Publication Date: February 6th 2018
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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 a fascinating look at beauty, society’s obsession with it and what price people are willing to pay to obtain their image of beauty.
If you could simply pay someone to make you look exactly how your idea of perfection should be, would you? Just how much would you be willing to pay to be the most beautiful person? Would you pay with your own life or the lives of others?
Behind the lavish dresses, food and palaces featured in this book lies a hulking monster – the obsession with beauty and just how far people are willing to go, and what they are willing to pay, to achieve their idea of perfection.
The Belles have been created to pull the rest of the Kingdom of Orleans’ citizens out of their disturbing natural state (the Gris) and turn them all into objects of beauty. Belles use the arcana that travels their blood in order to change your hair, your skin tone, your body shape, your bone shape in order to achieve your idea of perfection. But don’t worry about not liking to the changes as they don’t last.
However, as Camellia’s Belle-power enables her to become more involved with the royal family, sinister secrets are revealed and the real truth about the Belles existence is uncovered.
The Belles is an intriguing commentary on the obsession the world has with beauty and what is really the ultimate price to pay for beauty. Complete with a disturbingly evil antagonist (a complete psychopath), a richly imagined world, and an fascinating plot this book has definitely left me hungry for more and I eagerly await the second book in this series.