Elsabeth never wanted to come to court, but when her sister drags her along because of her engagement to the Crown Prince, Henry, she goes anyway. With Alicia disapproving of just about everything that Elsabeth does, to the point where she can't even talk about the things she likes, Elsabeth feels trapped. Yet there's something about the second Prince, Frederick that calls to her, and not just the fact that he is one of the few people that is nice to her. Frederick has a reputation, and not the good kind, though at least to some extent it is exaggerated. But all thoughts of women and drink go out of the window when he meets Elsabeth, the shy and innocent woman capturing his heart in a way he never thought was possible. But events turn sour and Frederick has to face things that he never though he would have to, making him have to choose between his duty and his woman.
I really enjoyed Rules of Ascension, it was quite a short read but it was enjoyable all the same. There were certain elements of predictability in regards to the characters, the innocent maiden and the womanising Prince, but I thought they were done well, and that both Elsabeth and Frederick held their own enough not to be tarnished by their stereotypes.
Well I say that, but Elsabeth actually wasn't quite the blushing maiden she was supposed to be, she liked to read and teach and do other unseemly behaviour (she also didn't seem to mind being on her own with Frederick all that much). It gave her more of an edge than just being a damsel in distress would, which is good because I can't deal with those kinds of characters!
Frederick's character was certainly very interesting. Up until the point that you 'met' him in the book, it was clear that he was a womanising and drinking Prince rather than anything respectable. But as soon as he made an appearance as a character, that was totally different. It became clear that the playboy Prince was actually a front and he was a very caring person, shown particularly through his protectiveness of Elsabeth. I also really liked the fact that he shortened her name to Elsa, whereas everyone else used Ellie, I thought it was sweet.
The plot (the plot in the book not the plot of the book!) that unraveled close to the end was not what I expected. To be honest I didn't expect the drama that was included in the book at all, and so the fact that there was a plot attached was surprising. It was clearly well thought out, and even I found myself surprised at some of the players!
I really enjoyed this book, I'd definitely read more from the author!
Rules Of AscensionAs a child, Lady Elsabeth Durnfir dreamed of marrying a prince, but after seeing her elder sister’s personality make a complete 180 degree turn after her engagement to Crown Prince Henry of Estoria is announced, Elsabeth has traded in her childish hopes of a fairytale wedding for the equally unlikely hope of inheriting Durnfir Manor and the surrounding land.
By Suzy Knight
By Suzy Knight
Life at court is not something she is interested in, or good at, but in order to help prepare for her sister Alicia’s wedding, Elsabeth must live at court for an entire year. As well as trying to fit in at court while living up to her sister’s reputation, Elsabeth has a secret to keep. But, court is full of secrets that are all about to come to light.
How will Elsabeth survive court without destroying her family’s reputation—and how can she get Prince Frederick, the renowned rake, to stop teasing her?
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