Thursday, June 11, 2020

Review: Rule (The Unraveled Kingdom #3) by Rowenna Miller

Rule (The Unraveled Kingdom, #3)
Rule (The Unraveled Kingdoms #3) by Rowenna Miller
Publication Date: May 19th, 2020
Paperback. 432 pages

About Rule:

"In this epic conclusion to the Unraveled Kingdom trilogy that began with Torn and Fray, the magical seamstress Sophie Balstrade joins forces with her brother the revolutionary leader and her betrothed the Crown Prince in a deadly bid to change history. 

The civil war that the charm caster Sophie and the Crown Prince Theodor tried so desperately to avert has come to Galitha. While Theodor joins Sophie's brother and his Reformist comrades in battle, hoping to turn the tide against the better-supplied and better-trained Royalist army, Sophie leverages the only weapon she has: charm and curse casting. She weaves her signature magic into uniforms and supplies procured with the aid of unlikely foreign allies, but soon discovers that the challenges of a full-scale war are far greater than the entrepreneurial concerns of her small Galithan dress shop. The fractured leadership of the Reformist army must coalesce, the people of Galitha unite against enormous odds, and Sophie create more than a little magical luck, in order to have a chance of victory."

Torn (The Unraveled Kingdom #1) Review
Fray (The Unraveled Kingdom #2) Review

I am both satisfied and heartbroken that The Unraveled Kingdoms trilogy is now over, but I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion to wrap up this beautiful and intense story. The previous two books were sent to me courtesy of Orbit, but because of COVID things have gotten a little crazy and rather than simply request it on NetGalley, I decided to pre-order this one specially because I felt like I should support both Rowenna Miller and Orbit right now--and I'm so glad I did because that cover looks even more beautiful in person!

Where do I begin? First, if you haven't read the first two books in this trilogy but plan to and don't want any sort of spoilers, then you may not want to read this review in full detail. I won't give any spoilers for Rule and I will try to refrain from saying too much that could give away details from the first two books, but there will probably be some general plot details that do slip through, so consider yourself warned. :)

Despite attempts to prevent it, a civil war has erupted in Galitha, where Reformists strive to topple the nobility and Royalist army in order to give the people of Galitha better rights. This is the moment that the previous books have been building up to--the final stand on whether or not the people of Galitha can be successful in their revolutionary endeavor. Though they had success int he past with passing important bills, we all know that that doesn't mean any problem is over, and tensions have finally reached their final point.

Sophie, our sole protagonist, remains a truly captivating character to follow, and it has been such a incredible journey watching her grow in both her physical powers as a charmcaster as well as her personal growth into someone somehow even more independent and headstrong than she already was at the beginning of the trilogy. In Rule, Sophie learns just how high the stakes have risen and what true battle is like, along with all of the loss, triumph, and struggle that comes with it. I've also liked watching Sophie's relationships with Theodore and her brother, Kristos, develop over the course of The Unraveled Kingdoms trilogy. There are a lot of ups and downs between them, especially when it comes to Sophie and her brother, and it was such an enjoyable to see how they handled all the different conflicts and intense moments that happened and how those ultimately shaped everything in the end.

I also liked Miller's inclusion of women's rights issues that pop up in this world, and I think the way that she chose to incorporate it had a very real-world authentic feel to it. Although the people of Galitha are fighting for better rights and quality of life, there's no real emphasis on the women of Galitha and that they should have more opportunities, such as running for political office. Sophie repeatedly brings this up to Kristos and Theodore, but is repeatedly told that that is not what they are fighting for right and that she should bring it up again later once they've established their new way of life in Galitha. Of course, Sophie doesn't take this as an adequate answer and continues to push, and I thought it was a really thoughtful and important way to show how there are so many more sides to any revolution than appear, and that just because one problem might be solved, it doesn't mean everything is perfect.

Along those lines of not everything being perfect, I also appreciated how Miller had her characters discuss not only the current civil war, but what the future could look like if they actually won. Contrary to what most books and stories make it sound like, winning a war doesn't mean things are automatically perfect for the victors--instead, Sophie, Theodore, her brother, and other chosen leaders must figure out how to go about creating this 'better' life in an equal and acceptable way for everyone. This is no easy task, and I appreciated how much prominence Miller gave to these issues.

Overall, I've given this amazing conclusion to a magical and politically intense story five stars! I have loved following this revolution of sorts from the very beginning where Sophie is working at her store and focusing on building up her business to being a vital component of one of the most important moments in Galitha's new history. If you like revolutions, politics, the idea of charms being sewn into cloth items, and people who never give up on fighting for what they believe is right and fair for everyone, then absolutely pick up this trilogy!

1 comment:

  1. This is a series I regret not starting, but it sounds like its definitely worth picking up!