From the author of the Mask of Shadows duology comes a standalone fantasy where two young women must trade lives, work together to stay alive, and end a war caused by magic and greed.
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 terrible war, Emilie and Annette come together to help the rebellion unearth the truth before it's too late.
"A bursting-at-the-seams stand-alone empowerment story."—Kirkus Reviews
"Hand to any lover of magic, rebellion, secrets, and self-discovery."—Booklist
In this provocative fantasy, two young women tackle themes of power, privilege, and politics when they switch identities to pursue their dreams. Noble-born Emilie des Marais, 16, wants to become a physician, a role usually forbidden women of her class because of the corruptive toll the magical "noonday arts" exact. Common-born Annette Boucher wants to escape her domineering parents and master the less physically costly "midnight arts" of illusions, divination, and scrying, normally reserved for those who can afford the expensive education. At Emilie's urging, each girl takes the other's place. Their homeland, Demeine, is on the brink of war with a neighboring land as its king seeks to distract the populace from growing unrest surrounding the systematic exploitation of lesser magical talents, known as hacks, who take the brunt of magic for privileged clients, and both young women are pulled into the escalating conflict. Miller (Ruin of Stars) writes in lush, dense prose that can require a careful read, but her protagonists' awareness of privilege and desire to challenge the status quo shines through. LGBTQ representation including gay, trans, and nonbinary characters (Annette identifies as asexual biromantic) further widens this tale's appeal. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Amazing and sweet queer romance!
~Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!~
I really enjoyed reading Belle Révolte, but I’m only giving it four stars instead of five, one star being taken off because of the pacing and plot.
The pacing was very slow in the beginning, despite the fast introduction there was of Annette and Emilie almost instantly meeting each other and switching lives. It just took quite a while before the main plot, involving Laurel, began. Once the pacing of the book picked up, however, it was hard to put it down!
The system of magic, with the hawks and everything having to do with the physicians, was all so much information to take in. I did somewhat understand it, but I never completely got it or was interested in it.
The queer romance was amazing! It was so sweet yet not rushed and not annoying. I even got hints of other queer romances in the book, and I loved, although sweet as it was, that the romance didn’t overshadow the main plot. Emilie had to learn about being a physician, and Annette had to learn about being a lady of high status.
Both the girls had to keep their identities a secret from everyone else and were likable characters, but between them I liked Emilie more! Even with her high status, she was incredibly kind and willing to be helpful to others that needed her help.
There were twists I didn’t see coming in this book but that were all well executed by Linsey Miller and added something to the story. The cast of characters overall was fantastic, and I was very happy with how things wrapped up at the end.
I believe this is a standalone, but I definitely wouldn’t mind a sequel to this in the future!