Cover Image: Belle Révolte

Belle Révolte

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this and I tried really hard to. However, I just didn't. The pacing was slow and it took me a while to get through because I found myself not caring enough to pick it back up. The premise sounded like something I'd enjoy - two girls who swap places to learn different types of magic and end up finding out that a war is about to begin. Definitely sounds like my cup of tea. Unfortunately, the characters, the plot, and the writing all sort of fell flat for me.

Both main girls, Annette and Emilie, seemed very similar that it was difficult to tell them apart. There were many times while reading that I forgot who was who and had to rely on the secondary characters to remind me of which girl I was following. One of these main characters is sapphic ace, but the ace representation is hardly there other than one short conversation which could have easily been taken out of the book and would not have changed a thing. I get that the story itself isn't about ace and that people are more than their romantic or sexual preferences, but it just seemed kind of pointless to me. 

I still don't understand who Laurence and Estrel were and why they were integral to the movement. Nor do I understand why hacks existed and were fine with lending their magic. There was just a lot that wasn't explained, and yet, it was somehow crucial to the world-building and background story so I was just confused and underwhelmed.

It wasn't the worst thing ever and it had potential, but Belle Revolte was just a miss for me.
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Wow. BELLE REVOLTE is outstanding!

Everything about it was just *chef's kiss*. It checked off ALL the boxes for me - I'm a sucker for the whole "Prince and the Pauper" storyline, so this was almost definitely going to be something that I loved, but compelling characters (and not just MCs, but incredible side characters too)?! A revolution?! A unique magic system?! Yeah... it was a fantastic read.
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An interesting concept and overall satisfying read but I had immense trouble getting through the first part of it. At many points, I found myself not entirely certain as to what was happening in the plot and although I found the magic system with the use of hacks to be an interesting way to view nobility and privilege in the story, it was a bit underdeveloped.

The book does get a lot of extra points for the good ace representation that I really enjoyed and the darker themes worked well for its story. Overall, it's left a good taste in my mind but it was very hard to get there.

Thank you for the review copy.
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Belle Revolte was a beautiful and poetic read that only suffered a bit from a complex web of characters and magic. The two main characters, Emilie and Annette, were well written and great contrasts of their different upbringings. The only real downfall of the story was the numerous magics and titles given to many characters. It was hard to keep track sometimes which made the story harder to enjoy. Even with my issues, I think this was a great upper YA book!
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God, this book is just so good! Miller weaves an excellent story, but what makes BELLE REVOLTE so compelling are the characters.  I particularity love the way she handed the diverse cast of characters -- this is a masterclass in writing trans characters respectfully and inclusively. 

Plus the worldbuilding is excellent!
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I was really excited to read this after hearing a lot of people talk about it. Unfortunately this was not the book for me.
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4 stars.
Meet Emilie and Annette. Two girls from two different backgrounds that meet by chance and change their world. Emilie wants desperately to be trained to be a physician, but that isn’t the proper path for a lady of her status. Annette wants desperately to be trained in the ways of divination, a skill she knows she has but not the means to pay for it. A chance meeting has them switching places, risking reputation and even life for a chance to pursue their dreams. But when their country unexpectedly goes to war, they uncover a devastating plot and together take action to put a stop to the violence and change their world.
The world itself didn’t have that much description, this is very much a fast-paced story so there wasn’t a lot of time spent on the world itself. We learn a little bit of the lore, that the people follow the Lord Sun powering the noonday arts and the Mistress Moon powering the midnight arts. Night arts include things like divination and illusions, day arts include fighting and healing magic. Night arts are taught in finishing schools for girls, day arts are taught at universities for men. But all magic comes at a cost. Using magic costs a physical toll, depending on how much magic you are using and how you are channeling it. My biggest qualm with this book was that it was all very confusing in the beginning. It felt like information overload and took a long time for me to feel like I honestly had a grasp of how the magic worked, I don’t think it was until somewhere during the last 25% of the book did it finally click for me. Regardless of the confusion I liked that this magic came with a price, it was a heavy responsibility that required mastery and not just raw power, it was not some frilly, fun distraction.
The characters were amazing. The LGBTQ+ representation was amazing. While there are a lot of underlying tones of different issues such as gender roles and sexuality, this book had characters that challenged any kind of restrictions that society had for them. It was awesome. The romance was a nice touch, I loved that it didn’t become the main focal point of the characters, it was a little subtle, slowly growing in the background, not written to be obnoxious. It moved along with the story, it wasn’t a tool used to move the story along. All of the characters were so different, the friendships that formed around Emilie and Annette were so fun to read. I especially loved Annette and her little group of friends, they reminded me so much of my two roommates and myself in college, all completely different but bonded for life. It was interesting to see how the camaraderie played out between the physicians, apprentices, and hacks.  
In a world of endless series, this standalone was a breath of fresh air. The ending did feel just a little rushed, but everything was neatly wrapped up. When I finished the last chapter, I had a feeling of content. I am super curious to read more by Linsey Miller and added some of her other books to my never-ending TBR list.
I was given a free ebook version of the book by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed reading Belle Révolte! The characters were fun, and I definitely connected the most with Annette although I think I genuinely enjoyed all of them. The pacing felt a little off to me, the beginning was longer than I think was necessary and the climax was a whirlwind with very little time to process. I think it would have done well as 2 books, but overall I think it is well worth a read.
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This was a great story of making friends, adventure, intrigue, and love. It also had lots of mystery and magic. I must admit it took me the first couple of chapters to get into this book, but once I got past those, I was invested to find out what happened to all the characters. It was definitely a wild ride between Annette and Emile, both of of them in different ways had amazing adventures and mystery’s unfold in front of them. I enjoyed both and was excited when they came together. The ending is a good one and also leaves you in suspense for hopefully more to come.
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A standalone fantasy novel about girls learning magic, following their calling and rebelling against class and gender expectations. Although the story was engaging (two girls exchanging their lives so the rich one can study medicine and the poor one go to adivination school) the first half had a strange pacing. The worldbuilding was explained in excruciating detail in some aspects but not enough in others, which made things confusing. Luckily the two types of magic, the divination and the healing/fighting, were original and interesting, and it was easy to forgive that they weren't easy to understand. The second the story turned into a tale of war it improved greatly. The conspiracies and plot twists were surprising but coherent, and most importantly, very satisfying. There was great queer representation; one of the main characters is an asexual lesbian and there is trans rep as well.
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I wish I loved this book more. The details are breathtaking, the premise is alluring, the characters are intriguing and unique. But the delivery was just slightly... drug out for me. It’s a creative fantasy, no doubt, but I just felt as if the drama of the magic overlook the action, and it wasn’t for me.
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I enjoyed this book.  Unfortunately, I read it several weeks ago and cannot remember all the details.
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I liked the idea and could feel the wanting of something else by both characters, but a lot of the worldbuilding was heavyhanded for my taste: sun, moon, noonday, midnight. It was hard to hold in my head as a reader. I wish it could have been introduced in a more narrative form similar to what I saw in Tehlor Kay Mejia's We Set the Dark on Fire. It's not a magic system as in Belle Revolte, but it does explain the world(Sun and Moon) in a more interesting and engaging way for me as a reader.  It felt like there were some elements of story with the sun and moon magic system, but it was not as clear as it could have been, and it made it a much more difficult read for me.
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I really liked this book but it was not one of my favorite books. The pacing was off for me and it was hard to pick back up again. The characters were my favorite part of the book. The plot was very interesting as well but I still struggled reading.
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This is the second book from this author I've struggled with so I think Miller's books just aren't for me. In the case of Belle Révolte, I didn't really find the setup to be all that believable which impacted how invested I became in the story (as in, not at all). I wasn't really feeling the writing style either though I think that's more of a personal taste thing. And I wasn't interested in either of the main characters which felt pretty interchangeable. With the pacing all over the place and muddled world-building, it's a pass from me. 

DNFed at 23%
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A wonderful and compelling story. I knew very little about this book going into it, and found myself absolutely captivated by the politics and magical system set up.
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This story really appealed to me, and I loved it. For the most part. I didn't feel like the revolution stuff was introduced until late in the book. In fact, I was still finding it hard to determine what everyone was fighting for. Once the author introduced that, the book moved at breakneck speed (no pun intended). The deaths were a little rough, but the story between the two girls was the best part.
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This wasn't anything super special for me. It wasn't bad by any means, and I will definitely be picking up more by this author in the future, but this was an average read for me. It was entertaining the entire time I read it, but kind of forgettable after I finished.
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of “Belle Revolte” by Linsey Miller. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

I did have my eye on this book to read this year so I really appreciate getting a review copy. That being said, I did have some issues with the book keeping my attention. While there were some good ideas and interesting aspects to the magic systems, I think the pacing was a bit off throughout. There was too much introduction in the beginning setting up the story and info dumping about the world’s politics. Then the end felt extremely rushed so everything would be wrapped up since it was a stand alone story.

The story being with Emilie, a young woman of privilege swapping places with poor Annette. In exchange, Annette gets to study magic at a fancy school as Emilie while Emilie gets to study to be a physician. I expected there to be more conflict from the swap but there really wasn’t. I was waiting for those stakes and near-misses where they could be exposed in their lies and this was largely absent. 

The POV switches each chapter, but I still found myself getting confused especially at the beginning. There are so many characters to keep track of between the two storylines and it didn’t help that most of the feminine names were mostly vowels and French-sounding. 

There was a lot of page time wasted on explaining plans of action that you know the plan is just going to get messed up anyway. I wasn’t sure why’d there were these scenes instead of just having us in the action and a line or two about things not going to plan. 

Some of the pluses for me were the LGBTQ+ representation felt refreshing. I also think there were interesting ideas with how the magic worked although there were some rather gruesome descriptions at times. 

3/5 stars
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This book captivated me from the very beginning. It was soo good!!!!! I seriously was glued to my seat reading it the whole time.
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