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 . . .
~I was sent a gifted copy from the publishers - all opinions are my own~
I give it - 4/5
My review - I thought this was a brilliant debut. I was instantly captivated by the first page and had a hard time putting it down. I hardly read historical fantasy books but, this for me was just so interesting, magical and just fantastic.
In this book we have Camille. Her parents died of smallpox and has been in charge of looking after her younger sister, Sophie and their older brother Alain who cares more about gambling and drinking to actually take care of his younger sisters or even himself. Sophie has her head up in the clouds and believes she will meet a charming prince who will save them from poverty but, Camille is worrying. Their shelves are empty, the rent is late and things are getting tougher for her to keep a roof over their heads.
Camille has a job at Le Magie. But after making fake coins she finds a new use for it. She turns herself into the intriguing Baroness De La Fontaine. She is only planning on doing this to attend the courts and get enough money for her and Sophie but, the glittering courts are alluring and soon the pull gets too much. But, Camille has much more of a choice to make, especially when riots start and she realises she needs to make terrible choices to protect those that she loves.
Camille is a wonderful character. She wants to protect her family despite them not really being the best towards her. She has a good heart and is willing to do what she can to keep that roof over their heads.
A beautiful blend of fantasy and history. Gita has done a fantastic job with this book, the characters, the setting and just overall the beauty of the writing. It was a very enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what she writes next.