Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

2:53 PM

*Has regrets over not requesting a physical ARC of this because it's so beautiful* 


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…


 Enchantée by Gita Trelease | Rating: ★★★★★

I was sent an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form.

I'm calling it now Enchantée: is one of THE books that you can't miss in 2019. It's definitely one of my favourites so far and I'm so in love with the vision that Gita Trelease paints for us throughout this book. This was such an exhilarating, vivid read! I mean--sign me up, all day every day, for historical fictional that is written this beautifully.

(And that cover. Oh-My-God.

Admittedly, I went into Enchantée full of intrigue but I wasn't certain I'd end up liking the book let alone loving it. When I started it, I was all in within a few pages. It's pure magic. In-fact, I'd imagine that Trelease herself used some sort of magical compulsion to get me lured into this story because I was completely captivated and could scarcely look away.

What I found most enchanting (ha!) about Enchantée was the way in which Trelease portrays history. It reminded me, not wholly, of the way Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell presented that indulgent set of magical elements mixed with historical whims. The plots are, of course, highly different, but I got that same feeling of intrigue from both books.

My experience reading it, too, felt very similar in tone and excitement. Curled up on a cold, rainy day, with a cup of piping hot coffee and a delectable read. Does it get any better than that?

The answer is no. Not for a reader.

Trelease took me by surprise. I devoured this book and am positively aching for (a) a physical copy of it and (b) more books from her. All I could think up of for my review of Enchantée was "wow" so I think I deserve a pat on the back for managing more than just one word. However, I stand by that wow, because this book certainly wowed me.

There were some moments in Enchantée that I wasn't terribly keen on (the approach to sex workers and the general moments of slut shaming) but that I felt, still, were essential to the timeline and setting of the book. In short, the exchanges/thoughts/approach to these things were unfortunate and gross but not unrealistic for the times in which Enchantée takes place.

Overall, I'm obsessed with this book and can't sing its praises enough. Although it won't be for everyone, it is definitely worth the read if you're into magic and historical fiction.

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