Cover Image: Belle Révolte

Belle Révolte

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Member Reviews

**Thank you NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book for review**
This book took me awhile before I was invested. I must have put it down and picked it up a handful of times. I'm not even entirely sure what wasn't clicking for me, because the idea/plot was enjoyable, and the writing style was easy and fluid to read. I think perhaps if anything I had problems with it may have been the pacing. There were a few times I would hope the story would hurry up a little. That being said.. I am so happy I kept with this book, because overall it was incredibly interesting and entertaining. 
What I loved most about this book was the magic, and the division of it into two separate areas of practice. The Noonday arts, and the Midnight arts. These areas were also heavily divided by gender, with the boys headed off to study the noonday arts focusing on fighting, healing.. becoming physicians.. and the midnight arts, where girls would learn the art of scrying or illusions. It is in the first chapter where we quickly are introduced to the two main characters, Emilie (a wealthy girl on her way to a prestigious school to learn the midnight arts, but who wants nothing more than to be able to study to become a physician), and Annette, a girl with magic but no money for training. There is a Prince and the Pauper twist when the two girls meet by chance and recognize their uncanny physical similarities. They both agree to switch places, to get what they want. Emilie gets her freedom to pursue an education to study the noonday arts and become a physician, and Annette will take her name and place studying the midnight arts.
This book spends a fair amount of time explaining the magic, characters, setting.. instead of showing it, but eventually it dives in and gets into politics, and a dangerous political revolution. The friendships/relationships are well explored and there is some different representations here including f/f romance, a trans character, and a main character who is asexual. 
I almost view this book as two separate books in my mind just because of how long it took me to get through the first half, but honestly, I am so happy that I pushed through. I would recommend this book to people who love interesting magic, somewhat historical backgrounds (I failed to mention this book is set in a somewhat revolutionary France), Prince and the Pauper type character swaps, political intrigue, and just lovely relationships and friendships.
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This was yet another book where I did a reading vlog for (along with 3 other books so 4 books total) and overall, it was a decent read.  I enjoyed how fast paced it was but at the same time, I do think that the characters and the writing wasn't the greatest.  I was somehow always confused with what was going on despite getting the gist.  There was always something that I was somehow missing.  Then in terms of the characters, I liked the character growth for Emilie but there were numerous side characters that lacked a lot of backstory and introduction that later became crucial.

3.5* review
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Linsey Miller writes great characters with a diversity of gender and sexuality. While different from her previous series, this book is just as good. This is very prince and the pauper, except with finishing school. lady surgeons, magic, and love. Buy it!
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Belle Revolte was captivating and thoroughly enjoyable for me. A couple bits of dialogue and pacing felt off but I fell in love with all of the characters. The ending was fast paced and wrapped things up nicely, though I would enjoy if this wasn't a standalone simply from the standpoint that it would allow me more time with the characters. Overall, quite an enjoyable read!
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This is such an exciting fantasy book. I couldn’t stop turning each page as I was reading. The author did a fantastic job developing the characters and the world they live in.
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This took me SO LONG to read, and although I enjoyed it when I was reading it, it sometimes felt like a bit of a chore to pick up.

It was good, but it took me over a month. I can't quite put my finger on why either, because this is the type of book I should like and I can't think of anything glaringly bad.
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3.6/5 starts strong, then drags a bit, liked the overall concept, though. A bit slow going for my taste, but very much enjoyed the setting.
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I truly do not know how to review this book. 

I read it 3 months ago and I don't think I can form words that appropriately explain this book. 

Let's get the not so good parts out of the way first. 

It was kinda confusing. I love a good dual POV narrative! And we get two, both from girls fighting in a resistance??? I'll eat that shit up any day of the week. 

The problem that I had was that the timeline between the POVs didn't always seem to sync up and I did get confused often because of this. Normally I would put this down to me just missing things because that happens often but I spoke to another person who read it and they had a similar experience so I know it's not just me! 

It was also kinda slow for the first 15% but that could have been bad timing on my part! I picked it up at a shitty time. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's the books fault or mine and I'm not 100% certain either way with this one. 

The magical element of the story was exactly that, magical. It was vast and vibrant and exciting...but yeah I did sometimes get confused with the descriptions. Honestly a lot of the time I kinda only had a 70% understanding of what was going on and I don't think it was because of how intricate the plot was, though I do think it was intricate. I don't know, it was just all a bit confusing and then you add in the long ass names everyone has, and they each have like 3 different names people use to refer to them and half the time I don't know who the author is talking about.

Do you see what I mean when I say I don't know how to put what I think about this book into words. So you're probably wondering, Grey, if you had that many problems with this book then why did you rate it so highly??? 

Because i couldn't let myself rate it any lower. Honestly this is one of those books that earned its high ass rating because of how it made me feel. And it made me feel a lot. 

For starters it's diverse as heck. One of our main characters is ace and sapphic!!!! Her love interest is a POC and sapphic!!!! and they're so stinking cute I can't deal with it. And if you're thinking oh boo what about sexual tension then one fuck you because not everyone needs that but also they still have great tension!!! It's romantic tension and I don't know why we don't talk about that shit more?!?!? The angst is PRESENT. 

We also get a trans love interest and I would protect him with my life. He is both sharp and soft and I just want to wrap him up in blankets and tell him everything will be okay, but also get into so many debates and word fights! And our other main character??? Girl after my own heart. I saw so much of myself in her that it was super painful to read but in the best way??? also if you really need sexual tension then these two are for you. Bucket loads. Sexual tension spilling all over the place, it's very unsanitary. 

Both of these main characters and their relationships were so dynamic and meaningful and I just want them to be happy forever.

Also the dynamic between their mentors is so brilliant I would like a whole book just about them and all these little rumours everyone keeps spreading about their past interactions thanks. I just want my own misunderstood genius best friend and we just continually challenge each other and get on each others nerves forever until we die because actually we really love each other and would die for each other. 

Also also there are so many characters who use they/them pronouns and like it's not a big deal, like it's not a deal at all, it's so seamless that you don't even notice it the first few times. And by the time you do you're like ah yes, it should always be like this. 

Oh OH!!! And the communication between the characters????? 100/10. Like there's the obvious secrets and miscommunications to be sure there's actually plot happening but that's gonna happen in the most healthiest relationships in a society that's broken and needs to be fixed. But these characters just care about each other so much and take the time to really make that known and oh no my throat is closing up I am allergic to feelings. 

Plus the story deals with how patriarchy affects everyone and also classism. I was ready and prepared for someone to yell out 'let's just eat the fucking rich' at some point and I was here for it. It's just so current and relevant while feeling like you're thrown back in time to like Paris 17-something but there's magic. (Actually I don't know when or where the inspiration came from for this books but I'm pretty sure it was France at some point in the past. Could very well be wrong though.)

This book is just so important and I already know of at least one person this book means to world for and also like it kinda means the world to me to?? I just can picture so many teens reading this and being like hey this character is like me and looks like me, they share the same heart as me and OH NO my throat is closing up again.
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I cannot express how important it was to read a novel that featured an asexual character. The setting was beautiful and I enjoyed the storyline well enough, but the best thing about this book was seeing that diversity front and centre.
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The synopsis was more intriguing than the book was. My expectations going into this book were high but this book didn't meet that bar. It could be the fact that I've been reading amazing fantasies recently so this one  caused more disappointment.
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It is rare to find a stand-alone fantasy book, so I always enjoy a complete story. This book is a bit of a slow-burn for me, and uses a common plot line: switching places (a la Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain). However, I think it still has important things to say about going after your dreams and female empowerment. I enjoyed the characters, and the cover is lovely. I would be happy to have this on my classroom bookshelf.
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This book was, at first, a cover buy. I saw that cover and I immediately bought it (those color combinations are beautiful!). And then I read the summary and knew this book was right up my alley, and BELLE REVOLTE did not disappoint. It's magically enchanting and provides a thought provoking story that will keep readers captivated. 

First, the magic, because what fantasy book is complete without magic? And this magic system was one that was so unique and breathtaking. What I loved is that this magic didn't just show the readers the good parts, but also showed the consequences magic users have to pay to use said magic. I've read so many books that just illustrated the good points of magic, so it was refreshing to read about how magic can have consequences. The magic played such an important part in this beautiful story. It fit well with the political aspects, which played an important part in this magical story. 

And then there's the world building. The world was beautifully described and, in my head, turned out to be visually stunning. I could not get enough of this world. One of my favorite things about fantasy books is the world building and Miller blew it out of the park. Her descriptions are brilliant and well placed. Miller's writing was poetic and emotionally gripping. Her writing made this story and world feel so real that I could visually picture myself in this world (hopefully part of Annette's group of friends). Her writing gets the readers to really feel the emotions of her two main characters. Miller's writing would have been my favorite part of BELLE REVOLTE, if I was not a sucker for a strong romance.  

So then, obviously, my favorite part of this story was the romance. The charming romance was the icing on the cake for me; it was delightfully unique and just the type of romance I was looking for. It was definitely swoon-worthy, and Annette and Yvonne were great for each other. Their personalities complemented one another, and their romance felt wholeheartedly real. And don't get me started on Emilie and Charles's romance (*insert heart eyes here*). These two are a good rivals to lovers romance that is everything and more and 100% swoon-worthy, too. I would fight so hard for these two romances and the two main characters. Annette and Emilie would be powerful protagonists, even without the magic aspect of this story. Their voices are strong and relatable and just absolutely wonderful for this story. They were the voices I needed to hear. 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful tale with powerful representation and main characters that would do absolutely anything to save the world and people they love. For those readers looking for their next compelling read, I highly recommend BELLE REVOLTE.
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If I had one sentence to describe this YA sensation and "hook" potential readers in my library, I would say that it is a new imagination of "prince and the pauper meets the French Revolution."  This fantastic story follows Emilie and Annette as they swap lives.  This is a magical world that is beautifully built and highly unique.  The world and elements are developed throughout the story.  The pacing of this seemed a bit slow at the start, but once I understood the world and some of the details involved, I was hooked.  This book has wonderful potential and was thoroughly enjoyed and well received with all students I have shared it with!
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First of all I would like to thank Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book. I know that it has been a long time, but I was going through some personal issues and those problems kept me away from every platform.

This book was something that gave me all the feels. We are presented to Emilie, a revolutionary female protagonist, who was born not just with luck, but also within a powerful family. Specifically, a powerful mother. On the other hand, we have Annette,whose will to pursue her own dreams is bigger than anything.

These two girls have more than one thing in common. Especially their physical appearance, and once they meet each other, it will be the start of this Belle Révolte.

The world construction for this novel is one of the things that I liked the most. You can absolutely tell that the author had to do a lot of research and had to learn and review some of the most important characteristics of the French culture back in those times. And then, of course, go through the same process to add the magical components and bring this awesome universe to life.

Both Emilie and Annette have some things about their personalities that I love and hate. Sometimes, it was easy to distinguish which of them was narrating the chapter but some other times it was hard to identify which of them was in charge.

I hope that you give this book a chance. I promise you that it will be time well spent.
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I wanted to absolutely adore this book. I loved the author’s note on Goodreads talking about potential triggers as well as notes on the inclusion of trans and ace characters and was so excited to read a “prince and the pauper” tale but with progressive themes, diversity and revolution. 

This book had some lofty goals and I really liked the idea of it, but unfortunately a lot of it just left like it was partially done. The characters were hard to keep straight and some of them were too similar which led to confusion. Even with the chapters labeled by POV I would catch myself having to go back and reread because I was accidentally thinking of a different character while reading. 

The last 40% of the book was my favorite- but even then it felt a bit rushed and some loose ends were tied up a bit too conveniently. Overall I enjoyed the book but wanted a bit more from it. I think people who like classics or fantasy twists on classics would enjoy this one. 

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for this early review copy.
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The first half of this book was quite slow, but it picked up in the last half. An excellent book for students to read trans and queer representation. Also, it is nice to get a standalone fantasy!
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This was such a delight to read! It had so many elements that I truly enjoyed.

Belle Revolte is a fantasy retelling of The Prince and The Pauper with a magic system that is divided by gender and features a king that is evil. Of course (because it’s a fantasy ya book after all).

The book follows Emilie who wants to study the noonday arts which are supposed to be for men only, and also more science-y. She ends up trading places with Annette who takes her place at a boarding school and studies the midnight arts.

This book has tons of LGBTQ+ representation, and has so much to say on everything from class, to wealth, to gender, and more. The writing style was lush, and flowery and occasionally would drag down the book. And although I loved both Emelie and Annette as the main protagonists, I found that there were too many other side characters and had trouble keeping some of them straight.

Overall, I really enjoyed Belle Revolte and enjoyed my reading experience.

**I also listened to part of the book on audio and I really liked both of the narrators and thought they both added a lot to the experience.
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This was a beautifully written fantasy novel. Definitely deserves all the hype. It had a wonderful storyline, unique characters, interesting worldbuilding. I definitely will be buying a finished copy.
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“If you don’t know why you should care about other people, especially the people who are dying for you...then you shouldn’t be in charge of anything, much less people.”

tw: slight gore and death
rep: asexual character, multiple sapphic characters, non-binary characters, trans man love interest, and two (2) f/f couples

(spoilers in this review) 
this was the bumpiest roller coaster ride of a story i’ve ever read. it started off very slow and then suddenly flung me, heart first, into a mess of emotions and tragedy. 

i loved so many of the characters. there was rarely a character that i didn’t automatically love, though that did come back to hurt me when later stuff happen.  sebastian and isabelle betraying their friends, laurence and estrel being killed, oh god rainier being killed.

i loved the romance in this book. there was slow burn, enemies to friends to lovers, and (i think) fake hating??? i’m almost 99% sure that laurence and estrel were in love but i don’t think was ever actually confirmed. i loved the who ended up with who. both the couples were just so so soft with each other and loving ahhh. oh god charles was my absolute favorite, he was so caring and soft with emillie when no one had been before, they were absolutely perfect for each other. and yvonne and annette?? oh god, that magnificent slow burn flirting was amazing. they care for each other so much and protected each other. beautiful.

please read this book, if you don’t mind gore and death, it’s absolutely amazing. i wish i’d read it sooner.
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This is a tricky book to review - it has some serious flaws, but on the whole, I really enjoyed it. It's fast-paced YA fantasy with two smart female leads, and it's got a heck of a lot of queer rep (biromantic ace protagonist with sapphic love interest, trans man love interest, lesbian side characters). Though it tries to deal with some darker issues, the book is at its best in its frothier moments - the medical training school and finishing school scenes are much more enjoyable than the battle scenes or the attempts to look at inequality.

I liked both POV characters, and I appreciated that although this has shades of the Prince and the Pauper, Emilie and Annette were both clever and engaging enough to hold my attention in their individual stories, not just as foils to each other. I wish more time had been taken at both schools, as the first half of the story is where all the character development is, and I really enjoyed this section of both girls' journeys. I would say that up to about 55-60%, this feels like a less robust/deep version of a Tamora Pierce first-in-series, and I was sad to lose that tone with the end of the book.

Unfortunately, the worldbuilding is a little bit thin. We have mostly French names, including the title, and the story focuses on a revolution against the nobility, but the author has been clear that this is not intended to be a parallel to French history but an entirely new world, which makes me think that really, we didn't get to see nearly enough of the original aspects world, as it does just feel like France with magic. And I would have liked more explanation on the magic! Not enough information is also the cause of the other major flaw in this book, which is that it regularly leaps from one thing to the next too fast for the reader to follow - for example, people will be having a conversation and then storm off, and even going back and rereading the entire conversation several times, I couldn't work out what had caused the change. Emilie and Charles's rivalry at the start seemed to be based on absolutely nothing on the page - I wondered if it had been too heavily edited, and things taken out that the author assumed a reader would already have seen? It just felt rushed, and like I was trailing to catch up at times, which is strange for a book with such a simple plot.

Essentially, if you don't think about it too hard, and let it wash over you, this is an enjoyable read with themes of dealing with systematic inequality. Three and a half stars, but I'll round up as it is fun.
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