Belle Révolte
Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.

Belle Révolte Details

TitleBelle Révolte
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 4th, 2020
PublisherSourcebooks Fire
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, LGBT

Belle Révolte Review

  • Linsey Miller
    January 1, 1970
    Hey friends,This isn't a review. I just wanted to drop some thoughts and the content warnings here to make them more visible. If you have any questions about anything or would like to know specifics, feel free to ask. Thank you for reading and have a great end of 2019!-LinseyBELLE RÉVOLTE COMMENTS & CONTENT WARNINGSThis book isn’t as dark as Mask of Shadows but there is an undercurrent of alienation that follows Emilie and Annette throughout it. The society in which they live operates within Hey friends,This isn't a review. I just wanted to drop some thoughts and the content warnings here to make them more visible. If you have any questions about anything or would like to know specifics, feel free to ask. Thank you for reading and have a great end of 2019!-LinseyBELLE RÉVOLTE COMMENTS & CONTENT WARNINGSThis book isn’t as dark as Mask of Shadows but there is an undercurrent of alienation that follows Emilie and Annette throughout it. The society in which they live operates within a binary gender system and the current government is pushing heteronormativity to maintain social power and hierarchies. It also deals in the concept of a socially gendered magic system.Annette, who is a white cis girl on the ace spectrum and biromantic, thinks about this alienation and how society implies that she is broken at times and briefly discusses these thoughts with a lesbian character. Her thoughts and experiences are not universal and are not meant to be universal, but I hope she resonates with those who need her. Also, Annette knows she’s ace and is awesome. Every now and then you just get those thoughts, you know? There are several trans and non-binary characters, some of whom have they/them pronouns. There is no misgendering or deadnaming within the text.Additionally, no one disguises themself as another gender (i.e.: Emilie does not disguise herself as a boy to study medicine, which I fear might be expected since it’s a common trope in similar stories). That trope is mentioned in the text and shot down. The book does feature sibling deaths (on and off the page), executions (beheading), references to child neglect and abuse, and discussions of drowning.The book also contains violence; murder; gore; and medical neglect, abuse, and violence.It is a work of high fantasy, NOT historical fiction.I'll update this if there's anything I realize that I missed or if anything needs updating.
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  • Iris
    January 1, 1970
    This is out today, go read it y'all!!I received this book from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.This book meant the absolute world to me. Every time I think it I'm just filled with this intense love and emotion. I could flail about this book forever, I swear. It makes me so happy (except for when it's RIPPING MY HEART OUT).Objectively speaking, this book is far from perfect. I think if this book hadn't hit me on so deeply personal a level, it would have been a solid four stars. This is out today, go read it y'all!!I received this book from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.This book meant the absolute world to me. Every time I think it I'm just filled with this intense love and emotion. I could flail about this book forever, I swear. It makes me so happy (except for when it's RIPPING MY HEART OUT).Objectively speaking, this book is far from perfect. I think if this book hadn't hit me on so deeply personal a level, it would have been a solid four stars. Not at all a bad rating, still very much a book I would highly recommend (HI THIS IS ME TELLING YOU TO GO READ THIS BOOK ASAP), but I do recognize it has some flaws from a purely technical perspective (that said I don't care, READ IT, it's gooooood). THE NOT SO GOOD - look there were some inconsistencies. not huge things, but a fair amount of little things. it might be that this is just how arcs are, I don't know (I've only ever read like three), but there were... more than felt entirely justified by it being an arc. It was sort of annoying. - also if I'm being honest.... I was sort of confused by the plot half the time. I like... almost knew what was going on, but sometimes I wasn't entirely sure. I had a good enough sense that it didn't actually detract from the plot, and it is entirely possible that I was just tired and not functioning too well, but I do feel the plots just a little... weak in places. If you're a character driven reader like me, it's probably not bad enough for you to care, but if you're plot driven this probably isn't the book for you. THE VERY GOOD - the magic ahhhhhh. I was a bit iffy on it at first, because it appears to be gendered magic which is literally never cool, but then as the book goes on you discover that in fact that is 100% bullshit and society just made it up, and if that isn't god tier commentary I don't know what is.Also I loooooved the way the magic had such heavy consequences. It really helped raise the stakes, and also was just such a unique magic system. - as I touched on in my last point, there is a lot of political commentary in this book, especially on classism and gender roles, and I thought it was done extremely well. It might make you uncomfortable, but that's why it's so necessary. - also the representation. The representation. One of our leads is sapphic and ace (!!), and the other lead has a trans love interest. There are also various side characters who are queer, including a few for whom they/them pronouns are very casually used. I can't speak for all the rep, but I thought Annette and Yvonne were fantastic rep, and they meant so much to me. - the romances. Annette and Yvonne were the literal cutest and their romance made me feel so many warm fuzzies they were so cute!!! And Emilie and Charles... god tier honestly. The rivals to 'I don't like you but please don't die' to begrudging friends to lovers dynamic.... I had no choice but to love it. - the friendships! I especially loved Annette's group of friends, who were just like... the literal best. I adored their dynamic. but also Emilie and Madeline and Madeline's brother were wonderful! - .... basically just all the character relationships. the mentor/mentee relationships, the friendships, the romances, the messy familial relationships, everything was so messy and flawed and complex and I LOVED it - also not to devote four whole points to character related shit but like... the characters on their own were fantastic too, just saying. Annette was just the softest bean, and Emilie was an arrogant snob but she grew so much over the course of the book. This is what I mean when I say I love character development.THE PERSONALlook this book was great on it's own, I would have loved this book no matter what, because those characters own my whole heart.but what really pushed this book over from great to I will fucking cry and/or squeal every time I think of it was just how much I needed this book. I grew up on books like this - high fantasy with magic, and politics, and characters studying medicine, and nobility, and strong friendships, and mentor/mentee relationships. This book reminded me so much of the books that shaped me - but those books were so straight, and so seeing myself so perfectly represented in a book like this? that meant the whole entire world to me. I'm literally tearing up just writing this. this book was everything I've always loved in a story, but gayer than I've ever seen a book like this be. This was Song of the Lioness but less problematic and queerer. this was so fucking nostalgic to me even though I'd never read it before.but it was queerand that honestly meant so much more to me than I ever could have guessed
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  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    I think it’s a sign when you can’t even make it past the first 6 pages of a book without getting annoyed and wanting to strangle a character
  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
    i barely made it through the first 60% but adored the last 40% so... not sure how i feel about this one yet Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository i barely made it through the first 60% but adored the last 40% so... not sure how i feel about this one yet ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 4.5 starsIf you are looking for a fun standalone fantasy novel with well-developed characters and queer representation, check out Belle Revolte! The world and magic system are surprisingly complex and well-developed for a standalone novel and the plot accomplishes quite a lot in a short number of pages. This is sort of a Prince and the Pauper retelling with girls who switch lives to pursue their dreams, and thematic content that explores inequality and oppression in terms of Actual Rating: 4.5 starsIf you are looking for a fun standalone fantasy novel with well-developed characters and queer representation, check out Belle Revolte! The world and magic system are surprisingly complex and well-developed for a standalone novel and the plot accomplishes quite a lot in a short number of pages. This is sort of a Prince and the Pauper retelling with girls who switch lives to pursue their dreams, and thematic content that explores inequality and oppression in terms of wealth, power, and gender.Loosely based on revolutionary France, this book is set in a world of magic that is segregated into the daytime arts (including magical medicine and weaponry) and the nighttime arts (including illusions and scrying), and these segregations have traditionally been gendered as well. Women are expected to follow the less dangerous nighttime magic and men the daytime. But Emilie des Marais dreams of becoming a physician, despite the wishes of her wealthy and powerful mother. So instead of attending a prestigious finishing school, she convinces commoner Annette Boucher to take her place so she can pursue her dreams of medical training. The girls swap lives, explore their individual power, and eventually become entangled in a necessary but dangerous political revolution. I really enjoyed this book and was impressed and how much the author accomplishes in a single book. The characters are interesting, the world and magic system are thoughtfully laid out, and there is a major focus on structural inequalities as they affect different groups of people. There is action, magic, political intrigue, friendship, and a bit of romance as well. I liked that the romance didn't take over as the main focal point of the plot with a larger emphasis on friendship. (And even the romances that do develop involve mutual respect and friendship)In terms of queer representation, Annette is asexual, biromantic and we get some discussion of what that means. In this story, she develops a low-key romantic relationship with another girl and they have a lovely friendship as well. Emilie seems to be a bit fluid about her gender expression and falls for a trans boy. Their relationship is also just really lovely, with some good-hearted rivalry and banter. There is quite a bit of violence in this book and it goes to some rather dark places in terms of exploitation and abuse of power, sometimes is horrifying and gruesome ways, but the ending is a positive one. My main complaint with this book is that while it is quite ambitious in the scope of the story it seeks to tell, it sometimes suffers from issues of pacing or glossing over things that could have been more developed. Parts of this dragged a bit and the pacing felt inconsistent because it didn't seems to follow a traditional three-act structure and we keep switching perspectives between Annette and Emilie. That said, I still really liked it and think it's worth picking up. And while it does read as a standalone, there is certainly space to tell more stories in this world! I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.CW include death, war violence, depictions of blood and gore, torture, magical murder, loss of a loved one.
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  • Isabella
    January 1, 1970
    a big thank u to FIREreads for sending me a copy of this book!! we don't normally get a lot of stand alone fantasy books so I was really excited to read this one, especially when i heard it was about two girls (a princess and a peasant) switching lives. Yeah we've seen the trope before but i personally find it very entertaining :) i love love LOVED the transgender & asexual representation!! it was such a lovely surprise, one that should definitely be seen more often in fantasy books. i like a big thank u to FIREreads for sending me a copy of this book!! we don't normally get a lot of stand alone fantasy books so I was really excited to read this one, especially when i heard it was about two girls (a princess and a peasant) switching lives. Yeah we've seen the trope before but i personally find it very entertaining :) i love love LOVED the transgender & asexual representation!! it was such a lovely surprise, one that should definitely be seen more often in fantasy books. i like the fact that it didn't completely overpower the character's identity, it was just a part of them, not their defining quality! of course, this being a stand alone also came with a few cons: • things were a bit rushed, especially towards the end• characters weren't that fleshed out• some resolutions were waaay too rushed, i won't get into it because spoilers but some situations just got resolved too easily overall it was an entertaining fantasy stand alone and i had fun reading it! would definitely recommend to fans of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson~
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  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura ErneBelle Révolte was an evocative and thought provoking tale of rebellion, magic, and love. The story follows two young women divided by class but are determined to change their futures. I don’t read many YA fantasies with complex magic systems and although this was sometimes slow, I found I appreciated Linsey Miller’s take on it. Drawing a connection from magic to healing was ingenious and I found her execution original. Many times we Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura ErneBelle Révolte was an evocative and thought provoking tale of rebellion, magic, and love. The story follows two young women divided by class but are determined to change their futures. I don’t read many YA fantasies with complex magic systems and although this was sometimes slow, I found I appreciated Linsey Miller’s take on it. Drawing a connection from magic to healing was ingenious and I found her execution original. Many times we see characters with abilities that help them be stronger warriors and in here, that’s not the focus. I liked how Miller’s concept showcased the efforts people take to preserve life through healing rather than the fighting. But be warned, there are many scenes that are gory and quite vivid as well as a few deaths throughout. This is not a light and fluffy piece and it does seem to perhaps border between YA and adult fiction. This is the first book that I’ve read by Miller and I have fallen in love with her strong and effective writing so this will not be my last.“My mother did not shackle me despite my last escape attempt. It didn’t matter—the corset, layers of satin and silk, and summer heat were chains enough. I was certain I would be the first young noble lady of Demeine to arrive at finishing school under the watchful eyes of two armed guards.”I loved this opener! I could feel Emilie’s hatred for her noble life right from the beginning. It felt real and powerful. She is a girl that knows she can do better and doesn’t need to be stuck in her mother’s world. Relatable and very effective! From then on, I was engrossed in the plot. I wanted to know how Emilie was going to pursue the life she wanted and the stirring rebellion was the perfect, dark backdrop for her to figure it out. This set the mood and gave a very strong voice to this novel’s first main character.“Illusions were, as far as I could tell, nothing but lies. My mother was a wonderful liar.”I devoured Miller’s poetic and emotionally charged writing and I couldn’t wait to continue this story. The composition above reminded me of Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and the reason I loved that series so much was the beautiful poetic prose mixed with a dark, war torn world and we see that again in here. The contrast between the beauty of the words mixed with the darkness of the actual story creates this undeniable pull that keeps you hooked. I envy this writing style immensely and this combination is very effective.“I ate dirt as a child.”This was a striking, bold, and harsh statement that rivalled Emilie’s introduction which made it the perfect intro to Belle Révolte’s second main character, Annette. The drastic differences between these two only worked to increase the idea of class divide and having two characters representing each world equally made this a balanced story.I loved many things in Belle Révolte but I didn’t like the constant flow of names from both perspectives because it was too hard to follow. Many characters had specific strengths in either the noonday arts or the midnight arts and it was slightly confusing to remember who could do what and who knew who. I think this happened because of the sheer amount of female characters on Annette’s side as well as the male characters on Emilie’s side that all seemed to have two and three titles each. It was an information overload. That being said, I also found a slight issue with the idea that’s very common with rebellion and that’s the idea of one name for all those associated. In here Miller used the name “Laurel” for the resistance but there were too many scenes where members were referred to by that same name, which made it difficult to know all the members of the group and what each of them were told and when. I couldn’t keep it all straight. I feel like this choice made Miller’s writing suffer because there’s only so much you can use to try and describe a scene when the same name is given to many, especially given a large operation.Despite these minor setbacks, I really enjoyed Linsey Miller’s newest novel, Belle Révolte and I give it an 8 out of 10! I look forward to reading more from her and I will definitely check out her other series called Mask of Shadows.
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  • Jesse bowtiesandbooks
    January 1, 1970
    I was gifted a copy of Belle Revolte from the publisher and was wildly excited to pick it up! It's a YA Fantasy with heavy french influences (yes please) about two willful girls of differing backgrounds who switch places in order to follow their respective dreams. I loved that one of the girls was an aspiring surgeon as stories surrounding medicine/doctors/illness always fascinate me as do characters that can heal in some fashion. Sadly, this book simply wasn't for me. The writing focused I was gifted a copy of Belle Revolte from the publisher and was wildly excited to pick it up! It's a YA Fantasy with heavy french influences (yes please) about two willful girls of differing backgrounds who switch places in order to follow their respective dreams. I loved that one of the girls was an aspiring surgeon as stories surrounding medicine/doctors/illness always fascinate me as do characters that can heal in some fashion. Sadly, this book simply wasn't for me. The writing focused heavily on lengthy exposition to tell the reader about the story versus demonstrating through action/dialogue. The characters and dialogue weren't compelling to me and I found the alchemy and magic system weren't calling to me. I think many will love this book, but it simply wasn't my cup of tea.
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  • Leo
    January 1, 1970
    Sooo apparently this book has ace rep and this is why I’m going to read it u.u
  • kav (xreadingsolacex)
    January 1, 1970
    "I want to be the best. I want everyone who told me I couldn't be to know they were wrong. I want to save people and help people and be something to someone, so it doesn't all feel like nothing. I have to be the best." Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller is a young-adult high fantasy novel about two teenage girls, Annette Boucher and Emilie des Marais who swap lives for a chance to achieve their dreams, though the crumbling structure of their kingdom may make that goal even harder.Belle Revolte is "I want to be the best. I want everyone who told me I couldn't be to know they were wrong. I want to save people and help people and be something to someone, so it doesn't all feel like nothing. I have to be the best." Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller is a young-adult high fantasy novel about two teenage girls, Annette Boucher and Emilie des Marais who swap lives for a chance to achieve their dreams, though the crumbling structure of their kingdom may make that goal even harder.Belle Revolte is a solid stand-alone fantasy novel with complex characters and brilliant political commentary.This novel did get off to a slow start, and it took me a while to get into it. The system of the world and the plot were both a bit confusing at first, and it took me a bit to understand them.But the second half of this novel was exquisite. It was fast-paced and action-packed and I absolutely loved reading it.This novel has incredibly strong characters and character dynamics. Both the main romances were brilliant . There was a slow-burn f/f romance and a...somewhat hate-to-love/teasing m/f romance where the LI was a trans character, and I loved both romances so much. Not only that, but the friendships were so strong as well. I absolutely loved Annette's friendship with her roommates Coline and Isabelle, and Emilie's friendship with Madeline (we love women supporting women). Then, the mentor/apprentice relationships for both MCs was JUST SO GOOD AND THEY MADE ME REALLY EMOTIONAL IN THE BEST WAY!!!But the real power of this novel lies in the political commentary. Belle Revolte is a novel that deals with sexism and gender dynamics in-depth, as well as classism. I knew beforehand that sexism would be explored in this novel, and I absolutely loved how Miller went about it. Not only are there are such strong relationships between women, but there is also rightful criticism and resistance against a sexist system in power. I would 100% describe this novel as feminist, so obviously we have to stan.Then, classism was also so well deconstructed in this novel. Not only was one MC financially privileged while the other came from a poor background, but the crux of the conflict in this novel goes back to the classist elitism of those in power. Miller did a brilliant job at exploring and dismantling that, which I loved with my whole entire heart.All in all, Belle Revolte is a solid feminist fantasy that I would recommend to anyone who loves character-driven stories. It is a bit weak in some spots, but the complex characters and political commentary make up for anything the novel is lacking. "I don't know how to explain that I care about other people's well-being." (she really said that to her teacher her impact) representation: trans boy love interest, multiple sapphic characters and two f/f romances, ace main character disclaimer: i received an arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. this in no way impacted my review.
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  • amanda
    January 1, 1970
    3.5Belle Revolte.Ahhh, doesn’t the title absolutely slide off your tongue and quiver against your lips? The cover is gorgeous as well. It looks like ice cream. These two combined were what made me want to snatch this book up and even though I’ve been burned before by that deadly combo, I was willing to take the risk for this.It was worth it in the end.I am not a big fantasy fan which is funny because I play quite a few fantasy games. I grew up with Japanese role playing games. Final fantasy and 3.5Belle Revolte.Ahhh, doesn’t the title absolutely slide off your tongue and quiver against your lips? The cover is gorgeous as well. It looks like ice cream. These two combined were what made me want to snatch this book up and even though I’ve been burned before by that deadly combo, I was willing to take the risk for this.It was worth it in the end.I am not a big fantasy fan which is funny because I play quite a few fantasy games. I grew up with Japanese role playing games. Final fantasy and Legend of Zelda courses through my bloodstream but for some reason reading the genre confuses my mind and crosses my eyes. I’m trying to get past this and this book is one of the few I enjoyed of the genre so if you’re like me and stagnant to fantasy this is definitely for you.The old switcharoo cliche takes place between a noble and a commoner. Emilie wants to become a physician but with her highbrow ranking it is frowned down upon. Her mother is strongly against it and sends her away to finishing school. “Do NOT escape.”She doesn’t escape, she enlists the aid of Annette, the commoner, to switch places with her so she can embark on her journey while Annette takes her stead. Annette has magic of her own and grows it, becomes not only a lady but powerful in her own way.The two are brilliant in ways they have never known.This was a great read. I loved the representation of both POC and LGBT. The magic system was simple and a delight to read. At times I was a bit confused as it is very fast paced and I do think this would have been better as a series than as a stand-alone book. This doesn’t take away from the magic however. Annette and Emilie are amazing characters and going through both of their journeys you experience the girls lessons in grief, heartbreak, and magic. It’s a lesson in life itself.Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my ARC.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Belle Révolte is a book about girls changing the world, following their dreams, and fighting a system of exploitation. It's a book full of hope, sacrifice, and power. Belle Révolte is a book about ambition. The ways society wants to limit what we can do because of our gender or economic status. It features Annette, a biromantic ace spectrum magical MC, a talented girl who yearns to (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Belle Révolte is a book about girls changing the world, following their dreams, and fighting a system of exploitation. It's a book full of hope, sacrifice, and power. Belle Révolte is a book about ambition. The ways society wants to limit what we can do because of our gender or economic status. It features Annette, a biromantic ace spectrum magical MC, a talented girl who yearns to be seen. It's a dual POV book which also features Emilie a girl rebelling against the conventions of what her class and family expect of her. She's driven and wants to use her magic to be a physician. In a world that doesn't expect much from either Emilie or Annette, their ambitions and heart will end up changing more than just their world.I have a soft spot for girls who live in a society that doesn't expect anything of them. They are the ones who shine despite blankets of darkness and disbelief. The limitations of being a woman, what we are worth to the world, family, to our future. Escaping gilded cages of society and decorum. I loved Annette and Emilie. Annette for the ways she is driven by what is right, even when she's in a precarious position in a castles of her dreams. Emilie for her commitment to science combined with her compassion for people.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!
    January 1, 1970
    This gave off "Reverie" vibes and I wasn't feeling it. There were just too many similarities and I just had a hard time engrossing myself in the read. Maybe it's my reading slump or just the novel itself, I just couldn't connect with lead characters Emilie and Annette nor the storyline despite loving the LGBT concept. It's not you, it's me I swear!
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  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 20%Sadly, this one just wasn't working for me! The concept sounded super fun and I thought it could be a good one to snuggle up with and tear through in a weekend, but I just couldn't get into it.The pacing was completely off -- within the first 5%, Emilie is running out of her carriage and proposing to swap places with a complete and total stranger who looks like her so she can study medicine. It all happens so fast it was just completely unbelievable -- I felt like I was missing a big DNF at 20%Sadly, this one just wasn't working for me! The concept sounded super fun and I thought it could be a good one to snuggle up with and tear through in a weekend, but I just couldn't get into it.The pacing was completely off -- within the first 5%, Emilie is running out of her carriage and proposing to swap places with a complete and total stranger who looks like her so she can study medicine. It all happens so fast it was just completely unbelievable -- I felt like I was missing a big chunk of backstory or something that would make me invested in this decision and why these girls were taking such a huge risk. Then, the pacing slows to a halt and I really struggled to stay invested in the story.I'm a big stickler for worldbuilding and magic and both felt incredibly messy to me. It just didn't seem to make much sense!I wanted to love this, but it just wasn't for me. This makes me sad because apparently it has really good trans rep in it!
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  • iam
    January 1, 1970
    Belle Révolte puts an intriguing twist to its french-revolution-vibe fantasy setting, featuring queer teens exchanging identities, going to magical schools, fighting against oppression and changing the course of a war. Content warnings include: extremely graphic injuries and gore due to protagonist being a physician at the front during war, violence, execution and death, class difference featuring oppression, mistreatment and abuse of lower class; mentions and effects of off-page torture, Belle Révolte puts an intriguing twist to its french-revolution-vibe fantasy setting, featuring queer teens exchanging identities, going to magical schools, fighting against oppression and changing the course of a war. Content warnings include: extremely graphic injuries and gore due to protagonist being a physician at the front during war, violence, execution and death, class difference featuring oppression, mistreatment and abuse of lower class; mentions and effects of off-page torture, off-page acephobia.The strongest point of the book was the characters and the setting. Emilie was headstrong, stubborn and arrogant (I mean, she's heir to one of the most important noble families,) and totally unapologetic about it. She knows what she wants and she knows her strengths, and overall she was a delight to read about. When she exchanges her cushy lifestyle for that of a common girl, not once does she complain, she keeps following her goals without backing down. The whole going to a school that is mainly for boys and being one of only two girls who were admitted wasn't that big of a deal. Obviously she also had a lot of things to learn, and while not exactly gracefully, learn a lot she did.Annette was a different story. She's from a big family living in a small farming village, with parents who couldn't care less that she effectively ran away. I liked her story of a poor/common girl getting thrown into an upper class school to follow her dreams - except I didn't really know what her dream was. That and other things that remained unclear I'll talk about later in this review.Both girls quickly gain friends and have their own groups of characters around them, some with bigger and some with smaller roles, all of who were interesting. There are certain parallels in their stories, though their personal story arcs are rather different.Now, the setting. Belle Révolte takes place in a fantasy country that in my unqualified opinion resembles France during/shortly before the big revolution. I mean, even the names and titles and ancient langauge are French (or at least seem French to me, who knows absolutely nothing about the actual language.) I found that to be a bit of a weird choice - why give a fantasy book such a close resemblance, to the point where I wasn't sure if it really was supposed to be fantasy at all?That was not what I mean when I mentioned the strong setting however. I meant more immediately where Emilie and Anette stories took place. The magic schools are one thing, but what I found really exciting and different was when the war began and Emilie, along with her classmates and teachers, went to the front to heal the soldiers there. Battle healer isn't a perspective I encountered in books before, and it was exhilarating and amazingly executed.However, it was also brutal. I mean, war, duh. But the way the healing magic was described, the way Emilie could look inside and affect another person's body... it was uncanny, unsettling, and very, very graphic. Not just in the injuries she examines and heals, but in the way magic affects the user too.Which brings me to the worldbuilding, with which I had a few issues.Most importantly, the magic. To summarize, I felt like there was a big gap between what was told and what was shown. Which made sense in a way, since it's established over the course of the book that magic is nowhere near as strictly binary as the commonly taught theories suggest. Which is very cool in concept, but combined with how confused I was about the entirety of the magic system in general and how it tied in with the world and the characters personally, it didn't quite work for me.Magic is separated into the noonday and midnight arts, the former for fighting and healing, for men, and the latter for divination, illusion and scrying, for women. Magic also has a price for using it, affecting the user badly, and ultimately deteriorating their body until the user dies or they loose their ability to work magic, if I understood correctly. Pretty much every single use of magic makes the user bleed or injures them in some way. As such, the protagonists spend the majority of the book with minor or major injuries, which are not pretty.Now, apply such a magic system to a society with an upper and a lower class, and you end up with the concept of "hacks": poor/common people "channelling" the magic for the noble user, who directs the magic but doesn't have to bear any of the force. Exactly how this works isn't explained, just like many of the other finer workings of the magic and it's connection to society. The amount of magic users in the population, the exact difference between divination and scrying which seems obvious in theory but not so much in practice, how some nobles don't use hacks but it's not mentioned how that is viewed in wider society, how exactly the fighting magic works and what it does, all the finer workings of illusions, the differences in severity of the harmful effects of magic use on the user, any details about the enemy country's magic or anything about them in general etc. etc.Ultimately, while I found the magic fascinating, I was also rather puzzled by it at times and couldn't entirely keep up with the logic behind it. It was fine to read, however, once I decided to just accept what was told without thinking too hard about it.In contrast, what I absolutely loved was the queer representation. One protagonist is explicitly asexual, and I loved her little arc about it, about not being broken but being confused that everyone else seems to know something you don't, which was exactly how I felt growing up as an ace teen too. In this context was also a couple conversations about explicit consent and negotiating relationships, which I adored. There are two romantic subplots, one featuring a f/f couple, and another a m/f couple with a trans love interest. There were also several nonbinary side characters, or at least characters who used they/them pronouns, characters of unknown gender were frequently referred to with gender neutral pronouns, and other queer side couples.How queer people are viewed in the setting's society wasn't really brought up, but the asexual protagonist experienced acephobia off-page, and the conflation of sexual and romantic love is described as normalized. There is no sex on-page.As much as I liked the groups around Emilie and Annette respectively, I would have liked the lines to blur more rather than the two groups staying pretty much entirely separate for the entirety of the plot.Despite that there are several parallels in their personal plots, from being outsiders, experiencing loss and betrayal, seeing the corruption and wrongness of the system and becoming involved with the rebellion, and more.Overall the plot and particular the personal motivations and relationships could have been a little tighter, though. I still enjoyed them, but wanted more details and follow-ups on pretty much everyone, and Annette and Emilie's motherÄs and Sebastien and Charles's relationships in particular.I could say so much more, but this review is already long enough so I'll end it with a final note: I didn't quite expect the book to be as graphic as it was, despite having read the author's other works before. Belle Révolte is quite clearly YA with the protagonists in their teens (16 to 17 I assumed, though I cannot remember if their ages are stated on-page.) There are very explicit and graphic descriptions of injuries and deaths, bodies being taken apart, deteriorating and slowly dying in high detail. This was both as part of the plot around the mistreatment of the lower class and hacks and also just normal day-to-day work for Emilie as a physician's hack. My stomach turned quite a few times. So... be warned. I received an ARC and reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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  • Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds a lot like THE BELLES
  • thi
    January 1, 1970
    3.25/5- I love standalone fantasy I really do but damn do some aspects feel rushed - two protags in stories that don’t quite intersect often can be hard to follow (aka I found it hard to follow) - overall I did like the story but I didn’t *love* the execution nor the writing style
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  • Francesca ❆
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much Sourcebooks Fire for providing me a free copy through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.2.5 starsA fast paced fantasy about girls changing the world, not afraid to follow their dreams, and fighting against a system of exploitation.CHARACTERS:The story is divided in a dual POV system with a constant switch between the characters: on one side we have the privileged, rebellious Emilie, who wants to break the rules of society and become a physician; on the other we have the Thank you so much Sourcebooks Fire for providing me a free copy through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.2.5 starsA fast paced fantasy about girls changing the world, not afraid to follow their dreams, and fighting against a system of exploitation.CHARACTERS:The story is divided in a dual POV system with a constant switch between the characters: on one side we have the privileged, rebellious Emilie, who wants to break the rules of society and become a physician; on the other we have the overworked, disadvantaged Annette, who dreams of getting the chance to study magic and change her life conditions.Each character is surrounded by a bunch of secondary characters that act as support cast and source of friendship, love and conflict; sadly both main and secondary characters felt not enough developed at times and it broke the immersion quite a lot.I do want to say that I liked the myriad of different relationships of love, friendship, contempt, hate etc...portrayed in the story and the character growth of (mostly) Emilie and Annette.WORLD-BUILDING AND PLOT:The world building is a mock-up of revolutionary France with a simple yet intriguing magical system: magic usage is gender based on gender (males have a more physical role in society while females take care of the spiritual part of it) and cross over is strictly forbidden and magic consumes the body at different pace depending on which kind of magic the performer uses.....that said, I still felt like some things were glossed over/not well explained which created some rather annoying inconsistencies.The plot was had some problems: it swung from dull moments to high speed pacing which resulted in some confusion and lots of going back and rereading bits here and there.WRITING:The writing was well done, with interesting dialogues and approachable language. The pacing didn’t feel very smooth especially towards the end where it takes off like a missile and losing the thread meant getting lost in a glass of water and getting immensely confused.FINAL NOTE:If you are looking for a fast paced stand alone fantasy with lots of representation and teens switching lives, attending magical schools, and changing the world....this book is right up your alley.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't finish this. I read two thirds and couldn't get through to the end. The characters felt flat, the pacing was hard to follow, and the new language was not easy to understand. I wish I had gotten this from the library or bought the hard copy version so I could give it away, to a friend or library. The queer rep wasn't bad but didn't feel satisfying or comforting to read, although I do love that they exist in a fantasy world. Hopefully, other people like it more than I did. I didn't hate I couldn't finish this. I read two thirds and couldn't get through to the end. The characters felt flat, the pacing was hard to follow, and the new language was not easy to understand. I wish I had gotten this from the library or bought the hard copy version so I could give it away, to a friend or library. The queer rep wasn't bad but didn't feel satisfying or comforting to read, although I do love that they exist in a fantasy world. Hopefully, other people like it more than I did. I didn't hate it, as in I didn't get angry reading this book, but I was frustrated with how bored I felt.
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  • mahana
    January 1, 1970
    rep: sapphic ace mc, f/f romance, sapphic side character, trans side character
  • Caitlin Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this ARC.This was a great fantasy novel told from the alternating views of two women who swap lives to pursue their dream. Emilie and Annette look similar but come from two very different worlds. I really loved the strong friendship in this novel and the romances were depicted well. The different magical arts and hacks were clever and innovative. This was my first Linsey Miller book and I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book but I really Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this ARC.This was a great fantasy novel told from the alternating views of two women who swap lives to pursue their dream. Emilie and Annette look similar but come from two very different worlds. I really loved the strong friendship in this novel and the romances were depicted well. The different magical arts and hacks were clever and innovative. This was my first Linsey Miller book and I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book but I really enjoyed the journey. There were a lot of surprising twists and the conclusion was very satisfying. If you are a fan of young adult fantasy, this will be right up your alley.
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  • Kait | sixcrowsbooks
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger/Content warnings:--- gore--- character death--- family death (a character’s brother)Representation:--- biromantic asexual girl MC--- multiple f/f relationships and lesbian (or otherwise sapphic) characters--- trans man side character5/5 stars*I received a copy of the novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*I read this book within a day or two, and I loved every second of it.Belle Révolte follows two girls: Emilie, a noble girl who wants to study the noonday arts and become a Trigger/Content warnings:--- gore--- character death--- family death (a character’s brother)Representation:--- biromantic asexual girl MC--- multiple f/f relationships and lesbian (or otherwise sapphic) characters--- trans man side character⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5/5 stars*I received a copy of the novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*I read this book within a day or two, and I loved every second of it.Belle Révolte follows two girls: Emilie, a noble girl who wants to study the noonday arts and become a physician instead of the midnight arts, and Annette, a peasant girl from a family who doesn’t want her and who wants to study the midnight arts. They end up meeting one another and, on a whim, decide to switch places. Annette pretends to Emilie and studies the midnight arts while Emilie admits herself to a school for the noonday arts. However, tension and action start to stack up quickly as the country is thrust into a war/revolution, and the girls are thrust into it as well.First off, this magic system? Is simply amazing. It is split into a binary: the midnight arts (divination, scrying, etc.), which are traditionally used by women, and the noonday arts (divided between surgery/medicine and fighting/warfare) are traditionally used by men.I love that Emilie is fighting tooth and nail to become a physician and prove everyone wrong with what she can do. The magic system is believed to be entirely binary: women weren’t considered strong enough to use the noonday arts, and men believed the midnight arts to be below them. However, Emilie proves throughout the novel that women can actually prove to be just as competent in the noonday arts (shocker, I know), and there is a debate that touches on both arts actually being the same side of the coin, not opposites. This magic system and the discussion about it within the novel were very intriguing, and I love this aspect.Now, the characters… While I can’t remember names (not the novel’s fault, I am incredibly bad with keeping up with who’s who, especially when they don’t have their own POV chapter), I do remember that I loved all of the characters. I felt like I knew them, and following Annette and Emilie was a joyride in and of itself. The reader just gets to know the both of them so well, including how they don’t feel like, a lot of the time, they can’t be who they truly are in public. They are constantly fighting to be themselves in a world that doesn’t care for them, and I love that. I don’t love that they have to, but I feel connected to both of them. I understand that struggle.On top of that??? The side characters??? I love. They are honestly so, so amazing, and that representation? *chef’s kiss* We got multiple f/f relationships, a trans man side character, and an MC who’s asexual and biromantic. I just loved how everyone was super casual about it, and the best part? While this book was gruesome and bloody and violent, none of the violence was queer antagonistic/transphobic/homophobic/etc. in nature. It was just refreshing to see.There were a couple parts of the novel that, if I didn’t already absolutely love this book, I would probably take a half-star or two off. One was a plot twist with one of the side characters. I thought it was a bit goofy and allowed everything to wrap up nicely, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all. The second part was the ending: at first, I wasn’t a huge fan of it because I thought it was very rushed. However, the more I thought on it, the more my mind began to change: revolutions can often take suddent turns toward the end, and that’s just what happens with the end of Belle Revolte. I think it fit the overall narrative.But yeah, please please please pre-order/order this book or request it for your library, y’all. This was a wonderful, quick read, and I’m so glad I was able to snag it when it was under the “read now” tab on NetGalley!
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  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books
    January 1, 1970
    CW: Violence / Gore / Medical Neglect / Sibling Death / Executions / References to Children’s Neglect / Abuse / Discussions of Drowning Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in any way. Belle Revolte is a magical life swap story that ended up surprising me. Not because of the plot or the setting. Because of the characters that ended up drawing me in. Emilie de Marais lives in a society with a very CW: Violence / Gore / Medical Neglect / Sibling Death / Executions / References to Children’s Neglect / Abuse / Discussions of Drowning Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in any way. Belle Revolte is a magical life swap story that ended up surprising me. Not because of the plot or the setting. Because of the characters that ended up drawing me in. Emilie de Marais lives in a society with a very socially gendered magic system. Beware of that going in. Men can train to be warriors or physicians while women are expected to be taught in the ways of divination, and even there often only ladies. This is not to her liking. She would rather become a physician than to learn how to properly divine and has been experimenting at home. Until her mother sends her away. When she meets Annette, she devises a plan. Annette will go to the finishing school in her place and Emilie will be going on to become a physician. If you think this is a story where there is going to be a gender swap, you are wrong. Emilie goes into the training as an assistant, those that the physicians often use to draw power from when needed (and often causes them an early death). Even as a female she is allowed to do this. This was such a nice change to the normal live swap stories to be honest. In addition to the socially gendered magic system it is balanced out a lot by there being trans en non-binary side characters throughout the story. While not entirely accepted in society (trans character isn’t all out) it is still normal between the characters. Accepting. That was also why I ended up falling for the characters. They all have their unique things. I was perhaps less drawn to Emilie as a person who is very driven and has a tendency to push people away a bit. But the people around her; Laurence, Charles and the siblings, filled around her amazingly. Where with Annette I was not quite as taken by her story plot but I could resonate with her so well. She is asexual as I am. But also biromantic. As the story progressed our characters grew, talking about the politics and gender norms of the society they resided in. They struck something with me and I still think very fondly of them after having finished the book a week ago. The story in itself was solid at best . A bit weak in places. So it certainly isn’t a perfect book but if you love a diverse queer book than this is certainly for you. It is a standalone for now, but I can certainly see openings in that ending for a potential companion book.
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 2.5* So. I will start out fully honestly and tell you that I almost DNFed this one at numerous turns. The beginning just seemed so very dull and unrealistic. I mean, there's reallyno explanation why either of these complete strangers would want to, let alone be able to, fully trust the other woman with her literal life. Look, if some rando comes up to me and wants to life-swap... fine, You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 2.5* So. I will start out fully honestly and tell you that I almost DNFed this one at numerous turns. The beginning just seemed so very dull and unrealistic. I mean, there's really no explanation why either of these complete strangers would want to, let alone be able to, fully trust the other woman with her literal life. Look, if some rando comes up to me and wants to life-swap... fine, I'll be tempted but ultimately my mom taught me about Stranger Danger, so. And we jump right into the switcheroo, like it's business as usual. It was hard for me to suspend disbelief is what I am telling you here.The characters seemed a little too similar to me at first, too. They just didn't start the book particularly fleshed out, and they were pretending to be each other, and there were so many other people around, I just got kind of overwhelmed. And the pacing just felt super draggy, I must say. At least for the first half. Then, things pick up, and since I am already half way in, I just keep going because I am determined to a fault, apparently. And it did get better! I started to actually care about the characters, enough that I did want to finish the book. The problem here is, I can't really tell you much of what I liked because it's all at the end and those are spoilers. But the pacing does pick up, and the characters definitely develop more over the course of the book.Also! It's a standalone, so you're not invested forever. The concept of the doctors is pretty cool (and dark, but that's always fun) and again, I can't say more, but that was a plot point that I really enjoyed. I also liked a lot of the camaraderie each woman eventually found in her respective place. Again, vague on purpose. This is hard, let's stop. Bottom Line:  It started so slow and unbelievable, but did eventually get to the point where I cared about the characters and what happened to them, so. It's hard to give a definitive bottom line, kind of depends on whether you want to invest in the "meh" beginning.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Oh this book was super, duper queer as expected and I loved it!Expected nothing less from Linsey Miller - this was just as good as Mask of Shadows. She's taken the whole 'princess swap' trope and made it her own.I really liked the world building, a very easy fantasy to get into as it's woven into the story itself so flawlessly. I loved all of the characters, Annette especially and her story and of course the magic involved in the story.I think I just wanted more about the characters - a bit more Oh this book was super, duper queer as expected and I loved it!Expected nothing less from Linsey Miller - this was just as good as Mask of Shadows. She's taken the whole 'princess swap' trope and made it her own.I really liked the world building, a very easy fantasy to get into as it's woven into the story itself so flawlessly. I loved all of the characters, Annette especially and her story and of course the magic involved in the story.I think I just wanted more about the characters - a bit more development to get to know them better but other than that LOVED IT.
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  • Juan
    January 1, 1970
    dnf @ page 177I hit a point where I realized that despite being halfway through the book I did not care about anything that was happening and still could not tell the two main characters apart from one another. Also, up till this point there has been no real mention of anything sapphic, and definitely no mention of the ace rep that I heard was also part of this book. That's not to say the rep isn't in there at all, as I'm sure it is, I just want to point out that if that's one of the main dnf @ page 177I hit a point where I realized that despite being halfway through the book I did not care about anything that was happening and still could not tell the two main characters apart from one another. Also, up till this point there has been no real mention of anything sapphic, and definitely no mention of the ace rep that I heard was also part of this book. That's not to say the rep isn't in there at all, as I'm sure it is, I just want to point out that if that's one of the main reasons you pick up this book, you're going to have to wait a while for it to show up.
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  • Louise
    January 1, 1970
    Belle Révolte takes two very different young women, both of whom have ambitious dreams, and sets them in a society which places those goals out of their reach. But with an impulsive ‘Prince and the Pauper’ style swap, both Emilie and Annette put themselves on a path to excelling in their chosen fields: Emilie becomes a physician’s assistant and Annette studies divination. However, political unrest soon draws both girls into something far bigger than either had bargained for.Although the names Belle Révolte takes two very different young women, both of whom have ambitious dreams, and sets them in a society which places those goals out of their reach. But with an impulsive ‘Prince and the Pauper’ style swap, both Emilie and Annette put themselves on a path to excelling in their chosen fields: Emilie becomes a physician’s assistant and Annette studies divination. However, political unrest soon draws both girls into something far bigger than either had bargained for.Although the names and settings seem heavily influenced by revolutionary France, Belle Révolte is high fantasy and not historical fiction. I’m also pleased to spot a standalone fantasy novel, as they seem less common than series. I’m especially pleased the Belle Révolte works perfectly within the single book: it didn’t feel like the story had been condensed or cut short.I loved the characters, both the two driven protagonists and the diverse supporting cast in each girls side of the story. All the characters felt well developed and complex. Emilie and Annette, especially, were characters you wanted to root for and both were charming and relatable in their own unique ways.There were a few spots in the books where I felt there were a few minor pacing issues, but the strong, appealing characters and the unique political and dual magic systems made Belle Révolte a compelling and exciting read.A really enjoyable read and one I’d thoroughly recommend.
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  • Andria Sedig
    January 1, 1970
    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 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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  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC.
  • Regsly
    January 1, 1970
    If a book has ace rep I must know about it, and I must read it
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