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.
Set in 1789, Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault is a continuation of the classic tale, Beauty and the Beast. Rebel Rose follows Belle and Lio(Beast) after their wedding. The story is tied into the French Revolution, giving it a political feel. It is a bit darker and more serious than what we are used to, and seems more of a mystery than a fairy tale. There is even a beheading involved! But don’t worry, there is not much detail about that.
- Written by Emma Theriault
- Page Count: 352
- Age range: Young Adult
The story opens with the curse broken and newlyweds, Belle and Lio, off on a grand tour of the world, only for it to be cut short. When they reach Paris, Lio’s cousin, Bastien, also known as the duc de Vincennes, informs them of the French Revolution, and how the working class of Paris is not happy. Belle and Lio return home, along with Bastien, to help keep their home of Aveyon safe. Belle quickly learns that there are diabolical plans afoot, and she isn’t sure who can be trusted. Most important of all, Belle starts to wonder… What if they never broke the curse?
Rebel Rose portrays Belle as uncertain and not sure of herself. She refuses to take the title as Princess of Aveyon, and when Lio is crowned King, she once again refuses a title. Belle does this because she does not think she can provide assurance to her kingdom. And while yes, this does make her seem far different from the headstrong girl we know from the Disney movie, I feel there is a fine line between her seeming self-pity and not wanting to disappoint her kingdom. She still voices her opinions to the King’s Council, but learns that without a title, they pay her no respect. I believe she was scared she could not be the Queen that Aveyon needed, although we all know the truth that she would make a great Queen!
I’ve seen reviews where fans are confused about the Beast’s real name. Disney refers to his real name as Adam, while Rebel Rose refers to him as Lio. The book, on page 15, explains that his mother called him Lio and after she died, he refused to be called by anything else. The only person who called him by his real name was his father. Rebel Rose does not refer to Beast as Adam, but does not say it wasn’t either.
I loved how Rebel Rose was a continuation and not a retelling. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the retellings, but it was quite refreshing to go further in the story and explore past the “Happily Ever After.”
This was one of my favorite books of the year so far, and I can’t wait for the next book in the Queen’s Council series to be released!!
I’m NDK, and this is my review 😊
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*disclosure – We received these books in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are our own.