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4 Reviews

Rule
Launch Sample

Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars in this sensational and striking new fantasy from debut author Ellen Goodlett.

Three girls. 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.


Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in the first book of this sensational and striking fantasy duology.
Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars in this sensational and striking new fantasy from debut author Ellen Goodlett. Three girls. 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. Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in the first book of this sensational and striking fantasy duology.
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
85,677
Pages:
384
Publication Date:
09/11/2018
Series:
Rule Series , #1
ISBN13:
9780316515283
Product Dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x1.50(d)
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years
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About the Author
Ellen Goodlett is the author of several science fiction short stories, a comic book collaborator, and young adult novelist. A former New Yorker, she is currently traveling the world with 79 other digital nomads, living in a different country every month. Traveling provides a lot of inspiration for her fantasy worlds.
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Editorial Reviews
06/25/2018
In this debut YA fantasy, Goodlett treats readers to juicy gossip, court intrigue, and danger. Told in alternating, third-person chapters, with the threat of betrayal on all sides, the novel centers on a friendship forged among half-sisters. Three girls—Zofi, Ren, and Akeylah—are plucked from obscurity and far-flung locales, and then thrown into the spotlight at court after it is revealed that they are daughters of the king. Each is plagued by an enormous secret, a crime against the crown: Akeylah cursed the king with lethal intent, Zofi murdered the crown prince, and Ren gave information that resulted in the death of thousands. Soon, the young women discover that someone at the palace knows of their betrayals and is threatening to expose them unless they forsake their birthright. Goodlett’s worldbuilding is detailed and politically astute; she hands each of the girls their own agendas and dilemmas, creating real players rather than mere pawns. She also skillfully pits the three against one another initially, then gradually draws them together to route out their tormentor, providing a satisfying build toward a cliffhanger ending. Ages 14–up. Agents: Joelle Hobeika and Hayley Wagreich, Alloy Entertainment. (Sept.)"Rule delivers dazzling magic, suspenseful court intrigue, and pulse-pounding surprises. A treat for fans of richly layered fantasy!"—Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of the Frostblood Saga

"Goodlett treats readers to juicy gossip, court intrigue, and danger. [Her] worldbuilding is detailed and politically astute......providing a satisfying build toward a cliffhanger ending."—Publishers Weekly

"An epic fantasy adventure...[with] death threats, political intrigue, and just the right amount of romance. A great purchase for libraries with strong readers and fantasy lovers."—SLJ

"Rule is an exhilarating, fresh fantasy full of complicated and authentic female characters navigating court politics, blackmail, forbidden romance, and their own dark pasts. With breakneck pacing and a toe-curlingly good queer romance, Rule is sure to satisfy."—Lindsay Smith, author of Sekret and Web of Frost

"Rule is a such a propulsive, richly imagined, and sexy debut that you'll be reading 'just one more page' way past your bedtime."—Corrie Wang, author of The Takedown

"The fast-paced plot makes for an engaging read... Refreshing."—Kirkus Reviews07/01/2018
Gr 9 Up—An epic fantasy adventure told from the alternating perspectives of three young women of very different backgrounds. Zofi, Akeylah, and Ren are summoned by the king to the central city of Kolonya and told that they are actually his "bastard" daughters. After the murder of the king's only heir, they are now suddenly legitimized. With his health failing, he wants to evaluate their worthiness for the throne before choosing a successor, but all three have deadly secrets being leveraged by a shadowy blackmailer. They must decide if they can trust one another enough to pool their unique strengths, uncover their blackmailer, and ensure the safety of their kingdom. The book ends with a devastating cliff-hanger, leaving readers with more questions than answers. In many ways the Reaches, of which Kolonya is the capital, represent a progressive society with male and female warriors and an LGBTQ-affirming society. However, the kingdom suffers from the same racial tensions, class wars, and poverty issues of our own world. These problems are presented in an empathetic way that bring clarity. Characters utilize "blood tithes" to heighten their abilities in a way that adds a fun superherolike quality to an already rich world. Likable main and secondary characters will draw teens. However, the dense world-building and backstories make the pages turn a bit more slowly, despite death threats, political intrigue, and just the right amount of romance. VERDICT A great purchase for libraries with strong readers and fantasy lovers.—Sunnie Scarpa, Wallingford Public Library, CT2018-05-28
Set in a fantastical world in which almost all humans have the power to harness extraordinary physical prowess by tithing their blood (referred to as the Blood Arts), Rule traces the adventures of three sisters in their quest for the crown.The three young women could not be more different: Zofi is a Traveler; not only is her tribe of wandering nomads shunned by mainstream society, but Zofi is on the run from the King's guards. Florencia, or Ren, is a lady's maid at the Keep, catering to the whims and fancies of noblewomen. Akeylah, from the Eastern Reach, suffers under the tyranny of her abusive adoptive father and is unsure whether she will survive from one day to the next. United by their paternity, the girls are invited by their father, King Andros, to compete for the crown. Yet each girl's claim to the throne is complicated by a secret she harbors: Each has committed an act of treason against the royal family. The fast-paced plot makes for an engaging read; however, the underdeveloped side characters weaken the story. Readers may be troubled by the equation of cutting and/or pain with a marked increase in power. Limited physical descriptions other than hair color make ethnicity difficult to determine.Goodlett's debut is a refreshing break from fantasy novels in which the plot hinges on a seemingly inevitable heterosexual romance. (Fantasy. 14-18)
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Customer Reviews (4)
"Rule" was a surprise hit for me! We follow three half-sisters who ...
"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
- onemused
September 11, 2018
This exciting novel begins with an exhilarating chase scene and it ...
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!
- Anonymous
September 14, 2018
I think the comparison to Three Dark Crowns is apt. I also think f ...
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.
- KaileyReadsYA
September 11, 2018
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Hardcover (1)
Rule
Pub. Date: 09/11/2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Rule
Pub. Date: 05/21/2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Rule
Pub. Date: 09/11/2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Rule
Pub. Date: 09/11/2018
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
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