Book Reviews

Book Review: Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault

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 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.
Not so very long ago, Belle dreamed of leaving her provincial home for a life of adventure. But now she finds herself living in a palace, torn between her past as a commoner, and her future as royalty. While Belle grapples with her newfound position, there are those who would do anything to keep her from power.
When she stumbles across a magic mirror that holds a dire warning, Belle wants nothing more than to ignore the mysterious voice calling her to accept a crown she never desired. But violent factions of the revolution may already be lurking within her own castle, and doing nothing would endanger everything she holds dear. With the fate of her country, her love, and her life at stake, Belle must decide if she is ready to embrace her own strength–and the magic that ties her to so many female rulers before her–to become the queen she is meant to be.
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.

Title: Rebel Rose
Author: Emma Theriault
Published: November 10th, 2020
Rating: 3.8//5 Stars


My all time favorite Disney movie. My retelling obsession. My heart beats for Beauty and the Beast.

But what happened AFTER Belle and the Beast fell in love?

Most retellings focus on re-doing the during, so it was interesting to skip all that, after all, we know what happened.
What we don’t know from the original tale is if Belle took the title of princess, how the Beast (here known as Lio) adjusts to life as a human again, and how the world itself changes.

Rebel Rose takes the live-action route and has the world forget about the Prince while he was the beast, and now reemerges after recovering from his “illness”.

Lio now faces a world that he doesn’t necessarily belong in, suffers from terrible nightmares, and must deal with the consequences of marrying a commoner.

So, instead of staying in the castle and getting to know my favorite characters more, he brings his cousin Bastien home with him from Paris and then peaces out for a journey to the kingdom’s nobles.

And this is where it stopped being a Beauty and The Beast retelling for me. There were occasional references to Mrs. Potts cooking, Lumieré chasing after women, Cogsworth being strict and in charge, and of course the library.

But honestly? If it wasn’t for the occasional name drops I would have forgotten this was a retelling. There is so little interaction between Belle and Lio. I wanted so much more of Belle and the Beast and their love story.

Instead, we get the tale of Belle and Bastien. Right away its obvious that Bastien is no good. It is however, difficult to determine if he is the bad guy in terms of trying to destroy the kingdom, or if he just despises Belle to that extent.

The basis of this story ended up being Belle, and her split between Belle the peasant and Belle the noblewoman, if she actually fit into either world. I enjoyed Belle’s struggle to find herself. Making new friends, forgiving old enemies, and finding the balance between the poor girl who longed for adventure, and the would-be Queen who must stay in one place. The internal balance was so well written, and you could truly sense the struggle she dealt with everyday.

I did like the way real history was incorporated into this magical fictional kingdom. Real life events influence the situations Belle is put into throughout the novel.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the “big twist” in the story, partially because it was rather obvious, and also because a lot of plot unfolded rather quickly. There were a lot of unanswered questions, and by the time Lio came back into the picture I wasn’t too excited about his presence.

Overall, as a Beauty and The Beast retelling, I wouldn’t rank this story as high. But as a political, historical fiction fantasy novel I truly enjoyed this book.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s