Thursday, June 27, 2019

#Review - Rise by Ellen Goodlett #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Rule # 2
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult / Dark Fantasy

Dark pasts and forbidden romances haunt three ambitious sisters as they fight to inherit the throne in this sequel to Rule, which New York Times bestselling author Elly Blake called "dazzling" and "pulse-pounding."

Sisters Akeylah, Ren, and Zofi are all a step closer to their dying father's throne, a step closer to the crown that will allow one of them to rule over Kolonya. But the sisters' pasts continue to haunt them. Each hides a secret marked with blood and betrayal, and now their blackmailer is holding nothing back. When King Andros discovers the sisters' traitorous pasts, the consequences will shake the entire kingdom to its core.

As Kolonya's greatest threat stalks closer and closer, weaving a web of fear and deceit around Ren, Zofi, and Akeylah, even the people they love are under suspicion. If the sisters are going to survive, they'll have to learn to trust each other above all else and work together, not only to save themselves, but to protect everyone and everything they hold dear.

With shocking reveals and suspenseful storytelling, this breathtaking sequel to Rule will keep you guessing until the very last page.

Rise, by author Ellen Goodlett, is the second and final installment in the authors Rule duology. Author combines perennially popular fantasy and adventure tropes--a battle for the crown, dark magic, secret heritages--with a romantic, commercial plot, including a central F/F romance. This is the perfect duology for people who like a little bit of Pretty Little Liars with their Game of Thrones. The story picks up immediately where Rule left off and rapidly moves quickly. It is a story filled with betrayals, surprises, and a mystery that held my attention until the very end.

Sisters Akeylah, Zofi and Florencia (Ren) have come up against a villain who calls themselves "the true heir." They've been told that they must step aside and allow the true heir to take their place or they face dire consequences. After a brutal campaign of blackmail, and putting the characters into difficult situations, including nearly killing Ren, Akeylah becomes the odds on favorite to rise up and become the heir of King Andros. After all, it's pretty apparent nobody knows what she did before being summoned to meet her father.

Meanwhile, Zofi is accused of killing the Silver Prince Nicolen, while Ren's role in what happened in Burnt Bay is exposed in a big way. Someone has intimate knowledge of what Zofi and Ren did before their father summoned them to compete to be his heir. But, Zofi and Ren aren't done fighting just yet. Zofi, banished from the capital rather than face execution, finds her way back to her family (Travelers) where she hopes to find a cure for her father's curse. Zofi finds a companion in Vidal, a member of the Talons who chooses to follow Zofi.

Back in the castle, Ren spends a great deal of time being a prisoner in her own room with few friends, including Ambassador Danton and Audrina, spending any time with her. Ren and her mother surprisingly come up with a few revelations concerning a certain Queen and whether or not she is actually involved in the blackmail against the sisters.  Ren has always been the one with the most experience dealing with court politics. But, now, politics and blackmail stand in the way of Ren becoming the heir.

While her other sisters are struggling with the heir's manipulations, Akeylah is standing in for the King, as well as figuring out her relationship with Queen Rozalind who may or may not be involved in what is happening. I wasn't a fan of the romance between the two. But, I also understand that Rozalind's marriage to the King was for political reasons. But, Rozalind has a few secrets of her own, and ends up just as caught up in the conspiracy as the sisters. 

The ending wrapped up things quite nicely. Although I feel a bit for Zofi, she really does get exactly what she wanted. The relationship between the three sisters is often tested to the breaking point. When things are looking really bad for the heroines, they might waver in their belief and trust in the other, but when all is said and done, they are solid and they wouldn't change a damn thing.

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