Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rule (Rule, #1)” as Want to Read:
Rule (Rule, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Rule #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  2,659 ratings  ·  667 reviews
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 ba
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rule, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ellen Goodlett One of the 3 POV characters is queer - I don't want to spoil who her love interest is, but I will say it's a f/f romance and my personal favorite in t…moreOne of the 3 POV characters is queer - I don't want to spoil who her love interest is, but I will say it's a f/f romance and my personal favorite in the book.(less)
Ellen Goodlett No, there is physical abuse (one character has an abusive parent, and there is a scene at the start that depicts physical violence), but not sexual.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,659 ratings  ·  667 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Rule (Rule, #1)
destiny ♡ howling libraries
I feel like I say this all the time, but sometimes you find a story that is so hyped, and has this gorgeous cover, and loads of marketing coverage, and between all of that, people start thinking, It’s got to be good, right? And then, the reviews start rolling in, and the responses are less excitable than we all hoped they would be, and I find myself wondering how many stories were given no marketing at all—better stories, stories that deserved the hype—to make room for one that didn’t.


ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review.

“Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.”

Whoever said this was Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars was 100% correct. Except, I quickly learned and remembered that Three Dark Crowns is done much better, and Pretty Little Liars is one of the most annoying shows to have ever aired on this planet we call Earth.

Rule is a story about three girls, who have all been raised in different part
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

Three very different girls are called to the capital of Kolonya to find out they are the three illegitimate daughters of King Andros. They lived their whole lives ignorant to who their father was living lives that would be considered lesser than to the citizens of Kolonya and the outer Reaches. Now, King Andros is dying. He recently lost his heir and is in need of choosing a successor to the throne. The plan is to have the girls serv
Wren (fablesandwren)
Jan 31, 2018 marked it as to-read
Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars... okay okay okay you got me interested...
Natalie Monroe
May 01, 2018 marked it as to-read
This sounds like Three Dark Crowns. Please be better than Three Dark Crowns.

DNF at 39%

I was intrigued by this story, but only picked it up because it came in an email as a “read it now” on NG. I was hoping the tag line of “Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars” would pay off.

Right from the start, I was trepidatious from the three POVs. The three girls all sounded the same, even with entirely different backgrounds. With each girl, there’s a different set of characters and for me, it was overwhelming to keep track of who the people were. Annnnnd it only got worse w
Amy Risner
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-arcs, 2018-books
ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review

My heart is still racing after finishing Rule just moments ago. When Little, Brown said this book is “Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars with a dash of King Lear ” — they are NOT kidding. That was one wild ride!

Usually when the synopsis on the back of a book says the characters hold some deadly secrets, I just shrug that off and don’t think too deeply into it. But, this? Wow. I was blown away by how legitimately chilling thes
Lilly (Lair Of Books)
Many thanks to the Publisher for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review

Buddy Reading With: Melanie from Meltotheany
Julie from Pages and Pens


” Family is the bond that holds the Reaches together. but to be a part of my family is as much a curse as it is a blessing”

Early reviewers have pegged RULE as a blend of Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars, I can only speak on the latter to say that it absolutely has the PLL feel. RULE tells the story of a dying King who has just los
Ashlee » libraryinthecountry
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
View review on my blog, Library in the Country

Review copy generously provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and theNOVL.

Rule is a case of whodunit reminiscent of Agatha Christie, with a dash of the fantastical, that will have you guessing up to the very end. If you are looking for a new fantasy series to obsess over, Rule has all of the key ingredients.

Goodlett was born to write and this is a fantasy debut you need to add to your shelves! With her enchantingly descriptive writing, Goo
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The King is dying. His heir has been murdered. Three girls find themselves in the middle of political intrigue and danger when it is revealed that they are the king's illegitimate daughters. Someone doesn't want them to rule. Someone knows the terrible secrets each one hides and wants to destroy them. One of the girls will be the king's new heir...if any of them survive.

I enjoyed this book. Lots of action, political intrigue, treachery, manipulation....the basic plot built up a lot of suspense.
Aug 14, 2018 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arc
ARC from publisher for a fair review.

Despite not finishing this book, I have posted review for the 50% that can be found here.

Blog | Bookstagram | Instagram | Twitter
Nadhira Satria
Apr 17, 2018 marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: ya, princesses, family
I'm so intrigued by the premise of this book. I love a good royal court drama! ...more
Aneta Bak
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Rule is an absolute wonder! I fell in love with this book right from the beginning. Its perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Three Dark Crowns.

Three girls that have never met, and have nothing in common are brought before the King. The rest of the kingdom doesn't know this yet, but the King is slowly dying and since his son was murdered, he must call on his bastard daughters and train them so that one of them could be his successor. Zofi, Ren and Akeylah are complete opposites, not only i
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
cw: self-mutilation (the magic system is essentially cutting onseself and it is described in detail), abusive family
Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.
Reading this book brought back memories of watching Pretty Little Liars; if you enjoyed the tv show I would recommend this to you! This is a book full of deadly secrets, political intrigue, and a fantasy world where the ruling class is out of touch with the people over whom they rule. While these are ing
Josh Hyung (조슈아)
Whoever their blackmailer was, they were still out there.

I haven't felt this frustrated in quite a while. It's not necessarily a bad thing since cliffhangers are meant to make people feel this way: annoyed yet excited to read the sequel. Nonetheless, gleaning from the novel's blurb, I thought that I could attain closure (learn the identity of the blackmailer) this early. Ugh. Apparently not. 370 pages weren't enough to drag the suspense.

In Rule, three illegitimate princesses "compete" to be the
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
No spoilers in this rapid review of Rule. I liked it and give it 3.5 stars. Rule’s average Goodreads rating is on the lower side of the books I usually read. YA readers tend to rate good books over 4 stars and great above 4.3 stars. So I was worried about a rating of 3.63 stars. But the story sounded fascinating to me, and I wanted to give it a chance. I ended up pleasantly surprised overall!

In Rule, three girls discover they’re the long-lost daughters of the Kolonyan king. When the heir Nicolen
Overall Rating : B-

Who gives authors the right to go and leave cliffhangers like this?!?! And I don't even have the second book to calm myself its so unfair!!😭
Emmi Rose  (emmirosereads)
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars
Thank you once again to TheNovl for sending an ARC for a review

Okay, I'm just going to start off by saying that this book was freaking amazing, and epic and I cannot wait for the sequel! Especially after that last chapter, and the last page, like WHAT!!?? I don't know how I'll be able to wait when this book isn't technically out until September, haha! If you're looking for an amazing high fantasy with incredible world building, fantastic characters, and a stellar plot, look know further! If you
Nicole (FearYourEx)
3.5 out of 5.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The concept is really cool and I loved the different boosts they got from tithing (the magic in the book) and would love to learn about more of the Vulgar Arts. The characters were interesting, but I had a hard time distinguishing them from each other at times and would have to flip back to check what POV I was on. I loved that we learned each girl's secret early on without being teased with hints the
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I stayed up until 3 am to finish this, which I guess isn't saying much since I'm usually awake at that time anyway. But! I don't usually just lie in bed listening to an audiobook, which I did last night because I got home from work and had half an hour of the story left.

I really, really liked this. I was apprehensive because I guess I'm picky about my fantasy without intending to be. This book, though, had a lot for me to like. What I liked most was that this focuses on three female characters-
Kath (Read Forevermore)
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-arcs, reviews
An arc of this book was sent to me by The NOVL and Little Brown Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

RULE by Ellen Goodlett is an incredible YA fantasy novel. It follows three young women who are called to the dying king. Each women has a terrible secret, and each are afraid that their summoning was due to their secret being found out. All three of the women were shocked to find out that wasn't the case, and are told that they are the king's illegi
Gaby (lookingatbooks)
Apr 17, 2018 marked it as to-read
Wow... this sounds like a GOOD book! Can’t wait!
Erin Arkin
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rule is a new fantasy by debut author Ellen Goodlett and when I read the summary of this book I knew I was going to have to read it. It has danger, deception, and an intriguing story that will have you flipping the pages to see what happens next.

The story focuses on three girls whose only connection is that their father happens to be the King and because his only other heir is dead, he has decided to bring them all to Kolonya so they can learn what it takes to rule. It just so happens that none
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Being summoned before the Kolonyan throne is never a pleasant experience, especially when you’re hiding treasonous secrets. Zofi, Flo”Ren”cia and Akeyla all fear the worst - only to be confronted with a stranger secret - they are all the daughters of King Andros - and their secrets now have far greater consequences then they realized. Proud Zofi, Cunning Ren and Empathic Akeyla must compete for their father’s throne, but they aren’t the only ones with secrets.

A vibrant world, with a fascinating
Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
This was...fine. That’s honestly all I’ve got right now.
Vikki P
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an e-ARC of Rule by Ellen Goodlett from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Rule is a rare case of a fantasy series that actually got its world building just right. The author managed to get me invested in the story and the world it was set in without unnecessary details or a lack of any useful details thereof. The story had a great mystery element built into the Fantasy which I adored given that those are my two favorite genres. There were a few issues with
Tracy Banghart
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fast-paced, intriguing book! I loved the three main characters and their BIG secrets (I don't even think I can pick a favorite!). And the world building, including the magic system, was absolutely fascinating. I can't believe the way it ended!! I can't WAIT to read the sequel. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

cw: the magic system does involve self-harm, so just be aware
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I wish I had DNFd like so many other readers. This was a long, boring book about nothing. There were chapters and chapters where nothing happened. I gave up caring early on but toughed it out. I'm a fool for that.

Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)

To be honest, I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would! It was one of those books where you enjoy it while reading but it doesn't necessarily stick with you or leave a lasting impression. It's definitely not a memorable book, and sadly it was kind of generic.

I really, really hate switching POVs in pretty much any book. Two is bad enough, but three is even worse!! It makes it so hard to connect to anyone, and usually it's hard to tell the difference between the characters you're readin
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • La Cour des Ouragans (Vampyria, #3)
  • La Cour des ténèbres (Vampyria, #1)
  • La Cour des Miracles
  • La Reine des ombres, première partie (Keleana #4A)
  • Rozenn, Livre I (Rozenn, #1)
  • La Princesse sans visage (Les Royaumes immobiles, #1)
  • La Reine des ombres, deuxième partie (Keleana, #4B)
  • Légendes (De sang, d'écume et de glace, #2)
  • Les Héritiers (Les Outrepasseurs, #1)
  • Prospérine Virgule-Point et la Phrase sans fin
  • The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1)
  • Bienvenue à Saint-Fouettard (Magic Charly, #2)
  • La passeuse de mots (La passeuse de mots, #1)
  • Métamorphose (De sang, d'écume et de glace, #1)
  • La Ville sans Vent (La Ville sans Vent, #1)
  • L'Arpenteuse de rêves
  • The Gods of Men (Gods of Men, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Ellen Goodlett writes because otherwise she would spend her days plotting to take over the world. She figures that the former would benefit humanity ever so slightly more than the latter (which would be disastrous and involve a lot of cats in government positions). Her debut novel, RULE, about three girls competing for the throne in a fantasy world, will publish in fall 2018 with Little Brown.

Other books in the series

Rule (2 books)
  • Rise (Rule, #2)

Related Articles

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
45 likes · 0 comments
“Describing the Arts to someone who had never tithed was as impossible as explaining an extra sense. The Arts tasted green, smelled like adrenaline, sounded cold.” 3 likes
More quotes…