"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
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!
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.
September 11, 2018