Beauty is power. Beauty is a necessity. Beauty is everything.
In a society where beauty is not just what you look like but who you are, the Belles are the greatest treasures of a cursed kingdom. They are “goddess blessed” with gifts that let them shape your very flesh, like clay, into any shape or color. But has their power made them honored servants of the kingdom or puppeteered prisoners in gilded cages with fine dresses nibbling on dainty macaroons?
Fantastically crafted, The Belles brings to life a richly imagined world that harkens back to the American South and decadence of Louis the XVI. The author vividly paints detail into every nook and cranny, while throwing you into the middle of a court filled with lies, cruelty, and a sick darkness slithering underneath a thin veneer of rosy lips and flawless skin. Sometimes the most beautiful monsters are the ones to fear the most, for they smile at you while tearing you apart. A truly unique read compared to many in its genre and a must read of 2018.— From Constance's Collection
Belles live to bestow beauty upon a people born gray and red-eyed…for a price. Camellia Beauregard and her five Belle “sisters” are the latest season of Belles. Camellia’s determined to be Queen’s favorite. But something’s rotten in the lush kingdom of Orleans. Belles are practically deified for their talents, but they lived a cloistered existence in the most lavish of cages. Camellia is both the main protagonist and our narrator. Her perspective and voice are both guide and gatekeeper. As this tale grows increasingly full of political intrigue and shifting loyalties, this is both a boon and a barrier. Clayton’s built a world rich in detail and strong themes, but her young protagonist is a dreadfully slow learner. The Belles opens with such vibrant descriptions it reels you in without you realizing. If you’re a fan of the story progression of a Kiera Cass novel or the world-building of Leigh Bardugo then The Belles is the first in a series you’re destined to enjoy. This is Dhonielle Clayton’s debut solo novel and the buzz is definitely warranted. – Guest Reviewer Ro— From Spotlight on Guest Reviewers
“In a world where people are born gray and sallow, only a Belle and her powers can bring forth beauty. But being a Belle may prove dangerous for Camellia Beauregard, as she discovers in the royal court of Orleans, where secrets and danger lurk behind every sparkling facade. The Belles is a rich, opulent, intoxicating book - reading it feels like eating the most decadent cupcake you've ever tasted in your life. The atmosphere Clayton creates is sumptuous, and her characters are compelling, ambitious, and beautiful, though some only on the outside. I was blown away by this novel and can't wait for the author's next gorgeous book.”
— Emily Hall, Main Street Books, St.Charles, MO