Long May She Reign

So a about a month ago I posted about terribly excited I was about Long May She Reign being released. I was realllllllly excited. I swore about not having my copy of Long Live the Queen about how all the other books in the series were out of print. Yeah, I whined. I don't care. I want to read them ALL. I considered pre-ordering it but I've had good experiences pre-ordering things (like somehow getting Colleen's first Gardella book a month before I was supposed to) and not so good experiences (getting books a couple of weeks after they were released). I opted for not pre-ordering. And then cursed a lot. Because a bookstore close to me was supposed to have several copies in stock. The website said they did, their in-store computers said they did. But nothing on the shelf. I was pissed. So after several days of tromping over to the bookstore I got tired and ordered it online. And got it just in time for the weekend. Damn good thing I read it over the weekend because it's kinda, well, raw.

I cried. More than once. Granted I had a crappy work week and I was tired which might have been part of it. But it's also raw. If you haven't read the other books in the series, and I've only read Long Live the Queen, I'm not sure it would have the same impact. And it has very obvious spoilers for Long Live the Queen. Some of which I'm going to talk about here.

SPOILERS for Long Live the Queen below. (But not for Long May She Reign...)

In Long Live the Queen Meg, whose mother is the first female president of the United States, is kidnapped by terrorists - Americans funded by Islamic extremists. LLtQ was published in 1989 so it pre-dates the post-9/11 terrorist attacks so don't roll your eyes about it. She was beaten (you may even say tortured) and then left to die after her mother refused to negotiate. She escaped death but only through her own brutal courage. LLtQ is a violence and raw book. Long May She Reign picks up where it left off.

Meg is, obviously, still dealing with everything that happened. And as you might guess, not particularly well. On top of all the emotional and mental scars that she's dealing with she has serious physical scars too. Her knee is totally messed up. She may never walk normally again. Her hand is completely shattered. And so is her spirit.

She locks herself in her room, going out as little as possible. But eventually she tries to force herself to go forward. And so off she goes to college. How will she deal with being a freshman in a dorm? How will she deal with being able to trust the Secret Service again (it was one of the agent in her detail that sold info that allowed her to get kidnapped). Will she heal at all? What about her family? It's been torn apart by this too. Will Meg, and everyone else, be able to forgive her mother for refusing to negotiate?

Like I said, it's emotionally raw. And long. It clocked in at 720 pages. That's a lot of emotions.

I do recommend it but if you can get your hands on the other books in the series first I'd suggest you read them in order. Or at a minimum read LLtQ first. Trisha at The YAYAYAs didn't though and she did fine.

Also, note that this book contains potential triggers - predominantly for violent acts and eating disorders. Technically YA but very mature YA.

It's also a book that lingered with me for a few days and I had a hard time moving on to something else.

And although I finished it a week ago I'm still trying to figure out if Ellen Emerson White left the door open for a fifth book. I think she may have.... If so I hope that it's not another 18 years away.