Enchantee – Gita Trelease
Camille is responsible for her two siblings after smallpox takes their parents. She does the hard work of turning scraps of metal into coins to buy food but it’s never enough. The bills pile. There is never enough to eat. Her brothers abusive behavior gets worse, leaving Camille to pick up the pieces.
To get herself and her little sister out of the pit they seem to be sinking further and further into, Camille turns to magic that her mother forbid her to use. She becomes someone new, a Baroness, and ventures into the palace of Versailles to gamble and glamor her cards into fortune. But it’s not nearly as easy as she assumes. The line she always saw between herself and the pampered, rich aristocrats and heirs at court becomes less and less evident. Magic is costing her. And she finds she’s not the only person at court who has magic in her blood to gamble with.
With love, freedom and safety at stake, Camille has a lot hanging in the balance should her secrets come to light.
Enchantee is all about contrasting and uniting people from opposite walks of life. The two sides of Paris. Lazare, the main love interest, with the two sides of himself that seem opposed as a biracial Indian and French man forced to ignore his Indian mothers heritage. Camille herself divided by her mothers aristocrat heritage and her fathers common. As a sister but also as a carer, almost a parental role. Trelease did a wonderful job at tying it all together and creating this continuous running theme and point of friction. Adding life and depth to the characters and providing a nice touch of diversity.
The plot, while not unpredictable and sometimes slower moving than I’d have liked bogged down with a little too much detailed focus on the real historical events woven through the story, was easy enough to feel invested in.
The characters were mostly likeable. Camille was both respectable and easy to relate to as you see her hardships and dedication toward her family and her own survival.
Lazare and Camille were interesting counterparts. Similar in opposite ways. Though I didn’t like some of the ways in which they were kept apart (sometimes making Lazare seem unreasonable and unlikable), I felt like their draw toward each other and the romance was believable and came together in a satisfying enough way.
Glamor, magic, romance, friendship, family, hardship, obligation, heartbreak, abuse and poverty – it’s all there but could have done perhaps with a faster moving plot, less focus on the real history and a few surprises.
– 3/5 A rags to riches story, set in 1789 Paris, with a dash of magical fiction and real historical events woven throughout.
Buy it – Enchantee