A Gilded Cage is Still A Cage: A Review of Rule

37946451The 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.

Messy. That’s the first thing that comes to mind with this book. I honestly didn’t even finish it, but I got halfway through, so…enough to give a review/rating.

It felt like parts of this were jacked from many popular YA series. Tithing for magic through pain/self-mutilation=Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Sisters competing for a crown=Three Dark Crowns. Blackmailing with HUGE secrets=Pretty Little Liars. Maybe “jacked” isn’t the right word. But influenced, for sure.

There’s some abuse, a lot of mutilation, shitty kings being shitty…and a lot of the timelines between the three sisters didn’t make the best sense? There were moments when I loved the characters and their different personalities shone through. But there was so much else happening that those moments were diminished.

There’s a love story for each sister, including a f/f one. Which usually I’m all about! But it’s…insta-love. And, again, messy, because Akeylah falls for her step-mother. The queen. Yup. We’re goin old school with tropes now!

Overall not awesome, but with a few shining moments. I give Rule two out of five silverwings.

Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown Books for providing a copy for review.

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