THE EVERLASTING ROSE, by Dhonielle Clayton , Freeform, March 5, 2019, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
Sometimes you don’t need to reread a book before delving into its sequel sometimes you do, and sometimes you should. The Everlasting Rose, by Dhonielle Clayton firmly falls into the “should” category.
The Everlasting Rose is the second book in the Belles series. In it, Camellia Beaureguard once again takes center stage.
Camille, the former favorite Belle, must race against time to find the ailing Princess Charlotte, who has disappeared without a trace. The evil queen Sophia’s imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep Camille, her sister Edel, and her loyal guard, Rémy, from returning Charlotte to the palace and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called the Iron Ladies — a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely — and the backing of alternative newspaper the Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections, and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and attempt to restore peace to Orléans. But enemies lurk in the most unexpected places, forcing Camille to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice to save her people. —Synopsis provided by Freeform
When I read The Belles last year, I came away feeling confused, angry, enchanted and exhausted. The book tells the story of the Belles, young women who physically alter the people of Orleans, who are all born gray, so that they are pretty. And for some, no treatment (including reshaping bones) goes too far.
Again, it’s helpful to reread The Belles before picking up The Everlasting Rose. There’s not much by way of recap, and a lot of the nuances are lost by sheer lack of memory. You are expected to remember Orleans, and because of the nature of what’s going on, the book, world building and character development all feel a bit insular.
That’s not to say that The Everlasting Rose isn’t worth reading. It is. Just be prepared for a drastic shift. The book, too, leaves with things in Orleans a little unsettled, but also feels like less of a cliffhanger than you’d expect for the second book in a series.
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