Rule is the first book in a planned young adult fantast duology by Ellen Goodlett. I enjoy YA, but I don’t read a lot of YA fantasy. However, when the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book popped up on Netgalley, my interest was piqued.
Rule has all the hallmarks of books from the genre: lush fantasy world, chosen ones, political intrigue, and magic. The TL;DR here is that the sudden death (read: murder) of the heir apparent has made king realize his own impending mortality and the need to secure the future of his line. He has three of his illegitimate children tracked down and brought to the palace. Three girls are around the same age, but they come from vastly different parts of the kingdom. He must have been completing some sort of scorecard or something, extra points for different zones. Anyway, the girls aren’t quite sure what to make of their new circumstances, and they are each harboring a Big Secret- and it appears as though someone else knows about their secrets too. Can they trust each other? Is the fate of the kingdom at stake?
This book was interesting. The story unfolds from each of the three girls’ perspectives. They come from very different backgrounds, so each voice is unique. Much of the story revolves around the magic surrounding the kingdom. Accessing this magic involved “tithing” and there are different types of tithing that achieve different purposes.
There are love interests, of course, including a f/f pairing. This is actually somewhat problematic because of the three chosen girls begins a clandestine relationship with the king’s new wife (i.e. her stepmother). Now, the stepmother is almost the same age as the girl, but still… it doesn’t sit very well. I also can’t offer any glowing praise for the other love interests either.
I would recommend Rule. I think this book is going to appeal to its target demographic. Things end on quite a big cliffhanger, and my interest is piqued as to what is going to happen in the next book. Goodlett has created a very interesting world, and I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.