The Everlasting Rose, Dhonielle Clayton – Book Review

Hello Humans! Today I’m reviewing another one of the big sequels of 2019 – Dhonielle Clayton’s The Everlasting Rose. I read The Belles last year and thought it was wonderful so I was, as you can imagine, thrilled to read the second book set in this amazing world.

I wanted to re-read The Belles before I read this but there simply wasn’t time in my schedule so instead, I took a moment to remember all I could and then dived in head first!

This review will be spoiler free for The Everlasting Rose but may contain spoilers for The Belles.

The Everlasting Rose

Goodreads Summary:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies-a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely-and the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.

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I am normally someone who is quite comfortable reading books in a series a little out of order, or (as in this case) with a gap in between reads, for the most part, I’ve never had a problem getting back into the world, it just makes the early chapters a little tougher to get through as you’ve got to remember who’s who and why they’re in the situation they’re in.

In this case, I would say you pretty much have to re-read The Belles in order to appreciate this book, in fact, I might head back and read them both again later in the year if my TBR stops being quite so chaotic. The book picks up right where The Belles left off and there’s quite a lot of detail and worldbuilding that you’re just expected to know from the off. A friend described the duology as being one 600 page book that was cut in half and I think that’s an accurate description. That’s not a criticism by the way, more a note that you’ll need a working knowledge of the events of The Belles if you want to enjoy The Everlasting Rose to it’s fullest.

The way that this book uses juxtaposition is, I think, one of the most powerful things about it. On the surface, it has that sense of ballgowns, beauty, opulence and romantic floofy dresses and such. But the themes it explores are incredibly deep and, at times, very dark. It’s that contrast between the idea of teacup dragons and penguins and all that cuteness and the potential imprisonment and enslavement of the women who bring the beauty that really hammers home through this story.

I did feel like some aspects of this story felt a tad rushed, in particular, the romance which I couldn’t quite place, I was never quite sure where any of the characters stood with one another, who had feelings for whom. It didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book at all, because I was far more invested in female friendships and the exploration of sisterhood, but those for whom romance is significant may feel differently.

Overall, I think that this series is very good, but this book on it’s own is not as strong as the two books together. As I say, I think they warrant a re-read of both books back to back – which I will certainly attempt to do later in the year (maybe I’ll do a readalong?).

My rating: 4/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Everlasting Rose is available now!

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

What say you? Have you read this duology? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

J

2 thoughts on “The Everlasting Rose, Dhonielle Clayton – Book Review

Add yours

  1. I actually just read this book and am currently working on my review. I totally agree that some aspects of the story felt rushed. For me, it just wasn’t as good as the first book

    Liked by 1 person

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