To start off with, the cover design of this book is undoubtedly amazing. Before beginning to read this book, I was expecting it to be on the darker side due to the description of the grey, seemingly unhappy general population. However, the book ended up being quite the opposite, set mainly in the royal palace with the main Belle, Camellia, being appointed there after some disappointments with the previous one. Clayton did a great job creating a strong, spirited main character. Her development throughout the book as she discovered the truths about being a Belle was well thought-out. Although I expected the book to move along slowly, the plot was paced quite well - not too fast and not too slow. The author had wonderful imagery and created atmosphere almost flawlessly. Unlike in many books, the plot twists were unexpected and were well-placed. Overall, Clayton did an amazing job with world-building and the book was exquisitely written - I can't wait for the sequel!