Cover Image: Belle Révolte

Belle Révolte

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Member Reviews

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
 
I really wanted to like this book. It immediately reminded me of A Prince and a Pauper set in a fantasy world similar to revolutionary France.  Told in alternating perspectives, the backgrounds of Emilie (noble turned medical student) and Annette (poor waif given the opportunity to study at a prestigious magical school) really didn't matter to the plot.  They both make huge/life-changing decisions with little thought, don't really get caught, and when forced to come clean, are met with either annoyance or a shrug. Overall, I felt the character development was inconsistent, and the plot development dragged on then pushed towards a climax that fell flat.  And, the second half of the book could use a bit more proofreading.  The overuse of gender-neutral pronouns becomes confusing.  I didn't get the feeling "they, and their" were being used to be gender-neutral, but instead not caught in the editing process.  A few times I had to go back and re-read a scene because the pronouns didn't match the characters.  I had to force myself to finish this book, which is a shame.  I really think the idea behind it is strong, but the execution fell short.
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This review will go live on my blog, The Library Lane, on January 20, 2020.

I had such a great time reading this story. From the very beginning I was so invested. There was so much at stake for these characters so it was hard for me to put the book down. I just had to know what was going to happen. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was a wild ride.

Emilie and Annette were fierce characters and so much fun to follow. The two are very much alike. In the beginning both of them felt as though they didn’t belong. They truly believed they were meant to do bigger and better things with their lives. Emilie and Annette both wanted to help others and make the world a safer place for everyone. They had to put blind faith into each other, so watching their friendship grow was sweet.

We were able to see the main characters follow their dreams and improve their magical abilities. I loved that they both had teachers to guide them. In particular, Annette and Estrel’s relationship was really heartwarming. Estrel knew exactly what Annette was going through and wanted to help her as much as possible. Annette was able to open up to Estrel in a way that she’d never been able to do with anyone else.

The magic system was so interesting to me. In this world there are people who can do illusions, heal, scry and divine. Each art comes with its own ways and limitations. It was a lot to take in at times, but I never once felt confused. The author does a wonderful job explaining how the world works.

As the war was going on, there were things that happened that literally left me in shock. It was almost disturbing to know what was happening to certain people. Once Annette and Emilie knew how bad (and wrong) things were getting, they decided to take matters into their own hands. My favorite part of the book was seeing both women join the rebellion. They used the knowledge and abilities they learned through out the story in hopes of bringing down a corrupt system.

This book has wonderful LGBTQ+ representation. There are characters who were ace, lesbian/bisexual (wasn’t specified) and trans. I also really appreciate that proper pronouns were used. There was absolutely no misgendering.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Belle Révolte.. It was a dark and brutal fantasy with amazing characters who believed in changing the world. This was my first time reading anything from Linsey MIller and I can definitely say it will not be my last!
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Fabulous YA fantasy, with diverse characters, deep worldbuilding, and a fantastic plot. I enjoyed this one a lot, and know my students will as well.
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I wanted to love this book more than I did. Revolution, gender expectations, strong female characters, magic? All things I love. But this book felt like it was trying to do too much and just fell short in a lot of ways. I found the characters to be a bit surface level and there were just too many names for me to try and keep track of; the magic system felt confusingly underdeveloped and any time there was descriptions of Annette's "divining?" I had to go back and reread what was happening because it didn't quite make sense. There's definitely potential in this book and I enjoyed the premise, but just didn't quite get the execution personally.
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this was a really good book! I loved it with every passion. The world-building was fantastically written, and I have to say Emelie is my favorite character in this book!  I hope there is a book two!
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Magic, class wars, gender expectations, romance, asexuality, friendship. This book tackles a lot. We focus on two difference girls from very different backgrounds who both want a future they aren't supposed to want. Through them we learn of the way the nobles are using the very lives of the poorer classes to fuel their own work without thought to that sacrifice. I liked both main characters. The novel had moments I felt were unnecessarily drawn out, like we get the point, move on, but overall I enjoyed it.
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What's not to love about this book? I can't wait to share this with students when it is published next year - one hell of a read!
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I enjoyed this book. The world that Linsey created was very intriguing. I liked how the book was wrapped up.
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I love fantasy and I read a lot of fantasy novels. Some good, some bad and some of them took their time, but they got me hooked and this is what happened with Belle Revolte.

At the beginning I had difficulties, to get the story straight, but after the two girls change places the storyline took a real rocket start and I had to finished the book in record time.

You got two very different characters, but it works very well in the line up. You got a lot of strong heroines who fight for the good cause, to change a system of oppression and inequality.

Something you can very well see in our current day to day life.
So maybe we can try to be brave and do a little revolution for ourselves.

And I also like to mention that this is a stand alone novel, which I like because you got your ending, don't have to wait another year for the second part and maybe disappointed.


I enjoyed this read a lot and I like to thank the publisher for granting my wish
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I mean, it was fine, in it's way. There was nothing either wrong or interesting enough to mention in this book. It did have the slightly annoying feature of coincidentally happening upon two random heroines who just happen to be in pivotal places for historic events, but...sure.
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When I saw that Linsey Miller had written a new book I could not click the request button fast enough. I fell in love with her work after reading Mask of Shadows and the duology is still one of my favourites. 

In Belle Revolte we see two rather conflicting characters: Emilie and Annette. The first was born into privilege yet still yearned for studying the Noonday Arts which was not appropriate for her station. The second was born into poverty, hoping to just get by while dreaming of studying the Midnight Arts. How fortunate they met when they did, pulling off a Parent Trap-esque switch so Emilie could work in medicine while Annette became part of the aristocracy to channel her magic into scrying. All the while a revolution is just waiting to boil over.

While I overall enjoyed the premise of the book, it felt rather jumpy. Normally, switching perspectives doesn't confuse me so much but I felt like it took me an extra long while to keep the characters surrounding our protagonists straight. The pace of the story also felt rushed, quickly jumping from one thing to the next when I was still stuck on questions from the previous incident. As usual, the dialogue was on point so that kept me going.

Even though I found it lacking compared to her previous works, Belle Revolte will still find a place on my shelf and in my work library.
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I could not get into this book. From the very beginning, I just could not relate to the characters. Why would a person make an INSTANTANEOUS life-altering decision with absolutely no hesitation or even real pondering--especially when that decision would be dangerous and could affect others.  Why, when being confronted with the choice to participate in something dangerous, illogical, and impetuous, would a person just "go along with it'? I just could not get behind these characters, their decisions, and their motivations from the get-go.
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Like Miller's previous work Mask of Shadows, Belle Revolte is fantasy without training wheels. The magic in the book is complex, and the reader is expected to keep up with context clues - Miller has no time to handfeed the ins and outs of her worldbuilding,. because she has a revolution to get to. Our two leads, Emilie and Annette, are fully realized, and represent different sides of femininity. I appreciate Miller's willingness to let gender express in a myriad of different ways, and to let her characters be who they are. There are moments when belief is stretched a bit too thing - even in a world brimming with magic, would it really be the work of an hour for two girls to completely swap lives? - but that's outweighed by the ingenuity and engaging nature of the work. I would love to read more.
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This is very similar to the Prince and the Pauper with a gender role reversal. I felt myself getting a little lost in parts of it and had a hard time with the characters at times. I think this book is going to do well with the teen market because there isn't really something exactly like this out there and I think a lot of them will like the role reversals and the magic. It had elements I liked and some I didn't. Not a bad read, will be purchasing for the library collection.
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A gender swap of the tale of The Prince and the Pauper with a little magic added. 
Emilie born from a wealthy family, who's mother wants her to learn the "midnight" arts (divination, illusions, scrying & such, considered feminine), versus the "noonday" arts (warrior, physician, considered manly) that Emilie wishes to study. Annette is a young lady from a poor family, she wishes to study the "midnight" arts desperately but her mother tells her she's not good & she wouldn't do well. 
Unrest is stirring in their kingdom & Laurel, is trying to bring to light that the king isn't for his people but for himself. 
Emilie sees Annette in a crowd of people & creates a plan so that they can both get what they want. 
As they continue on in the story they realize that they must do more & it becomes more & more difficult for them to keep the secrets of their identities.

I enjoyed reading this & would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys this genre of novels.
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Told from two different views, that of Emilie and Annette. Emilie and Annette trade places so they can both follow their dreams. They find out that it takes courage and an open mind to make their dreams a reality. Surprising twists I wasn’t expecting and an ending that was both exciting and satisfying.
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A sort of prince and the pauper gender-swap set in a magical world that seems heavily influenced by the French Revolution. Emilie is born to wealth and luxury, but her one desire is to be a noonday artist (magician/physician). Noonday arts are considered masculine, so her mother refuses to let her study them. Annette is a poor girl who wants nothing more than to be a midnight artist. The two girls switch places and Annette goes to school in Emilie’s place. Emilie goes to the university on the cusp of a revolution and both will have to choose their loyalties wisely to stay alive.

Using peasants as “hacks” to draw magic from is a clever updating of how the aristocracy treated peasants and why the common folk wanted to revolt. The two different magical arts were fascinating and original.

There are several surprising twists and an exciting conclusion. Both girls have gentle subplot romances. Emilie with another physician and Annette with another girl from school (no spoilers!).

This historical with original magic is highly recommended for fans of Nadine Brandes FAWKES.
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Emilie, a noble lady whose greatest dream is to become a surgeon, and Annette, a peasant girl who just wants to learn what her magic can do, share a strange bond. They look strikingly similar. They come up with a wild scheme to switch places, Emilie to become a physician’s assistant and Annette to take Emilie’s place at a finishing school. But before long they are caught up in the midst of a war, a rebellion, and a dark secret that could shake the very foundation of their land.
I was super excited when I heard about this book. A French-inspired magical fantasy with rebellions and strong female friendships and an ace character?? Sign me the heck up!
But the more I read, the less excited I became. Half the time I had to stop reading and try to figure out what was going on and the other half I was wondering why I was supposed to care about these characters. Like seriously, they have no personality and absolutely no qualities about them that I could like. And the world was surprisingly flat and undeveloped. (and why wasn’t there a ball?? I need my masquerade balls they give me life)
I had so many (so many) questions while reading this book and it really yanked me out of the reading experience. (I wish I had written my questions down while I was reading because as soon as I finished I forgot every thought I ever had *sigh*)
I seriously considered DNFing this book but I didn’t because I was just interested enough to see how it ended.
Okay, I hate being negative all the time so what did I like?
-Emilie and Annette’s friendship (and basically all the female friendships in this book 👌)
-All! The! Queer! Characters! Charles is trans. Annette is asexual. Coline is a lesbian/bisexual. Yvonne is a lesbian/bisexual. Brigitte is a lesbian/bisexual.
-The romantic relationships were pretty well done (especially a certain competitive couple that I absolutely adored *cough* *cough*)
-The magic was interesting because of what it did to you. The whole time I was wondering why anyone would ever use magic if it literally ate your skin away. But then I thought if I had magic I sure as hell would use it and damn the consequences lol
-I love loved how they/them pronouns were used for everybody until otherwise informed.
-When Annette used divination to help her friends in a fight !!! It was badass and epic. I just wish we’d gotten to see more of her being a badass.
-AND THAT COVER IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE LAID EYES ON
-I loved the idea of hacks and how the nobles used them to channel magic without hurting themselves.
Unfortunately, that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong, there were some enjoyable moments in the book and sometimes the characters were okay, but overall it was a pretty meh book.
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Set in a magical decidedly French-like world, wealthy Emilie swaps places with commoner Annette in a word that divides magic by both sex and class. The swap initially permits both girls to learn the magic they wanted (Annette the Midnight Arts, which she was too poor to access and Emilie the mostly male Daylight Arts where a lowborn girl can at least get a job as an expendable hack), but both are rapidly drawn into the revolution that threatens to upend the monarchy. The cast of characters are diverse in ethnicity, sexuality, and gender but the gore is at times a bit much. Despite the publisher's claim that this is a "stand alone" novel, it's pretty clear at least a sequel is on the way,
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Belle Révolte is an interesting idea that suffers from a lack of clear plotting and character development.  Simply put, I did not care about most of the players in this story of magical education and internal political revolution.  

This story is told in dual POVs of two women who swap places so that each can attend the magic school of their choice.  One of the women is a royal and one is a commoner (this really doesn't matter ultimately, as neither of the reveals is particularly eventful) and both are extraordinarily strong at their perspective magic preference.  A revolution against the monarchy is on the cusp of exploding and the King decides to go to war with a neighboring country as a distraction.  Lots of bloody, gross stuff happens.  

Unfortunately, none of the characters in this story were particularly intriguing.  Twists were pretty predictable and the tension was just oddly flat.  Ultimately, I didn't care too much about this story and its conclusion.  There were a few scenes of interest but they were way too few and far between.  I would probably recommend this book to someone looking for a YA book that's lighter on romance with a bunch of magic, gore, and political machinations.
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