The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh is a new YA fantasy series that takes place in Victorian era New Orleans, with a supernatural bend.
Seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, fled Paris in hopes for a new, proper, life in New Orleans. Taken in but the sisters of Ursuline convent, along with six other girls, Celine’s hope was to find a quiet life for herself in the city. But quiet, doesn’t exactly fit Celine’s propensity for trouble.
Celine quickly becomes captured by the city and all of it’s music, parties and bright lights… especially it’s temptations. Soon she becomes wrapped up in the cities less savory glitz and glamour, finding herself in the midst of La Cour des Lions and it’s dark and handsome leader, Sébastien Saint Germain.
When girls at the convent start showing up dead, Celine doesn’t know who or what is involved. All she knows is that there is a target on her back and that she will never back down. Ancient feuds, dangerous creatures and a heart that secret longs for more… The Beautiful is a series that is just getting started.
I’ve been a fan of Ahdieh for a while now and The Beautiful just shows another side of her abilities. I like how each of her works incorporates a strong, ahead of her time, female but that each world is very different. This is one book, where I picked it up thinking, oh boy more vampires, but it still felt both fresh and familiar. I actually really liked this setting of Victorian era New Orleans. Such a great setting for a book about what walks in the shadows.
I was sort of in-between in enjoying and really liking this book, all the way up to the end. The twists the author throws in, in the last few chapters, really takes the story to another place and sets the stage for the second book.
There were a few gaps that I am hoping are fleshed out in subsequent books, specifically more background about the feud, the brotherhood and general back story for our Court of Lions. I’d like to know more about those who make up the court and how they came to serve it.
Oh, and I don’t normally call out a voice narrator but the girl who narrated this book was awesome! She made the story, so much so, that I don’t think I’d like it quite as much if I had just read the book.
This one gets 4 stars from me.
That’s all for now!