Review – Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Title Rule

Author Ellen Goodlett

Description from Amazon

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.

Initial Thoughts

I had this book on my shelf for a while before I actually read it.  I didn’t love Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake so I thought this might be a better version of that.  It’s a similar story with the exception of the sisters not knowing about each other before the competition starts.

Cover Art

I love the cover of this one.  It was probably my favorite part about the entire book.  It’s rich and detailed and very well suited to the subject matter.  The colors and the font used are super dramatic and I think that encapsulates the themes very well.


This story is told through alternating POV chapters from each of the three sisters.  At times, I found all three girls annoying.  As the reader, it’s very frustrating to watch them all be so distrustful when you know that there is no ill intent.  I think this book actually could have been better if it was told from third person omniscient narration.  It was difficult at times to remember who was the narrator and there was a lot of confusion between the characters.

Something I Liked

I loved the ending.  It was a cliffhanger but it had something that I love to see in books.  No spoilers, but, I will be busting out my detective hat for the next book, Rise, coming out on June 11, 2019.

Final Thoughts

I definitely thought this book was better than Three Dark Crowns.  While the characters annoyed me somewhat, I think the overall story was solid.  There are a lot of moving parts, lies, and secrets that tie everything together and I am interested to see where the second (and last) book will leave everything.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon – so many similarities between these books.  Setting, characters, overall themes.  Gravemaidens hasn’t been released yet, but definitely check it out if you liked Rule.
  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – If you liked Rule’s alternating POV style, the setting, and the concept of lost magic, definitely give We Hunt the Flame a try.  It is also the start of a series (if you’re not into stand alone novels).
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – this is another story of three sisters fighting for a crown.  Murder, deception, and sisterhood are just some of the themes that make these books comparable.

3 thoughts on “Review – Rule by Ellen Goodlett

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