Friday, 22 March 2019

Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Enchantée by Gita Trelease


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…

My Review:

"Gamblers and cheaters, drunks and magicians. Champagne or opium, girls or boys, cards or dice, dream or nightmares: at the Palais Royal, you picked your own delight - or poison." 

[4 stars]

Enchantée was a delight to read. Initially I was intrigued by the concept - magic, France, the 18th century, romance and balls. What more could you want? 

Camille and her sister Sophie were both likeable and believable. I was rooting for them and hoping that everything would work out positively! I truly felt like I was on the journey with them in France. 
Lazare was an angel, he was caring, funny, romantic and ambitious. I loved him! It was also great to see diversity in his representation! Even the secondary characters were entertaining, in particular I enjoyed Chandon and Rosier. 
The villains in this novel are painted out fairly obviously towards the beginning which was a shame as I would have liked to see some unexpected twists. There are a lot of characters that Camille meets, so keeping track of everyone was a bit difficult at first but I soon got the hang of it. 

The plot was good, it was interesting and kept me engaged whilst reading it. I did have a break in the middle as I had reading assignments for uni, but it was relatively easy to jump back into this world. I really enjoyed the little French vocab moments, this made it seem more realistic in the setting and I liked learning new phrases! The descriptions of the setting were wonderful and helped immerse me within the story. I enjoyed learning about the different kinds of magic, especially the dress that seems alive! This was wonderfully creepy. 

The ending felt very much like a fairy tale ending where everything is wrapped up nicely. I'm guessing this is a standalone novel and that was refreshing in the sense where there was no cliffhangers or wondering in which direction the story would go next. 

Overall, Enchantée was as the title suggests enchanting and the descriptions are lush and vivid. I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in France, especially the French Revolution, magic, romance and adventure. 

[Thank you to Macmillan for providing me with a free copy on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]
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