There is something completely magical about Historical Fantasy Fiction. And this cover, as beautiful as it is, did not do this book justice. So excuse me while I pack my bags to get whisked away to 1789, Paris in a hot air balloon. (Completely ignoring my fear of heights.)
This book nearly broke me.
As addictive as the magic Trelease writes about, I struggled to put this down. With a captivating setting this Historical Fantasy fiction was by far one of my favorite reads of the year. I absolutely adored the realism of the fantasy, giving enough hope to spark even the coldest of hearts. If you find yourself in need of some hope, read this book now.
The rhythm and tone of this novel keeps pace with the building tension surrounding the French revolution, and left me breathless and anxious as the story unfolds itself. As a child we were told the stories of the french revolution in history class in the dullest of manners, and I now wish that I was able to rediscover the history in a manner similar to this story. I do believe that history can hold powerful lessons if we remember to tell the tales.
Following the double life of Camille, Trelease writes an enthralling narrative, that had me at odds for which I one I was hoping to be successful. A finely woven tale presented as two strings to lead to conclusion, masterfully presented and the final chapters capturing the magnificent tapestry.
This rags to riches story will have you wishing for abilities that you might come to regret as you progress through the book. But the world Trelease describes is magnificent and alluring and you must work hard to resist the temptation.
Trelease addresses themes of oppression and racism in a manner that had me ready to join the revolution, and be part of the change.
If you love the french and often find yourself dreaming of adventures of a different kind, this is definitely a book for you.
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…
If you had to visit a moment in history, which one would it be? Let me know in the comments section.