Rebel Rose (The Queen’s Council #1) by Emma Theriault

Author: Emma Theriault
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 352
Buy:Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Indigo Canada | Book Depository

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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.

Rebel Rose is the first in the Queen’s Council series, an empowering fairy tale reimagining of the Disney Princesses-and the real history behind their stories-like you’ve never seen before. Goodreads

Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for giving me the chance to read and review this E-ARC. I loved this book! If you take anything from this review, then know that I adored Rebel Rose and I highly recommend it. It is essentially a sequel to Beauty and the Beast. It answers the question of what happens after the curse is lifted? This book combines history and fantasy. It is set during The French Revolution.

My favourite fairy tale and Disney movie are and will always be Beauty and the Beast. I can read countless retellings about Belle and the Beast and never grow tired of them. However, Rebel Rose is one adaptation that sticks out, and brings something new, amongst all the other retellings. It is the first retelling I have read that asks the question: What happens next? What happens when the fairy tale has ended? Does the relationship between the Beast and Belle survive? What challenges do they face next? 

Theriault has created a heavily character-driven story. I love Disney’s version of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. However, I love Theriault’s version even more. Belle, in Rebel Rose, is coming to terms with her new life in the castle. She is struggling with the question of who is she? She is struggling between her identity as a person raised as a commoner and as a person married to a Prince. She feels she is in between two worlds without fully belonging to either one of them. I loved how Belle’s character developed throughout the three hundred pages. I was easily able to pinpoint where she had started and how she has grown throughout the book. 

Rebel Rose is a story about learning to trust oneself and others. Trust your instincts! Have confidence in your beliefs! It is a story about speaking up and not letting your voice be silenced or diminished.

I enjoyed the romance between Lio (the Beast) and Belle. I thought it was adorable, and I was always wanting more page time with the two characters. By the end of this novel, I was left craving more stories between Lio and Belle. I’m sad to know that future books in this series will not contain Belle and Lio. 

The side characters and the antagonist were just as fleshed out as Belle. I felt the characters brought the world of Aveyon to life. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Mrs. Potts, Chip, Cogsworth, Lumiere, and Marguerite. 

Rebel Rose takes place around The French Revolution. I liked that the plot centred around the issues between the different classes around that time. The events of the story are a bit predictable. It wasn’t hard for me to guess who the antagonist was in this story. However, all that being said, I like the overall message of this book. I liked how the author ended Rebel Rose. I think this book gives a good message to its readers. 

Overall, I loved reading Rebel Rose. I think fans of Beauty and the Beast will not be disappointed with this take on the classic fairytale. I enjoyed the incorporation of history with fantasy. I felt that the characters brought this book and its world-building to life. I loved the message of trusting oneself and speaking up for what you believe in. 

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