Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

30320053Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Published by: HarperTeen/HarperCollins

Publication Date: February 21st 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 432 pages

Format: eGalley

Rating: ★★★ 1/2 (3.5 STARS)

*HUGE thanks to HarperTeen, Edelweiss, and Rhiannon Thomas for the eGalley of Long May She Reign in exchange for an honest review


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.

plot-banner The 1st YA Fantasy standalone I’ve read with an interesting premise in a very long time, Long May She Reign is more than just a Fantasy, it can also be classified as a mystery. The blurb & beginning pages disclose that the King of Epria & his court have all been poisoned to death during his birthday celebration leaving Freya the 23rd in line, the heir to the throne. Freya, a self-proclaimed Scientist who loves to experiment in her lab away from court & all of its politics would never have imagined herself sitting on the throne as Queen. Surrounded by the nobility & citizens of Epria who lost family as a result of being poisoned, Freya’s reign begins on a dark note. Met with opposition, anger, accusations, and suspicions she takes on this task she’s inherited & tries to find answers while also bringing about some much needed change in the kingdom.

When we first meet our main protagonist Freya, she is in her laboratory working on an experiment to self-create heat in your hands. She lives alone with her father a man who climbed his way up the nobility ladder with the help of his now deceased wife. Freya’s mother was of a noble family & was known for her charm whereas Freya experiences anxiety at the thought of working a room. I instantly found myself relating to Freya who is more comfortable amongst her books and test tubes & not socializing. Rhiannon Thomas gave us some of the most common symptoms of anxiety. Those of us who have anxiety know that everyone is different & we don’t all experience the same symptoms yet I was able to recognize & relate to what Freya was feeling. I also found myself feeling uncomfortable with her which speaks to the authors writing & knowledge of anxiety. Freya has BIG dreams which her father & the rest of the world would deem non-traditional. Court life just isn’t for her, not when there’s a whole world of Who? What? Where? When? Why? to be answered. She’s known since she was a little girl that science was her calling. As the 23rd in the royal line, it was highly unlikely that she’d ever inherit the throne. When the unlikeliest of events occurs & she is thrust into the throne, we get to see Freya’s personality unfold. She could’ve been selfish & run away from everything she feared & disliked but instead she decided to rule like only Freya could. I enjoyed seeing her infuse her ingenuity into strategies of war & apply her knowledge to investigate the poisoning. Freya developed strong female friendships within the court which I absolutely loved reading since again, we don’t get them enough in our books. We also get introduced to the King’s illegitimate son who also is presented as a love interest to Freya. I’ll admit to being a bit weirded out by this one…Freya being 23rd in line & all at some point I wondered aloud…aren’t they related? I guess this would be a good question to ask the author *mental note*… I do wish we’d been given a little more background on the King’s son & some of the other supporting cast. I will say though, the characters in Long May She Reign delivered when it came to politics & court intrigue. They had me suspecting each & every one of them of murder & high treason LOL!

Long May She Reign may be at its core a YA Fantasy however, it also fits in the Mystery genre. I was pretty much consumed, following Freya’s science experiments & deductive reasoning. Freya doesn’t have a large court to begin with since they were for the most part all in attendance for the King’s birthday where they ate their last meals. This helped in limiting the amount of players on the board but it also meant that those closest were to be suspects. I had wondered how a YA Fantasy standalone would read since I’m accustomed to long standing series or trilogies but it worked well. Since this is a standalone we don’t see too much world building, instead this book is very plot driven. The supporting characters aren’t really too fleshed out. We do get a well developed female protagonist, Freya was pretty awesome however,her development wasn’t w/out its faults. The Freya we meet in the beginning who suffers from anxiety isn’t quite the Freya we get at the very end. I wondered what happened to her anxiety since I myself am a person who deals with this disorder every day. Then again, as I mentioned at the very beginning of my review…we don’t all suffer the same symptoms or cope the same way 😉

The writing style is engaging, I felt very much a part of Freya’s investigations which I really enjoyed. This is a slow build which is something that as a YA Fantasy reader I’m also not accustomed to & yet it never once lost my interest. I’d definitely recommend Long May She Reign for those bookworms looking for strong female friendships, ingenuity, & a good ol’ murder mystery 😉

Long May She Reign was released this past Tuesday (while I was moving to my new home lol), & so I’m a little late with my review. How many of my bookish peeps have Long May She Reign on your TBR’s? a Scientist Queen? Who can resist?!?! 🤴🏻💰❌👸🏻🔬📚

Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

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

  1. I love the scientist female thing going on over here. Not going to lie that the illegitimate son being “related” but being love interest is really EFFING weird…*FOO!!!!*
    sucks that this one had more potential and sorta fell short in a way. but yay to friendships and science!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I am avoiding YA right now, I admit you have my reading heart piqued. And standalone?! That does not happen very often anymore. I love that is seems to be a blend of fantasy and mystery as well. Maybe this will be an exception. Will not complain about that cover either! Gorgelus review, so very well written. You always know how to get at the heart of a story 😘❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Danielle! 🙂 I think when I heard “standalone” I jumped to request this one because it’s truly a rare thing in YA Fantasy lol. If you do decide to pick this one up, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Lol @Gorgelus <—-Me thinks Me likes this word 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review for this book Lilly. I’ve seen this one around recently but didn’t realise it was a standalone before reading your review. Freya sounds like a great character, and I already love the fact that she has anxiety and it’s shown in this book. It’s something I suffer from as well so it’s always interesting seeing parts of myself in characters. It’s a shame about the secondary characters and the world building and the fact that they weren’t as well developed, that’s something I’ve noticed in standalone books before, there’s never as much time to develop things as there is in series, but overall this sounds like an interesting book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! I’m now beginning to see the benefits of reading a standalone lol. If you come across any YA standalone Fantasy please send them my way lol. There is a bit of under development but overall it was satisfying especially since it was more of a mystery. The secondary characters could also have been a bit more developed but then i’m thinking that may be sacrificed for plot in a standalone? lol. If you do give it a go, I’d love to hear your thoughts 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and yeah for the whole not needing to wait for a sequel standalones are the way to go aren’t they? I will be sure to let you now if I find any good standalones as well! 😀
        Well if you think the under development wasn’t too bad then it sounds like it will be well worth a read so I will try to check it out soon, and of course I’ll let you know what I think as well! 🙂


  4. A fantasy/mystery standalone? I really like the sound of that! I don’t think I’ve come across that genre blend very often and I know I don’t come across a lot of fantasy standalones. Plus, any book that features strong female friendships automatically has my interest. I’m thinking I’ll have to add this one to my TBR. Great review as always, Lilly!! 😊💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. right?!?! it’s so rare for me to come across a YA Fantasy Standalone lol. I think this one works because of the mystery elements. There’s def less world building & character development. Loved the female friendships featured in Long May She Reign, hope you enjoy it when you get to it Melissa <3!:)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really is! And then it’s even more rare to come by a solid one. Fantasy usually requires so much more in the realm of introducing a new world and all of that. But it’s great that this one worked even with less in the world building and character department. I hope so too!! 😁


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