Title: Long May She Reign
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Genre: YA fantasy
Published: February 21st, 2017
Source: E-galley from Harper Teen off of Edelweiss
My rating: 4.5 stars
I have been a fan of this author since her first book, A Wicked Thing. While this book isn't part of that series, I really enjoyed it, and it is great as a standalone.
The main character of this story is Freya. Freya doesn't enjoy her family's connection and standing in the Court, instead she loves science and experiments. And that hobby of hers is what basically saves her life when almost the entire Court dies at the King's birthday party from a poisoned cake. It turns out that the very next in line for the throne is Freya herself. Something Freya never dreamed of, and definitely never wanted. Now she is hurried off to the old castle fort to try to protect her from whoever did the poisoning. Of course there are those who do not trust her or want her as queen. There is even suspicion that maybe she is the one who poisoned the King, especially with her scientific knowledge and experiments.
Freya decides that she must find out who it was that actually was the poisoner, and there are many suspects. First is the King's illegitimate son Fitzroy. When he first sees Freya after the deaths, he comes across as very threatening, telling her that she does not belong there. Soon he becomes her friend, maybe more, when he shows up in her lab and wants to help her figure out the poison, or a way to determine if food is poisoned besides having to endanger the life of a royal taster. Then there are the nobles that all have reasons they may have wanted the King dead. There is an underground organization that also seems to have reasons to overthrow the King and change the world to the way they want it. And of course, Freya is also considered a suspect, even though she knows she didn't do it.
As queen she first finds that her father and the other advisors try to hide things and keep them running without really telling her what is going on. When she says that she wants to have a funeral for everyone that died, and not just the royals, they decide to pay for it by charging the people a funeral tax. When families are unable to pay it, they throw them in jail. As Freya finds these things out, she decides that she must become a queen herself. She must do what she feels is right and fair for the kingdom that she is now Queen of. Freya is lucky in that her best friend was not poisoned because she was with Freya at the time of the deaths, and Freya also soon makes a new best friend, the person who I believe might have been after her in line for the throne. Which of course will also make that girl a suspect as well.
What I loved about this book even more, is that while I thought I had it figured out, while I assumed that maybe the characters just weren't seeing something that I was, I was wrong. And I love that! I love a good storyline that can still keep me surprised.
I will continue to look forward to books from Rhiannon Thomas, and definitely suggest this one!