A huge thanks to Disney-Hyperion for giving me a free digital copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I always run at a book that is basically Beauty & the Beast so of course this one was no exception.
Title: Rebel Rose (The Queen’s Council)
Author: Emma Theriault
Release date: November 10, 2020
Genre: Young adult, historical fantasy
Length: 352 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “Happily ever after is only the beginning as Belle takes on the responsibility of becoming queen and learns to balance duty, love, and sacrifice, all while navigating dark political intrigue-and a touch of magic.
It’s 1789 and France is on the brink of revolution. Belle has finally broken the Enchantress’s curse, restoring the Beast to his human form as Prince Adam, and bringing life back to their castle in the province of Aveyon. But in Paris, the fires of change are burning, and it’s only a matter of time before the rebellion arrives on their doorstep.
Belle has always dreamed of leaving her provincial home for a life of adventure. But now she finds herself living in a palace, torn between her roots as a commoner, and her future as a royal. When she stumbles across a mysterious, ancient magic that brings with it a dire warning, she must question whether she is ready for the power being thrust on her, and if being Queen is more than just a title.
Rebel Rose is the first in the Queen’s Council series, an empowering fairy tale reimagining of the Disney Princesses-and the real history behind their stories-like you’ve never seen before.”
Well, this was a slight disappointment. I liked the characters well enough, especially since we see Lio/Adam as a human instead of the Beast. But I still felt some characters weren’t the same. Yes, that might be silly to say but at the same time they didn’t feel wholly “true.” Oddly enough I found Cogsworth rather infuriating because I interpreted a lot of open disdain from him. We also see another character from the original story and I… Well, I simply don’t see him in the way the author made him. I also felt uncomfortable when, in order to justify their actions, certain characters had to out themselves to Belle. It seemed wrong. Belle was very accepting, though, which I do expect her to be.
I liked that we were taken into the early start of the French Revolution and we got the elegance and sheer pageantry of that era from the aristocracy. The idea of Belle outright rejecting the title of Queen and all she knows it would do for her and her people felt…off. Like I understand that she definitely didn’t truly know what she was getting herself into when she married the Prince but still. Surely she had SOME idea?
I’m unsure about how magic played a role in the story overall. I liked the idea but it almost felt forced—to continue to have the magic play a role when I feel like the storyline would have been fine without it. I did, however, like the background story regarding the enchantress.
I thought the contrast between Belle and Marguerite was good, as they both desired something they each had in their own life. From the moment we met who eventually became the “bad guy” I suspected them in a heartbeat so I think it really took away from the shock factor of who really betrayed the king.
Sadly not a book that I would add to my own personal library but if you’re a BatB fan, you may enjoy this one. I think I find that I seem to enjoy more “retellings” than continuations.
You can check out these other reviews here:
- Veronica at TL;DR thought the story felt disjointed.
- Sylvia at Syl Reads said while TT was a good story, the execution was off.
- Meghan at the Caffeinated Book Owl liked the way history was incorporated into the story but didn’t care for the “big twist.”