Review: Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault

Posted January 10, 2022 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Rebel Rose by Emma TheriaultRebel Rose by Emma Theriault
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 2020-11-10
Length: 348 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2022 Backlist Reader Challenge, 2022 Beat the Backlist

Happily ever after is only the beginning as Belle takes on the responsibility of becoming queen and learns to balance duty, love, and sacrifice, all while navigating dark political intrigue-and a touch of magic.

It's 1789 and France is on the brink of revolution. Belle has finally broken the Enchantress's curse, restoring the Beast to his human form as Prince Adam, and bringing life back to their castle in the province of Aveyon. But in Paris, the fires of change are burning, and it's only a matter of time before the rebellion arrives on their doorstep.

Belle has always dreamed of leaving her provincial home for a life of adventure. But now she finds herself living in a palace, torn between her roots as a commoner, and her future as a royal. When she stumbles across a mysterious, ancient magic that brings with it a dire warning, she must question whether she is ready for the power being thrust on her, and if being Queen is more than just a title.

Rebel Rose is the first in the Queen's Council series, an empowering fairy tale reimagining of the Disney Princesses-and the real history behind their stories-like you've never seen before.

Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault is the first book in a new series from Disney about our favorite princesses and what happens after the credits roll. This one features Belle and starts a few months after the end of Beauty and the Beast. Set during the beginnings of the French Revolution, Belle and Lio, formerly known as the Beast, are trying to mend relations after the curse left Aveyon vulnerable and essentially forgotten by the rest of the country. With revolutionaries coming into their kingdom, they must act quickly if they are to save Aveyon from France’s fate.

Belle is amazing! She is one of my favorite Disney princesses for her intellect and stubbornness. Having always dreamed of leaving Aveyon, she now feels stuck and unsure of her destiny. She refuses the title of princess and subsequent title of queen when Lio secedes Aveyon from France. Even without the title, she is a queen to her people. Lio trusts her above all others, giving her a seat on his council. However she is the only voice for the common people of her kingdom. I love that as she struggles (and truly fights against) her new duties, she is constantly looking to find ways to better all the people of her kingdom.

Lio is the one I struggled to connect with. He is absent most of this book. On the recommendation of his council and word of unrest among the nobles of Aveyon, Lio takes a few weeks to travel the kingdom, visiting the territories under his rule and making assurances. He is not the Beast as we remember him. He cares for Belle and those in his kingdom. He is not quick to anger, and nightmares of his time being cursed still plague him. While Lio is gone, he leaves Belle and his cousin the duc de Vincinnes in charge.

I loved seeing some of my favorite characters, like Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth, fall back into their pre-cursed lives. The author did a good job with this one. It isn’t a straight retelling, but more of a continuation of the story. I loved the historical elements that really drive the plot. Mention of King Louis and Marie Antoinette as well as some of the events that led to the revolution are all present in the story and drive Lio’s actions. There are also new characters, both good and bad. I liked how it all tied together to create a new adventure for Belle.

Overall, I enjoyed Rebel Rose. Belle will always be my favorite Disney princess and seeing her life after HEA was fun. The only thing I took issue with was the predictability of the story. I knew who the villain was almost immediately and knew what would happen in the end. Despite this I still enjoyed the story. If you are a fan of historical fantasy and retellings, I highly recommend it.

About Emma Theriault

Emma Theriault was born and raised in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, and thus has a penchant for gothic revival architecture and a constant craving for Beavertails. She has been everything from an enthusiastic bookseller (who once sold a book to Prime Minister Trudeau) to a purveyor of whitewater rafting adventures in the Interior of British Columbia. When not writing books about curses and blood magic, she can be found eating burritos, hiking with her boyfriend or cuddling with her cats, Gatsby and Harriet.

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