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 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 the 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.
She 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, she 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 advisers. 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.
Freya may be a member of the court of the kingdom of Epria, but she has little interest in social niceties; "much happier with equations and research," she greatly prefers conducting chemical experiments in her laboratory. Having taken the opportunity to slip away from King Jorgen's ostentatious birthday banquet, she later discovers that she is one of only a few survivors of a mass poisoning. With the majority of the court dead, Freya, formerly 23rd in line for the throne, is suddenly queen. While her advisors scheme, and an army gathers to oust her, Freya uses her wits, intuition, and scientific reasoning to attempt to find the killer. The suspects are many, ranging from the King's illegitimate son to a group of underground revolutionaries this is as much a murder mystery as it is a fantasy, and Thomas (A Wicked Thing) includes just enough background detail to give shape to Freya's world. Freya is an intelligent and resilient heroine who, when thrust into a position she never wanted, stays true to herself and champions the disenfranchised. Ages 13 up.