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…
Disclaimer: I was provided with a Physical copy of the book by Pan Macmillan India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
“Remember – magic is a cheater’s game and everyone who sees it wants to play.”
Not going to lie, my first reaction after seeing the blurb of the book was “GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!” and I actually made grabby hands – and when Pan Macmillan India provided me with a physical ARC of the book, my fangirl – ing knew absolutely no bounds; and I had to physically force myself to pick this one up a little closer to the release date. (and I am not a patient bookworm. AT ALL!).
Enchantee is a historical fantasy young adult set in Paris – but it’s a Paris like none we would have ever imagined it to be, with undertones of magical realism and whole lot of gambling mixed with the start of French Revolution. This is a debut that put the author, Gita Tralease, on my must watch author list 😀
Camille, a young girl with the gift magic, is just trying to survive – turning scraps of metal into gold, just to buy food, after losing their parents in one single swoop – yet it is her own elder brother, Alain, who proves to be biggest obstacle instead of protecting her and their younger sister, Sophie, who is slowly recovering from a serious illness.
It is when Camille stumbles upon and then later, saves two hot air balloon makers, that becomes the catalyst for her finally looking through her late mother’s burned out trunk to find a dress, a magic dress, that becomes the answer to her desperation.
Now Camille has to best at the magic, for she has to play the most important role of her lifetimes – enter the gambling halls of Versailles to sit as an aristocrat to cheat them out of their fortunes.
Along the way, she learns the secrets of the past magical history of Paris, finds friends among the aristocracy, and learns secrets, not only about herself, her magical gift as well as the aristocratic world that she surreptitiously covets!
Going into this book, I had already known that since it’s a historical fantasy, the plot will definitely start off slow – and the author does her best to move the plot along, especially with the information that she had to give to her readers.
But I definitely enjoyed getting to know the Paris and the start of French Revolution – but most of all; I loved how the author introduced a multitude of characters & even though the villain is quite obvious from the start – I was still enamored with the whole slew of characters that the author introduced, but specifically Lazare (can I petition for his POV, please!).
I had thought, that this would be a standalone; but I found out that there will be a sequel (YAY!) because after that climax; I need an epilogue or more to see where the hot air balloon takes Camille and Lazare away to!
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ . 25