Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
Freya loves science. She is determined to invent something realistic and useful to everyone and go to the continent and away from court so she can pursue her life in science and invent things. And she is going to take her best friend, Naomi, with, as her assistant, though Naomi will probably want to follow court and find a nice suitor to marry.
But since Freya is still under her father's care, she is being made to go to the King's birthday celebration where all of the royals are located. Freya hates being in the middle of attention and is always a good conversation topic for most of the people there since she is "odd".
Every time she is forced to go there, though, Freya usually finds a way to sneak out early. This time was no exception, because she just couldn't wait to go to her laboratory with Naomi to experiment when an idea she had while bored out of her mind at the party.
However, her sneaking out of court saved her life, because everyone who ate the king's golden cake died from poisoning. And since there were so many royals at the party, that means that Freya has now become the next living royal to ascend to the throne - even though she was number 23 in line.
Now Freya is stuck in court for the rest of her life, and to boot, she has to be queen to the people who weren't murdered at the party. She has no idea how to rule a kingdom, and because her head is always full of science, she was never interested to learn the proper procedures of what to do when in court.
And on top of everything else, her people are suspicious of her - thinking maybe she poisoned everyone to become the next Queen. Of course, that is ridiculous as Freya has no idea what she is doing.
So with her love of science, Freya is determined to prove her innocence, and also find out who the real murderer is so that she will feel safe and threatened. Because ignorance of how and why it happened could very well be the death of Freya if she cannot figure out who is trying to kill the royal family, and now herself as the current Queen.
Who says science can't save the day? Because Freya is out to prove that differently, if she can do so before the army comes crashing down her doorstep.
This was a great novel! I really enjoyed it! I love that it's a standalone and how this book ended all nice and wrapped up, and I love Freya as a character.
Freya is a scientist, through and through. She doesn't have a mind for court or politics or how to rule, but when she was told that she had to be anointed at the new Queen before someone tried to assassinate her, she went willing and knew that this is now her new duty in life. She knew taking the Queendom would stop her life long dreams of being a scientist and creating new inventions, and she became Queen with no fight. And I think that is so selfless and amazing, because I certainly would have fought against being the queen of the lands.
I loved how the science in this book wasn't too sciency. I loathe science with every part of my body, but Rhiannon Thomas made it possible for a non-science lover to understand what experiments Freya was doing and actually made me interested in the results of each test she did. That in itself is amazing because usually my eyes glass over and I blank out during those moments.
Freya's mind is wonderful. She is always solving puzzles and mysteries and I think she is a great pick (not that anyone picked her, mind you) to be the Queen. She is genuinely interested in the people she is ruling and how she can better the system to make things better for everyone, not just the royals who "deserve" it.
The little romance that happened in this book was great. It was just enough to have that tension between Freya and her new beau, but it was also not taking over the novel and making it into a typical romance novel either. I liked the guy she ended up with and I can only imagine how things continued between the two of them.
I'm so glad that I finally got a chance to read this book, and I am definitely going to read Rhiannon Thomas's other two books to see if they are as good as this one! I will most definitely recommend this book to other YA lovers out there!
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