Long May She Reign

Zoe N. | February 1, 2017 | Review

Long May She Reign

Long May She Reign

by Rhiannon Thomas

Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: February 21st 2017
by HarperTeen

three-half-stars

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Summary:

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 is determined to uncover 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. 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.

Review:

Long May She Reign is an engaging and well-written fantasy, but, plotwise, there isn’t anything about it to differentiate it from all the other YA fantasies that have been published.

17-year-old Freya was never meant to be queen. Twenty-third in line to the throne, she has always been content staying in her laboratory and conducting science experiments. But when everyone at the King’s banquet is poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself Queen.

Freya is a wonderful and well-written main character, one that is easy to root for and relate to. She’s not your stereotypical YA fantasy heroine – she’s intelligent and down to earth, and wants nothing to do with the power and politics behind being Queen. Her transformation from being a shy scientist to a powerful Queen was written wonderfully and realistically.

Freya spends the majority of the story trying to uncover who poisoned everyone at the King’s banquet. Unfortunately, the culprit is rather predictable and unsurprising. More red herrings or plot twists would have definitely helped make the reveal more shocking.

There is an element of romance here – between Freya and the King’s son – which was written nicely. It doesn’t take up too much of the story and their chemistry is realistic and well-written.

Readers who enjoyed Throne of Glass and The Girl of Fire and Thorns are sure to enjoy Long May She Reign. I, however, just felt that it lacked that special something it needed to be a favorite of mine.

three-half-stars

64 comments

  1. I’m still intrigued by this book, even if the story lacked anything to differentiate it from other books in the genre. I may not be investing in a copy but I’m certain going to try and borrow from the library. We’ll see if the characters are enough to keep me reading. Great review.

  2. I think you actually rated this one higher than me! I was actually a little disappointed that Freya’s social anxiety just magically “vanished” as the story progressed. It felt like a bit of a dismissal of mental illness to me? But that could be just me. But I did like the start of it a lot and the premise was AWESOME, but it was definitely a bit tame haha and predictable. Still the cover = awesomeness.

    1. LOL I was feeling a little generous the day I reviewed it. πŸ˜‰ And I noticed that too – like she kind of just magically became the perfect Queen, right?

  3. Oh, no! It’s disappointing that the storyline in this one didn’t feel super unique. I feel like YA fantasy is coasting along at the moment and hasn’t really produced a super special one in a while. Although I do like the sound of the MC, and the fact that she went from scientist to queen even though she didn’t really want to. I think it would be interesting to read a YA fantasy without romance, but at least this one didn’t take over the plot!

    I hope you can find a YA fantasy to really fall in love with soon, Zoe!

  4. Great review, although I’m bummed to hear that this is another somewhat predictable storyline. I seem to have gotten into that same rut with all of my YA fantasy reads. I’m really hoping for something unique to come along in 2017 to get me out of it.

    1. Definitely give it a try! Even though it’s a little bit unoriginal, it’s still entertaining and fun to read. Definitely let me know what you think if you end up giving it a try!

  5. I’ve read this authors other two books. A Wicked Thing was brilliant and Kingdom of Ashes was a bit disappointing. But this sounds really cool, if predictable (though I can be bad at predicting, haha) and I definitely want to read it!

    1. This is my first book by her, but I’ll take your advice and read A Wicked Thing. πŸ˜‰ Definitely let me know what you think of it if you decide to give it a try.

  6. I really do tend to enjoy these types of mild, even predictable fantasy books strangely. I seen the title on Goodreads it today actually and was hoping tonight have been a fantasy based retelling of Mary Queen of Scots even. It still sounds like a great read Zoe, looking forward to grabbing a copy <3

    1. If you’re into mild, predictable fantasies you’ll definitely enjoy this Kelly. It had its flaws, but it was still entertaining despite that. Thank you!

  7. Hmm I’m always so conflicted about whether or not to read books like this because although it has elements I know I would like I’m afraid I will be sort of let down because it misses that special something – like you said. Especially since the plot is kind of a typical YA fantasy.

    1. I feel you Alise! I’d say read it if you have time or if you’re in the mood for something light and entertaining to pass the time.

    1. She’s a great character Jeann, and I have a feeling you’d really like her if you ended up giving the book a try. πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  8. Damn, I was really looking forward to this and was hoping it would be fantastic. It being a generic YA fantasy dampens the excitement :/ The fact you still enjoyed it overall does make me want to keep it in mind when I’m looking for a simple fantasy/ light read.

    1. Definitely keep it in mind for when you need something light but entertaining to pass the time – it’s wonderful in that regard. πŸ™‚

  9. I felt around the same way about this book as you did. It had all the workings to be a really, really great epic fantasy (which YA has been severly lacking, lately), but it felt kind of…generic. Like it had borrowed plot bits from lots of other fantasy novels then just kind of squished them all together. Which is sad, especially since I’d been looking forward to reading it for ages.

    Thanks for stopping by Writing on a Vintage Typewriter!

    1. EXACTLY. It was entertaining, but it didn’t have that extra oomph to make it stand out from all the other YA fantasies on the market.

  10. Aw πŸ™ still better than what I was expecting, but I was hoping for it to be a bit more original. I think I’ll still read it because what you mentioned sounds pretty appealing (good romance and character development, sign me up!), but I wish that there was more to it. I was initially wary of this one because I didn’t enjoy the author’s debut, but I guess we’ll see πŸ˜€

    1. Definitely still give it a try! It’s definitely an entertaining read despite the minor flaws. I hope you enjoy it if you end up reading it!

  11. Lovely review, Zoe! Too bad to hear that this book lacked a little something to be a favorite of yours. I’m glad to hear there is such a good character development in the story, but I get you, sometime there are just so many series that feel similar, it’s too bad that one didn’t stand out too much, even in some details. Hope you’ll love you next read better! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Marie! It’s a shame, because it really was an entertaining read. It just needed that extra something to make it really memorable.

  12. I haven’t read Throne of Glass or Girl of Fire and Thorns, but I read A Wicked Thing and Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas and thought they were both pretty good, so when I heard about this one I wasted no time requesting it on Edelweiss. It’s a bummer to hear that it’s kind of like a lot of other fantasy novels out there now, though…I was hoping it would have that special little “oomph” to make it really memorable. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, and great review!

    1. I’m curious to see how this compares to her other books. Definitely let me know what you think if you end up giving it a try, okay? <3

  13. I really like the sound of this one Zoe, even the predictable tropes in YA tend to work well for me when it comes to fantasy, not being a big fantasy reader and all. The romance sounds lovely and so glad it doesn’t overwhelm the storyline either. I can;t wait to meet Freya. Wonderful review Zoe and so glad you could enjoy it despite it being a little meh on the uniqueness <3 <3

    1. If you’re not bothered by as light lack of originality, then I think you’ll really enjoy this one Kelly. πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  14. I’ve had this book on my TBR for ages, mainly because the cover is gorgeous, the synopsis is interesting, and it’s a standalone, making it a low commitment book XD I’m glad you did like this one, but I can see how it might read as a bit cliche as a YA fantasy. Great review! Thank you for sharing πŸ˜€

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

    1. Definitely give it a try Brittany – it really is an entertaining and fun story! Let me know what you think if you end up giving it a try, okay? <3

  15. I don’t often venture into Fantasy, I’m more of a romance reader. But even I feel like there are so very few unique fantasy books out there, it became harder and harder to differentiate all those books with same plotlines and similar concepts. Sorry to hear Long May She Reign hasn’t become a total winner for you. At least it was entertaining.

    1. If you’re mostly a romance reader this probably won’t be for you. The romance is really light and is really in the background. Let me know if you ever end up giving it a try though. πŸ™‚

    1. Freya’s a great character, and I think she’s part of the reason why the story is so enjoyable. She’s really relatable and down to earth.

  16. I was LITERALLY sooo excited when I heard that this book was coming out, since I really liked her other duology! (you should check it out, it’s amazing with dragons and a Sleeping Beauty retelling) But I just think that now I will pass it up. I really don’t have ANY TIME at all these days, plus I have already got so many other books that I am currently reading! Great review though Zoe! And you haven’t posted in a while, is everything all right? πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve heard so many great things about her other duology – I’ll definitely have to check it out! πŸ™‚ And I feel you – time is so hard to find nowadays. And thank you so much for your sweet comment – I’m fine; just bombarded by schoolwork. Hopefully I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule now. <3

  17. Really curious to read this one – and since I really enjoyed both Throne of Glass & The girl of fire and thorns, I think I’ll enjoy this one too. The cover is gorgeous!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Sarah! Especially if you liked Throne of Glass & The Girl of Fire + Thorns, this should be right up your alley. πŸ™‚

    1. OMG YOU TOTALLY GET ME. I couldn’t have said it better myself, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. πŸ™‚

    1. Definitely pick it up from the library Alicia! It has some minor flaws, but it is a really entertaining story. πŸ™‚

  18. I’m sorry this one didn’t live up to much for you. πŸ™ I’m still excited to read it though as I really enjoyed both of the series that you mentioned! Hopefully it’s still a winner for me. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the honest review!

    1. Definitely give it a try! It may not be the most original book ever written, but it is really entertaining. πŸ™‚

  19. I love fairy tale re-tellings but since I’ve not read Thomas’ first book (but own it), I’ll probably wait and seeing what I think of it before reading this one. Thanks for sharing your review, Zoe.

    1. Definitely give it a try if you end up liking her first book! I’m curious to see what you think of it if you end up giving it a try!

  20. I haven’t read Throne of Glass or The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but Freya sounds like a character worth rooting for and one that I’d enjoy read about. πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts on this one, Zoe. And wonderful review, as always!

    Summer

  21. This is another book I’m super excited to get to. But I’ve also heard mixed things about it, like it’s obvious who killed everyone etc. That’s come up more than once. It’s so hard to find stories that are just as good as A Girl of Fire & Thorns or Throne of Glass…

    Another awesome review Zoe!

  22. Being a Throne of Glass fan, I really hope I’ll enjoy this one. It reminds me a lot of The Queen of The Tearling, where the main character also finds herself forced into the role at one point. Her transition, though, wasn’t as great as the one you describe but still quite enjoyable.
    Amazing review, Zoe! πŸ™‚

    1. I’m curious to see what you’ll think of this one since you’re a Throne of Glass fan. πŸ™‚ Let me know if you decide to read it.

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