What happens after happily ever after? The lovers are reunited and all is well, or is it? Rebel Rose takes place after Beauty and the Beast. Set in 1789 France, Prince Adam and Belle must not only learn to navigate their new relationship, but also a country on the border of revolution. Keep reading this book review to find out what happens!
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
What I enjoyed in Rebel Rose was how Theriault does not shy away from the rough spots in Adam and Belle’s relationship. The inequality in their backgrounds becomes even more of an obstacle as they begin to advance their station and social calendar. While Belle may not be a Queen, she certainly is drawn into a space, not of her choosing, that does not truly know what it is like to be common. 1789 France is on the edge of revolution and it’s possible Belle is the only person who can stop it from spilling over to Aveyon.
Rebel Rose is firmly centered on Belle and her character. Will she be able to stay true to herself, even as the nobility looks down at her, and the commoners might resent her? At the same time, will she be able to advocate for the rights of her friends and Aveyon against those who want to maintain the status quo? Because it quickly becomes apparent that the trials of their relationship are far from over even though the curse is broken.
In a world that seeks to have women doubt themselves, Belle’s journey in Rebel Rose is one of self-agency. How can she figure out how to use the power she never wanted while still staying true to herself? Rebel Rose is an enjoyable read, and a good start to this new Queen’s Council series. At the end, I felt like the plot was a bit rushed and the pacing sped up all of a sudden. But I still am very intrigued by the sequel, particularly the idea of the Queen’s Council.