Rebel Rose is the first in a new series that takes classic Disney fairy tales and puts them into history.
Setting and storytelling
What is interesting about Rebel Rose is how smartly written it is. It picks up after Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and puts the story into its historical setting. Here readers are transported onto the cusp of the French revolution, right after the storming of the Bastille. What is more, is how incredible is it to see through the eyes of Belle.
It is such an intense setting, grounding the reader in the history surrounding the fairy tale’s origins. Anyone who is a history buff has probably questioned whether Belle and her prince lived happily ever after, but now with this story, fans will have their answer. Theriault gives readers a definite look at their happily ever after, exploring civil unrest and the turmoil it has on Belle and her Beast.
Putting this story into its historical setting makes the unique story while also remaining true to Disney’s perspective. What Theriault has done is give that fairy tale new life and vitality. Rebel Rose does not lose the fairy tale’s magic even though it is diving into history, instead weaving magic into the story in another way. Readers see France and the revolution come to life with a new perspective. Through Belle, readers see the importance of the revolution and the importance of reformation and representation. It is important to note that it has a strong resemblance to today’s society, making it thought-provoking and relevant.
What is also particularly good about the story is the characterization. Readers will recognize Belle, but they will also see a different side to her. Belle feels lost which is understandable. She no longer is a commoner, but she is not a princess either.
With this change comes a sense of confusion for Bell. She does not know where she kind of fits in at the beginning of the novel. She feels lost and without a voice. Belle has always been headstrong, but she is in a new environment with dangerous people and is unsure how to handle it. It takes a while for Belle to find herself throughout the story and readers will love how she grows and develops throughout the narrative.
It is also great to see Lio brought to life as well. He is no longer the Beast but remains haunted by the Beast and how he came to be the Beast. Lio is similarly lost, having been gone for ten years and now he has to navigate a France that barely remembers him and one that is unfamiliar. It sets up many challenges for him to face, and readers get to see him as lost as Belle and as eager to be better for his people. It is nice to see him be better and be thoughtful, and his sense of confusion also makes him more relatable.
Rebel Rose does not lose the heart of the characters and builds off what makes them charming. Theriault gives the characters more depth, making them more relatable to the reader. Once again, the realism grounds the reader into the story and seeing how real events affect the characters only benefits the story, making them more real.
Overall, Rebel Rose is an engaging story. Rebel Rose gives new depth to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, keeping the magic and fantasy, and it delves into history.
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|Pub Date: November 10, 2020||Page Count: 352pp||Age Range: 14 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-3680-4820-0||Publisher: Disney-Hyperion||List Price: $17.99|