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.
Okay, so I don’t like the cover. I know everyone is complimenting it because it shows a POC on the cover. Which sure, is great. But I hate covers with people on them at all! So no, I don’t like it.. Even though the cover displays Camellia I still don’t even picture her like that anyway..
Firstly, I want to say that there should be a trigger warning for Sexual Assault.
Well, the writing was pretty good. The descriptions were a little over the top at times, especially when describing characters appearances. Which I get is a main part of the book but it did get a little monotonous. I also found the middle of the book was a little slow at times. The start was good as it had world building and getting to know the characters but then it got slow and then sped up heaps in the last 25%.
Besides that, the world building was really damn good! So that made up for it.
As I said above the middle of the book was pretty slow and there were a few things that happened but nothing anything really major. As for the last 25%? Holy damn. So much went on and a majority of it I did not expect.
Camellia is our main character and I really enjoyed her! She was curious, stubborn, strong and defiant. She liked doing things that others wouldn’t. There was one thing that happened in the book that I was not impressed with. Especially that neither of the characters that did it (one being Camellia) had any real reaction or regret for what they did. The other character more than Camellia, but still.
Bree is another favourite and I’m a little annoyed we don’t find out what happens to her in the end and there was basically no talk about it from the main character after a couple pages after it happened. Not going into spoilers, so that may sound really vague and confusing, but you will understand if you read it. Anyway, Bree is loyal and kind.
Amber is one of my least favourite non-villain characters. She is uptight and will always do what she is told and never really thinks for herself. Towards the end, though she is a bit different to that in the fact that she cant accept that she didn’t win and when she was given the option to redeem herself she went too far trying to win and it resulted in people getting hurt..
Edel was funny, rebellious and didn’t care what people thought. She wasn’t present for a lot of the book but I am guessing that we might see more of her in book 2!
Remy was a little hard to deal with at times. He was all about following orders, even when he could have relaxed. He took everything so seriously and that annoyed me. But he did redeem himself in the end! Also, I am calling it now! He is going to be the love interest in book 2, I’m guessing it now. Obviously, I don’t know if it’s true, but I’m predicting it.
Sophia was obsessive and cruel. That basically sums her up. I don’t think I need to say anything more.
I am not even going to talk about the romance! It was instalove and it wasn’t necessary at all.
My favourite part of the book would have to be the world building! The ending was insane but the middle of the story was a little underwhelming. The characters were good and bad. Hopefully, we see more of Edel & Bree in book 2 as they are my favourites. I didn’t mark it higher than 4 stars because of the slow middle of the book, I didn’t like the romance at all & some of the writing didn’t wow me.
I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Hachette Australia & NetGalley for this opportunity.
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