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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles

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"In the opulent world of Orleans, beauty can be deadly. 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 favourite - 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 recognised 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."

This has got to be an early contender for one of my favourite books of 2018. It has a clever and original concept that blooms into an amazing story. Clayton creates a magical but seedy world that you can’t help but fall in love with, and it’s so well crafted that you become totally immersed in it. I couldn’t put this book down.

The Belles is a phenomenal, dark and twisted destruction of the beauty myth. All I need now is the sequel.