Published: February 21st 2017 by HarperTeen
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.
When I saw this cover and read the blurb, I knew I had to read it! It had a lot of potential… but I feel like thats about as far as it went. I felt underwhelmed by the end of the book and the sense of “Is that it…?”
I’m going to start with the good (and the best) aspect of this book – and that would be Freya’s character development. I loved watching her grow from the nervous girl she was at the beginning to this strong and independent ruler by the end of the book. I loved watching her grow through her experiences and, at the same time, staying true to her core values – which she then twisted into the way the she ruled. I enjoyed the fact that she was interested in science, despite the fact everyone around her is a little skeptical about it and they don’t like it at first. She earned her respect from both the people and the nobles, stayed true to herself and came out of her shell so that, by the end of the book, we are faced with this strong woman who rocks at being queen!
I think my biggest issue with this book was that I felt like the plot underwhelmed by the end of the book. I feel like it took a little too long for the mystery to actually get anywhere and I feel like it all came together way too quickly by the end. I wasn’t convinced by the explanation or the person who did it and I feel like it could have been better thought out and better executed with a different culprit.
Whilst I think the ending was supposed to be left open to interpretation for the future, I feel like I was left with questions. I don’t understand why Freya did some of the things that she did and I feel like the book needed more closure than was actually given to me as a reader. I don’t like what she decided to with the culprit and I feel that absolutely no closure was given about the other character… I don’t want to say too much because of spoilers.
I also feel like sometimes the relationships between Freya and other people wasn’t entirely genuine? I felt like, at some points, she swapped Naomi out for Madeleine and Naomi is supposed to be her best friend. I also wasn’t entirely sure about the whole thing between Fitzroy and Freya was also a bit… iffy? I didn’t feel like there was a romantic connection between them – there wasn’t that swoon feeling… it was more like just friends, to be honest.
All in all, I felt like this book had a lot of potential, but it didn’t actually live up to that potential and I felt underwhelmed by the time I got to the end of the book. I gave this book 3/5 stars.