Tuesday 26 February 2019

Book Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease (YA Fantasy/Alt. History)

Title: Enchantée
Author: Gita Trelease
Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication Date: 26 February 2019
YA Fantasy/Alt. History
ARC from Publisher


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…

True to its name, Enchantée was an enchanting tale. From the opening chapter, I was swept into Camille's world, and it was wonderful to follow her as she navigated her way around the court, and around her own desires. I truly had trouble putting this book down, and had a couple of late nights because of it, but it was worth the lost sleep. This is YA fantasy with a hint of alternate history, and it is a marvellous standalone read that will appeal to fans of the genre and possible make a few new ones. I would definitely read more from Gita Trelease in the future.

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