Rachel Winterbottom, Commissioning Editor at Gollancz, has bought The Belles plus one sequel by Dhonielle Clayton, to be published in February 2018 in trade paperback. This crossover YA fantasy is about beauty and power, set in a lush world where beauty is a complete mirage.
Rachel Winterbottom said: ‘I was instantly entranced by this opulent world that manages to be both decadent and terrifying. Dhonielle’s The Belles opens up terribly important conversations about the commodification of women’s bodies, obsession and identity, and I am thrilled to be publishing such incredibly empowering fiction.’
Dhonielle Clayton said: ‘I’m ecstatic that The Belles has found a glorious home in the UK. It has always been a second home for me. I’m honoured and thrilled to be publishing with Rachel Winterbottom and Gollancz, and feel incredibly lucky to have a fabulous team behind this book.’
I am a Belle. I control Beauty.
In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle’s powers can make them beautiful.
Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle – the one chosen by the Queen to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, and that her powers may be far greater – and far darker – than she ever imagined.
When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.
Dhonielle Clayton is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series. She grew up in the Washington, DC, suburbs on the Maryland side and spent most of her time under her grandmother’s table with a stack of books. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Dhonielle is cofounder of CAKE Literary-a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers-and COO of the non-profit, We Need Diverse Books. She’s got a serious travel bug and loves spending time outside of the USA but makes her home in New York City, where she can most likely be found hunting for the best slice of pizza.