Royal Review: Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Summary: King Andros of the Reaches is dying, his heir has been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. The nation is only left with one option…or rather three options in the form of three girls with three deadly secrets. And there’s only one crown to spare.

Zofi has spent her entire life drifting through the Reaches, but just when her freedom matters most, she’s dragged to the nation’s capital, Kolonya. Ren grew up in Kolonya and in the palace, serving as a ladies’ maid at court. She dreamed of being a high lady herself one day, but the timing seems off after her own misdeed. Akelyah has been raised by an abusive family in the Eastern Reach, home of the rebellion. She’d doing anything to escape her family, but why at the invitation of a king who has every reason to despise her?

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts

Ellen Goodlett’s Rule immediately caught my attention when I saw it compared to Pretty Little Liars and Three Dark Crowns. You can sign me up for ANY PLL-related books, and I needed to pick up Three Dark Crowns yesterday. While I’m only able to speak to its PLL relation, I can definitely see the tie-ins. Half-sisters Zofi, Akelyah, and Ren each have a deadly secret of their own that someone in Kolonya’s palace simply won’t let them forget.

My favorite perspective was Zofi because I was really intrigued by her background. I liked exploring her relationship with Vidal and she was the most cunning of the three sisters. I definitely got some Lila Bard (Shades of Magic) vibes from her.  I also enjoyed Ren’s perspective, since I think she had the most potential to be the next Queen, considering her inside knowledge on the palace. As much as I did like Danton as a character, I didn’t understand how Ren could trust him. While I didn’t mind Akeylah’s POV, I wish she opened up more to her sisters. While I appreciate the diversity rep, I wasn’t a super fan of her relationship with Rozalind. You know, her father’s wife.

Another aspect that I didn’t like was the repetitiveness.This is an element that bothers me in most multi-POV books, but the girls would often each repeat the same phrases or the same action would occur in their perspective chapter. I know this was probably used to show the girls’ similarities, like how they all have their own secret, but once is enough for this reader.

I think what makes Rule standout is its world-building and unique magic. I do think we could have used a bit more on the history of Kolonya and the Reaches dynamics in the beginning, but the world-building definitely becomes more fleshed out as the story continues. I especially liked the magic scenes with Zofi because her fight scenes and her own inside info were really exciting.

Overall, I enjoyed Rule for its unique world and all female POVs. However, I think the plot could have been more fast-paced and less repetitive. I plan on picking up the next book in the duology, Rise, when it comes out in September 2019. I’m interested to see who takes the crown once and for all.

This review is based is based on an advance reading copy. By no means did this affect my thoughts or opinions.

Have you read Rule? Share in the comments!  

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