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  • Writer's pictureSofiya Pasternack

Review: The Belles

Title: The Belles Author: Dhonielle Clayton Genre: Fantasy Series: The Belles #1

Blurb Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, 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 Orleans 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 Orleans 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.

What I Liked The beautiful world, magic, and setting. The mythology of the world is breathtaking, and the political tensions dig deep. The characters are so unique, and they all stand apart from one another as you read.

What I Would Have Liked to See There is a trope here, and one of my least favorite ones. The most prominent queer character meets an unfortunate end, and when it happened I actually groaned out loud. I saw it coming but I had hoped the trope might change at the last second, but… alas.

My Favorite! The magic! I love fresh new magic systems, and beauty as magic is delightful.

TL;DR A beauty-themed, magical story with political intrigue and characters that jump off the page. Great for YA readers and adults alike!



meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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