Author: Ellen Goodlett
Series: Rule #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication date:September 11th, 2018
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.
“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.
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