Blog Tour: The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton.
Resistance comes in many forms and alliances take many shapes. Sometimes it’s all fire and storms, cutting of the heads of important people. Other times it’s slow, a crack forming in a glass, inching forward sliver by sliver, spreading out across the entire surface.
(The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton. P146.)
Only the Belles hold the power to make a person beautiful.
Now they are on the run. Princess Sophia has seized the throne and is offering a reward for the successful return of the Belles. She sees them not as people but as property belonging to the kingdom.
The only hope the Belles have is to find the rightful heir Princess Charlotte and return her to the throne. Otherwise they will never be truly free.
A rebel group called the Iron Ladies extends their support. Their mission is the same, to return Charlotte to the throne, but their views about beauty are very different.
What cost will it take for the Belles to find freedom?
Beauty has a price, and some would seek to own it.
The Belles introduced us to Princess Sophia, who was set on being the most beautiful of all and didn’t care what the price was to anyone else. As an antagonist I find her interesting because her character poses questions. If beauty is a commodity, can one person have an unjust share? There are clear messages about class division which are applicable to the modern day. Should we judge people on their appearance when some can afford to alter it so very much more than others?
The Everlasting Rose gives us more background to the Belles. Camille learns something about herself, something which puts her in more danger than any of the others. As she searches for answers, she discovers more about the origin of herself and her sisters. I love the whole concept of the Belles, and how beautifully the story is told as if they are almost myth but not quite.
Like many second books, the rebellion is growing, and we are introduced to new factions and fighters. The Belle join forces with a group who are against the concept of beauty altogether because they share a common aim. This compromise and the opposing views make for good drama as the rebellion builds.
The world is very much as I remembered it. Behind every pocket of beauty – every flower, every tiny pet, every teahouse – lies some darker fact. The book encourages us not to take everything at face value, especially not the things we crave.
A strong second book which will keep you turning the pages. I was glad to be back in the world of The Belles and impressed by how much depth Dhonielle Clayton can put into a single description. A story of rebellion which has beauty and ugliness in equal measures.
Thanks to Victor Gollancz LTD for my gifted copy of The Everlasting Rose. Opinions my own.