Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

 

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Freya is twenty-third (you heard right, 23rd) in line for the throne.  Tragedy strikes during a party that the current king was hosting and the whole line of succession before her is wiped out.  Suddenly, Freya is queen and insistent on finding the killer.  Oh and shes an inventor on the side.

 

The character development was nice to see in this book.  When we first meet Freya, she wants nothing to do with the ruling the kingdom or even going to the kings extravagant parties.  In fact, she would rather hole herself up in her make-do basement laboratory.  However, after she becomes queen and realizes the amount of debt the kingdom is in, she immediately starts thinking of new ways to fix their growing debt.  We also see that she is a compassionate ruler, after learning the town is being taxed for ridiculous reasons.

She goes from a timid character, letting her advisors do most of the work while she merely sits by and nods her head, to an outspoken queen who wants nothing in return other than knowing her kingdom is happy.

The mystery of who killed the line of succession is kept a secret very well.  I am impressed with how exceedingly difficult it was to figure out who the culprit is.  We also get to a look into basic chemistry whenever Freya conducts her expirements.

The small amount of romance is just that, small.  It doesn’t overwhelm the book, and it isn’t lacking either.   Fitzroy, who is the deceased kings bastard son, gets roped into helping Freya figure out who killed his father.  There is a bit of distrust in the two and Freya soon starts to trust Fitzroy with more than just information.   And Freya meets Madeline, who is her successor.

We know that Freya is a decent detective with all the information she throws at us.  She finds the back story and makes sure to make sure its a solid alibi before crossing any names off of a list.

I enjoyed this book.  It was definitely a good read for me.

  • 4/5 Stars
  • Mysterious and romantic
  • Great character development
  • Decent plot
  • Definitely recommended.

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood is Blake’s debut novel.

Frostbloods and firebloods are natural enemies in this world.  The king is being controlled by an evil entity called the Minax.  However the king is a frostblood with a vendetta to kill all of the firebloods in his hunt to find the Daughter of Darkness.

Ruby is a fireblood livng in a small village with her healer mother when the soldiers of the king raided the village and taking Ruby prisoner.  For half a year, Ruby is held prisoner until a handful of frostblood refugees break her out.  Confused, Ruby reluctantly agrees to go with and help the refugees destroy the throne, which wields the darkness, controlling the king.  Arcus and Brother Thistle, frostblood refugees, help Ruby control and master her fire.  However, some of the other refugees come to find out that Brother Thistle and Arcus are housing a fireblood.  Most of the residents are very iffy about Ruby putting their safety in danger.

Ruby is taken prisoner again but this time taken to the palace to be held prisoner.  She is forced to fight for her life against frostblood champions to get close to the king.  The king has his suspicion that Ruby is the Daughter of Darkness that he has been searching for.  Wishing to take Ruby as an ally, King Rasmus tried to convince her with the Minax’s help, they could rule the kingdom with an iron fist.  Arcus then storms the kingdom with this followers, claiming he is the rightful king Arelius Arkanus.

This is a page turner, however it is predictable.  Arcus turning out to be Rasmus’s elder brother, thought to have died in a fire, comes out of no where to claim his throne.

Ruby is a weak teenager who doesn’t know how to control her gift, or even summon it unless she is mad.  She is afraid throughout most of the book to even summon her fire, which grew irritating, especially when Arcus would taunt Ruby. Towards the end of the book she learned how to use her fire to kill the frostblood champions she was going against, which drew the Minax towards her even more.

Blake does a phenomenal job describing scenes and how the characters look in her head.  Arcus’s face is burned and scarred due to an assassination attempt on his life when he was young.  Brother Thistle took Arcus  under his wing when he was banished from the kingdom.  Blake made sure to leave no loose ends in this novel, leaving me satisfied with finishing it.  However, the predictability of the book is a bit of an upset.

The character development was meager.  There was little improve on Ruby throughout the story.  She was just as scared at the beginning as she was in the ending.  She never seemed to be brave, just a poor forced soul that went along with the plan unwillingly.

  • 3/5
  • Decent read, although slightly predictable
  • Little character development
  • Some romance 


Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval is one of the most anticipated books for 2017 and I’m so glad I got a copy so early!

Scarlett and Tella are forbidden to leave the small island that they live on with their ruthless father.  When she was little, Scarlett dreamed of Caraval coming to their island, where the audience takes part in the performance.  Their father arranges a marriage for Scarlett with a man she has never met.  A mysterious sailor comes and whisks the two girls away for a five night escapade, where Tella is the prize.

Scarlett starts out following all the rules, because if she doesn’t her father would beat up on the person she loves the most, Tella.  After their invitation to Caraval arrives we stumble across a sailor who has a thing for Tella.  Scarlett tells her sister that Caraval is performing on a close island in a couple days.  However, Scarlett is supposed to meet her fiance in a week.  Scarlett determines that they will not be able to go to the show with enough time to make it back to meet her fiance.

Scarlett starts out as a character who abides by the rules that are set to stay out of any unnecessary trouble.  However during the five days she is in Caraval she learns she needs to break a few rules to get the prize.  She grows more confident in herself and in her own opinions.  The character development was very well thought out and portrayed as the book progressed.  Scarlett breaks out of her shell.  She goes from slightly timid and shy to strong, demanding, and determined.

Julian, the sailor, is a mass of mystery.  Throughout the book he disappears many times and leaves Scarlett on her own.  He claims he’s been through the game before and is looking for revenge against Legend, the caraval master.  He definitely gives off the definition of mysterious.  Garber defines him as tall, tan, and handsome.  But really, who describes their characters as pale and ugly, other than Stephanie Meyers.

Julian and Scarlett’s relationship remains pretty rocky throughout most of the book.  Most of the time, you can tell there is something between them but neither of them want to admit to such feelings.

We don’t see much of Tella throughout the book because she is the prize.  But she comes off at first as very coy.  At the end of the book it is revealed how manipulative AND coy she is.

The plot left very few loose ends, except for the cliff hanger at the end.  All off the plot twists made sense and they were well thought out.  The clues that were left for the character to figure out were not easily predicted.

  • 5/5
  • Very well written
  • Read it!
  • Interesting plot and characters.