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Long May She Reign

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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.

422 pages, Hardcover

First published February 21, 2017

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About the author

Rhiannon Thomas

14 books595 followers
Rhiannon Thomas is an English Lit grad from Princeton University. She currently lives in York, England, in the shadow of a 13th century Gothic cathedral. When she isn’t lost in YA fantasy, she writes about feminism and the media on her blog, FeministFiction.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,219 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
September 9, 2017
BiblioBabble TK!

I enjoyed this WAY more than I had expected to. I'll admit my expectations going in were pretty low based on some other reviews I'd seen but I had a great time reading (well, listening really since I went the audiobook route) this book! It had a fabulous main character and the whole murder mystery whodunnit plot was really cool. However, this is deemed a fantasy stand alone, which sure it is since it's in a fantastical setting, but don't be expecting the typical fantasy stuff like magic and mythical creatures because there's none of that. Lots of politics and maneuvering though (although arguably the "gods" of this word could be considered fantastical). This would have been a 5 star read but I have to say I feel the concept didn't reach its full potential, which is why I rated it as I did.
Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
603 reviews734 followers
March 3, 2018
I only bought this purely because a few people kept comparing it to The Queen of the Tearling and since that is one of my favourite trilogies I thought, could never go wrong with that.

So, right off the bat, let me just say that this is NOTHING like TQotT. Not by a mile. Aside from the fact that these two girls/women have to come to terms with their new reality of being a queen in a corrupt kingdom, there is not much else that resembles the trilogy.

I found the story engaging but my reading experience was somewhat hindered by the main character. I thought she was manipulative and sketchy but what I found even more irritating was how the book was trying to paint her as this noble, all innocent and upright queen, whereas I just saw a self-righteous and inconsistent girl who tried to come off as overly virtuous by being self-deprecating. It was not cute.

The plot is pretty straightforward and there isn't much complexity to it, our MC Freya, who is twenty-third in line to the throne becomes queen after the royal court is decimated by a mass poisoning. Rather than use violence or magic, Freya relies on science and… naiveté to save herself and her kingdom. 


As I've said, I didn't exactly like Freya but one thing I did appreciate was how science focused she was. Aside from that, her rule, in sum, was hopelessly naive and simplistic. The decisions she made later on, specifically those that involved Sten, Fitzroy and Madeleine only made her seem more inconsistent than she already was.
For someone who so greatly prized science and the scientific method, her reactions were pure emotion. Not to mention she seemed to look down on people who weren’t interested in science, and automatically thought everyone else around her was a vapid idiot. Well, excuse you...
Also, I applauded the author’s choice to have her – and others in the story – suffer from a variety of mental disorders, but somehow the social anxiety issues seemed to have miraculously disappeared once she gained a bit of confidence. Not an expert on mental issues but, pretty sure you don't turn it on and off as you please. Just not how it works.


On the whole, this book’s about self-discovery and acceptance but while also becoming the sovereign ruler of a kingdom fraught with uncertainty and reeling from large-scale murder. 
As much as I disliked Freya, her story is empowering and I appreciate how she learns her strengths and embraces her responsibility as a leader. HOWEVER, and complaining about this’s become almost a daily occurrence, everything was, you guessed it, too convenient!
For someone who is innocent and lacking in basic strategic skills and who is so guileless such that people can read her emotions on her face at a glance, everything seems to turn out shockingly well for her.
Every idea she conjures up, whether it be a lead she follows or when she decides to procure a way to test the presence of arsenic in food instead of using poison testers, or every other plot point in general, all ends up magically working to her benefit. How positively frustrating.


There was no world-building whatsoever. None. Everything was so vague and thin that I was continually pulled out of the story. I had so many questions, none of which were answered.
⤗ What’s the story with the Forgotten? They’re mentioned quite often, but always in a way that seemed to imply the reader was familiar with who they were. No, I am not familiar, pray tell!
⤗ Why, when there is such a frenzy over who is or is not a royal, did we not really get to know anyone who wasn’t?
⤗ What about the surrounding kingdoms?
⤗And most importantly, what is the overall political climate of the world!?
There’s a balance to be struck with world-building and this simply fell flat.

Furthermore, this world seems to be filled with nobles and those of greater political status but with practically no commoners to speak of. It strikes me odd not to have at least a few commoners here and there. Simply mentioning them is not enough as we never really saw them, which made the world even more unrealistic.

Political intrigue:

The crowning jewel.
If you know me, you'll know I love a good political intrigue and tension in books, particularly in fantasy. Court life, backstabbing – figurative and literal, complex alliances, moral greys, diplomacy, possible wars etc, all of which I consider to be the hallmarks of good political fantasy.

The political and mystery aspects of the book were incredibly lacking. As I've pointed out, the plot is pretty straightforward and the overall mystery at the heart of it all is frustratingly simplistic and reductive–and as with everything else in the book, Freya stumbles across the answer to the mystery by happenstance and not because of any big breakthrough of her own.

What I liked:

Aside from some of the drawbacks, it was generally a fun and engaging read. I enjoyed the strong female friendships which is something we need more of in YA literature. There was also a low-key romance brewing in the background but obviously did not mention, not because I didn't like it but because there wasn't much to mention. Let's just say I had some issues there too.

I know it seems I had more complaints than praises but it was a very fun read.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,797 followers
August 10, 2017
lolz i had this review written since this morning and forgot to post it yikes

I was so pumped to love this book. A standalone fantasy?? With a dazzling cover?? How often are we blessed with that?? Never, that’s how often.

But but but but, it seems the inside didn’t match with the outside this time. Sad.


So the basic gist of the plot was. . . Freya, the MC, is 33rd in line to the throne. She fancies herself a scientist over a court lady and on the night of the King’s birthday, a massacre takes place where everyone is poisoned and Freya finds herself with the title of ‘Queen’

And this kid ain’t ready for that kind of responsibility.


So brilliant plot in my opinion HOWEVER, from the first page it just didn’t seem //coherent//
The writing was off. There was just something about it that didn’t flow. I felt like it was kinda inconsistent in the sense of it sounded historic one moment and then the next it sounded modern and I was kinda ???

Truthfully though, I was really enjoying it for the first 70% even though it was slow to build bUT THEN Freya commits a //dumb naïve girl// mistake and I was like WHAT??? WHAT??? WHY THE HECK ???

And then it kinda went downhill from there. She kept doing dumb stuff and everyone kept overlooking it and May over here kept getting irritated.

The science aspect of the book really shocked me bc I was NOT expecting it but it was v refreshing. A+ on that. Fitzory was nice and mysterious and complex and stuff UNTIL HE RANDOMLY FELL IN LOVE WITH FREYA ????

I’m just. . .y’all were doing so well with the science stuff and friendship!! But idk when you started getting the feels for each other bc there aint that much time for cute stuff to go on so like recheck yoself

The world building was weak too. Wasn’t necessarily BAD but just //not present// and I think it would have added an extra dimension to the story.

Also, I didn’t guess the killer so boohoo, I’m sad.

“There were choices, and then there were choices. People could say “everything is a choice” with as much haughtiness and superiority as they liked, but that didn’t mean desperate people wouldn’t take a third option if they could.”

2.5 stars!!


i'm going to be entirely honest and say that the only reason I picked up this book was bc i googled 'fantasy standalones' and this was on the list 💁💁
757 reviews2,346 followers
May 29, 2017
3.5 stars

This book wasn't bad. It was surprisingly good, but not good enough. This book was was extremely unlike what I was expecting, which is both refreshing, but disappointing. I liked how we had an extremely insecure and awkward MC and she goes through an incredible character development, but what made this book really suck? It was the plot.

The blurb of this book is an exaggeration of what the book really is. What I expected was an edge of my seat YA Fantasy stand alone read with lots of action, but what I got was a slow ass, boring plot, boring as fuck action and a huge focus on science.

Freya never wanted to be queen. She's just an awkward, clumsy girl who wants to go out and change the world with her discoveries in science. But when everyone at the Kings ball gets poisoned and killed, Freya, the 23rd in line for the throne, now the first in line, must take the duty as queen. She has to win the trust of her people and fix the corrupt court, while also facing a dickhead who wants to kill her.

◇I've seen many reviews of people saying how unbearable and whiny Freya was, but I actually liked her character. I don't really see how she was whiny? To me, she was an awkward girl who never fit in the life of the court and royalty. A girl that just wanted to work in her lab and make new scientific discoveries to help people. She wasn't a perfect snowflake and that was really refreshing. I loved how she had to adjust to this life of royalty and how she goes from being this awkward girl who can't even walk without tripping and flinching and stuttering over her words to a strong, confident, and a fair queen to her people. Freya was fucking adorable.

※What I seriously hated, was the plot. But honestly, it was good. okay that made no fucking sense. Thisfocuses way too fucking much on boring political shit and so much science. More than half of this book is Freya doing a scientific discovery and having political arguments. It was sOOOOO fucking boring, like I seriously did not expect that, nor did I want to read about it. But if you like political and science-y books, I'm sure you'll love it.

The fuck is this romance. Freya and Fritzy, or whatever the fuck his name is, didn't fall in love until more than halfway through the book. Them suddenly "liking each other" was so thrown in out of no where bc there is no development for their romance and we literally know nothing except that they work together in a lab, and THERE AREN'T ANY JUICY DETAILS, THE FUCK. Their fucking romance just blossomed out of nowhere. And I didn't even like Fritzy bc his character was so underdeveloped imo.

●However, I loved the female friendship in this book. Honestly, goals, there is no girl hate, which is refreshing.
●Freya loves her cat and literally risks her life for the cat. fuck yes.

Overall, this book had great potential, but it wasn't executed well.


This was disappointing because I was super excited and had high expectations for this, but it was still a fun read nonetheless.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,633 followers
April 3, 2017
I tried, I really did and some things I loved but mostly I couldn't get into it and that makes me sad.

The book has a beautiful cover that actually goes with what's in the book.

Freya is thrust into being Queen when everyone at the castle is killed. Well, almost everyone. Freya was wayyyy down the line to become Queen and it was very scary for her.

I loved that she was into making things in her science lab. I loved her friend Naomi and her cat.

But I just couldn't get into this book. I have been picking it up and reading a few pages and putting it back down for a little while now and I just had to get it done.

I will say I enjoyed the end very much so there is that.

I'm happy for all of the other people out there that loved the book =)

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,056 followers
April 3, 2018
I had a very entertaining time reading this book. I really enjoyed reading from Freya's perspective and watching her try to unravel this murder mystery is pretty exciting. This book was, somehow, not quite what I expected it to be, but nonetheless I had a great time reading it. What threw me off balance is that the book does not feel like a fantasy book but more like a Historical Fiction or Mystery novel.

We follow Freya as she is crowned queen (in the most unsettling circumstance possible) and as she grows into the title that was never meant to be hers. Freya becomes queen as the king along with all of his 22 successors are poisoned. Many people believe that Freya was the one who poisoned them as a part of her grand scheme to become queen. Whereas in reality, Freya's dreams of going to a far off land to study science have been stolen from her in exchange for a position she never wanted, and a target on the back of her head.

I liked Freya's personality, she is a simple person who is truly concerned for the well being of her people and would go as far as to risk her life to proyect those she loves.
There is always that slight claustrophobia that comes with being an introvert in a room full of people, but with Freya her immence stage fright accompanied by that feeling puts her in a situation in which she can barely breathe, which makes it very hard for her to be queen her people want.

The people at court do not accept her for who she truly is. To them she's the girl who never never fit in with the glamour and the politics of the court ,the girl who was never supposed to rule. They don't realize that the fact that she didn't study court politics makes her the most genuine ruler they could hope to encounter.
Watching her try to secure her position and understanding the workings of her court is interesting, but more than that I found myself trying to figure out who the murderer was. I had my suspicions the whole time and turns out I was right but seeing the protagonist making her way to the culprit was very engagi1ng.
This book was tagged fantasy by a lot of people but now that I have read it I realise I recommend it to Mystery lovers more than I would recommend it to Fantasy lovers. I rate it 4 stars.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
December 1, 2017
Long May She Reign was amazing! Way more than amazing than I thought it would be! I loved the entire story - I mean, I couldn't put down this book guys! I was basically attached to it. Then there's the whole Freya being queen and the title Long May She Reign it definitely reminds of the TV show Reign because they always said that in the show. Plus people have tried to kill the Queen in that show - even poison her.

I don't really know what else to say about this book other than I did not see the murderer coming at all. I never thought it was the one person who murderer almost everyone in line for the throne. I was shocked and in awe and then I was completely satisfied with the ending. Again, I loved absolutely everything about this book. I totally recommend Long May She Reign to everyone! I wish there was a second book though..
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews139 followers
June 2, 2018
This book is like the princess diaries meets murder mystery.

What drew me to this book was the stand-alone aspect. There are rarely fantasy stand-alone books and sometimes I am not in the mood to read multiple books to find out how a story ends. Unfortunately, there was no fantasy in this but I still enjoyed it in general

What I liked
- I liked the plot in general: awkward, science-loving girl called Freya just wants to be a scientist and far away from the court. She never saw herself being queen because she was 23rd in line for the throne. Unfortunately, an accident during the King’s party left all the people in front of her to die, making her automatically the queen. Now not only does she have to learn to act like a queen, she also has to solve the murders.

- I like a good mystery so I loved trying to figure out who might have been the killer. Could it be the king’s illegitimate son? Or the girl who is next-in-line for the throne after Freya? or a group of people who hate the royals and would do anything to get rid of them? There were so many suspects and she herself was a suspect to other people.

- I liked Freya: she was awkward, overthinks, has social anxiety, and just relatable in general.

What I didn’t like
- Like I mentioned above, Freya overthinks which I could relate to but sometimes, it was too much. She can think about something simple for pages and pages. It got annoying sometimes

- The reveal was kinda anticlimactic: I guessed who it was (to be fair I suspected everyone so no one would have surprised me) but even the reasons why they did it was not satisfying to me and somethings did not make sense

Overall, although I liked it, it’s one of those books that did not have any impact. I would probably forget all about it soon (I can’t even remember any names. I had to search the name of the MC).

P.S. Can we stop calling a book 'fantasy' because it has kings and queens?? I am tired of expecting magic and shit in books and getting none 😫😫. There is no fantasy element in this. Actually, it was the opposite because it was science-based historical fiction
Profile Image for Lonleypurplecat.
290 reviews22 followers
Want to read
July 25, 2015
Please don't make her stupid blushing violet that somehow creates a love triangle with two (hot) idiots.
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,985 followers
August 10, 2017

I was going to be nice and rate this two stars, but then my usual acid self got the better of my decent one, and so here we are. I finished Long May She Reign about a couple of hours ago, and each and every time I thought about it in these two hours, my mind stayed blank. If I had to choose only two words to describe this book, I'd choose inordinately trite.

The premise is delicious, and if the cover wasn't that gorgeous, I'd say it also was the only thing that made me feel so drawn toward this book. Oh no, wait, that and the fact that this is a standalone—a YA fantasy standalone? I mean, how many of those do we see? Therefore, inevitably, I was ready to fall head over heels for it, I truly was. But then flat writing; sloppily written characters and predictable plot came along and ruined my party.

•General desolation aside, what really made up my mind to take a star off is the number of pages I was basically forced to skim. I've found that, when engaged with a book, my brain works in a funny way: if I don't like/am not interested in what I'm reading, it just refuses to follow it. Sometimes I feel like I'm physically unable to complete the sentences. I read half of it, and then my eyes dart somewhere else on their own volition, while my brain moves forwards on the next thought. I know there must be a fault of mine somewhere in there, but when I say it's not my fault, I mean it with as much sincerity as I can. So long story short: Long May She Reign bored me to tears. I'd rather have been doing anything else. It caused me physical to finish it and I managed it only because I skimmed so much I reached the end in a ridiculously short time.

➽ I'm so, so sorry, but Long May She Reign is a book I can't recommend. I know hearing the word “standalone” and reading that beautiful blurb can prove enough to convince you to give it a try, but I'm honestly convinced you can waste your time in way more amusing and far less irritating ways.
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,500 followers
October 8, 2017
WrensReads Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book.

The main character was a pretty great main character. I loved that her passion wasn’t something artsy like most young-adult heroines are; it was science and her thought process was like someone who would be a scientist.

So the whole story starts with someone killing basically all of the linage to the throne, including the king and his immediate family, with a poisoned cake. Only the bastard of the king, our main girl Freya, her best friend Naomi and her father lived basically.

After being moved to a safe house, everyone is scared to eat anything because no one knows who poisoned and killed the line to the king. And no one even knows anything about this new “queen” and if she is even worthy of the throne.

I will say that this was a good read. Do I find myself reading it again? Probably not. And I’ll tell you why: there wasn’t any real action. The plot is super driven by the mystery of who killed everyone and Freya becoming the ruler she has to be. But there wasn’t a huge war, there wasn’t a love-triangle... there was only deceit and mystery and a girl coming into herself.

For me, that isn’t really enough for me to absolutely love a book. But it was an interesting read and it did keep my interest for the time that I read it.

But... like, where were the dragons? lolol

WrensReads | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


I have a theory..... who’s read this? Is it predictable or am I going to get slapped by a twist?


Buddy read with The Roommate who Keshaed with me because it's been a week since we did a buddy read.
Profile Image for Anja H..
733 reviews449 followers
March 31, 2017

"You have to weed the garden before you can plant flowers, must you not?"

Well, this book didn't turn out the way I expected it to.
They compared this to The Queen of the Tearling and I loved that series (except for the ending, WHAT WAS THAT?!), but honestly, they are nothing alike in my opinion except for the setting. A common girl unexpectedly becoming queen and having to find her way. That's pretty much where the similarities end.
That doesn't mean I didn't like this though, because I definitely did enjoy this!

Review coming soon!
Profile Image for Tricia Levenseller.
Author 15 books12.6k followers
January 11, 2019
I have never read a story about an introvert. And not just that, but an introvert with crippling social anxiety. It was so refreshing to see myself in the story! The political intrigue is fabulous, and the book has just the perfect pinch of romance to tie everything together. This is definitely a quieter book, but one I highly enjoyed and desperately needed.
Profile Image for Lexie.
222 reviews196 followers
August 13, 2016
This was honestly so good, I should have traded more than a vague promise of good behavior for an ARC.

Standalone fantasy. It's where all the good one-shot plots have escaped.

Review to come when the aforementioned good behavior allows it.

Bottom line: it's more than just a pretty face cover.
Profile Image for Sa96ar .
25 reviews60 followers
Want to read
July 12, 2016
the title reminded me of Reign the TV show & i LOVE that show soooo.... :")
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
February 7, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I couldn’t be queen. I couldn’t. So many people would have to die for me to inherit the throne, and they couldn’t be gone.”

This was a YA fantasy story featuring a girl who was never meant to be queen.

Freya was an okay character, and I liked how she used her strengths to her best advantage, even when it didn’t seem obvious how she could possibly do that.

The storyline in this was about the King and his court all being killed by poison, and Freya who was twenty-third in line to the throne suddenly becoming queen. We then had a bit of mystery over who had killed everybody, and Freya had a lot of issues with knowing how to be queen and knowing how to rule a kingdom. We did get a little touch of romance, but not a lot, and although the pace was a little slow, the story was enjoyable.

The ending to this was quite action-packed, and probably the best part of the book for me.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Heather.
319 reviews288 followers
June 5, 2017
3 stars
Review to come

Good read but not epic. A little bland but not bad.

I enjoyed the read.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews369 followers
February 5, 2017
3.5 Stars!

I was drawn to this story after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis and that fascination, that curiosity just grew after the first chapter and even more so the further I got into the story.

The fact that this is a stand alone, made it even more appealing. The simple truth that it was somewhat addicting and hard to put down, even better.

Let's face it, there are very little stand alone novels out there lately. Instead the market of both adult and young adult, are riddled with duologies, trilogies, and series, and while I love them, it is nice to have a read once in a while that you know will be all done, all wrapped up in one sitting. Add in a protagonist that is every bit as compassionate as she is headstrong and smart, you have a story that was down right irresistible.

I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed this and I can't even completely say why other than it was just really fun and downright entertaining. It wasn't a completely new concept but it was a well written one and that mattered more to me than anything else. These days having a read that is just good and gives me what I want just when I want it, seems to matter more than originality or unique design.

If you are looking for something that will let you get away for awhile, entertain, and just let you have a good time, this is the read for you.

*ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for ☆Stephanie☆.
342 reviews42 followers
March 25, 2017
Title: Long May She Reign
Author. Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2017 (Feb 21)
Genre: YA Fantasy

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA's Tumblr, or my Goodreads page 

My Review:

Ok. You all know I'm a sucker for a pretty cover. 9 times out of 10 it actually works for me. Really. The wrapper matches the inside and I'm a happy girl. I'm a coverwhore but a lucky one.

This was not one of those times. 

Thank goodness I got this from Overdrive...if I had bought this, I would have been disappointed. (This is why I mainly only buy books that I have read). With limited funds, I must be discretionary with my money.

I had to cleanse myself of the recent contemporary read with some fantasy...and I had really been looking forward to this book. It was so pretty, and it was fantasy, and it was about a princess...and then I started reading. And realized it was a "who dun it" mystery...and I thought...

But let me just tell you about Long May She Reign first before I tirade.

Freya is a scientist. She has no interest in frivolity and when she must attend court for the King's birthday, she's reminded why she's so lucky NOT to be in line for the throne. She's awkward and says the wrong thing all the time. If it wasn't for Naomi, her only friend and Partner-In-Crime (her science PIC), she would have no one but her father. Her mother died long ago, and he tries to encourage her simply to fit in.

When Freya has an idea she must try in her lab, she and Naomi run back to Freya's basement lab to test the theory. She plans go return to the extravagant party, but falls asleep mid-experiment.

When she awakes, her father busts in, surrounded by guards, and informs Freya that she is now Queen. A terrible crime has been committed and everyone before her in line for the throne is dead. 

Freya is now Queen. By default.

But that doesn't mean Freya is safe.

Whoever killed the King and the others at the party is still at large. Freya is essentially a walking target. Was it an accident putting her on the throne, as she was meant to be at the party? Or was it deliberate? The King's illegitimate son doesn't trust her, and either does the King's best friend...but that also could be a cover, as ANYONE could be a suspect.

Even her own father.

As Freya tries to expose the person responsible for the multiple deaths, she must deal with suspicious nobles, unhappy peasants, and a fathef who tries to make Freya just like the old queen. 

Are they taunting her when they shout, "Long may she reign?"

Is it Classroom-Appropriate?

I guess it is, as there is material you could use. I came up with a rating system today to clear up different levels of classroom appropriateness, as I've always wanted a way to express it simply at the end of my two cents. 

Since I wanted to stick with my POP theme, I decided to make a teacher graphic...and who's the best Professor of them all?


Thata right, I picked Dumbledore to help make decisions on classroom use of YA books. 

Now, I'll be using this first for this book, so hold tight. Long May She Reign doesn't have what seems like a specific era, so there's no cultural significance. The murder mystery is an interesting angle, if you are into that kind of thing, but I can't see a use for it in a classroom. Freya's "queenly" transformation could be a good lesson, as is the different experiments she creates. She discusses the Scientific Method, demonstrates all the processes for testing chemicals, etc. as she tries to find a way to detect poison. But that's pretty much all that can be extrapolated from the novel. 

So when it comes to classroom appropriateness, I give Long May She Reign:

As in yes, but there are better choices. It could work, but why try when you can find something much better to use? If you're determined, then there are some avenues listed, but it's not going to get you far with material.

Age Range

There's no Lexile score for this book, and there aren't any instances of steamy moments or swearing. This book is as PG as it gets. I would say as young as 12 as long as they could keep attention on the murder plot, which was even hard for me to do. But it's definitely a book middle-grade readers could grab and you wouldn't have to worry about content. The "romance" between Freya and one of the characters involves some kissing. Some very light kissing. That's it. 

End Result:

I'm not into murder mysteries. The minute I realized what I was reading was mainly all about solving the "who dun it," and that there would be nothing else for me to focus on, a lost a significant amount of interest in the book. If you LOVE murder mysteries, I would say this would be great for you....but then why read this when you could read a REAL mystery novel? I mean, seriously? I read fantasy for the romance and action and adventure, and Long May She Reign had none of that. Even the ending fell flat. By the time the mystery was solved, I didn't even care anymore. 

It wasn't bad, and it wasn't good, so you know what that means...a big fat "meh" from me and ★★★☆☆. 

Yup. That's all for that book. Hopefully moving on to something that will lift me up (and I was having such good book luck so far! Dang it!)

Hang tight for my giveaway...it's coming! There will be more stuff in the meantime, but it should be next Friday, so mark your calendars! (I know you won't, but I had to say it...give me points for trying, at least!)

What did you think of Long May She Reign? Do you like murder mysteries? Yes, I loved the movie "Clue" btw: awesome 90s movie everyone should see at some point in their lives. 

Off to find a new book! Ta! 
Profile Image for Sara Saif.
543 reviews222 followers
March 5, 2017


I really seriously found this book mesmerizing. Just LOOK at that cover. My brain refused to find any faults. Context is one of the hundred things that affect how you feel about a book. The one I read before this was absolute rubbish so compared to that, this was, without a doubt, splendid. I will, however, stress that Long May She Reign is extraordinary and refreshing in its own right.

The genre may be fantasy but there is surprisingly little of that, there’s just one element in the book that vaguely reflects this aspect. Nevertheless, this lack of fantasy hardly deters it from being brilliant, even though I did pick it up because it was marked in that category. It���s more of a murder mystery with politics and palace intrigue, narrated by a relatable and admirable heroine whose development and growth as a person is absolutely wonderful. The book is made all the more enjoyable by the fact that it’s a standalone. It wraps up quite nicely.

Freya is a budding scientist who is a distant cousin to the king and very far in the line of succession. She despises the intricacies and wastefulness of court life, preferring instead to keep to herself and also has mild panic attacks for fear of being in public. Her life is spared by accident when during the king’s birthday celebration a mass poisoning kills almost the entire members of court including the king and all in line to succeed him before Freya.

The focus is entirely upon court politics and the challenges of being a young and unwilling queen; ruling an unstable kingdom and solving the mystery of the mass murder. Besides Epira, the country in question, there is no mention of other kingdoms. Freya being an inventor and conducting experiments suggests that the world is somewhat on the path to advancement but there is nothing besides that. In the case of this book, it works. I, for one, was completely satisfied with the amount I was given on the world-building front.

Secondly, the system of belief in the book, which probably is what makes it a fantasy novel, leaves something to be desired. They are called “the Forgotten” and they’re invoked as being superior beings that lead the kingdom a long time ago and still watch over it. The people aren’t necessarily religious or devout and some don’t even believe in them but all still use a measure of respect while talking about the Forgotten.

“Rickben, the peacemaker. Elandra, the fierce. Garret, the trickster. Valanthe, the just. They had ruled Epira when it used to be better, but abandoned it in disgust at the kingdom’s growing corruption. Now only a few relics remained, miracles of architecture and engineering, a reminder of how great the kingdom had once been and could be again.”

I found this to be a tad weird because the history of Epira and the Forgotten was never elaborated beyond this point and in a world that was decidedly scientific and had no magic or anything of the sort, this detail seemed to be out of place. It didn’t quite fit. I feel there should have been a little more to it or that it shouldn’t have been added in the first place. It just seemed like an element put in there for the sake of making it a fantasy book.

I adored Freya. She might have sounded a bit paranoid in the beginning but I quickly understood and related to her discomfort. She had panic attacks around people which is nothing to take lightly. She lacked self-confidence and had an extreme fear of being put front and center. I cannot describe how realistically, believably and beautifully she overcame her fears and came into her own. She learned to play to her own strengths, grew self-confidence and never hesitated to say or do the right thing even if sent her heart thumping painfully. It’s the small things like these that make me connect to a character instantly, it’s how I get inspired and take courage from them. Her sciencey nature made her think rationally, assess the situation and find answers. Solving the mystery with her was rewarding and fun.

The book has strong female friendships and a romantic interest that is never the center of attention but sweet nonetheless. Ultimately, it’s a character driven story and a darn good one at that.

Profile Image for Chelsies Reading Escape.
631 reviews363 followers
April 5, 2017
This world was pretty easy to understand but it didnt have any magic or fantastical elements which was disapointing. I think its more of a historical fiction with a mystery but it is marketed as a fantasy standalone. I liked the whole mystery aspect of trying to figure out who killed all the nobles but someones review on Goodreads ruined it for me when I was only about 20% of the way through the book. The killer was named right at the top of their review so I couldnt miss it while I was scrolling through all the reviews to add friends.

I loved that the main character Freya was into science and that she built herself a new lab to figure out how to detect poison. I liked that she was intelligent and cared about her people enough to try to overcome her anxiety and do the right thing. I also really enjoyed Freyas friendship with Naomie. It felt very authentic but I wanted to see them spend more time together. The deceased Kings son Fitzroy wasnt at all what I expected but I enjoyed his interactions with Freya. I thought they were cute together and I appreciated that it wasnt insta love.

I felt like Freyas father was a little too eager to get her crowned but I liked how she tried to fight him and the councils control over her. They were pretty frustrating when they tried to prevent her from ruling. I never knew what to think of Madeline sometimes she came off as fake and sometimes she seemed like she genuinely cared. I didnt like her cousin Sten but Holt seemed nice enough. I enjoyed all of the court intrigue but there wasnt enough action in my opinion. I was happy too see that some of the people on the council were women.

The writting flowed nicely and the pace was alright. Sadly, knowing who the murderer was had a pretty big effect on my enjoyement. The mystery is a pretty big aspect of this story so knowing who did it took that all that suspense away. Besides that I think the cover is absoluetly freaking stunning. Definitely one of my favorite covers so far this year. Im not a big historical fiction fan but if a fantasy type historical fiction book with a murder mystery sounds like something you would enjoy then I think this is worth a try.

*received in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Beth.
3,129 reviews262 followers
March 1, 2017
Freya is the girl that shouldn’t have become queen. When someone poisons the court, Freya misses the attack because she bowed out to get in some chemistry time in her homemade lab. Now, she is thrust into political intrigue, a position of power and is surrounded by someone who wants her dead.

Freya has no idea how to be queen. She struggles with her new circumstances and must learn to overcome her shortcomings in order to become a good ruler.

The story was a little slow going but in the end I liked it. It even includes a dash of romance.

Long May She Reign was more historical mystery than fantasy but very enjoyable.

I received this ARC copy of Long May She Reign from HarperTeen in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication February 21, 2017.

Written by: Rhiannon Thomas
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
ISBN-10: 0062418688
ISBN-13: 978-0062418685
Genre: Scifi | Fantasy | Mystery

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/long-...
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Long-May-Reign...
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Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Scrill.
407 reviews204 followers
March 17, 2017
“Still slightly drained from all the interaction, still slightly unsure of what people might do next, but something had clicked, some knowledge that I could actually do this, I could be queen the way I wanted, and the consequences would be whatever the consequences would be.

Long May She Reign is a story about a girl who was 23rd in line to the throne to suddenly find herself queen. A massacre on the court leaves Freya the next in line after she luckily gets by without being poisoned. Now, a girl who had no intention to even stay in court has been forced to make a choice either she refuses being queen, essentially making her a target for whomever actually does take the throne, or take on the job and give up her dreams.

As a fantasy novel there wasn’t very much world building. The majority of the story was spent within a castle or fort. There is a little religious culture that is told about the past rulers, the Forgotten, of the city that left the country because it was succumbing to worldly values. That’s all that is really told about them, except a few minor details here and there that helped the story along. I was never quite sure why they were called the “Forgotten” since they are more likely to be the “Remembered” since many people worshiped them. Maybe I skimmed past that part.

The characters themselves were done well enough. Each person had their own personality and you do get a little attached to poor Freya. As the story progresses you get to see her transform from timid girl who basically has enochlophobia and slowly learns to be the spotlight among many people. She faces her fears and learns to have a spine.

Part of the story was the character development of Freya. While the other part was the mystery. A classic, who done it? As the story progresses Freya herself investigates the murders and slowly through research and science discovers who was behind the massacre. The mystery is well written, as there are times you think you know who it was, and turns out it wasn’t. Over and over again your suspicions are tested until the truth finally is revealed. The entire time through the book you are thrown this way and that due to everyone’s suspicious behavior, you really don’t know who it really could be, as anyone could have done it.

There were a few issues with the book that I just couldn’t get over.

The first one was partially visually. For some reason there were so many words italicized. I understand doing it occasionally to help stress certain thoughts, but I felt it was a little overdone, and actually took away from how it was written.

The second was Freya’s actions. Why was she the one doing all the investigating, and why did she have to sneak around to do it? It’s normal to have an investigation, and I know she wants to be involved, but why wasn’t someone else doing it for her and informing her the findings?
The third was the dead king’s actions. I understand why the king wanted to have control over his party, but why would it be expected for him to be in charge of where he picked ingredients to come from? Isn’t it enough to say, “I want a gold cake, make it happen”. I would never expect the king to be ordering the sugar, flour, etc.

Besides these small details, I found the book a little slow but was intrigued to find out who the culprit was.
Profile Image for  ••Camila Roy••.
161 reviews49 followers
March 12, 2018
RATING: It’s actually 4.75 stars, but that's basically 5 stars so whatevs.

This had been on my TBR for a long time and thank god I was finally in the mood to pick it up. I loooooved it!!!

What’s this about you ask? 👉🏻 Freya was never supposed to be Queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace. But when the King and his closest relatives are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself in the throne. How will she rule when there’s a murderer on the loose and she can’t trust anyone?

I related so much to the main character. Her whole thought process in general was honestly me😅. Also, I loved the plot and the characters, specially Fitzroy. His interactions with Freya were the cutest thing ever💕

However (because Lord knows there’s always a BUT with me and fantasies) I had issues with the ending. I enjoyed EVERYTHING about this book EXCEPT the ending. Once again, too easy. Why is there never an epic final battle???! It’s not like I like violence but sometimes we get so much buildup and then nothing happens.

Maybe I’m just really really demanding 😂. Anyways, I do recommend this, it is one of my favorite books of the year so far.❤️
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,297 reviews342 followers
March 12, 2017
About: Long May She Reign is a fiction novel written by Rhiannon Thomas. It was published on 2/21/17 by Harper Teen, an imprint of Harper Collins, 432 pages. The genres are fantasy and young adult. This book is intended for ages 13 and up, grades 8 and up. According to Harper Collins’ website, the company is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, originally founded by two bothers, James and John Harper in New York City in 1817 and currently has publishing operations in 18 countries.

My Experience: I started reading Long May She Reign on 3/7/17 and finished it on 3/11/17. This book, unfortunately, failed to grab my attention as much as the synopsis did. Throughout the book, I feel like I was reading a mystery & suspense book instead of a fantasy book. There were hardly any fantasy in place. There were talks of The Forgotten, but there were no actions made. There were science experiments to test the poison or a chemical reaction but that’s more like crime scene investigation. This book is an okay read and I was not thrilled by the happenings in it.

The story follows Freya, an awkward and anti-social girl, even at the age of over 20, she still couldn’t fit in. She is 23rd in line to the throne. She likes scientific experiments and is working toward creating a heat warmer. She attends the King’s birthday but sits alone and when an idea strikes, she sneaks off to go home to her lab to try the experiment. Late that night, her father came rushing looking for her with horror on his face. Her father feared she was dead because everyone who attended the King’s birthday celebration ended up dead. Freya is now crowned Queen of Epria. As she struggles to the challenges of being Queen, she is left to face with a lot of struggles the King left behind. The King spent more money than he can afford, the citizens are sent to prison for the inability to help pay for the funeral, an opposition is being blamed for the mass murder of the King and his court, etc. Queen Freya wants to take it upon herself to figure out who carry out the mass murder because she couldn’t trust anyone.

Queen Freya is unlike any Queen I have read. She sets up a scientific lab in the old torture chamber to conduct her scientific experiments. She doesn’t care for beauty or fashion as long as she can get the job done. I like how she prefers to have collected all proofs before arresting someone. I like how she trusts herself rather than be swayed by others. I like that she gets her hands dirty instead of having someone do it for her. I like her friend Naomi and other supporting characters. The suspense is great and I almost couldn’t guess whodunit. The genre should’ve been thriller/mystery/suspense/science fiction instead of fantasy because there is hardly any fantasy in this book. Queen Freya’s insecurities with her love interest is a bit naïve. I feel like she’s 15 sometimes instead of over 20. Her thinking, worries, and course of actions for war is too light. She chooses to spend a lot more time figuring out who the murder is than the time it takes to figure out how to protect the throne. I think this book could be better if toss out the queen and fantasy concepts and give Freya the title of private investigator or something.

Pro: mystery, investigation, science, strategy, suspense, easy to read, light hearted

Con: lack of fantasy & magic, murder investigation lead by a girl who likes science experiments hardly qualifies the expertise for the job of interviewing suspects

I rate it 3.5 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author, Rhiannon Thomas, the publisher, Harper Teen, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Ashley.
667 reviews716 followers
August 6, 2016

- It's not really a romance. There are a few bits and pieces, but it's ultimately sooo not the focus of the story, which is kind of appropriate.

- It seemed like it would be a fantasy book, but it's not really. I mean, it is, because it's about some imaginary land/kingdom. But I guess it didn't feel like a fantasy since it's so rooted in science and there's no magic.


- I really liked the overall story. This girl who never in a million years expected to be queen is suddenly queen.

- I liked the main character a lot. She was super down to earth and probably ended up being the best possible person who could become queen.

- It has a good mystery. The whole book is really a murder mystery. The MC is trying to figure out who killed everyone. I enjoyed her investigation!


- The ending felt anti-climactic to me. We went through so much to get to the end, then it just fell a bit flat.

- The book was missing a little X factor that would have made me truly love it. It wasn't a soul shattering, all-consuming type book. More like a fun, enjoyable read that may fade from my memory pretty quickly. I enjoyed it, but I don't see it lasting with me forever, if you know what I mean.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,711 reviews702 followers
February 19, 2017
2/5 stars

it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll read a book if it's compared to The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I liked the premise and was quite eager to read. Sadly, this was a bit boring.

It started out strong. I liked Freya and I really loved that she was a scientist. I loved her experiments and her devotion to her cat. I wanted to root for her.

I guess my hang up was the plot. Everything moved so slowly that I quickly lost interest. Even the few small reveals couldn't keep me captivated. And by the time I found out who was behind it, it seemed like too little too late.

Overall, I think it was the dense sections that bogged me down and kept me from devouring the story.

**Huge thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Vivianne.
338 reviews64 followers
November 1, 2017
“You have to weed the garden before you can plant flowers, must you not?”

Actual rating 2.75 stars!


I’d seen so many bad ratings for this book, so I got a little scared to read this. But I decided enough postponing, this book has been for over a half year on my tbr, I just need to start. I love that this is a YA fantasy standalone, I don’t see many of those. And the concept was really intriguing, but this story didn’t captivate me as much as I hoped, and I don’t particularly know why not. I actually don’t know how to feel about a lot of things. The romance was so superficial, the world building vague, characters flat and the plot was not intriguing enough. Although it also had some good elements, like the ending and the unfolding of the massacre murder, I still wasn’t impressed.

Contains spoilers!


Okay so, the beginning was quite good in my eyes. I really enjoyed reading from Freya’s pov. I found it so refreshing to have a person at court that isn’t that into all the fuzz. I could identify myself so well with her anxiety, this is how I feel at parties. Only, what I did not expect was that Freya got out of the massacre because she went home for a few hours for a science experiment. I found that a quite weak excuse in my opinion and I actually wished we, as a reader, were part of the massacre and got to read about this. Now it was like, “Freya, everyone is dead, you’re queen now” this was so sudden and weird in my opinion... I thought she woulId earn being queen for some reason. That she would, like the plot said, ‘escape’ the massacre, fight her way out, be present with it, done something about it.

After Freya finds out she is queen she is shipped to the fortress, and I don’t even remember what happens the next 250 pages. I can understand why a lot of people DNF this book, nothing happens and the plot was so boring and slow. I found to many pages dedicated to Freya going over things in her head, and doubting herself. There was not enough action, romance, character building and revealed of the world.

Another issue I had was if you get into this book expecting a fantasy you’re quite disappointed, at least I was. The world building was not a big part of this story, we found out on page 100!! What kingdom we’re in. There is no magic or captivating creatures or anything remotely interesting about this world. I was bored to tears. There is no history told, no religion revealed, no cities or other interesting nobles. It was just the same over and over and over. We do get told about this ancient ‘gods’? The Forgotten. But I didn’t quite understand this. I mean I liked the idea of this but it was not worked out well enough to be the solution to this problem.

What you do get is a little of a murder mystery/thriller sort of thing. And at first I quite liked that, although I soon discovered that this was taking over the whole plot, the only thing that mattered was finding the true killer.

The characters in this book were okay, although I found the side characters a little underdeveloped. However Freya was a-ma-zing! She grew and stood up for herself towards the end. I love how she gets out of situations and tries to make the best of it. She did not sit back and watched take the advisers over when she became queen and I loved it. She became so strong towards the end and a real queen. Another character I loved was Naomi, she was just such a dear friend to Freya. Their friendship was so genuine and believable. How cute is she that she would just sit in the same room as Freya with Dagney on her lap until the would fall asleep when Freya was working. And Dagney was also super great, I love it when there is a cat involved in the story and Dagney was super nice. But that was about it for the characters I liked. The other character were superficial, uninteresting and flat. Their motivations are not well explained.

I wasn’t a fan of the Stan, rebellion thing. For me it came out of nowhere that he started to attack the queen. I also think that if you include such an uprising then I need more information about it. We only get like snippets of information about where Stan is and how many man he has. But why? How? When?

The romance in this book… I just don’t know. The massacre suspicions really made me not want to trust Fitzroy. But I did think they were cute. Even though I found it a little bit of a puppy love. I also think there was not much shown of the romance and that makes it hard to judge.

After the 250 boring pages we finally find out what really happened and that actually blew my mind. I actually suspected everyone in this book, even her dad and Naomi, and to find out the king did this himself was actually so surprising. Although I did have my issues with this choice of Thomas because there is really no one to blame, all those people died without a cause and it was kind of an anticlimax in some way. I did suspect Madeline at some point because she had the motive but never saw this coming with the color and the painting and the cake, so that was creative. I loved that this shows what bragging and showing off can result in.

I also liked how the story unfolded, how Freya used her science and logic to resolve this problem, still not a fan of the forgotten. I liked that she showed mercy, and kindness. But it is quite an open ending, in my opinion the story only starts here. It was finally time for Fitzroy and Freya to come together, and we didn’t even get a kiss?! Finally ready to show the kingdom what kind of queen she will be and what she will change. And then it ends? Not that I want a sequel because noooo way can I deal with the slow plot again, but maybe we could at least have had a bit of an epilogue? With; “then years later”? It ended so sudden and though I also think that there was power in the last words I did found it a shame.
Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews938 followers
December 30, 2016

3.5 stars
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.
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