I can’t describe how excited I was to find a fantasy rendition of Marie Antoinette’s 18th century France, but what I will say is that I may have screamed a little bit when I was approved for a review copy on NetGalley.
Camille Durbonne will do anything to help keep her sister alive — including using magic to turn scraps of metal into money. She finds a dress stowed away in a trunk in their house and finds out it can magically transform her into someone else… someone who fits in at the royal court. When she realizes she can no longer pay rent and her drunkard brother has stolen their money and valuables, she decides to turn to Versailles and its card tables to make ends meet. Camille soon realizes she has grossly underestimated Versailles and its royalty. She meets several interesting characters along the way, including Lazare, a man she falls in love with and Chandon, a man who holds the same magical power she does.
The first thing I enjoyed about this book was the atmosphere. I don’t often find a good historical fiction based YA book with fantasy elements, and I did find Enchantee to have a good feel with great descriptions. The author did a decent job of describing Versailles, but I just wasn’t blown away like I had hoped.
I found myself confused about the magic building and thought the plot was a bit slow. The last 30% had me really interested, but the first 60% moved slowly and I found myself wanting to read something else. I liked Camille’s love interest, but it was very “insta love” and I just could have went without it (although I desperately wanted to love it!).
What I was also very disappointed by was that Marie Antoinette was hardly in this. I’m not sure if I just hyped myself up for it, or if it just wasn’t what I expected.
I did love the author’s writing and thought Camille and her sister were well done as far as characters go. The three siblings gave me a big Bronte sisters vibe, since they also had an alcoholic brother with a habit of spending everyone’s money.
All in all I thought this was okay and I would definitely be interested in reading a book by Gita Trelease again.