Author: Gita Trelease
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 441 Pages
Release Date: February 05, 2019
My Review: ★★★★.75/5
“To try is to be brave. Be brave.”
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 her mother forbade her to use, 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. Though Camille’s resentment of the rich is at at odds with the allure of glamour and excess, when she meets a handsome inventor she believes liberty and love may finally be possible.
But la magie has its costs. When a scheming courtier blackmails her and Lazare’s affections shift, Camille loses control of her secrets. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality or la magie—before Paris burns…
ENCHANTÉE is a thrilling YA historical fantasy that combines the decadence of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette with the dangerous enchantments of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
My Review: (SPOILER FREE!) 4.75/5 stars
****HUGE THANK YOU TO SARAH BARLEY AT FLATIRON FOR SENDING ME A MANUSCRIPT FOR REVIEW!****
PLOT: Just to start, let me say that this book does everything perfectly. The pacing is perfect, the plot is great, it kept me wanting more the whole time. Now specifically for plot, I loved it. The story follows seventeen year old Camille as she tries to create a life for her and her orphaned sister, Sophie. It is set in Paris, which always makes me !!!!, and the story goes in such unexpected directions! You could never imagine what the lives of these poor girls will unfold to be throughout the book; it’s incredible writing!
CHARACTERS: OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M IN LOVE. Camille is so strong and independent! the sibling relationship between Camille and Sophie couldn’t be better! The villain of the story was SO GOOD, as was the love interest. I simply loved all of the characters and found them to be very genuine. I could perfectly picture each one and they all had their own complex stories and personalities.
WRITING: This is one of the best debut novels I have ever read; Trelease’s writing is absolutely fantastic! She truly makes you feel the magic in each page. Her writing is also beautifully detailed, without being redundant, and SO ORIGINAL. She is extremely good with handling possibly triggering context and also writes very knowledgeably regarding economics, women’s issues, and race. As someone who has dealt with poverty and women’s issues, I found the representation to be very spot on. There is also very good LGBT representation as well! Also, this book made me fall head over heels in love with historical fantasy. I had never read a book of that genre before, but I LOVED it! The idea of Paris and actual history being intertwined with this unique magic is just enchanting and I couldn’t get enough.
ORIGINALITY: THIS. BOOK. I don’t even know where to start. The only way people can do magic, is with sorrow. SO NEW AND INTERESTING. I felt so much more interested and connected to the characters because of this because each magician needs a unique, sorrowful motive. Also, I absolutely adored how Trelease used card games as a metaphor throughout the book. It is very hard to use one strict metaphor without wearing it out, but she managed it perfectly.
ENDING: The only SLIGHT problem I encountered with this book was the ending. I won’t spoil, but it involves the motive of the villain. You don’t find out until the end, and I was a little disappointed by it because I LOVED how villainous he was! Other than that, the ending actually left me pretty shook! Something happens that I did not expect at all, and everything ties together perfectly! Like I said, an incredible debut!
Thank you so much for reading my review! I really hope you enjoyed, and if you want to chat about this, feel free to comment! 🙂
Want to purchase this book? Here’s where you can find it!