2020 is gearing up to be a wonderful year for queer books about revolution! There’s this one, then I’ve already reviewed The Electric Heir , We Unleash the Merciless Storm, the sequel to last years grandiose We Set the Dark on Fire, is coming out in February. Then we have two wonderful UK debuts coming as well, Court of Miracles by Kester Grant in June (which I’m very lucky to have an eARC of, so you’ll get treated to a review as soon as I get around to reading it!) and Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn in May.
As I’ve absolutely loved all of the ones I’ve read so far, I have very high hopes for the ones I have not yet gotten my greedy little fingers on and I can’t wait to read them all! Expect much queerness and revolution to feature in my monthly hype posts.
As usual, all opinions expressed are entirely my own, so don’t go blaming anyone else for my ramblings. Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an eARC to feed them!
RELEASE DATE: 01/02/2019
STAR RATING: 5/5 ✶
Emilie de 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 terrible war, Emilie and Annette come together to help the rebellion unearth the truth before it’s too late.
Without spoilers, there is bi-romantic ace and trans representation in this book, a f/f relationship and racial and economic diversity. Viewpoints are challenged, heads are butted, and characters grow. Characters are presented in a human and honest way, most of them chafing against the boundaries of their assigned roles and trying to figure out a way to be authentically themselves in a rigid society.
Emilie, born into an incredibly privileged family, ends up confronted with realities that she had not been aware of before. While she tries her best, she commits blunders and mistakes due to her naiveté, but to her credit, she learns from her mistakes and grows immensely as a person. Similarly, Annette has a lot of her own growth to do. The side characters, such as Madeline, Coline, Laurence and Estrel, or Charles are no less nuanced. They all have to let go of preconceived notions in order to realize what is happening on around them and truly band together.
The nation is in shambles, and a mysterious figure calling themselves Laurel is causing uproar. Over the course of the story, it becomes clear that there is more to the war happening than the people are aware of, and that their king is privy to insidious goings-on. So who or what is Laurel, and what is the change they are promising?
Belle Révolte is extremely well written, gripping and will not let you go. It is a book that hit all my soft spots and made me fall in love with it. I urge you to add this one on Goodreads and pre-order it as fast as you can. Book Depository link is here, and it should be available from all reputable book-dealers.