by Ellen Goodlett


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316515283
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Series: Rule Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 97,034
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Ellen Goodlett is a Pittsburgh native and former New Yorker. She wrote Rule while traveling the world with 78 other digital nomads, living in a different country every month. Rule is her debut novel.

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Rule 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
This exciting novel begins with an exhilarating chase scene and it never really slows down. The stories of three fascinating female characters (Protagists or not? Can't tell you that.) unfolds in the form of alternating voices who reveal their troubled histories and their reservations and aspirations for the future as the tension builds. I hope Ellen Goodlett hurries up and finished the sequel, Rise, because I can't want to see what happens next. What a debut!
gaele 8 months ago
2.5 Stars- rounded I should know better than to get my hopes up from simple buzz around a book- since that usually never plays well for me - and the buzz for this one was strong. But, I did hope that there would be moments that were really well done, and with the understanding that this is a debut - I dove in. Told in three alternating POV’s this is the story of three girls who, 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. Intriguing - yes? And that is where the intrigue fell flat for me - underdeveloped characters who are best thought of as near-interchangeable, without any real feeling of the voice matching the character or feeling very appropriate to the 'traits' they are said to possess. And, you can't seem to spit at a YA title without finding a romance thrown in there - yes, 3 romances, equally uninspired because apparently - learning you could be in line for the throne, have special powers and have to learn to function in a society that you never would have been exposed to in your life - we must have a boy. PLEASE someone allow a strong female character without adding a boy into the mix - allow them to grow and find themselves in hugely new situations first. Suffice it to say, if the flat characters didn't frustrate me, the corresponding lack of development of the world, and the many elements untouched regarding the 'magic system" had me wanting to just walk away- it was bad enough that I didn't care at all about the what next. Goodlett has the potential to be better with work on her craft and some serious effort spent on building worlds and characters - it just didn't come together for me and I'm not intrigued enough to continue with the series. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
onemused 8 months ago
"Rule" was a surprise hit for me! We follow three half-sisters who have been living very different lives. Kolonya rules the land with King Andros at the helm. He can often be found in the company of his slightly younger twin sister, Yasmin, or his new wife, Rozalind. Rozalind is about the same age as the girls, and she married Andros as part of a peace treaty from Genal, a neighboring country to which Kolonya used to belong but fought bloody wars to separate from and was still warring with. Within Kolonya, there is Kolonya proper and then the Reaches, which are operated like distant colonies (getting less/no resources, resources are taken from them for the center, and many citizens are treated like second class despite often being the soldiers and farmers who keep the country running). There are also nomadic people, called Travelers by themselves and Drifters as a degrading term. Travelers have their own tricks and lifestyle, living in family groups, which are not connected by blood but by experience. The whole kingdom relies on magic, called the Blood Arts, which you can call up by (warning for self-mutilation) cutting yourself, which is referred to as performing a "tithe," and then gain superhuman speed, healing, or camouflage or another skill for a limited amount of time, until you become exhausted and then you must wait to tithe again. There are also the "Vulgar Arts" which are the bad things you can do with this magic, such as killing a family member. While other cuts will heal, the cuts made from the Vulgar Arts scar and have a blue tinge, marking you forever as one who has used them. Alright, so our three main characters have never known who their father was- until they receive a summons. All three are hiding a dark secret which could get them executed. The King is dying, and his son and heir was murdered. He needs an heir, so brings his illegitimate daughters to the capital to audition to become the next heir. Florencia (Ren) is Kolonyan and has been working as a maid. Her mother has taught her how to navigate the court and its lies well, and she is well suited to transition into the king's heir, already knowing so much about how politics work. Ren grew on me over time- she starts out seeming prejudiced and sneaky, but she learns and grows, becoming a more sympathetic character as time progresses. Zofi is a traveler and thus an outcast in Kolonya. She doesn't allow that to slow her down- she is fierce, brave, and loyal. She also doesn't much care for what others think and doesn't seem bothered that the maids won't get near a 'drifter' and that her appearance and clothes are so different from everyone else's. She was definitely my favorite of the three girls. Akeylah is from the Eastern Reach, where she has been abused physically and emotionally by her stepfather (who she thought was her father) and her half-siblings. Since her mother died giving birth to her, they view her as their mother's killer and treat her terribly. She is calm, patient, thoughtful, and slower to act than the other two sisters, but her actions are more purposeful- at least until it comes to her love life. All three are hiding a big secret for which they are being blackmailed. As they investigate and learn about the kingdom, they are unsure who their enemies are. I actually was iffy about this because it seemed so obvious from the get-go, but then there are some interesting twists and turns towards the end, and now I have a new theory. This book do
Theologiczero 3 months ago
Three heirs to rule and only one crown. One is a warrior, one is searching for any kind of love, and one is a strategic thinker. So, who gets the thrown? This has such a promising premise, but it falls desperately short of a great read. The author has a wonderful foundation, but fails to give each character the focus she deserves. The girls are so interesting with such an amazing backstory, that the author should have taken the time to really flesh them out so we care about them more. We could have built a bond with these characters, but instead we are forced through each girl’s story so fast that we care little about who gets the throne and why they do. Plus, there are some amazing magic elements in this book but they do not ever really get their time either. It's hard to read a book with so much potential but falls short because it is rushed. It is a good story and I think if the author does build on this, she will have a hit. But she has to give us time with the characters and the elements in the book so we can form a connection with them. Although, this is not a bad problem to have. Many times, readers dislike a story because it drags on. Not so with this book! We want more! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an advanced copy to read. All opinions are my own.
PNWBookworm 4 months ago
While there were certainly things I really enjoyed about this book, it just didn’t really keep me interested. There was too much world building and custom explanation that seemed to slow the book the down and despite that I still felt like I didn’t fully understand the way the magic system worked. I did like the Pretty Little Liars vibe of the book though. Each of the three sisters has a deep dark secret that they have to protect and a blackmailer is set on exposing them all. Sounding thrilling right? And it should be. The book jumped around from each POV and it made me feel disconnected from the characters a bit. I do think it was a unique story with some great characters. Hopefully book two will be a better read for me.
TheThoughtSpot 6 months ago
Fantasy at its best! Thanks to NetGalley, Edelweiss and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review Rule by Ellen Goodlett! Zofi overhears people asking her mother about her and while her mother distracts them, Zofi cuts a slash in the back of their tent and sneaks away. She’s proficient with the Blood Arts and when she makes a tiny nip in her skin with the end of her knife, energy is pulled into her blood and she makes a much quicker getaway. To her dismay, Zofi is captured anyway. Akeylah is beaten and hated by her family, especially her father, because their mother died giving birth to her. She gets help to put a curse on her father and make him sick, through the Vulgar Arts. Florencia, (Ren), is a servant, as her mother is. Ren has been raised in the palace and knows how to interact with royalty and she believes she’s guilty of a traitorous act that caused the death of almost two thousand people. The three young women have been summoned to the king and he tells them that they are his daughters and he needs one of them to take the place of his heir, Prince Nicolen, that’s no longer alive. And the king himself is sick and dying. Akeylah realizes that she’s the one who made him ill because he’s her real father. Each of the king’s daughters has a secret to hide. It seems that someone knows about their secrets because each of them has been receiving knowledgeable blackmail notes and other messages. The three sisters begin working together to figure out who the blackmailer is and end the threat. Rule is a complex fantasy that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The ending is intense! Fantasy at its best, 5 stars! *I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
KaileyReadsYA 8 months ago
I think the comparison to Three Dark Crowns is apt. I also think fans of Kendare Blake's series will find this book enjoyable. I did. There were moments I felt could have been done differently and one plot point that was actually unnecessary in my eyes (disappointingly so when placed in comparison to the two other major points it was meant to mirror) but I think it's a great book worth a read. I'd pick it up again and I think anyone who enjoys a good mysterious fantasy with family bonds and questionable sisters will really connect with the story.