Freya was never meant to 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.
The story begins with someone poisoning the King and his court. Freya devotes a lot of time to solve the mystery of who did it. There’s talk of death, but nothing bloody or gruesome happens. Freya wins the final battle with science and without killing anyone. She prevents death sentences and promotes life sentences to prison, or banishment.
Frey kisses William; she admits to liking him and several times, he’s the topic of discussion between her and her two friends. The two spend nights in her lab – nothing happens.
The King’s affairs are mentioned.
Frey becomes Queen; her word is law. She honours her Father, although she doesn’t rule him out as a suspect when she tries to solve the murders. At a point, she uses her authority as queen to overrule him (her moral compass might be slightly better than his… ).
Fitzroy is referred to as the King’s b*stard. Which he, in fact, is.
None specified, although references are made to the Forgotten, who are deemed to be like gods or deities. Freya does not wish to offend them, contemplates why many believe that they chose her to become queen. Her advisor is especially loyal to them and pays homage to them. At her coronation, Freya is crowned by a priest.
Overall feel: Such a fun read! Freya is an atypical princess (or not one at all, actually), and her logical, scientific mind is refreshing. She had many good intentions; solving the mystery of the murder, saving lives and preventing deaths, and advocating for her people. The former court had been corrupt; she seeks to change it for the better. She would gladly sacrifice personal comfort for the need of her people, tear down a castle for funds, face death for a chance that the people may have a chance. Some might deem her a little too perfect, but I enjoyed the goodness of her character. Long may she reign, indeed.