Long Live the Queen

Ah, Long Live the Queen. I know I've said it a hundred times at least but I'm so bloody happy that Ellen Emerson White got these books republished. This is the first time I've read Long Live the Queen since I was a teenager (and I'm guessing fairly early teens). I read it for the first time when I was 10 and I really don't think I had any business reading it at that age (not that I think it hurt me in any way, I think it just didn't fully understand it).

In this installment of the President's Daughter series the family is just starting to settle down after the assination attempt on her mother. It's the spring of the same school year - just before prom and graduation. Meg and Josh are now just friends rather than a couple and are struggling to find that friendly ground. Meg still plays tennis like a fiend.

One day when she's leaving school Meg is kidnapped by terrorists. It's violent, lot of guns. This whole book is pretty violent. There's physical violence, talk of rape, pretty graphic injuries (including one that is self-inflicted in a "holy crap!" type of hero moment). Since it's no secret that Meg does not die I can tell you that she survives. She's definitely got "physical limitations" as her doctors tell her in the book but she's alive.

And she saves herself. There's no S.W.A.T. team that sweeps in. No FBI squad. No Marines or National Guard. Meg survives because she's Meg - she kicks ass and takes names. She doesn't give up. And the bad guys don't get caught. (It's so not Hollywood is it?) I think that's why I liked this book so much when I saw younger and still like it so much. Meg is so not a damsel in distress. She survives with some luck, her brain and a lot of determination.

Furthermore, after all that Meg isn't sunshine and roses. She's deeply scarred by her experience - physically, mentally and emotionally. She's a very real character. I'm not surprised that this book was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults selection after its 1989 release.

I've slowly been rereading Long May She Reign. It's twice as long as the rest of the books in this series and I don't feel the same pressing need to read it as I did the others. But I think Long Live the Queen will always been my favourite in the series. Is it wrong of me to hope for a fifth book?