Book Review: Rebel Rose Transports Readers Back to Aveyon!

Fans of Beauty and the Beast, have you ever envisioned what happened to Belle and Lio after the curse was broken? Thanks to brilliant author Emma Theriault, we now have a new story to read about the years after Belle and the Beast became the leaders of Aveyon! I had the opportunity to read and review Rebel Rose and here is my book review!


Rebel Rose begins with Belle and Lio making their way into Paris to visit Bastien, Lio’s cousin. With the curse now broken, only Belle and Lio plus the house staff are the only ones who remember it. The rest of Aveyon and Lio’s family believe that he was ill all those years he locked himself away in his castle.

While in Paris, Lio and Bastien go to see King Louis while Belle explores the city. The city is in turmoil with and Belle finds herself in a magical mirror shop where a vision of an old woman comes to her. She warns Belle that trouble is coming and that she needs to save Aveyon. Directly after this encounter, Belle witnesses nothing short of a protest and beheading on what we now know is Bastille Day.

Belle and Lio rush back to Aveyon and Bastien insists on accompanying them. He convinces Lio to become King of Aveyon and travel throughout their county to speak with his people. While he is gone Belle struggles with palace intrigue and learns of a secret plot to overthrow the King.

One important aspect of Rebel Rose– I liked that the author didn’t shy away from the trauma that Beauty and the Beast alludes to for Lio. He essentially suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and struggles with nightmares. Beyond that both Lio and Belle struggle with trusting the motives of others. Helping them through this period are their loyal palace staff.

Characters from the original movie like Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts make appearances. Rebel Rose is a slow build with a thrilling ending and it is carefully researched. Rebel Rose makes for a fantastic read if you are a Beauty and the Beast fan!


Hi Emma, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me!  Before I jump in and just for my own awareness, how do you pronounce your last name? 

Hi, thanks so much for having me! My last name is pronounced Terry-oh.

Rebel Rose takes place right before the French Revolution and it feels like the reader is smack dab in the middle of the upheaval just like Belle! Can you tell me about your research process to get those critical details down?

I’ve always been a history buff and I studied it in university, so getting everything right was hugely important to me. I started by doing research, reading books, accessing contemporary political pamphlets, etc. and just writing down everything I could. Less than a quarter of the research I did appears in the pages of Rebel Rose, but I can’t go forward without immersing myself. To that end, I also took a very coincidental trip to France and Austria last spring and got to do some research there as well, which really helped ground some of the historical details.

It was so fun to revisit some of my favorite Beauty and the Beast characters.  What character was the most fun to include in Rebel Rose?

I’m going to cheat and say Cogsworth AND Mrs. Potts. I loved writing Cogsworth because he is such a loyal and dedicated character underneath his stodgy, rule-abiding manner. Belle’s refusal to take the title of ‘princess’ definitely rankles him, but now that he knows her as a person, he understands why it might be hard for her to rule a kingdom she spent her life longing to leave. And Mrs. Potts is something of a parental figure for Belle during the course of the book, reminding her of her strengths and pushing her to do better when things get hard. Getting to dig deeper into Belle’s relationship with both of these characters was so rewarding.

Without spoiling a very important plot twist, a certain character gets to redeem themself.  Was that always the plan or did this aspect unfold as you were in the midst of writing?

I always knew that I wanted Belle’s journey in Rebel Rose to somewhat mirror the journey she took in the original film. I knew she would have to be empathetic and courageous in order to see past the darkness and find the light hidden within. I can’t remember when I realized just what that would mean in the context of my book, but when I figured out who it was that Belle would be confronted with, all of the pieces fit together. One of the best parts of writing is realizing that on an unconscious level, you knew where you were going all along.

Can you share what projects you are working on next?

In between my deadlines for Rebel Rose I finished a YA fantasy about the power of memory and the insidious pull of revenge for two girls trying to kill the same king. It’s about mistakes that change the course of your entire life. Hopefully I’ll have more news on that soon! And right now I’m drafting a new YA fantasy about renaissance astrology, a reverse exorcism, and a city ruled by a too-powerful god and his tyrannical henchman.

You can learn more about Ms. Theriault here and purchase Rebel Rose here! Rebel Rose is the first in the Queen’s Council series, an empowering fairy tale reimagining of the Disney Princesses—and the real history behind their stories—like you’ve never seen before.

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