Welcome to the dark decadence of Dhonielle Clayton's sharp tale of beauty, obsession and magic. . . 'A whip-smart writer with grand, grand talents' - Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist'Breathtakingly beautiful and deeply unsettling' - Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author I AM A BELLE. I CONTROL BEAUTY.In the opulent world of Orleans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle's powers can make them beautiful. Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle - the one chosen by the Queen to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and 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 favourite 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, and that her powers may be far greater - and far darker - than she ever imagined. When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.
- Publication Date:
- 08 / 02 / 2018
- 135 x 216mm
I wasn’t really sure what if I was going to enjoy this one. I heard very different things, but after I received I decided to why not pick it up? And I am really glad I did.
In a world where everyone is grey and made beautiful only by the belles, it’s bound to get a little crazy. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton follows Camellia Beauregard who has been trained from birth to be a Belle. But Camellia doesn’t want to be just any Belle, just wants to be the favourite. The one that the Queen of Orléans chooses to live with the royal family.
But when Camellia and her sisters arrive at court, it’s nothing like they expected. The dark, power hunger nature of court-life starts to unravel and everything that Camellia seems to know is a lie. She must decide if being the favourite is worth the risk. If everything that she ever wanted to worth her life, her sisters and the kingdoms.
I didn’t love Camellia at the start. I really did hate her. She was arrogant, thought that she was the best and the way that she spoke about people. It really didn’t sit well with me, but I was enjoying the plot so I pushed on. However, as the novel went on and Camellia started to grow, she did become a more likeable protagonist. I felt that Camellia not only started to understand herself but those around her as well, including the world that she lived in.
The world building in The Belles was a weird one. For the most part, I really enjoyed it. But there were some hiccups on the way. I thought the concept was really interesting. Everyone born the same and then they can choose how they look and can change it all the time. It brought out the best and worst in people. However, it also made a lot of the characters very vain. And that made it hard to like any of the characters.
Also, while I normally hate when an author info dumps about the world, I think that Dhonielle Clayton excelled in it. She did it in a way that just worked so well! I didn’t feel that everything was thrown at me, but I also feel that I had a good idea of the world before the book really started.
The plot is what really kept me going with The Belles. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Some parts were predictable and there was heaps of foreshadowing, but it worked for this novel. It worked with the characters and the world. Everything just blended together nicely. The ending definitely left me hanging and wanting more. And I will pick up the sequel for sure.
The romance aspect of The Belles – I don’t want to talk about it much and ruined a lot of the book. But I didn’t really like it. I couldn’t tell from the start that something was off and just wanted to yell at Camellia. However, I also see something else brewing and I hope that it works out.
Overall, I enjoyed The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. It was an interesting read where the world is full of people that are vain to the core. I really enjoyed the plot and that is what really kept me going. Camellia isn’t my favourite protagonist, but as the novel went on, she did become more bearable. I am really excited to see where the story is taken and what’s going to happen next. - Angelique (QBD)