Review: The Beautiful


The Beautiful

By: Renée Ahdieh

My Rating: 4/5 Stars


Genre: Urban fantasy, magical realism, Vampires

Page Count: 448

Synopsis: In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

This review will be spoiler free

Happy Sunday and Blogmas day 8! Today I have a review of the newest lush romantic fantasy novel from Renée Ahdieh. This book really surprised me, I had read several things from this author before, and while I enjoyed them, I did find that her writing style was a bit tedious and long-winded for me. I fully expected to have to put this book down more than once, and to have my reading of it drag out for some time. I was pleasantly surprised, the New Orlean’s setting pulled me in immediately and the characters were engaging and dynamic. I couldn’t put this book down! Part romance, part mystery, part vampire adventure (is vampire just its own literary category at this point lol), this book made me swoop and gasp, all in the same reading.

Because this book takes place in a location that is familiar to most (if not all) o the readers, there was very little world building needed. I think this is what sets it apart from her other books, which mostly take place far in the past, in lands that require more set up. Because the setting was established, we got more time to get to know the characters and it really paid off!

I can’t do a review of this book without talking about the romance. WOW. This book was definitely swoon-worthy with its almost Romeo and Juliet like romance. It was sultry and dark but also had some light humorous moments that made you fall in love with the love story.

If you are looking for a book to sweep you away, out of this world and into a magical and enticing story, this is the book for you! There are not so many fantasy elements that it would be off-putting to non-fantasy readers, and the historical aspects are also muted. I tis mostly about the dynamic characters, and their wild relationships.

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