Title: Long May She Reign
Author. Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2017 (Feb 21)
Genre: YA Fantasy
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.