(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 11th 2018
Genres: Family, Fantasy, General, LGBT, Romance, Royalty, Young Adult Fiction
hree 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.
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.