The story draws you in like a fairy tale, six 16 year old girls traveling in glass carriages adorned with pastel flowers on their way to a castle for a beauty competition like no other. The author builds a palace wonderland--golden bridges, jeweled boats, cobblestoned squares. But then she describes the crowd--"they've all paid to look this way." Wow.
The people are born uniformly dull and gray, and only the Belles can transform their appearances. The price for that beauty is costly, in terms of money and physical pain. Belle Camellia is presented with her task of transforming a scared, red-eyed straw haired little girl into a beauty, and she decides to take a huge risk and . . . I need more!