Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.
But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns… – ( via Goodreads)
My Rating: 4/5
Book Review (Non-Spoiler)
Enchantee is a historical fiction and fantasy novel set in Paris. This novel takes place during 1789, the French revolution, where people are rioting, starving, etc. However, in this magical alternative history some people can wield magic that allows them to survive. The use of magic in this completely mundane world was written excellently. The rules and the magic systems were not overly complex but simply, enchanting! Yes, enchanting! Gita Trelease creates such a wonderful magic system that is truly compelling.
The setting of Paris is sensational. Gita Trelease’s captivating writing completely emerges you into Paris, France during this time. Her use of French terms and names throughout the novel, really brings the setting and this alternative world to life. When reading it only made me more desperate to travel to Paris. With the use of the French terms, it doesn’t make the novel confusing or distract from the plot in anyway. Gita Trelease manages to create a wonderful balance between the French language and the English language as to not to confuse the reader. Also, I loved seeing the French language in the novel, like I said it brought the setting to life but I also found myself learning the words when reading.
There are many characters in the novel that evoked emotions from me. They were written so well! Even minor characters, I found myself having an opinion on them. There wasn’t a character that I was indifferent to within this novel. They were all written brilliantly, full of depth and interesting description that instantly made them feel real.
Our main character, Camille, was my favourite throughout the novel. She’s hardworking, intelligent, magical and willing to do anything to keep her and her sister safe from the ruins of Paris. Yet, she can also be quiet naïve about her situation and is quickly swept up in the politics of the French Court. I found myself rooting for Camille’s happiness from the very beginning. I adored her strength and determination.
Enchantee is a fantastic novel that is written with so much precision and care that it is hard not to love this novel. It deals with identity, magic, family and love. It’s truly sensational and will transport you back in time with Gita Trelease’s writing.
I highly recommend this book.
It will officially be released in the UK on the 21st February 2019.
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Publishers for allowing me to have an e-arc for this novel.