Book Review- Enchantée

Thursday, 14 March 2019
Title: Enchantée
Author: Gita Trelease
Published: 21st Feb 2019
Pages: 480
Genre: YA, Historical
Series: Enchantée #1

Rating: 5/5 stars

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… -Goodreads
My thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy of this novel.
This book is incredible. Honestly, from the first moment I picked it up, to when I finished the final page I was hooked. The writing is just as beautiful as the cover leads you to believe. Trelease describes 18th Century Paris with such detail and emotive language that it is impossible not to get sucked in to the twisty streets. Her use of language to describe clothes, especially the sumptuous clothing of Versailles is an absolute delight to read about. She shows the landscape and the buildings and other inanimate objects the same care and attention her writing shows the characters, developing a beautiful and fully rounded novel. 
I love books set during the French Revolution, and with the current popularity of Les Miserables it's the perfect time to immerse yourself in Revolutionary Paris. Trelease manages to capture the swirling undercurrent of unrest and unease that surrounded everything and everyone during the build up to the Revolution perfectly. You can feel the tension and pressure building throughout the novel, even though the action and storyline of the novel only meets with the Revolution in a few places.
The characters in this novel are great too. The main character Camille is a brilliant heroine. She is brave, headstrong, emotional and flawed. It is impossible to not love her and fully support her, her love for her sister and her need to make her parents proud is completely believable and it is easy to see how these thoughts crowd her every moment and affect every decision she makes. 
Camille's brother Alain and sister Sophie are also well developed characters. Trelease spends time developing them and deftly describing the relationships between the three so Camille and her decisions are clearer and more realistic. My feelings about Alain and Sophie were mixed, I could understand why they did what they did and I did feel sympathy for both of them, but I didn't really like either of them, I thought they were both selfish characters who acted solely for themselves, and seemed to feel very little of the family loyalty that Camille was so filled by.
There is a varied group of other characters, both with Camille, and definitely fighting against her, who make this novel so well-developed and action packed. Trelease makes sure all the characters are well fleshed out, even the 'evil villain' did not feel that he was just villainous for no reason, he had a backstory.
I love stories featuring magic. There is something so magical (haha!) in reading novels that take us far away from our day to day life. Trelease has created a clear and simple magic that some characters are able to use, and the way she describes the acts that Camille can perform is exciting and beautiful to read. 
Overall I loved this novel! It's a beautifully written and wonderful novel set in revolutionary France with a great selection of characters, and magic! If you loved Caraval or The Night Circus you might like this!

Buy this book on The Book Depository here (affiliate link)

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