not the best blog I have ever read. I could say so much more but I think that sentence pretty much sums up the amount of love I have for your blvoL.goe from,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy cannoli that cover is fracken HOT. Ooohh I love it so much. It exudes fantastical murder mystery. I don’t read a lot of mysteries! However, totally awesome sauce this one sounds. Also, YAY FOR FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS AND FEMALE HEROINES THAT DON’T MAKE SUPER BAD DECISIONS EVERY MOMENT THEY ARE ALIVE AND ARE FINE WITH BEING FEMALE. Also, I love the whole over analyzation of does he like me? OR DOES HE like me LIKE ME??? What does that even mean. what is the word like. who decided this was thing???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW. I WANT TO MARRY IT. I don’t usually read (or like) mysteries either, but this was amazing, so if you don’t like mysteries, you definitely might like this anyway! AND YES!! I get so tiiired of girls hating on other girls or hating that they’re girls.
      There were a couple other hilarious quotes about whether or not he liked her, but i couldn’t find them. They were the most relatable things EVER though… 😀

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  3. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I actually struggled with it a lot haha, but for the reasons you mentioned, with it being light/fluffy (that was a drawback for me though 😂) and the romance being ehhh (WHY CAN’T WE HAVE SOME NON-ROMANTIC YA OMG) and I was really concerned that the Social Anxiety just disappeared. 😭 I agree it could’ve just been her learning to gain confidence? But it seemed a bit like…she got a boy + friends = boom she’s not anxious? So liiiittle concerned about that portrayal. BUT HEY FREYA WAS RELALY COOL!! So much appreciation for her being a more science-minded strong heroine (and loved the female friendships)!! And it still has a fantastic premise.🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, normally I prefer for things to be darker too, but for whatever reason the light/happy atmosphere worked really well for me this time!
      I know!! That’s one reason I loved This Savage Song – no romance!!
      I definitely understand your thoughts about the anxiety disappearing – that was my first thought as well, but like I said, her experiences with anxiety really resonated with me and my experiences, so I guess it can be interpreted different ways. I was worried about Fitzroy making it disappear too, but the more I think about it the less I think he did.
      THE FRIENDSHIPS WERE AMAZING. I loved them SO much!! (almost as much as the gloriously murderous premise :D)

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  4. I completely agree! I didn’t quite like this as much as you did, but I do agree that the concept was fantastic and I appreciated that the romance didn’t overpower the story itself. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, I love the sound of this one! I’ve seen a few reviews for it around and most readers seem to be on the fence about it but I love political fantasy. It gives the storyline more intrigue and I enjoy the politics of reigning. Freya sounds like a wonderful character with so much growth! Her anxiety sounds as though it was wonderfully represented and I’m so glad you were able to connect with her character. Is it a standalone? Brilliant review Lenna and so glad you enjoyed it ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if you like politics and character growth you could potentially really like it!! About the anxiety – I will say that while the way it was portrayed worked perfectly for me, I know that a lot of other reviewers with anxiety felt it was portrayed poorly. So if you do decide to read it, just know that it may or may not work for you!! It is a standalone!! (Thank goodness :D) And thank you so much!!

      Like

  6. This was such an amazing gem of a book! I read Rhiannon Thomas’s other two books and enjoyed them, but this was probably one of the best fantasy books that I’ve read yet (and the fact that it was a standalone was even more awesome). There was so much going on in this book and it was so interesting (not to mention absolutely beautiful!). Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, I’m so glad you liked it!! I haven’t read her other books, but after this I really want to! I agree – I absolutely love standalones!! This really was a great find! And thank you!!

      Like

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