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Enchantée by Gita Trelease (book review).

October 26, 2019 | By | Reply More

‘Enchantée’ is book one in the ‘Enchantée’ series but I feel like you could read this as a standalone.

Here we are in Paris 1789 but, wait, there’s magic! See that’s why there’s a review for this book on a fantasy reviewing website. Anyway, Camille Durbonne and her little sister, Sarah, are very nearly destitute relying only on scraps of magic to turn bits of metal into coins. Unfortunately, they turn back quite quickly which means the places they can shop are running out. Then Camille finds a piece of magic that her dead mother forbade her to use but, seeing no other choice, she uses it and turns herself into Baroness de la Fontaine and starts fleecing the rich aristocrats.

Given the time in history. it’s just as dangerous to be in the palace of Versailles as the streets of Paris as things are starting to get a little bit revolutionary. Also, the magic that Camille is using comes with a cost, as all magic seems to, and she’s running out of ways to pay.

The magic system here is quite interesting. There appear to be three ways to do magic, firstly magie ordinaire which changes objects, then magie glamoire which allows you to change yourself and, finally, magie bibelot where you imbibe an object with magic. All the magics require you to give something of yourself, either blood or life force of some kind. Meaning that the more you use the more you weak you become.

Having this book set in the time of the French Revolution was interesting, I’ve not read a fantasy from that period before. I wanted to know all the way through just how much historical research had been done by the author. Were any of the historical elements actually true? Some felt like they could be but, not having any knowledge of this time period or place, I really couldn’t tell.

I have to admit that I found this book to be a slow one to read. I didn’t really want to keep picking it up when I’d put it down. I didn’t really bond with any of the characters and the plot didn’t engage me very much. It’s not badly written by any stretch, it just wasn’t the right book for me to be reading at that time. I found that there was a lot going on and it was hard to keep up with who everyone was being in any one particular situation.

Many of the characters seemed to have different personas depending on who was around them, they even changed names as well. I found quite a lot of the characters to be annoying and whiny. They were often over-dramatic when they reacted to events and they felt a lot older than they were meant to be in the book. I felt quite upset for them at some points as they all seemed so jaded with their life but just did nothing about it. They all kept on smiling and trying to have the most fun which their whole world quite rightly crumbled around them.

I could see that there were elements when the author, Gita Trelease, used the time period of the book to add extra elements to the story. Such as Camille fighting with her inner demons over the fact she was taking so much money from the hideously rich which there were people starving in the general population. But maybe more could have been done here?

Overall, I might not be reading any more books from this series as I did find this one hard to get through. However, I do not like a book series to beat me, so I might give it another go just to see if I enjoy book two anymore than book one.

Sarah Bruch

October 2019

(pub: Macmillan Children’s Books, 2019. 467 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-50989-597-7)

check out website: www.panmacmillan.com/mcb

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Category: Books, Fantasy

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