Monday, June 10, 2019

The Belles (The Belles #1), by Dhonielle Clayton (author), Rosie Jones (narrator)

Blackstone Audio, February 2018

In the land of Orleans, everyone is born gray, and plain, and only the Belles and their arcana can make people beautiful.

And being beautiful is the most important thing for everyone in Orleans.

Camilla Beauregard and her sisters, the new generation of Belles look forward to going to the palace. Each dreams of being the Favorite, the Belle who will live in the Palace and serve the Queen and her Court. Yet when they arrive, they discover that life at the Palace is no bed of roses. There is intrigue and danger at every turn, and you can't tell who is an enemy, and who, if anyone, is a friend.
Nor are the Belles not chosen as the Favorite, and assigned to the various Tea Houses around the kingdom, to ply their talents for the benefit of anyone with the wealth to purchase them, any better off. Favorite and Tea House Belles alike, they are working close to the edge of their capacity. They've been taught how to use their talents, but not how to manage contentious clients. At the Tea Houses, they here strange sounds, and cries of pain at night. They don't know what's going on.

At the Palace, the new Favorite slowly learns that even within the royal family, there is intrigue and conflict, and some of the greatest dangers they'll face.

This is a very good book, well-written, with good, interesting characters, and good plotting. I didn't love it, but I think I would have loved it, when I was the young adult reader this is aimed at--and I don't mean so young I hadn't yet acquired critical judgment. This is an excellent book. I'm just not the target audience for it anymore.


I borrowed this book from my local library.

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