Paris? Magic? Fancy dresses? Romance? Sign me up. I was intrigued by Enchantée by Gita Trelease as soon as I read the description, so when I found it on the BOTM add-on page when I re-started by subscription, I knew I had to have it. I finally got to read it at the end of March, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Ya’ll know I have fantasy-phobia (aka commitment issues) but this book had just the right amount of magic to heighten the stakes and yet not scare me away.
Camille is a magician, and she can turn little scrap bits into coins, but she only feels the need to do that to support herself and her younger sister after their parents died from smallpox and their brother well…he’s a ruffian gambler with no regard for them or their needs and safety. So consider him the worst. Camille takes to gambling too though, when she discovers that gambling at Versailles (and cheating at it with magic) can give her and her sister a better life. But it’s not all fun and games when there are such high stakes. Other magicians, cute vicomtes, and the threat of being caught linger around at all times. Things are further complicated when Camille finds herself falling for a cute boy who makes hot air balloons but is hiding something from her. Of course, Camille is hiding too, when she changes her appearance with magic to fit in. The French revolution is brewing beneath the surface, and Camille and her family and friends may just get caught up in it if they’re not careful.
This book was fantastic, much better than I even imagined. The characters drew me in. The writing was excellent. The stakes were high but not stupid like some fantasy–Camille is not going to save the world, but she can save her sister and herself and maybe the one she loves. Also, can we talk about how GORGEOUS the cover is? I speak French and loved the peppering of French throughout, but there is also a glossary for people with no French experience. Though most of it makes sense in context so you won’t need to flip back and forth. I loved how history was woven into the story too. One event lines up with the storming of the Bastille, and while Camille is not directly involved, it does impact her.
Okay, I’ll stop gushing, but seriously read this book. I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Also, the author and I share an alma mater.