Everlasting Rose
by Clayton, Dhonielle

Camille, Edel, and Remy, aided by The Iron Ladies and backed by alternative newspaper The Spider's Web, race to outwit Sophia, find Princess Charlotte, and return her to Orlâeans.

Dhonielle Clayton is the author of New York Times bestseller The Belles and coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things series. She grew up in the Washington, DC, suburbs on the Maryland side and spent most of her time under her grandmother's table with a stack of books. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Dhonielle is cofounder of CAKE Literary, a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers, and COO of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books. She's got a serious travel bug and loves spending time outside the USA but makes her home in New York City, where she can most likely be found hunting for the best slice of pizza. You can also find her online at www.dhonielleclayton.com or follow her @brownbookworm.

*Starred Review* Clayton's eagerly anticipated sequel picks up where the explosive events of The Belles (2018) left readers dangling from a well-crafted cliff. Camille's innocence has been stripped away, and our beloved, once-naive Belle has blossomed into a gloriously ambitious and rightfully enraged young woman who is hell bent on liberating her Belle sisters, finding the missing Princess Charlotte, and ripping the throne of Orléans out of Sophia's evil hands. But none of these goals prove easy with Sophia's imperial forces hunting Camille, her sister Edel, and her handsome guard Rémy. When Camille learns Sophia is constructing a prison to enslave Belles and chain them to the ugly demands of the kingdom, the stakes spike higher than ever. If Camille hopes to change Orléans for the better and save the Belles from falling deeper into bondage, she must find and restore Princess Charlotte to the throne before Sophia is crowned queen. Although The Belles is a phenomenal read, this is even more staggering. Clayton seizes the opportunity to expound upon Orléans, rendering a world that is breathtaking and crushing, beautiful and vile, and whimsical and terrifying. She poignantly uses a harrowing, fantastical tale to illuminate the very real horrors of unattainable beauty standards and the enslavement of marginalized bodies. As relevant as it is exquisite. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The Belles hit best-seller status, and its fans' excitement for the sequel will be further stoked by Clayton's national author tour. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

The sequel to Clayton's The Belles (2018) freezes blood and steals breath.With the capricious and conniving Princess Sophia poised to seize the throne and already capturing Belles in her obsessive greed and ploy for domination, Camille, her sisters, and the young soldier Rémy are all fugitives. Orléans society is in a frantic uproar trying to stay in the soon-to-be queen's mercurial favor, and as the orderly veneer of an economy of beauty trade crumbles away to fully reveal its darker, underlying structures of enslaved magical labor and implicit violence, the dehumanizing attitudes Sophia emboldens throughout the kingdom endanger Belles everywhere. Camille knows her only hope is to find the recently awakened Princess Charlotte, who is the rightful heir, but as Camille realizes the horrifying extent of Sophia's cruelty and as her own actions and alliances grow more questionable, it becomes clear that putting things right may cost her everything she has known, about her world and herself. The opulence of Clayton's world gives way here to the stark contrast of its sinister underbelly of material beauty and class oppression. Narrative craft that can hold the tension of the implicit (and sorely lacking) value of black and brown features as beautiful as it intertwines with incisive commentary on the overall commodification of beauty is no small feat, and Clayton manages thrills of action, magic, romance, and revolution as well. Beauty comes at a price; so too does freedom. (Fantasy. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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