House of Marionne by J. Elle Book Review

House of Marionne by J. Elle book review

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House of Marionne by J. Elle is a book full of deadly secrets, magical boarding schools, debutantes, and forbidden romance.

This is the first book in a new trilogy by the author of The Wings of Ebony duology. This story follows Quell (pronounced kell), a girl with a deadly secret that takes refuge at her grandma’s magical school. While most chapters are told from Quell’s point of view, some chapters are told from a mystery character named Yagrin.


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House of Marionne

Author: J. Elle

Narrator: André Santana & Kate Simses

Pub. Date: Aug. 29, 2023

Series: book 1 of a trilogy

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 400

Rating: 4.5 stars

Spice: none

Content Warnings: murder, blood, assault, mass murder, & kidnapping



17 year-old Quell has lived her entire life on the run. She and her mother have fled from city to city, in order to hide the deadly magic that flows through Quell’s veins.

Until someone discovers her dark secret.

To hide from the assassin hunting her, and keep her mother out of harm’s way, Quell reluctantly inducts into a debutante society of magical social elites called the Order that she never knew existed. If she can pass their three rites of membership, mastering their proper form of magic, she’ll be able to secretly bury her forbidden magic forever.

If caught, she will be killed.

But becoming the perfect debutante is a lot harder than Quell imagined, especially when there’s more than tutoring happening with Jordan, her brooding mentor and— assassin in training.

When Quell uncovers the deadly lengths the Order will go to defend its wealth and power, she’s forced to choose: embrace the dark magic she’s been running from her entire life or risk losing everything, and everyone, she’s grown to love.

Still, she fears the most formidable monster she’ll have to face is the one inside.


Spoiler-Free Book Review

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC and Penguin Teen and Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary audiobook and hardcover copy. All opinions are my own.


What I Liked

  • I loved the atmosphere of this book and the world the author created. The private magical schools are very elite and full of etiquette. They have to present themselves in a certain way and follow rules in order to become members.
  • The magic system is interesting, and I’m curious to learn more about it in the next books since the author left some parts a mystery.
  • The romance was so cute, and I loved Quell’s roommate. I hope to see more of them in the rest of the series.


What I Didn’t Like

  • My least favorite part of the story was Quell’s grandmother because she was so awful and controlling.
  • The only major critique I have is that this book leaves a lot of things unanswered, and so many parts of this world are still a bit confusing. I imagine that the rest of the series will help with these aspects though.

Final Thoughts

I definitely recommend you give this book a try if you love romantasy, danger, and magical schools


Where to Purchase

You can purchase a copy of this book at the following retailers: (supports independent book stores) [affiliate] (audiobooks that support independent book stores) [affiliate]

get a free audiobook when you start a membership

Amazon [affiliate]

Books a Million (BAM) [affiliate]

AbeBooks [affiliate]

Barnes & Noble


Have you read House of Marionne or any other books by J. Elle?

I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment down below.

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