Series: The Belles #1
Length: 448 pages
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.
I was very intrigued by this book as soon as I heard about it on book Twitter. Fortunately, this book satisfies incredibly well. THE BELLES follows Camellia, a Belle, who slowly becomes more aware of the more dangerous plots in the royal family for whom she works.
Clayton weaves an interesting plot with an incredible dystopian setting from start to finish. With luscious writing and a variety of thorough descriptions, THE BELLES captured my attention as soon as I picked it up. The plot is filled with a myriad of twists and turns that made me keep reading into the late hours of the night. My only reservation is that I felt that the pacing as a bit off, as I felt as if some areas lagged for a while, and some exiting areas in the plot went too quickly.
Camellia is a wonderful main character. She is filled with a variety of emotions and torn judgement, which I could understand and sympathize. It reminded me a lot of THE QUEEN’S RISING, another February 2018 release, that also revolved around a main character with a few sisters with powerful talents. Clayton develops many of these characters incredibly well. That being said, don’t trust anyone in this novel.
Overall, I’m very impressed with Clayton’s writing and THE BELLES. If you enjoy a twisted dystopian that revolves around the prices people will pay for beauty, be sure to pick this diverse and thrilling novel up. I’m definitely planning to pick up the sequel.
Thank you to Disney for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Alice is an 18 year old college student who loves the oxford comma, television shows, and the company of dogs. She finds writing in the third person odd yet enjoyable. You can find her scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, and forever organizing her shelves on Goodreads.