The mysterious world of Orleans is a place where, due to a mysterious history with the gods, people are born grey and dull. The Belles are mystical people-like creatures who use powers to change people’s appearance, everything from hair and skin colour to the shape of facial features and body type. Each season, one Belle is selected to be the favourite, the one who works for the Queen of Orleans in her court. Camellia is in the current group, and despite her rebellious streak, she desperately wants to follow her mother’s footsteps and be the favourite. But the world is not what she expects, and Camellia is left trying to figure out who to trust and what she should do.
This book was a challenge for me. I found the writing so flowery and descriptive that I almost struggled to read it, and I really found it difficult to get into the concepts of the world that Clayton has created. The vanity of many of the character was also challenging, like if you read the Hunger Games but it was all set in the capital with all of the fancy outfits and etc. I persisted, and found myself drawn into the story. I don’t love it all, yet I absolutely must know what happens, to the point where I can’t wait for the sequels. I would suggest if you like dystopian fantasy type stuff, this may absolutely be a book for you. Maybe?