Paris is a labyrinth of twisted streets filled with beggars and thieves, revolutionaries and magicians. Camille Durbonne is one of them. She wishes she weren’t…
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille must find a way to provide for her younger sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on magic, Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille pursues a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Using dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for magic. As she struggles to reconcile her resentment of the rich with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille meets a handsome young inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible.
But magic has its costs, and soon Camille loses control of her secrets. And when revolution erupts, Camille must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality of magic—before Paris burns.”
This historical fiction book is escapism at it’s best! Set in the French Revolution during the early 1790s, this author has managed to capture in writing, what French court must have been like. In college, I‘ve studied the French Revolution with a fair amount of depth and Trelease has succeeded, IMHO, to bring realism to her creativity and has obviously done her research. Historical facts, people (Marie Antoinette, King Louis, and other nobles), and occurrences are interwoven with her story of fantasy and magic. For me, it was such an original piece, and the book was written so very well that I was immersed in it. I didn’t want to stop reading to participate in that intrusive thing they call “real life.” I will admit, that I did have to look up the meaning of some words, but it was not detracting. I wanted to stay within the rich and atmospheric world Gita has given to us through this book. Was this a debut??? Surely, not!
The author’s expertise with “the pen” is noted throughout the book. So descriptive and striking, the paranormal was brought in so very adeptly, that it almost seemed a true normality and not at all whimsical. The superb word-building and dedication to the period was absolutely entrancing. Yes, this story has magic, forbidden and ostracized by society, but it also has heart, struggle, intrigue, and sedition. The MC, Camille is a pariah by simply her existing.
Speaking of Camille, and the other characters- Sophie, Alain, Lazare, and (OH MY GOSH) our villain, Viconte Seguin! They are adroitly penned and wonderfully captivating. I have to say that the inner struggle Camille goes through is felt profoundly by the reader, and though she makes some poor decisions, you find that you actually empathize with her. She and Lazare are both such a complicated and endearing characters. One of my favorite characters, however, was Viconte Seguin. (hmmmm, what does that say about me?) He was a perfect antagonist in this novel and his presence was brilliantly placed. He was such a, dare I say, gratifying villain?
The pacing of the book was sheer genius on Trelease’s part. The building tension of the characters and the revolution- it was all timed so well. This story captures you and you are victim to the author’s imagination throughout the entirety of the tale. (Or is it true?) I digress. I am in love with this book; I can’t deny it. I will gobble up everything this author writes just as if it were the cake Marie said to let the peasants eat.
Delightful and engrossing, Enchantee is a clever and immensely enjoyable story. I would very highly recommend this book to any historical fiction/fantasy fan. 5/5 stars from this reader.
I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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