Review: Enchantée, Gita Trelease

There are no spoilers in this review.

I’m French and therefore very biased, but I feel like France has a very interesting, complex history that could be explored in young adult books and… it seems like 2019 will be the very year for that. French-inspired young adult books are coming from everywhere this year (The Gilded Wolves, Enchantée, Serpent & Dove are coming to mind and more) and obviously I’m curious about them all. This is originally why I wanted to read Enchantée and this book ended up being an interesting read overall, but ultimately it fell a bit short for me.

A GREAT WORLD TO EXPLORE, 18TH CENTURY PARIS

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Enchantée takes place in the 18th century in France. It’s Marie-Antoinette’s era, that moment right before the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille and so many moments I have learned during my school years about. This was such an interesting, conflictual and complex era of French History and the way it was explored subtly and with the addition of magical elements, made this such an interesting universe overall to create and to be in while I read this book. With the Palais de Versailles and its jardins, the Galerie des Glaces and Paris’ streets and bakeries, punctuated with the rural countryside and hot air balloon rides, this was a very interesting world to be in.
I obviously have to talk about the French language just as well that was spoken multiple times through the story and I have to say that I was glad for it, because if I spotted a couple flaws, I could count them on one hand, so yay!

INTERESTING CHARACTERS & SISTER RELATIONSHIP

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The characters were interesting, flawed and imperfect yet still interesting to follow. Camille was a good main character, wanting more than anything to do good and to make life better for her sister and herself, too and I loved that about her so, very much. I appreciated seeing her change, grow confidence and develop as she started using her magic and going to Versailles to play cards, leading a double life to earn money for this better life for her and her sister. What I loved the most here, was how much she cared for her sister and that’s really what stood out for me and made me root for this book the most: the sister relationship and their bond.


Enchantée also gives us interesting side-characters, unfortunately I did not manage to get to know them too well. One character I appreciated, however, was Lazare. He is biracial (Indian and French) and I really liked him, getting to know him and I appreciated that passage about his identity, too, when he shared that he found himself hard to fit in because of the color of his skin.

A LITTLE too SLOW

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Despite holding a very interesting premise and great roots for its characters, Enchantée failed to maintain my attention at times. The book felt a little long and the pacing a bit slow, as I found myself waiting for the real action to kick in. With such a fascinating setting (Paris on the cusp of the revolution!!) and a promising premise, I feel like this could have been more action-paced and somehow a more thrilling read overall. I felt like this book was building up towards a climax that eventually didn’t quite deliver.

OVERALL

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Despite all of these great promises in its synopsis, Enchantée failed to make me feel enough for me to rate it higher than 3 stars. It still was an interesting read, but I didn’t feel compelled to it as much as I would have liked. Still, if you like slower historical fantasies and an interesting, 18th century Paris setting, you should definitely give it a try 🙂

Final rating:  3 drops!

The biggest thanks to MacMillan International & Flatiron Books for sending me a free advance reader’s copy  of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Trigger warnings:  slut-shaming, physical and emotional abuse, alcoholism, gambling addiction, blood depictions.

Diversity: Lazare, a main side-character, is bi-racial (Indian mother).

 


Gita Trelease, Enchantée,  Published by Flatiron Books, February 5th, 2019.

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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…

Did you read Enchantée? Do you want to?

Do you have any slower books that you’ve read but ended up enjoying? Any recommendations? Let me know in comments!

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

47 thoughts on “Review: Enchantée, Gita Trelease

  1. I’ve heard such mixed things about this book! It looks so interesting but nearly every review has mentioned that it’s really slow. And I mean it’s Paris in the 1780s! How do you write that “slow”??? Agh, I still want to read it but I’m semi-worried and kind of sad 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was… well it was a bit slow and that made me sad, because the rest of the book had so much potential, I wish I could have had that rush while reading and wanting to turn the pages quickly and everything, but… it took so much time for things to happen, that was too bad :/ still, the world and setting were really great, so if you’re interested in that you could still give it a try 😀
      Thank you so much for your comment Elizabeth ❤

      Like

  2. Aah I was definitely intrigued by the France setting aspect ahah, because I haven’t read many books that have that setting. That being said, I’m sorry to hear about the pacing! The slow plot would probably lose my attention too ahah. Lovely review! ❤️

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    1. I haven’t read that many books with that setting either, so I appreciated that part so much! It’s a bit frustrating about the pacing, but who knows, if the rest of the story intrigues you enough, it might be worth a try 😀
      Thank you for your sweet comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad the world is as interesting as it seemed when I read about it! I’m excited to give it a try, but I’ll admit, slow historical books are not my cup of tea. :/ But I am too much of a “Les Mis” nerd to let any book set in 1800s France to pass me by.

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  4. This book is making quite headlines these days. I am sorry that you didn’t enjoy it as much as you wanted. I too can’t enjoy books with slower pace, especially historical stories. I am glad though that you were able to enjoy at least a few things 😊

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  5. It’s nice to see more French inspired books as it is a culture that I haven’t read to much about. But slow books aren’t my favourite– I like it when it hooks you from the first page but I always give them a chance!! 😊

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    1. I agree, it’s nice to see that there are French-inspired books here and there haha though I might be very biased saying that 😂 I hope you might want to give this one a try someday!
      Thank you so much for your comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have this one to read but I confess I’m a bit worried about the size. 😂I knooow! I’m terrible. It’s just long books always intimidate me too much haha. But I really loved reading your review, especially from a French perspective, and I’m glad there weren’t too many mistakes!! Also sister stories are GOOD tho, so for that I’m excited!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad you enjoyed this book Marie, but I definitely agree with you about the slow pace. 🙂 I feel like there was so much being developed when it came to the world and the characters that it was almost like there wasn’t enough time to develop me plot until the former two things were solidly set up. 🙂 Still I loved the world, it was so richly described, and loved the character development, especially between Camille and her sister, that it made up for it a little.
    Great review. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just found out this book exists a few hours ago, and I’m excited to give it a read! I’m sorry to see that it wasn’t that exciting for you — I don’t really like historical fiction (I want to read this more for the fantasy aspects) so I’m afraid that I’m going to end up agreeing with you on Enchantée’s shortcomings. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay I’m excited for you to read it, I hope you’ll enjoy it better than I did 🙂 it was still a great read, I just wished for more action, but overall the world was so interesting 🙂
      Happy reading, and thank you so much for your sweet comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, it sucks that the book fell short when it has such a cool time period and setting. And I wouldn’t say you’re biased at all — French history is amazing, and I know I only know a glimpse of it despite an entire year of studying European history. 🙂 Have you reviewed any books that are set in France that also talk about the culture and history? I would love to add more French-related books to my TBR 😊

    Great review, Marie! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a bit disappointed about that for sure, but the setting was still very interesting to read about 🙂
      Hmm, recently I’ve read and reviewed The Gilded Wolves that is set in France around the 1890’s and other than that the only books coming to mind are contemporaries like the Anna and the French Kiss series 😂 I need to read more books like these for sure 😀
      Thank you so much Zoie ❤

      Like

  10. I spent most of Enchantée thinking “where’s the damned revolution I was promised” and it was barely there so I was utterly disappointed. Other than that most of the characters bored me but I liked the magic.

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  11. I agree, the setting was fabulous! My favorite part for sure. And I did enjoy the characters a lot. Like you, I felt that the plot was kind of slow-moving, so that was basically my biggest fault with it as well. Fabulous review, and I agree, I hope this is just the start of the old-timey French trend!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lovely review, Marie ❤️

    I have this on my TBR because somehow it reminded me of The Night Circus and I really loved magic and I’m forever obsessed with France. I’m sorry it fell flat for you and that the pacing was really slow, I too prefer a bit of a faster plot. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the setting, world-building can definitely make or break a story and I loved that the characters were interesting and the sister relationship really good.

    I am still curious to read this one. I’ll see how it goes, hopefully I also like small parts and it doesn’t turn out to be a complete disaster.

    Like

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Michelle, I’m happy you enjoyed it! 🙂 I’m glad you’re still curious about it, I would love to hear your thoughts once you’ve read it! Fingers crossed you’ll like it 🙂

      Like

  13. I’m sorry to hear this one was a little too slow for you. I’ve been very excited about this one so hopefully I’ll still enjoy it through any slow parts. I agree it does seem to be a good year for French-inspired fantasies; I’m also excited to read the other two books you made note of, they both sound so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Glad to see your review for this one, Marie! I probably will end up skipping on it if it’s slow — I already have problems with historical fiction (for that exact reason: its tendency to be slow) 😅 But I’m glad you got the chance to be able to read this as a French reader, and I’m happy that there are so many other French-inspired books coming out this year! Wonderful review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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