Rule: Rule #1 by Ellen Goodlett

Rule: Rule #1 by Ellen Goodlett

Ellen Goodlett comes to the blog today with her debut offering and the first in her YA fantasy series, Rule. Please read on for my review of


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 whee 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.

Rule: Rule #1 by Ellen Goodlett

Title: Rule
Author: Ellen Goodlett
Series: Rule #1
Genre: Contemporary YA Fantasy
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0316515280
Published on: 11 September, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 10 Hours
Rated: two-half-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound Google
See this Title on Goodreads

Three girls with 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 this sensational and striking fantasy debut.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


About Ellen Goodlett

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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