Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Title: The Belles
Publication: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
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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.

The Belles is an interesting read and I liked the concept of this story because our society's obsessed with beauty and the author showcases this very well. I think of the Belles as plastic surgeons but more magical. This world of Orléans hates the way they look and there are those that look to profit from the Belle's ability to change people. They have many rules to follow and the main one is to do as told but Camellia isn't one to adhere to rules. She hopes to use her skill to get people to see how beautiful they are but struggles to overcome the superficial tendencies of her clients. I like the rebellious nature of her character and she grew throughout the book into an amazingly fierce young woman. Her other sisters were too easy to fall in line with the requirements of their role, other than Edel, who was a firecracker from the start. I think the problem for me is they never questioned these rules and were content  in their little prisons in a sense. 

Now, there is a rule that Belles aren't allowed to interact with men at all and Camellia has an admirer that determined to help her break that rule. I didn't really like him much and the romance seemed false to me but it will make sense in the end. Then there is Princess Sophia, who makes the evil queen look like a saint because she is seriously foul. Also, there are a few moments that may make some people uncomfortable because of the violence.  

The writing is good and the flow of the story is steady but the only thing was as colorful as this world seems, I struggled visualizing it in my mind even though the author was very detailed in describing every aspect of it. Overall,I would like to know more about the origin of the Belles and see what happens next in their journey. This would be a good read for someone who wants something that's fantasy with a darker tone. 


  1. I've heard a lot of things about this book. I can't wait to read this.

  2. I'm intrigued by this romance of Camellia's.

  3. What an interesting concept for a book. Really sounds unique to me. That's unfortunate that the romance factor seemed a bit off. Nice review. :) ~Aleen

  4. This one is new to me but I do like the concept so I'll be checking this one out :)

  5. This isn't my usual typed of read, but it looks really promising! I might have to try and pick it up!

  6. I'm looking forward to reading this one. It is a shame you couldn't visualize the world as well as you would have liked. I'm curious to see how well I can visualize it when I read. Thanks for the honest review!


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