3 stars · Apocalyptic Fantasy · Books · Epic Fantasy · High Fantasy · Reviews · Young Adult

The Belles

I find the world interesting, but it’s mostly the characters which fails to impress me. Even though the beginning was promising, but the ending revealed itself to be rather classic good vs evil.

Sophia was a cackling princess, who was too evil and should not be allowed to rule no matter the cost. Without actually looking into what made her the way she was. Even the worst tyrants have been shaped by their pasts.

Those who were evil sometimes have reasons. Secrets that doesn’t justify them but explains why. Sophia does not. Not at any point.

With beauty being a weapon and a tool, there was little usage of the former. It will have been nice to see how some broke the rules literally, and how Camellia might use them to her advantage. She had them if she dug deep enough, but in such a setting where competition is tough I will have liked to see it.

The magic was in depth, unique and by all means well thought out. The rules were justified and understandable. I just didn’t understand how such a brilliant concept didn’t explore the core ideas of vanity, greed, the idea of eternity using their ability. And of course, the way that we constantly use it.

It could be a nice way to talk about the effects of plastic surgery. It makes you look good but at the end of the day. It comes with its own costs. Costs which are not seen now, but will come back to haunt us in the future.

The best moments were before Sophia. It explored the world, the limits of what a Belle could do and could not do. How useful are the rules and when can they be banned.

As for the ending, it was incredibly anticlimactic. It didn’t reveal anything and we’re left in the dark as much as we are before. For a plot that has so much to cover, only to leave it without any of the answers was disappointing.

Overall, the world shows much promise. But the characters generally does not, it is mostly quite bland and simplistic.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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