on April 27 2021
Also by this author: Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a sweeping romance with a dash of magic.
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.
When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.
But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina—and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon.
Thank you to Netgalley and Jo Fletcher for an ARC of The Beautiful Ones. Below is my honest opinion.
Last year, I read Gods of Jade and Shadow and Mexican Gothic back to back and fell in love with Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing. The Beautiful Ones is a continuation of that love. Still very different from the other two books, it’s another romance story with fantastical elements. The story is set up as a love triangle between Hector, Nina, and Valerie. While one of these grows into the villain of the story (minor spoiler, it’s not Nina), you still sympathise with them as their demise is slow and beautifully constructed. The climax of the whole affair reminded me slightly of The Picture of Dorian Gray, where a beautiful person has a rotten personality. It wouldn’t have surprised me if someone had ended up dead, turning the book into a tragedy instead of a fantasy romance.
Moreno-Garcia’s writing is, again, top-notch, and she shows herself as a true chameleon. From the first page, I had the feeling like I dove into a new Jane Austen book, except in a French style. The society she created is about the same, with strict rules, classes, and manners. The relationships between the characters are intense and well-written. Halfway through the story I already had an idea of what the ending could be, but Moreno-Garcia still surprised me.
Don’t expect this to be anything like her other books. But if you don’t mind crossing genres, exploring new worlds, and reading wonderful tales, I suggest Silvia Moreno-Garcia to your list of must-read authors.
It’s probably no surprise that I give The Beautiful Ones five stars. I loved it and wanted to finish it in one go, just like with Moreno-Garcia’s other books. I highly recommend it if you like Jane Austen and want a fantasy romance that isn’t just fluff but feels real.