The Beauty Trials: A Belles Novel

Disney-Hyperion. (The Belles). Feb. 2023. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781368046923.
Gr 8 Up–This spinoff of “The Belles” duology plunges Edel Beauregard into a series of contests to become the next Queen of Orléans. Queen Sophia has been imprisoned, and the tradition of the Beauty Trials—a potentially fatal series of tests that allow the Goddess of Beauty to choose the next queen—has begun to pick her replacement. Edel is not a Belle (though she has always wanted to be), but the revelations she’ll confront in the games may shake her resolve. This spin-off relies on readers' familiarity with the original duology to understand and appreciate the worldbuilding, but Clayton crafts excellent romance and political machinations to entice her readers back to the fold.
VERDICT Worth purchasing if your collection owns “The Belles,” but it does not stand alone.

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