Hey all, Dani here.
Is this the series to bring back vampires? That is a statement I’ve heard made about this book, that it is supposed to reignite that spark and desire for stories about the blood-sucking paranormal beings. Honestly, I don’t know if I’d go that far with the statement, but I can admit that this is a series that has absolutely caught my interest, and I’m excited to read more.
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.
At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Renee Ahdieh writes stunningly descriptive books. I’ve known that since I picked up The Wrath & The Dawn a few years ago. The Beautiful is certainly no exception. The writing is beautiful and lush and descriptive. It makes the story fantastically atmospheric, and I was drawn into the characters and the world and the story.
Honestly, this would have been a brilliant story without adding in the fantasy elements, but being that I am a lover of fantasy, I’m glad that there were fantastical beings and creatures and such discussed, mentioned, or implied.
But really, probably the biggest selling point of this story–at least in my opinion–is the descriptive writing. I felt so drawn into this time and this place. Everything felt so realistic and I was pretty much absorbed into the book every time I picked it up.
Do I think this is the book that will reignite the call for vampire novels? Not really, but it is still a beautiful and brilliant read, and I am absolutely excited for whatever releases are going to come from Renee Ahdieh in the future. Seriously, I think she is a fantastic writer, and I adore the stories she weaves with her wonderful prose.
Where to Get a Copy
You can also check with your local library.