Time to be swept away with the glorious magic of 1700s Paris on the Enchantée blog tour!
I have a deep love of Paris…despite never, um, having been (shh, I can dream ok) and the glittering allure of this book captivated me from the second I heard of it. So I’m obviously stoked to be on the tour!
And there’s a giveaway at the end of this post too because it’s time for all the celebrations to the author for her debut year!
Thank you to Pan Macmillan AUS for having me on the tour!
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…
MEET THE AUTHOR
Born in Sweden to Indian and Swedish parents, Gita Trelease has lived in lots of places, including New York, Paris, and a tiny town in central Italy.
She attended Yale College and New York University, where she earned a Ph.D. in British literature. Before becoming a novelist, she taught classes on writing and fairy tales—some of which have seeped into her stories.
Along with her husband and son, Gita divides her time between an old village in Massachusetts and the coast of Maine, where she’s still searching for a secret portal that will take her back to Versailles.
Enchantée was a visual war between intoxicating Parisian magical delights…vs extreme poverty and desperation.
Books that blend such extremes so well just deserve total applause. It really took you to Paris! Like yes thanks, let me pack my suitcase, I am here for this budget travel-planning (so much pros must be said for the lack of jetlag). Enchantée just nailed it when it took me into the story. So so easy to be absorbed.
➸ It’s set in 1700s Paris, mostly in Versailles.
So we have it all: the rich madness of the aristocracy in court, Marie Antoinette’s lavish lifestyle, the courtiers playing silly games in gardens and absently gambling away thousands…while the poor literally die in the streets of starvation. Also I LOVED how it was set in the time period that’s on the brink of so many inventions. One of the biggest parts of the book was hot air ballooning. And also Camille’s dad had a printing press and she was passionate about working it too. ughhgh love this, moar please.
➸ OK but let’s talk about the character for a minute.
First off, we have Camille, our protagonist, and I just loved how she was so Soft™ but also absolutely craved power. And I get it??? She’s lived a life of extreme poverty. Her parents are dead. Her brother is a trash bag who steals from their meagre funds and abuses his sisters. She’s caring for her sickly sister, Sophie. AND she’s a magician. She has a lot going on!!! Basically she figures she can do more than turn scrap metal into coins — she can magic dresses, enchant her face, turn cards so she wins any gamble she makes…and she decides to go to Versailles and just WIN. IT. ALL.
Also we have…
Sophie = her sweetheart 15 year old sister who makes hats and dreams of a fairy tale life.
Alain = her gross abusive brother
Lazare = love interest of brilliance, soft inventor, and awkward flirt…he’s also biracial French/Indian and there’s a scene where he calls out Camille on her white privilege and I think it was really well done.
Chandor = secret aristocrat magician, super gay for his boi, super good friend to Camille even though he knows she’s lying.
Aurélie = Chandor’s sister and like total court flirt, has an old dude husband that she leaves in the countryside, basically hi-fives Camille for being single
Rosier = biggest shipper out there of Lazare and Camille, also helps with the balloon inventing. Ends up “sketching” them for a “promo poster” but “accidentally” makes them gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes.
Séguin = gross male, dangerous and wish he’d magic himself into a potato and leave thanks
(Although I do want to say…I was annoyed at the “forgiveness” storyline for Alain. I hold grudges ok. I’m not into forgiving abusers. And I thought it was gross how Camille and Sophie continually gave Alan the benefit of a doubt out of “love” even when he bloodily abused Camille. Like tf, ladies? You can’t save this rotten one. Throw the whole man out.)
Magicians need sorrow. And deep sorrow existed only because of love.
➸ The romance is all heart eyes and adorable.
Magic was not something apart from her, something she could give up. It was the power of her deepest feelings. The power of who she was. And from nothing she would make something.
➸ I just loved everything about the plot too!
Like magical enchanted dresses! Card tricks and gambling! The rules of court! The friendships made that were either surprisingly wholesome or totally poisonous! The writing was beautiful too. And the ending??? SO STRESSFUL.
➸ And while I enjoyed being immersed in the story…
…450 pages is super l o n g. A bit tighter and the tension would’ve been better. Ther ewas also a heck of a lot of toxic male behaviour and while YES that’s historically accurate…I was hoping Camille would at least inner-monologue about it. Instead she kind of thanks Lazare at one point for acting like she’s delicate and doesn’t know what’s best for herself. 😑
This is such a magical story of deception and love, of how easy it is to fall into the glittering addictive lure of money and being in control. It’s beautifully written and it swallows your whole attention while you root for Camille to find herself and what she wants, amongst her double-life of deception and pretending.
what country in Europe would you like to go to?! and do you have any historical fiction favourites? is Enchantée on your TBR?