Rule
Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.Or rather, three unexpected options.Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she's already gone.Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady's maid and scheming her way out of the servants' chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she's done.When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny... to rule.Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.

Rule Details

TitleRule
Author
ReleaseSep 11th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780316515283
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Rule Review

  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review. “Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.” Whoever said this was Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars was 100% correct. Except, I quickly learned and remembered that Three Dark Crowns is done much better, and Pretty Little Liars is one of the most annoying shows to have ever aired on this planet we call Earth.Rule is a story about three girls, who have all been raised in different parts of this wo ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review. “Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.” Whoever said this was Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars was 100% correct. Except, I quickly learned and remembered that Three Dark Crowns is done much better, and Pretty Little Liars is one of the most annoying shows to have ever aired on this planet we call Earth.Rule is a story about three girls, who have all been raised in different parts of this world. Yet, their stories and locations are coming together when they all realize they are half-sisters, who were fathered by the King himself. And all these girls are harboring a very dark secret, but someone else secretly knows what each of these girls have done and is slowly letting them know. Oh, and all these girls must compete to win the crown, because the king’s health is quickly deteriorating. ➽ Zofi - Has lived her life with a band of Travelers, who never stay in one place for long. She also is in touch with her magical abilities and is not afraid to tap into them. ➽ Akeylah - Grew up East of the kingdom, believing she killed her mother during childbirth, and her “father” never let her forget it by constantly abusing her. Also, she is lesbian, pan or bi, but for sure likes girls. ➽ Ren - Lived under the king in Kolonya, being a maid to other royal women. She for sure knows the innerworkings for the palace and has some pretty powerful friends in the right places. Ren was easily my favorite sister. “Family either strengthens or kills you, nothing in-between.” I won’t lie, I was so intrigued by this at first, especially because the secrets are pretty damn good and extremely big. But after reading 300+ pages of annoying cat and mouse, I just didn’t care anymore. I truly believe this book had a lot of potential for me to enjoy, but the irritation outweighed the interest in the end. I will say that the story does move quickly, and I easily and effortlessly read this book. And these three storylines are told in alternating order, where the themes are pretty parallel; how they all get to the palace, their secrets, their romances (because you knew they were all going to have a romance), etc.Also, I knew there was a f/f relationship going into this, and you all know I’m forever and always here for all things f/f in fantasy, but this romance felt skeezy from the start. I’m just going to say it: the romance is between Akeylah and her father’s current wife, AKA: her stepmom. And they are close to the same age, and marriages are totally tools in this world to secure power instead of love matches, but you know what? It still felt really bad to read. I never thought that I wouldn’t enjoy a f/f, consensual, romance, but here we are. And that magic in this book is really not great, in my opinion. Like, not only is it really triggering for some, because you have to cut yourself open to harness the power, but it’s never fully explained and leaves too much to the imagination. Also, content and trigger warnings for self-harm, abduction, parental abuse (physical, verbal, mental), loss of a parent, death, murder, and war themes. Overall, this just wasn’t for me. And I truly hope with everything that it will be for you. I’ve seen some really glowing reviews for this one, so take my review with a grain of salt. But for me, personally, this was easily one of the most disappointing reads of 2018. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | TwitchThe quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Buddy read with Julie at Pages and Pens, Lilly at Lair of Books, & Elise at The Bookish Actress! ❤
    more
  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like I say this all the time, but sometimes you find a story that is so hyped, and has this gorgeous cover, and loads of marketing coverage, and between all of that, people start thinking, It’s got to be good, right? And then, the reviews start rolling in, and the responses are less excitable than we all hoped they would be, and I find myself wondering how many stories were given no marketing at all—better stories, stories that deserved the hype—to make room for one that didn’t. “There a I feel like I say this all the time, but sometimes you find a story that is so hyped, and has this gorgeous cover, and loads of marketing coverage, and between all of that, people start thinking, It’s got to be good, right? And then, the reviews start rolling in, and the responses are less excitable than we all hoped they would be, and I find myself wondering how many stories were given no marketing at all—better stories, stories that deserved the hype—to make room for one that didn’t. “There are a million shades of gray, especially when dealing with kings.” Sadly, this book is a prime example of that scenario. I almost passed on this one altogether, because my gut feeling was that it would be a disappointment, but when it went up on “read now” status on Netgalley, I decided I’d take a gamble, and man, did I regret that decision. I almost DNFed this so many times, but it was a quick enough read, with enough things that made me downright angry, that I had to finish it (plus, my buddy read partner and I agreed that it was opening up the floor for some hilariously salty rants/conversations, at least). All you really needed to know to tithe was the anatomy of your body and the lengths to which you could push it. My single biggest problem with this was the world-building—or the complete lack thereof, I should say. There’s a very important magic system in the story, yet we make it through almost the entire first half of the book before we get even a touch of history or explanation, and what we are given is nothing more than bread crumbs. The only things we learn about the world are vague explanations given through political debates, and the plot holes are absolutely blaring. Even if her father killed her, he could not escape this. Do your worst, Father. I’ve already done mine. There are some interesting aspects to the plot—such as the involvement of the Vulgar Arts, which one of our three ladies has committed herself to despite risk of certain execution—but even these bits weren’t explored nearly enough. I understand that it’s only the first book in the series, but I don’t believe in saving all of your world-building for the second book; to me, that’s not a sign of good writing. She was going to die. The same way she’d lived. Alone in a family of vultures on a cliff at the edge of the world. On top of the writing itself, very little of what happens lends to any suspension of disbelief. Characters constantly do big things and receive small consequences, if anything. One character takes on a fight she should realistically never win, and then nearly does win via cheating—which everyone is aware she is doing, yet nobody investigates. Even at the base level of the plot, when the three girls learn the big twist that they’re royalty, none of them are surprised or spend even a second’s thought in denial; they just go along with it without hesitation, which struck me as not only naïve, but also incredibly bizarre. The list goes on, but I won’t keep you here all day. Mother always said “the gods make jokes of us all,” but this was pushing it, even for them. The biggest things I want to talk about are the content warnings that I’m seeing very few reviews mention. This book deserves a huge content warning for self-mutilation, which is literally the basis of the magic that everyone in the story utilizes. On top of that, there are themes of child abuse, alcoholism, kidnapping, and royalty abusing commoners (including forcing famine on entire masses of people). The rest of these things are challenged, of course, but I wanted to be very clear in that, if you are triggered by depictions of self-harm, please proceed with caution! She could not develop feelings. Not for Rozalind. Not for her father’s wife. The last thing I want to mention (read: rant about) is the romance in the story. Each of the three girls has a love interest, and none of the blossoming relationships are even remotely enjoyable to watch unfold. One character is in love with her childhood best friend, but when we meet him, there’s no chemistry. Another character has a sexual history with a man from a neighboring area, who seems to genuinely care for her, but she spends the entire book acting like a spoiled child who’s been blinded by privilege every time he speaks to her. The third girl’s love interest is a woman, which should be great—yay, sapphic representation!—but falls short thanks to a nasty case of insta-love (as well as the fact that it’s the girl’s step-mother, which is a bit awkward).I genuinely didn’t mean for this entire review to turn into one massive rant, but I can’t help myself. This book was such a tragedy from start to finish, and while the ideas behind it were interesting at times, it failed terribly for me. When I started writing this review, I thought I would give the book 2 stars, but after working out all of my feelings onto paper, I’m realizing this is a 1.5-star read at most. If you don’t mind mediocre fantasy with a lot of plot holes, go ahead and give it a try, but if you’re someone who reads a lot of fantasy and has come to expect a certain level of depth, I don’t recommend picking up Rule.All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Little, Brown for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!Buddy read with the amazing, hilarious, salty Kaleena. ♥
    more
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.Three very different girls are called to the capital of Kolonya to find out they are the three illegitimate daughters of King Andros. They lived their whole lives ignorant to who their father was living lives that would be considered lesser than to the citizens of Kolonya and the outer Reaches. Now, King Andros is dying. He recently lost his heir and is in need of choosing a successor to the throne. The plan is to have the girls serv Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.Three very different girls are called to the capital of Kolonya to find out they are the three illegitimate daughters of King Andros. They lived their whole lives ignorant to who their father was living lives that would be considered lesser than to the citizens of Kolonya and the outer Reaches. Now, King Andros is dying. He recently lost his heir and is in need of choosing a successor to the throne. The plan is to have the girls serve in court with their father and eventually King Andros will select who he thinks will best rule Kolonya.Zofi is a traveler with no set home besides being with her band of travelers. They move throughout the outer Reaches setting up camp, never staying in one place for more than a few weeks. They are somewhat gypsy-like, treated unfairly, and looked down upon by all other people. Zofi hopes to be named heir so that she can change things for travelers.Akeylah lives in the eastern Reach with her abusive father and not so supportive siblings (they stand by while Akeylah gets beat). There are talks of a growing rebellion in the east. And Akeylah is just desperate to get out from under her father. So desperate, she does something she can never take back. It will change everything.Ren, short for Florencia, lived her life as a lady's maid in the city of Kolonya. She is constantly looking for ways to move up in life, saving up any information and secrets she stumbles upon by watching nobility from the sidelines. However she reveals the wrong thing to the wrong person leading to a catastrophe that will have consequences for Kolonya.Each girl has a secret that will threaten her very place in Kolonya as a possible heir. It doesn't take long for a mysterious blackmailer to show up and begin threatening to reveal their secrets. Will the girls find out who is doing the blackmailing and put an end to it? Which girl will be the next ruler of Kolonya? If the blackmailer has a say, it will be none of the three.On top of all these plot details, there is also some background to Kolonya that sets up more political intrigue. The Reaches won independence from Genal 400 years ago, though they've been at war ever since. Kolonya was set up as the capital in the center of the Reaches. This leaves the Reaches doing the fighting and taking any assault from Genal while Kolonya sits safely, unharmed in the center. Thus the internal political issues arise. And this explains the rebellion in the east. The only happy citizens are the nobility in the city who are ignorant to the goings-ons of the Reaches. Oh, and the king is currently married to a Genalese princess (making her queen) in an attempt to seal the current peace treaty between Genal and Kolonya.AND there's the magical system - a refreshing addition to this world that sets up some interesting plot lines. It's called the Blood Arts and to access them, one must tithe. Only those born in the Reaches can tap into them. Tithing gives extra boosts like speed, strength, armor, etc. There is a darker side to the Arts called Vulgar Arts that is considered worst than any physical crime.I was worried this would feel too similar to Three Dark Crowns, but it doesn't at all. And let me just clarify that I really enjoyed Three Dark Crowns....a lot, actually. Rule feels very much like it's own story. The world building sets up an entirely different kind of story - the main similarity being that both are YA fantasies and both have a set up where there are three girls and only one will be queen. Besides that, completely different.I really enjoyed each of the girls secrets, the blackmailer mystery, the Blood Arts magical system and it's darker side, the set up political/court intrigue, the very complicated relationships, and so very much more. The Diversity in this book is outstanding with the majority of the characters being POC and there's a fantastic f/f romance. There were a great deal of twists throughout helping to keep me on the edge of my seat. And the cliffhanger at the end! Agh, I'm dying to read the sequel and final book of this duology.
    more
  • Fables&Wren
    January 1, 1970
    Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars... okay okay okay you got me interested...
  • Natalie Monroe
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds like Three Dark Crowns. Please be better than Three Dark Crowns.
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    2/13/17Eh, the cover isn't my favorite but I can live with it lol Also seems I was not off with my earlier Three Dark Crowns comparison since it's now been touted as such: Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars in this sensational and striking new fantasy from debut author Ellen Goodlett. I hope it does not get too crazy like PLL, but I guess we will have to wait and see. ---Three sisters fighting for a throne gives me some Three Dark Crown vibes, but hopefully, this is still an entertain 2/13/17Eh, the cover isn't my favorite but I can live with it lol Also seems I was not off with my earlier Three Dark Crowns comparison since it's now been touted as such: Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars in this sensational and striking new fantasy from debut author Ellen Goodlett. I hope it does not get too crazy like PLL, but I guess we will have to wait and see. ---Three sisters fighting for a throne gives me some Three Dark Crown vibes, but hopefully, this is still an entertaining story. Especially since it is not the only new book coming out this year also using the three sisters competing for a throne. I guess everyone is just really feeling the number three these days lol.
    more
  • Julie Zantopoulos
    January 1, 1970
    I'm relatively certain that this is a case of an average book going up against some of the best fantasy I've ever read. It's been a great year of reading for me and at one point this book may have stood out but it fell so short for me. We follow three girls who wind up being bastard children of an ailing King who need to go to court while the King decides who will be following him onto the throne. All three girls, Ren, Zofi, and Adelyn (maybe-I honestly forget her name) swap out POVs and I felt I'm relatively certain that this is a case of an average book going up against some of the best fantasy I've ever read. It's been a great year of reading for me and at one point this book may have stood out but it fell so short for me. We follow three girls who wind up being bastard children of an ailing King who need to go to court while the King decides who will be following him onto the throne. All three girls, Ren, Zofi, and Adelyn (maybe-I honestly forget her name) swap out POVs and I felt like I never got to know any of them well enough. The characters are underdeveloped and their relationship with one another was only solidified in the last 18% of the book which was much too late for me. Each of the girls has a romance, of course, and none of them really intrigued me, but it was the most riveting part of the story. We have a bit of a scandalous rogue relationship, a f/f taboo (kinda) relationship and a bit of a love triangle...so the girls are bringing each trope to the table. I was underwhelmed by all of them, tbh. The one who could have had a compelling story ended up being a bad Cardan/Jude knock off -like weak sauce version. In the end the magic system, the world, the relationships, and the characters were all underdeveloped and not compelling enough for me to continue with the series. Which is not to say it's a bad book or awful writing, just that I expect more from my fantasy and didn't connect with it.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest reviewMy heart is still racing after finishing Rule just moments ago. When Little, Brown said this book is “Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars with a dash of King Lear ” — they are NOT kidding. That was one wild ride!Usually when the synopsis on the back of a book says the characters hold some deadly secrets, I just shrug that off and don’t think too deeply into it. But, this? Wow. I was blown away by how legitimately chilling thes ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest reviewMy heart is still racing after finishing Rule just moments ago. When Little, Brown said this book is “Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars with a dash of King Lear ” — they are NOT kidding. That was one wild ride!Usually when the synopsis on the back of a book says the characters hold some deadly secrets, I just shrug that off and don’t think too deeply into it. But, this? Wow. I was blown away by how legitimately chilling these secrets were, and how much they seamlessly wove into the plot.Rule is told in three alternating POV’s and tells the story of three girls who, unbeknownst to them, are the illegitimate children of King Andros. King Andros is dying and he needs an heir to rule Kolonya. Two of the girls, Zofi and Akeylah, come from different regions, while Florencia (Ren) already lives in the palace as a maid. Once the sisters learn about their lineage, they are told that only one will be chosen to rule. Thus, they begin lessons on combat, politics, and honing special powers known as tithes.Of course, nothing goes smoothly because a mysterious person is blackmailing each girl, threatening to expose their deepest, darkest secrets.But even though these girls are under so much pressure and scared of what lies ahead for them, they are so strong and fierce. They carry so much weight on their shoulders, have their own demons to deal with, yet not once did they complain or whine. I admired them so much — I can’t choose a favorite sister. All three sisters have traits that speak to my heart.I also love the cultural diversity rep in this book. The entire cast is POC and there is w/w romance. There is also a tiny bit of insta-love, but it was so swoon-worthy and worked for me. Themes of racism and prejudice are also very prominent throughout the entire book and it reflects so much of what we still have going on today in our world.And while I felt like there were some loose ends that didn’t get answered, I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book so much. It had amazing world building, dark politics, morally grey characters, POC and LGBTQIAP+ rep, strong females, and mysteries that kept me second guessing myself so many times. I am already screaming for the next book!Thank you so much to Little, Brown/The NOVL for sending me this ARC copy. Rule releases on September 11, 2018!Happy reading!
    more
  • Ashlee » Library In The Country
    January 1, 1970
    View review on my blog, Library in the CountryReview copy generously provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and theNOVL.Rule is a case of whodunit reminiscent of Agatha Christie, with a dash of the fantastical, that will have you guessing up to the very end. If you are looking for a new fantasy series to obsess over, Rule has all of the key ingredients.Goodlett was born to write and this is a fantasy debut you need to add to your shelves! With her enchantingly descriptive writing, Goo View review on my blog, Library in the CountryReview copy generously provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and theNOVL.Rule is a case of whodunit reminiscent of Agatha Christie, with a dash of the fantastical, that will have you guessing up to the very end. If you are looking for a new fantasy series to obsess over, Rule has all of the key ingredients.Goodlett was born to write and this is a fantasy debut you need to add to your shelves! With her enchantingly descriptive writing, Goodlett has created a richly colorful fantasy world, with nods toward Oceanic cultures. Within that fantasy world are Zofi, Akeylah and Florencia – three girls who have only just discovered they are half sisters and the only remaining heirs to a dying king.Thrust into a world of court politics, each girl hides a secret that holds her life in the balance, should it be discovered. Bound by their shared blood but clearly dissimilar from each other and the picturesque heir, their differences to not go unnoticed. As each sister fights to prove herself a worthy heir to the throne, it is a struggle to keep their secrets close amongst the vipers at court and somebody has discovered what they hide.From there the story keeps the reader guessing at every page turn. Who can be trusted? Who is the blackmailer? What secrets are the other courtiers hiding? Rule has an intriguing cast of supporting characters, including a fine dash of romance and the moment you begin to root for someone is also the moment you begin to question their motives.In addition to the mystery at hand, Rule’s tithing based magic system was refreshing and meticulously fleshed out – with a fine balance between the positive and negative impacts of using such magic.Additionally, Rule has a strong representation of cultural diversity with a cast made wholly of POC characters, plus some LGBT romance. There are themes of bigotry and oppression present, something each of the girls has tasted firsthand.Overall, this is a new fantasy series I am pumped to continue! It has been compared to Three Dark Crowns and Pretty Little Liars, with a dash of King Lear and boy does that hit the nail on the head! If you’re looking for something exciting and twisty for your next read, this is it!
    more
  • Kelechi
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so intrigued by the premise of this book. I love a good royal court drama!
  • Kaleena ★ Reader Voracious
    January 1, 1970
    cw: self-mutilation (the magic system is essentially cutting onseself and it is described in detail), abusive family Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown. Reading this book brought back memories of watching Pretty Little Liars; if you enjoyed the tv show I would recommend this to you! This is a book full of deadly secrets, political intrigue, and a fantasy world where the ruling class is out of touch with the people over whom they rule. While these are ingredients cw: self-mutilation (the magic system is essentially cutting onseself and it is described in detail), abusive family Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown. Reading this book brought back memories of watching Pretty Little Liars; if you enjoyed the tv show I would recommend this to you! This is a book full of deadly secrets, political intrigue, and a fantasy world where the ruling class is out of touch with the people over whom they rule. While these are ingredients that I love to read, I unfortunately found the execution for Rule to be a bit lacking: the characters were one-dimensional, character relationships to have little to no development to justify their actions, and I was left wanting more worldbuilding. The base ideas are interesting and intriguing, but in my opinion need more development. The King is dying and with his only heir dead he's forced to bring his three illegitimate daughters to Court. Whomever can learn and perform the best will earn the right to rule. ➡️ Zofi is a Traveler, part of a nomadic band of people, skilled in the art of tithe and a warrior.➡️ Akeylah's family hates her because her mother died during childbirth, and her father is so abusive that he nearly kills her. My heart breaks for her so much and she is honestly the only character that I don't hate.➡️ Florencia or "Ren" is a servant, essentially a handmaid within the castle with aspirations of elevating her station through a strategic marriage. Little did she know that she was royalty. She's lived her life on the outskirts of Court and is kind of an insufferable jerk.I found the whole premise of the Blood Ceremony and succession wasn't explained well. I understand the sense of urgency and why timelines were sped up; however, I was very confused as to why the King's twin couldn't assume the throne - something that wasn't explained until like 85% into the book. That simple omission of explanation until very late made it difficult for me to believe the sequence of events at all as it all seemed 'convenient' to move the story along.One of my biggest pet peeves is conflict for the sake of conflict that could easily be solved by the characters talking to one another, and this plot device is used a lot here. From the Talons not telling Zofi from the beginning where she was going to the sisters not talking to one another sooner (although when they finally did it felt... off?). This may not be an issue for every reader, but I think that plot device and the narrative style worked in concert against the story here. This is a case where I think the third-person omniscient narrative style did this story a disservice because it kills all suspense for the reader. The sisters are all being blackmailed and are obviously distrusting of everyone around them, but because we know what we do the inner monologues suspecting everyone comes across as annoying instead of "WHO COULD IT BE?!?!!?" I feel like by the time the characters caught up to what I had already pieced together I was forced to rehash that information for 1-2 pages, which I didn't really enjoy. Honestly I would have probably liked the story a lot better if it had all been told from Akeylah's POV (or if each book centered on a different sister's POV). Some of the character conversations were a damn hilarious blessing though, and I really enjoyed those glimpses of character peeking through: "Though Sun knows you're doing a good enough job in that getup." "At least I can move. You look like a lobster trussed up for the cooking pot." For those that enjoy romance, each sister has a budding relationship, one of which is an insta-love f/f relationship (forbidden not for sexuality but for other reasons). I have to say that the side character Vidal is wonderful and I adore him.It is no secret that I adore worldbuilding, and it is the main thing that can make or break my enjoyment of a book. The only worldbuilding here is really recounting the political history of the region and the wars, which only tells part of the story of this world. There are so many things that I would love to have seen explained more to immerse me into the world, the biggest gap being religion. The characters have an exclamation synonymous with how some say "god" in our world that points to different religious beliefs - sands, seas, sun. I find that beliefs offer a lot of insight into cultural differences and a description into what the practices are between the Reaches would have been an excellent way to create more depth and further point out how different the lives were for people around the Kingdom beyond the color of their skin or whether they were a Traveler. The magic system was not explained well at all: people that are from Reaches can tithe, which appears to be bloodletting? essentially cut themselves to gain temporary boosts to speed, or invisibility. Apparently the stories go that the gods blessed the people of Kolonya with tithe and that is the reason for their being Superior. There is no explanation as to who can do it, how one learns to do it, or if it is closely regulated. The King insinuates that skills are kept as a close secret for the Talons to have an advantage, yet the Travelers also tithe, and it seems that anyone can? I DON'T KNOW OKAY. You cannot control your destiny, Mama always said. Only the way you face it. All of the events of this book are happening as the result of three secrets: actions that each of the daughters made that set things in motion. It is almost poetic and points to perhaps their being manipulated into action - but that doesn't jive with the whole blackmailer thing, it would be interesting though!The most enjoyable part of this book was reading it with Destiny; our banter and discussions are what kept me reading to the end more than anything else. If I am being honest, the story felt underdeveloped to me and read more like an early draft, but I read an ARC and I am hoping that some changes were made to polish the story prior to publication. This is a fast-paced read with a lot of political machinations. While this book wasn't for me, I do hope it is for you and I think that those who enjoyed Pretty Little Liars will enjoy this book. Buddy read with Destiny from Howling Libraries!Many thanks to Little, Brown for providing me an electronic ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Quotations were taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publication.Blog | Twitter | Pinterest
    more
  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    UMMMMM THREE DARK CROWNS? SIGN ME UP
  • Lilly (Lair Of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to the Publisher for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest reviewBuddy Reading With: Melanie from MeltotheanyJulie from Pages and Pens
  • Gaby (lookingatbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow... this sounds like a GOOD book! Can’t wait!
  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    ARC from publisher for a fair review.
  • Nicole (FearYourEx)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 out of 5.Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The concept is really cool and I loved the different boosts they got from tithing (the magic in the book) and would love to learn about more of the Vulgar Arts. The characters were interesting, but I had a hard time distinguishing them from each other at times and would have to flip back to check what POV I was on. I loved that we learned each girl's secret early on without being teased with hints the 3.5 out of 5.Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The concept is really cool and I loved the different boosts they got from tithing (the magic in the book) and would love to learn about more of the Vulgar Arts. The characters were interesting, but I had a hard time distinguishing them from each other at times and would have to flip back to check what POV I was on. I loved that we learned each girl's secret early on without being teased with hints the full book. If I had to choose Ren was my favorite, with Zofi a close second. The relationship the three sisters developed over time was definitely not what I expected - in a good way. I also loved how each sister seemed to have a certain strength to assist them in ruling and their decisions.While I really enjoyed this book there were a few things that kept it from being a 5 star for me:I feel like there wasn't enough interaction with their father considering he was an incredibly important character and what brought them together. I also feel like I needed more Yasmin and Andros interactions.My other main problem was that fir some reason it wasn't a book I couldn't stop reading. I don't know if it was because it was clunky and needed smoothing over. Or if it's because I felt like their just wasn't enough conflict.Overall I really enjoyed this book and will continue the series as it releases.
    more
  • Kath (Read Forevermore)
    January 1, 1970
    An arc of this book was sent to me by The NOVL and Little Brown Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.RULE by Ellen Goodlett is an incredible YA fantasy novel. It follows three young women who are called to the dying king. Each women has a terrible secret, and each are afraid that their summoning was due to their secret being found out. All three of the women were shocked to find out that wasn't the case, and are told that they are the king's illegi An arc of this book was sent to me by The NOVL and Little Brown Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.RULE by Ellen Goodlett is an incredible YA fantasy novel. It follows three young women who are called to the dying king. Each women has a terrible secret, and each are afraid that their summoning was due to their secret being found out. All three of the women were shocked to find out that wasn't the case, and are told that they are the king's illegitimate daughters. With the recent death of his legitimate son, he tells them that one of them will succeed him.All three daughters are completely different. I really enjoyed reading from their points of view, as well as learning more about them. Their POV's were all different from each other, and I was able to easily see the differences in their lives. I never had difficulty telling them apart. I loved watching them start with having a rivalry to working together as a threat arises. Each woman couldn't have been more different, but their strengths together helped them succeed in the end (not really an end with that cliffhanger *cries*).And the diversity of this book! Many of the characters in the book are described as having darker skin, and one of the sisters is queer. It just makes my heart so happy to see the diversity in fantasy books.This book is absolutely incredible, and I highly recommend it! But be forewarned, there is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end that will most likely murder you. I cannot wait for the sequel!
    more
  • Erin Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    Rule is a new fantasy by debut author Ellen Goodlett and when I read the summary of this book I knew I was going to have to read it. It has danger, deception, and an intriguing story that will have you flipping the pages to see what happens next. The story focuses on three girls whose only connection is that their father happens to be the King and because his only other heir is dead, he has decided to bring them all to Kolonya so they can learn what it takes to rule. It just so happens that none Rule is a new fantasy by debut author Ellen Goodlett and when I read the summary of this book I knew I was going to have to read it. It has danger, deception, and an intriguing story that will have you flipping the pages to see what happens next. The story focuses on three girls whose only connection is that their father happens to be the King and because his only other heir is dead, he has decided to bring them all to Kolonya so they can learn what it takes to rule. It just so happens that none of these girls knows that he is their father and because they all have a dangerous secret that could lead to their execution, they are all thinking they are in danger when his men come to bring them to the city. As the story unfolds, we learn that there is someone who knows exactly what each girl is hiding, and they begin to threaten them all just to keep them from the throne. I thought Goodlett did a great job setting up the story for each of the girls. There is just enough backstory on each one to give the reader an idea of what drove them to do what they did and put themselves as risk. I am not going to say anything about their secrets only because the way you are introduced to them in the story helps to lay the groundwork for what happens when they meet the King and have to live at court.These characters are all very different and have different motives for wanting to succeed. I loved having such different characters with varied motivations as the primary focus of this book as it provided such different perspectives.Zofi is a part of a Traveler clan and while they are viewed by people in towns across the Reaches as lower class, Zofi loves her family and will do anything for them. As a practitioner of the Arts, she knows how to use her blood to work magic and give her strength and she relies on this to push herself to become valuable so that she can help her people.Ren has grown up in the court as a ladies’ maid, so she is fully aware of the politics and backstabbing that can occur. When she finds out she has been serving the people of the court that she should actually be ruling, she is pretty upset with her mother. As she comes to understand her mother’s reasoning, she also decides she is going to win the throne.Akeylah grew up in a family that hated and abused her in the Eastern Reach and when she is summoned, she jumps at the chance to get away even though living at court could put her at bigger risk of her secret getting out. When she gets to Kolonya, she recognizes just how out of place she is but eventually finds a friendship she never hoped for…with someone she never expected. At first, these three don’t trust each other and as they are each faced with a threat and warning to leave, they all think it is one of the other girls. This definitely created some tension amongst them but they all eventually confront each other and form a bit of a partnership. As they learn more about each other and court, they learn who they can trust…and not.The secondary characters were well developed too, and I thought they helped to move each of the girls’ stories forward. Some of them were shady and some of them were genuine but all had a role to play and I thought they added to each of the storylines.Overall, I enjoyed this book and am glad I picked it up. I’ve tried to keep this review spoiler free so don’t hate me for being vague, but you will appreciate it when you pick this one up. If you like a story that has great characters and a page turning story with some twists and turns, consider checking this one out. If anything, the ending will have you on the edge of your seat. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book to see what happens next. Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Emmi Rose (emmirosereads)
    January 1, 1970
    *Rating 4.5*Thank you once again to TheNovl for sending an ARC for a reviewOkay, I'm just going to start off by saying that this book was freaking amazing, and epic and I cannot wait for the sequel! Especially after that last chapter, and the last page, like WHAT!!?? I don't know how I'll be able to wait when this book isn't technically out until September, haha! If you're looking for an amazing high fantasy with incredible world building, fantastic characters, and a stellar plot, look know furt *Rating 4.5*Thank you once again to TheNovl for sending an ARC for a reviewOkay, I'm just going to start off by saying that this book was freaking amazing, and epic and I cannot wait for the sequel! Especially after that last chapter, and the last page, like WHAT!!?? I don't know how I'll be able to wait when this book isn't technically out until September, haha! If you're looking for an amazing high fantasy with incredible world building, fantastic characters, and a stellar plot, look know further! If you love mystery and lots of political intrigue, you'll love Rule. Also can we talk about how almost all of these characters are described as people of color and we also have a queer main character!Okay, like I mentioned above, one of my favorite things about this book is the world building! As a writer myself and knowing how hard it is to create such a vastly different world from my own, I feel it's something I appreciate even more. This was such a refreshingly unique world and I loved learning about it. From the religion, to the politics, to how things are run, etc, etc. I do wish we could have seen a little more of it, more so then just hearing about it, but I completely understand that doing so wouldn't really serve the plot in this book. Nevertheless I do hope, maybe we can see more of it in book two. Of course the plot and story itself was amazing and truly kept me on the edge of my seat! I was hooked from chapter one and this constantly kept me wondering what was going to happen next. There were a lot of twist and turns that were revealed that just kept adding to my love for this book. I'm going to be honest, as the book kept creeping closer to the end, I thought it was going to disappoint me. I had thought I already guessed who was behind everything, and nothing too crazy was happening and nothing would shock me how I love to be in books. But, I was totally wrong! Those last few chapters completely turned my opinion around and like I said before I just loved that last chapter especially. I just have so many questions now!I also loved the characters in this book, especially, the three sisters of course! They are all so vastly different from each other which I just loved seeing. I think Ellen Goodlette did a pretty good job on weaving three very different stories together in a way that makes sense and just telling the story of three completely different girls, raised in completely different ways. If I had to pick a favorite character I think I would probably have to choose Akeylah! I think she was the one I related to the most, and the one I would be if I was thrust into this world and situation. I think Zofi is a close second though! I just adore how fierce and strong she is. I also loved Vidal and Rozalind, like a lot! I hope we get to see way more of both of them because both of their stories interest me so much.I think the only reason I'm knocking of half a star is because sometimes the narratives for each sister could sometimes feel a bit repetitive. This wasn't obviously a huge problem and didn't happen at all that often. I just felt like similar things happened to all three of the girls so it could feel that way in some parts of the book. Also I'm an impatient person sometimes and some chapters would be left on a cliff hanger from one girl's POV and then we would jump into another completely different POV and we would have to wait a few chapters to come back to the other POV. Which of course is important to the story but I just want to know what's happening like instantly, haha! Though these couple of things did bother me a little, it really wasn't like a super huge deal and obviously didn't effect my enjoyment of the book that much at all.Basically in short, this book was so, so good and I HIGHLY recommend picking it up when it's released in September! And of course I'm way too excited about the sequel because I must know what's going to happen!
    more
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Being summoned before the Kolonyan throne is never a pleasant experience, especially when you’re hiding treasonous secrets. Zofi, Flo”Ren”cia and Akeyla all fear the worst - only to be confronted with a stranger secret - they are all the daughters of King Andros - and their secrets now have far greater consequences then they realized. Proud Zofi, Cunning Ren and Empathic Akeyla must compete for their father’s throne, but they aren’t the only ones with secrets.A vibrant world, with a fascinating Being summoned before the Kolonyan throne is never a pleasant experience, especially when you’re hiding treasonous secrets. Zofi, Flo”Ren”cia and Akeyla all fear the worst - only to be confronted with a stranger secret - they are all the daughters of King Andros - and their secrets now have far greater consequences then they realized. Proud Zofi, Cunning Ren and Empathic Akeyla must compete for their father’s throne, but they aren’t the only ones with secrets.A vibrant world, with a fascinating magic system and a more twisted political landscape than Scandal - This fantasy thriller was a great puzzle to solve. The ending was full of intriguing twists, and I can’t wait to see who makes it out alive.This is Three Dark Crowns but with Politics!
    more
  • Mar Que
    January 1, 1970
    Микс "Трех Темных Корон" и "Милых Обманщиц". Чую, это та еще гремучая смесь!
  • Monique V
    January 1, 1970
    The cover intrigues me!
  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review and others on my blog shades of paper “It was a nice lie. The dead deserved to die. If you believed that, you could believe you’d never be the one on the wrong end of the knife.” I cannot tell you how excited I was to read this book. The premise sounded absolutely amazing, and if anything is compared to Three Dark Crown, I’ll most likely going to read it. And I would say that it was a solid first book in a series, but it left me a bit disappointed because I was expecti You can find this review and others on my blog shades of paper “It was a nice lie. The dead deserved to die. If you believed that, you could believe you’d never be the one on the wrong end of the knife.” I cannot tell you how excited I was to read this book. The premise sounded absolutely amazing, and if anything is compared to Three Dark Crown, I’ll most likely going to read it. And I would say that it was a solid first book in a series, but it left me a bit disappointed because I was expecting so much more and it didn’t fulfill those expectations I had before starting the novel.One of the main issues I had with the story itself was that nothing was actually really happening. Since it’s a first installment we got to see a fair picture of the world, though I wouldn’t say it was that complex, but the plot itself was pretty basic. I found no satisfaction after finishing it, because I was mostly in the same place where I was at the beginning. We don’t know who’s this character that is blackmailing the three girls, and though I can totally understand why the author wanted to keep the mystery for the next books, I was pretty pissed, because it ended in a cliffhanger and I wanted to know more about that, and I feel it was slower than it needed to be.I found some parts a bit repetitive throughout the novel. We were constantly remained of some of the events that already happened or were happening where Rule took place, and they were a bit unnecessary in my opinion. I feel it dragged in some parts of the book, as well, and that made my experience a bit worse, because all the action and most of the revelations happened in the last 40 pages, whereas in the rest of the book nothing was going on. “Akeylah shut her eyes. She wished she could be like the sea. Water, flooding away between the cracks, unnoticed and unremarkable.” The characters, I have to say, weren’t my favorite at the beginning of the novel. They were very basic and plain, and they didn’t outstand to my eyes. However, as I kept reading the story, I started to like more and more the relationships forming between these three girls. They had a nice development throughout the story, and their interactions became less and less cringy as I kept reading Rule.The romances in my opinion, were either a hit or miss to me. I didn’t like two of the relationships going on in this installment, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of their romances as well. They were super rushed and odd and didn’t make a lot of sense to me that those were happening so suddenly. However, there was a particular one that I was living for, and that’s mainly one of the reasons why I want to keep reading the next installments, and it was an adorable f/f relationship that started to develop throughout Rule. I really enjoyed those two characters and would love to read more about their relationship and interactions in the next books.Overall, though I had some issues with the plot and the storyline itself, I enjoyed the journey these characters went through in Rule, and the relationships formed in the story, so I’m interested to see where the story would go in the sequel, because I feel the issues I had in this one will be solved in the next installments.I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
    more
  • Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent a review copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Actual rating: 3 and a half stars.Loves: Fierce female characters, complicated plot, unpredictabilityDislikes: StructureRep: Yes. One of our main characters is in a f/f relationship.Triggers: Abuse by a parent, self-harm (the magic system relies on drawing your own blood), death, prejudiceRule tells the story of “three girls with three deadly secrets.” Zofi has spent all her life traveling throughout the king I was sent a review copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Actual rating: 3 and a half stars.Loves: Fierce female characters, complicated plot, unpredictabilityDislikes: StructureRep: Yes. One of our main characters is in a f/f relationship.Triggers: Abuse by a parent, self-harm (the magic system relies on drawing your own blood), death, prejudiceRule tells the story of “three girls with three deadly secrets.” Zofi has spent all her life traveling throughout the kingdom with her band of Travelers. Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach by her abusive father, while Florencia grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid. Each carries with her a secret that could get her executed. When the three girls are summoned by the king, they expect that their treasons have been discovered; instead, they learn that they are the illegitimate heirs to the throne. Now that the king’s son has been murdered, he’ll pick one of them to inherit the crown. But Akeylah, Zofi and Florencia have only been in the game for a moment before they learn that somebody knows what they have done – and is blackmailing them all.What makes Rule stand apart from its other compete-for-the-crown contemporaries is the blackmail aspect. It’s pitched as Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars, and while I cannot speak for the former comparison, the one to PLL is pretty spot on. Mix strong female characters with a complex plot, throw in an anonymous blackmailer in the concoction, and you get a wonderfully addictive and fast-paced read. Goodlett’s ability to keep her readers hooked, chapter to chapter, while never falling prey to typical clichés of plot is truly commendable.Because this is something Rule does best, even with readers as annoying and skeptical as I am. I’ve read so much fantasy from different age groups all my life that I like to believe that I can see things coming. And I usually can, which is why I was so certain that my predictions about how the mystery would play out would be correct. Instead, Goodlett threw me curveball after curveball. Even when I had thought that surely, what I was thinking had to be right (about 15 pages from the end), she threw me yet another curveball. Consider me put in my place. 🙂This book is driven by the fierceness of its three main female characters, and their relationships with each other. All three are given distinct voices and personalities. They have their own love interests – some are ruled by romance more than others. They have their own motivations for competing. Zofi is rough and tough, she enjoys horseriding, fighting and craves the nomadic lifestyle of her previous life, but she’s determined to win the crown so she can do good by her people. Akeylah is quiet but steadfast, bookish and determined to find answers for her questions. Florencia is a true Slytherin, driven by ambition and the determination to right her wrongs. She’s a schemer. She’s clever and witty (and, if you couldn’t tell, my favorite). The fact that each of these women grows to respect each other, despite the initial mistrust, instead of resorting to the typical catty-competition trope is another cause for admiration.Single-minded fantasy books bore me. When I read fantasy, I expect multiple angles to develop the story and world, whether that’s through detailing politics, magic systems, romance or history. Somehow, with her debut, Goodlett manages to touch on all these aspects, resulting in a deliciously well-rounded book with something in it for everyone. The politics, especially, are given proper attention with each of our main characters having their own perspectives about how their country is run and what they will do to better it. What are seemingly mundane details such as rationing food while fulfilling the ravenous appetites of noblemen are intertwined expertly within the plot, which gives the story a much-needed addition to its already multidimensionality but doesn’t interrupt the plot to do so. I do, however, think that the history aspect of this novel was extremely important and it could have been explained more clearly. As of right now, I’m a little confused.So while the plot and characters were masterfully carried out, where Rule falls flat is structure. You know when you’re plotting out a story with multiple characters, and you have to give them personalities so you make columns? Especially towards the start, it felt as if Goodlett was noting down everything in those columns and dumping it together. For example, if Zofi’s love interest was introduced in Chapter 4 (just a hypothetical), Akeylah’s would appear in Chapter 5, and Florencia’s in 6. If one girl is blackmailed in Chapter 1, the second would be blackmailed in Chapter 2, and the third in Chapter 3. There were portions of the book that felt repetitive and, thus, mundane.Another critique was how the sisters’ relationships with each other developed. While I enjoyed their start-point and end-point, I felt there wasn’t enough time and attention given to the transitioning of their feelings towards each other. It’s a complicated scenario, no? Getting thrown into family with people you’ve never met, and not only that, but people you generally mistrust because of your histories with their lands. I would have liked to see more interaction with them, and more time between point A and B of their relationship.Despite these issues, Rule was a remarkable debut with a mystifying writing style, characters you will root for and love, and a plot that’ll keep you hanging to the author’s words. I’m expecting big things from the sequel, especially because that ending was like a slap to the face. Pick this up if you enjoy books like The Winner’s Curse and Mask of Shadows. Connect with me elsewhere:Blog ☽Bloglovin' ☽Twitter ☽Instagram ☽Tumblr ☽Facebook
    more
  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me way too long to read. So many of these YA fantasy novels are starting to feel the same. "Rule" is about three teenage girls from different backgrounds who find out their father is the King and he's dying and needs a heir. He brings them all to the castle to learn about ruling and then he will pick one of the girls to be his heir. Each girl has a big secret and is being blackmailed over it. The book is pretty much the girls trying to find out who is blackmailing them while also This book took me way too long to read. So many of these YA fantasy novels are starting to feel the same. "Rule" is about three teenage girls from different backgrounds who find out their father is the King and he's dying and needs a heir. He brings them all to the castle to learn about ruling and then he will pick one of the girls to be his heir. Each girl has a big secret and is being blackmailed over it. The book is pretty much the girls trying to find out who is blackmailing them while also trying to be picked to be the heir. The book takes quite awhile to get going and give the backstories on each girl. About midway through the book the pace picks up but the reader is ultimately left with no resolution to the story. Series are very common in YA fiction but a good series installment should answer SOME questions and leave some dangling threads for the next book. Although the world was intriguing and the sisters different enough to be engaging it just wasn't a very satisfying read.
    more
  • Jess (◕‿◕✿)
    January 1, 1970
    oh wow this was really good! It is kind of like a mystery/fantasy? I don't know, but keep an eye out for this one if you are a fan of three dark crowns and pretty little liars! also, review closer to release date!
  • Fae Crate
    January 1, 1970
    Way to crush me with that ending! This had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I love these characters!
  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy*Rating* 3.5.4*Thoughts*Rule is the first installment in author Ellen Goodlett's Rule duology. The series features three different characters in Zofi, Akeylah, and Florencia aka Ren. In case it wasn't obvious, the story also alternates between the three main characters as well. Do I think this is a knock off of Three Dark Crowns? Nope. Why? These are three stepsisters who have never met until the King's men show up with summons. They didn't grow tog *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy*Rating* 3.5.4*Thoughts*Rule is the first installment in author Ellen Goodlett's Rule duology. The series features three different characters in Zofi, Akeylah, and Florencia aka Ren. In case it wasn't obvious, the story also alternates between the three main characters as well. Do I think this is a knock off of Three Dark Crowns? Nope. Why? These are three stepsisters who have never met until the King's men show up with summons. They didn't grow together. They weren't suddenly separated into different factions. They weren't trained in dangerous arts in order to kill the other two in order to rise to the top. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*http://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/201...
    more
  • Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm, Myrtle Beach
    January 1, 1970
    I struggled to get through this book. The premise was a great idea, I even liked the characters, but I feel like the author spent so much time (and pages) building her mythical world with their customs and language that that ended up being the majority of the book. Good cliffhanger though, and I do feel like the next book will be better... But I don't know if I will be able to make myself read it.
    more
  • Jeanne25
    January 1, 1970
    This story revolves around 3 young women with very different backgrounds who suddenly find themselves heirs to the king. Each girl holds a secret that if discovered would lead to her execution. Naturally "someone" knows all 3 secrets and is blackmailing the girls to give up their right to the throne or be outed.I really liked the premise of the book. but the characters seemed a bit forced to me. The book didn't seem to flow as easily as I would have liked it to. It was hard to empathize with the This story revolves around 3 young women with very different backgrounds who suddenly find themselves heirs to the king. Each girl holds a secret that if discovered would lead to her execution. Naturally "someone" knows all 3 secrets and is blackmailing the girls to give up their right to the throne or be outed.I really liked the premise of the book. but the characters seemed a bit forced to me. The book didn't seem to flow as easily as I would have liked it to. It was hard to empathize with the girls as each seemed motivated more by emotion than common sense. Several times I set the book aside only to remind myself that I still needed to finish it. The book is ok but it just lacked any emotional connect for me.One thing that I disliked greatly was the complete lack of an ending. I understand leaving the it open for sequels but I hate no freaking ending at all. What this does is annoy me because I feel that all the author is only interested in stringing the reader along for his monetary gain. You want to know what happens - buy that next book. It doesn't have to be a clear cut, drawn in the sand type of ending but (for me) I need SOME KIND of conclusion. For this reason I round my 2.5 star rating to a 2 star.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for offering a copy in exchange for an honest review.
    more
Write a review