Cover Image: Belle Révolte

Belle Révolte

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Member Reviews

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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Belle Revolte is a book that I picked up mainly because of the title and the cover however, I ended up being so glad that I did. The magic and society in this book is so cool and well done. There's also a lot of representation in this book (one of the main characters is sapphic) which I loved.
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Another YA fantasy masterpiece from the author of Mask of Shadows. Two amazing female characters, bucking the flawed system to do what is right. A page Turner and a haunting magical tale that will stay with you long after the story ends. Another must-read from @LinseyMiller
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Not gonna lie, it took me some time to really get into this book. i actually had to postpone my first read because I wasn't in the right state of mind the first time I started it but once the first few chapters passed, I really got into it. I love the dynamics between the two main characters and how their plots worked both independently and together. It was all so intricate and captivating. The characters were pretty interesting too and the relationships with their friends too. Basically this is a very good high fantasy and you should read it. (also, it's very gay)
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I couldn't finish this unfortunately......... This ended up being my first DNF for a long while, I don't think it's the book I think it's because i'm not in the right frame of mind to read this book. I felt like if i continued this i'd end up in a reading slump. I ended up reading to 50% and i'm going to come back to it later!
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I was very excited for this release, because the premisse sounded amazing, and I'm always here for asexual main characters. The book did start of promising, but I quickly found it dragging a little and getting really confusing and difficult to keep track of. I might give this a second chance later on, but for now, I had to DNF it.
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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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