Thursday, 7 March 2019



Title: The Everlasting Rose
Series: The Belles
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Freeform, Orion Publishing Group
Release Date: 7th March 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia's Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle 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 restore peace to Orleans.


As I finished The Belles, I knew there was no question, I had to read the next book, and then I discovered the title that pulled me in even more, made me wonder if there could ever be an Everlasting Rose in the world The Belles is set in. To say I was impatient to begin reading this book.

I loved the cover of The Belles but wow, the cover of The Everlasting Rose is striking. It hints of what is to come from inside the cover. There’s lots of intrigue, betrayal, sacrifice and loss in this instalment of The Belles story. The genres listed for the book are YA and Fantasy, which whilst I agree with. I would point out I am certainly not in the YA age bracket and I have adored this series so far! Also, I would add that the books could also be added to the dystopian, and possibly futuristic genres.

The book picks up just after we left the characters on the run from Princess Sophia and her followers. It’s been an action packed three days for Camille, at the beginning of everything being at the Palace, being thrown in the dungeons, Princess Charlotte waking up, and then the surprising help of false papers and transport from Arabella.
To begin with it is Camille, Edelweiss, and Ambrosia who escape with the palace guard Remy. They have escaped with very little, just their arcana which reside within them ready to be called and used only on others. Camille also has her teacup dragons, Fantóme, Poivre, Eau, Feuille and finally Or who is very fond of Remy. The fugitives need to evade capture, find, and help Princess Charlotte return to the Palace to usurp Princess Sophia from the throne and take up her rightful place.
This may sound simple, but it really isn’t, with wanted posters all around wherever the Belles and Remy go, all offering large reward for their capture and return to the Palace.
Princess Sophia also has her own ideas on not only how the Palace runs and the laws of the land, she also wants to breed many more Belles, and makes several attempts at doing this with disastrous results producing inferior Belles which are disfigured. When those in the know such as Arabella attempt to explain the process and say she must slow down, she does the opposite even saying the Belles do not need to be attractive, just be able to use their arcana’s to make others beautiful! It seems all Princess Sophia wants to do is make money from Belles and become the Queen to change laws to meet her personal requirements.
We learn one Belle in every generation is stronger and carries something “extra,”  within their blood that helps to make the next generation. Arabella is the one whose blood contains the aether that is needed for the next generation. I am not going to reveal who has the aether in her blood in the latest generation of Belles.
Two of the Belles that are on the run discover their arcana talents can in fact help them travel undetected. The Belles are always on their guard knowing they could be captured at any moment. When Princess Sophia targets the palace guard Rémy’s family, Camille insists he go back and try to help his family. There’s the delightful beginnings of a relationship between Camille and Rémy in this book as well as the differing relationships between the girls. It’s difficult for them to trust anyone, but help does come along in the shape of the mysterious, rebellious Iron Ladies.

I thought the Belles was written extremely and that nothing would ever live up to it but, The Everlasting Rose is even better! The scene setting is stunning, you can really visualise it all. I think the quotes and certain phrases in the book are remarkable. So now I have raved about them I guess I should share a couple. “My thoughts are an overfilled teacup, drowning it’s saucer” “Maman never told me what to do when the world falls apart like a dress ripped at it’s seams, the beads scattering into faraway corners, the fabric a storm of shredded pieces left destroyed and unrecognisable”
The way the Iron Ladies say farewell to each other when going on one of their missions is, “May our threads remain strong and our webs serve us well”.

My favourite character is I guess predictably Camille, at the beginning of this book she is still somewhat stinging about how Auguste betrayed her and proposed to Princess Sophia, after professing his love to her! I also love how friendship turns into more with Rémy, her palace guard whilst they are on the run. Camille cared for all her sisters in book one, and continues to do so in this book, despite Edelweiss warning her on more than one occasion that Ambrosia has changed and its not for the better. On many occasions Camille is willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary, including herself for the good of others.

Everything continues to build up to am ultimate climax, with many putting themselves in the firing line of the power hungry, Princess Sophia. Though it is Camille who is at the very centre of a plan that will either go perfectly well or horrendously wrong! I actually had to put this stunning book down at 88% yep with only 22% I had to put the book down as for us older readers life sometimes gets in the way at the most inopportune times! I left the book there and had questions and scenarios of what may happen galore popping in and out of my head. Such as, Can Camille manage to be literally under Princess Sophia, soon to be Queen Sophia's nose, and be able to rescue her sisters, Beauty Minister, Fashion Minister, the love of her life, his family and make sure Sophia doesn't become Queen? Camille a heavy weight on her shoulders! Will Camille & the Iron Ladies plan work? Whose side is Auguste really on?

What more can I say, as I am not willing to go into more detail as I don't want to spoil the reading experience for everyone else. I truly loved reading this book, even more then The Belles, which I didn't think possible. I highly recommend reading this series.

The covers & the content still reminded me of The Perfected series by Kate Jarvik Birch, The Lone City Series by Amy Ewing and The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. So if you haven’t read those and have loved The Belles & The Everlasting Rose I can highly recommend them to you.

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