*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Title: Rise (Rule #2)
Author: Ellen Goodlett
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
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.
Review: I have to say that I actually enjoyed this much more than the first book! Where where the first book was lacking character depth, I felt that more was added this time around. I really liked the high stakes and cleverly twisted plot! All the secrets come out and there are some pretty big reveals. Ellen Goodlett does a great job of keeping you guessing and convincing you who the villain is until the moment where she’s like PSYCH.
Honestly, anyone and everyone in this series is painted as the bad guy in one way or another. Not a single character is to be trusted and even Ren, Zofi, and Akeylah start to suspect each other! I really respect their overall relationship with each other, though. Sisterhood is a huge theme throughout these two books and they never really turn their backs on each other, even though they’re supposed to be competing for the throne.
There were two main issues I had with this book while reading it. I wanted more of the history and worldbuilding because while all these other locations and people are discussed, they are never developed. I understand that it’s hard to do with a duology, but I felt like I needed to know more. The second issue I had was the incest. I completely cringed when this was mentioned and shudder every time I think about it. WHY. JUST WHY?
Things I enjoyed about this series?
-It’s fast-paced with a ton of suspense and twists.
-There is definitely romance, but it takes the back burner for the most part in favour of sisterhood.
-The total unpredictability of it all!
Rise literally keeps you guessing until almost the end of the book when everything clicks into place and you’re like OH MY GOD. I was proud of myself for suspecting the real villain! Everything kind of takes a wild turn by the end. I think there’s definitely more room for stories from this world and this series is left open ended enough for it to be a possibility.
TW: self-harm involved in magic, incest.