Author: Rhiannon Thomas

Divider

Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

September 4, 2017 Diversity 1, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon ThomasLong May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
Published by HarperTeen on February 21, 2017
Genres: YA, YA Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Goodreads
four-stars
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.

Diversity Rating: 2 – It’s a Start!

Racial-Ethnic: 0
QUILTBAG: 0
Disability: 4 (Freya has panic attacks and Madeleine has depression)
Intersectionality: 3 (Freya has to confront the massive economic class gap created by her greedy predecessors)

Really, I think I’ve made it clear that Thomas’s Wicked Thing duology, a Sleeping Beauty retelling that doesn’t skimp on the dragons, was my thing thanks to its character-driven first book and defiance of typical fantasy tropes. Of course I was going to read Long May She Reign! And ooooooh, it was just as good as I was expecting. You know that Beyonce gif from one of her songs that has her singing “Who run the world? GIRLS!” with an explosion happening behind her? Pretty much Long May She Reign in a nutshell.

Read more »

Divider

Review: Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

March 17, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Review: Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon ThomasKingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 23, 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: YA Books Central
Goodreads
four-stars
Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss. Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale.

But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.

Diversity Rating: NA (because I admittedly can’t remember)

Y’all know I’m all about feminism and not all that here for fantasy. For some reason, the two clash more often than I’d like thanks to copy-of-a-copy fantasies that overdo it on the patriarchies (see: Defy by Sara B. Larson, The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons) and I’d rather not choose. WHY NOT BOTH FEMINISM AND ORIGINAL FANTASY?

A little Spanish girl shrugs and asks

Well, A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas gave me both last year and I loved every page of it. Of course I’d hunt down a copy of the sequel! (aka I got one from my lovely friend Dahlia and then ended up with a second copy from YA Books Central.) The more plot-driven, discovering-the-truth nature of Kingdom of Ashes will do a great deal for readers who weren’t fans of the character-driven first book. Plus there are dragons.

A dragon from Games of Thrones get pet.

They aren’t like this one getting cuddled, though. These dragons have reduced an entire kingdom to a single city.

Read more »

Divider

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

February 12, 2015 Reviews 2 ★★★★½

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon ThomasA Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #1
Published by HarperTeen on February 24, 2015
Genres: Retelling, YA, YA Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

This is one of those books I got a review copy of despite expecting it to be merely an okay book. Why? Who knows. Maybe it’s my dislike of all things Disney and how fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty are now too intertwined with Disney to be considered on their own most of the time. Maybe it’s my general wariness for fairy tale retellings. Maybe it’s that the jacket copy doesn’t seem all that exciting. Whatever the case, I got the book anyway. My verbatim reaction when I finished reading was “Well, that was unexpected.” IT WAS. Thomas wrote the book I didn’t know I wanted and deconstructed the hell out of Sleeping Beauty while she was at it. Read more »

Divider