Published by Flatiron/Macmillan on February 5, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
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 Rating: 4.5 stars
A book has never been so fitting of its title! Enchantée by Gita Trelease left me exactly that way — enchanted!
This book is a fabulous mélange of magic, mystery, and romance across the backdrop of revolutionary era France. The story follows a young girl who has lost everything but is trying to come back stronger.
Trelease absolutely captivated me with her writing. Her style is charming and brimming with imagery, and I was completely immersed in this story. I felt as though I was transported to 1789 Paris and could perfectly envision the opulence of Versailles and feel the struggles of the lower classes! The pacing, for me, is akin to that of a slow burn. However, it felt appropriate given the span of time of which the story traverses.
The magic system is really intriguing, weaving a dangerous thread throughout the tale, as the magic comes with a price! The magic also allows the story to take on two parts, as our main character lives a double life with its help.
Camille is a character I found myself rooting for. She has the weight of the world on her young shoulders, but she is determined not only to survive but to make a new life for her and her sister, Sophie. Her struggles help to shape her into the character that she is — for better or for worse — and I appreciated that. She didn’t always make the best choices and I often wanted to reach through the pages to shake some sense into her, but I loved her regardless and wanted to see everything fall into place for her.
Overall, I absolutely recommend Enchantée! Fans of YA historical fantasy will love this debut! I will be eagerly anticipating reading more from Gita Trelease.
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. Please note that it, in no way, had an effect on my opinion or review.
Flatiron Books has a fun pre-order incentive where you can get this beautiful 11 x 17 hot air balloon print inspired by Enchantée when you submit your receipt here. Hurry, though, because the pre-order campaign ends at 11:59 p.m. EST today, February 4th.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Sweden to Indian and Swedish parents, Gita Trelease has lived in lots of places, including New York, Paris, and a tiny town in central Italy.
She attended Yale College and New York University, where she earned a Ph.D. in British literature. Before becoming a novelist, she taught classes on writing and fairy tales—some of which have seeped into her stories.
Along with her husband and son, Gita divides her time between an old village in Massachusetts and the coast of Maine, where she’s still searching for a secret portal that will take her back to Versailles.