Thursday, 24 January 2019

Enchantée by Gita Trelease | Book Review & Blog Tour


Gita Trelease

Release Date
February 5th

459 Pages


Send to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Where to Preorder

Love. Magic. Revolution.

Paris is a labyrinth of twisted streets filled with beggars and thieves, revolutionaries and magicians. Camille Durbonne is one of them. She wishes she weren’t...

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille must find a way to provide for her younger sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on magic, Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille pursues a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for magic. As she struggles to reconcile her resentment of the rich with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille meets a handsome young inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible.

But magic has its costs, and soon Camille loses control of her secrets. And when revolution erupts, Camille must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality of magic—before Paris burns.

Enchanteé was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and getting to be apart of the blog tour is so exciting for me! I love Paris, and magic, and revolution, so this book kind of checked all my boxes. And I was really excited when I was reading, as the book just kept getting better and better.

 This book has the most glorious of bone structures. It's a joy to read, because the way that the plot is structured, the way that the characters work together, and the way that the stakes build slowly but surely, all work together to make a wonderfully cohesive story. There are moments when I felt that things were lagging, or moving too quickly, but those moments are mainly outliers.

The number one thing that this book does well is atmosphere. My god, if Gita Trelease is actually a Magician, I wouldn't be surprised. She makes both the grim streets of Paris and the opulence of Versailles so vivid. You feel as if you're there -- both floating down the halls in the spectacular palace, and ducking into corners in Paris. Her descriptions of the balloon, and the feeling of rising above the city were so beautiful.

The limited 3rd person perspective was something I found tough to grapple with, and is maybe my one criticism of the book. This is such a subjective element of the book, but I found myself either wanting to be right inside Camille's mind, or be able to be inside the mind of more than one character. I understand why the story needed this perspective, but I still wish we as readers were given full access to certain people and minds.

There are also some really interesting elements to this book that feel fresh at every corner. The characters that Camille meets at Versailles, and the balloon folks, breathe fresh air into a story, and open it right up. It's so nice to read something where our main character is surrounded by a community, and is not all by her lonesome. Also, I loved the balance that the romance in the book has. Lazare is such a sweetheart, and while the romance plot is in the forefront, it doesn't feel dominating.

Overall, the entire story feels really warm, really grand and spectacular, but also has this beautiful sense of introspection and intimacy to it. Camille and her cohort bring beauty and magic to the page, and their trials and tribulations make for such a wonderful read!

4.5/5 Stars! Definitely pick this up! 

I got the opportunity to ask Gita Trelease a question, and here is her answer!

Q: What books helped you during the writing process? What is a piece of advice that you wish you had before writing Enchantee? 

A: Enchantée is my first novel, so I had a lot to learn. Besides the history books I read and images I pored over to help me create the world of the story, I read a lot of craft books. My favorites are Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel and The Emotional Craft of Fiction as well as John Truby’s Anatomy of Story. I wish someone had comforted me with the knowledge that the story would develop and become so much richer than I could even have imagined through the revision process. For me, the first few drafts are agonizing to write because they’re so far from my ideal vision, and because I’m a slow writer, this meant enduring a year or more in which I thought my story would never become anything. In fact, I’m struggling with this again with the sequel to Enchantée—so my advice would be, if you can, banish perfectionism and remind yourself: as long as you keep working, getting feedback, and revising, the story will eventually get better!

Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for hosting this tour and including me in it! Check out the other stops on the tour! Thanks for reading!

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