[Audio Book] Enchantée/All that Glitters by Gita Trelease

A compellingly beautiful tale of magic, intrigue and deception, set against the backdrop of eighteenth-century Paris on the cusp of revolution.

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries – and magicians . . .
When seventeen-year-old Camille is left orphaned, she has to provide for her frail sister and her volatile brother. In desperation, she survives by using the petty magic she learnt from her mother. But when her brother disappears Camille decides to pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine‘ and presents herself at the court of Versaille, where she soon finds herself swept up in a dizzying life of riches, finery and suitors. But Camille’s resentment of the rich is at odds with the allure of their glamour and excess, and she soon discovers that she’s not the only one leading a double life…



Magic, queerness, revolution

With this blurb, I was handed this book several years ago by my best friend. I was immediately enchanted by the cover, these promises, and the setting. In my high school years, I was immensely obsessed with the French Revolution. And even nowadays, I love going back to that time and discovering its tensions and cruelties. In this book, we approach this period through the eyes of a young commoner who encounters Versailles’ appeal thanks to her magic. Her initial disdain impacts her plan of magically cheating and thus robbing the courtesans off their money. Soon, she nonetheless realizes that not even Versailles is as black and white as assumed. And that this palace hides many secrets.


Family and Love

Camille’s main drive is the security of her sister, which immediately presents her as selfless. With that, it becomes inevitable that our protagonist finds contradicting joy in her endeavors. I loved how the author brought us into the court and its gambling culture. It drives the story throughout the whole novel. We are introduced to some amazing characters that we do not immediately trust given our focalization through Camille. As Versailles is known for its intrigues and secrets, Gita Trelease kept up this ominous and dubious atmosphere throughout the book. We are repeatedly surprised by some revelations and twists. Meanwhile, we also fall in love with the characters—especially one.


Self-made woman

From the first moments on, Camille tries to take control of her own life. She further attempts finding a way to live her dreams and safekeep her sister. Somewhere in between, she becomes entangled with scientific discoveries and developments and magic actors (un)like herself. Without spoiling anything, I want to state that I am happy with this first book’s ending and the possibilities it provides for sequels. Personally, I got somewhat confused with the many men’s names while listening to the audio book. Especially as some twists relied on the internalization of them. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by this magical adventure and all of Camille’s new acquaintances. Let the revolution begin!


In conclusion,

This book surely had everything I was promised. It further transported me to the pre-revolutionary Paris and Versailles. The author surely captivated the tense atmosphere as much as the hope associated with the impending change. Between classes and due to the blurring lines of Camille’s self and disguise, she took us on an entertaining adventure.



The author:

Born in Sweden to Indian and Swedish parents, Gita Trelease has lived in lots of places, including New York, Paris and a tiny town in central Italy. She attended Yale College and New York University, where she earned a Ph.D. in British literature. Before becoming a novelist, she taught classes on writing and fairy tales – some of which have seeped into this story. Along with her husband and son, Gita divides her time between an old village in Massachusetts and the coast of Maine, where she’s still searching for a secret portal that will take her back to Versailles. Source

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