Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: 21st of February 2019
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…
Trigger Warnings: Domestic abuse, gambling, references to drugs
What I Have to Say
My latest book love! This is a world that's easy to sink into, a world that will enchant you, every world pulling you deeper and deeper in to the story, the character's lives, Paris. Paris around the revolution was a perfect choice for this book. Trelease shows a world of two sides, the starvation and hunger on the streets, people who can't afford bread to feed their families, who can't afford the medicine to treat their sicknesses, who can't afford to pay their rent but on the other side, it's a world of excess. It's a world where people leave picnics unfinished on the steps, who wear a different outfit to every occasion, who spend their time playing games and throwing ridiculous amounts of money away at the gambling tables. Living in these two worlds is fascinating, especially for someone like Camille who crosses between them. Add in magic and it becomes even better.
Like Camille, it's easy for the reader to get caught up in the world of Versailles, to think she's safe and can live in peace with her sister, but Versailles is filled with predators and game playing. The secrets of magic, of the history of the court and its magicians. It's a dark world, which is the best kind when it comes to fiction, in my opinion at least. I loved the danger. I loved how Camille was so addicted to this world and the security it has to offer. I loved the way that it made me simultaneously want her to settle down with Lazare and enjoy a life of safety and hot air balloons. But like Versaille, Lazare is not everything he seems.
I loved the language in this book. The snippets of French made it so easy to feel absorbed in the world. It made the character's voices come alive in my head and reminded me at every turn that this was France. It's sometimes the case that a book can be set somewhere, but you can completely forget it's there because the story could literally be taken and placed somewhere else, but Enchantée was French to it's core. The story was so entwined with France during that time period: in the court of Marie Antoinette and the upcoming revolution. For me, the language used reflected that beautifully.
I could gush and gush about this book, but any more and it would be spoiling plot twists! So instead you'll just have to go and read it for yourself and discover this beautiful, enchanting book.
My thanks go to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me with this free copy for review.