Title: Belle Révolte
Author: Linsey Miller
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Read: January 2020
Rating: 4 Caffeinated Stars
Trigger Warnings: Gore, medical malpractice, not feeling like you belong, murder
Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.
Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.
Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.
But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.
As many of you know, I LOVED Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller, so I was incredibly honored that Sourcebooks Fire sent me a physical copy of Belle Révolte! This book looked like everything I could want. I love fantasy & the blurb sounded terrific! Unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to the hype I built in my head. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but it wasn’t nearly as amazing as I hoped it would be.
Starting off, the writing style just seemed wonky in areas. It almost felt like there were more words than necessary in each sentence. The unnecessary words were incredibly distracting at times. This got better by the end of the book, but I’m not sure if it was better because I was engrossed in the story or because the sentences became more concise.
Something else that felt off with me was the lack of differences between the two main characters. Emilie des Marais and Annette Boucher were too similar. Emilie is noble, while Annette is a commoner. I have never read a book where a noble and a commoner sounded the exact same. The words used, the sentence structure, etc. were all the same. There were times where I had to go back and see whose point of view I was reading. Even though the characters voices sounded the same, I really enjoyed the two main characters and the side characters. I liked seeing the relationships between all of the characters, and it was fun to see them grow.
Though I found some things that I just didn’t enjoy, I found other things that I loved! The magic structure in the story was fascinating. I enjoyed the focus on sacrifice and how using magic would wear the body down. The system made sense in my head, and it was interesting to see how the world adjusted to the magic system.
Just like the magic structure, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot. There was something fun and exciting about the story. After the first 20% of the book, I was hooked. The story itself was quick-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. The politics that were present were frustratingly good, and I enjoyed how much the story grabbed me. All in all, this book has its faults, but the plot and magic truly made up for it. This will be perfect for teens looking for two (a little too similar) kick-ass women who want to make the world a better place.
Want to give this book a chance? Here are the buy links!