Those that know me, know I’m a Francophile. I love Paris, I love France, I love the Tour de, and I love the language. So when this book started blowing up my twitter (@nanazlyn), I knew it would be right up my alley. And boy was I right.
French revolution, check. Magic, check. Romance, check. Shady characters, check. CHECK CHECK CHECK!
The story follows Camille as she tries to better the situation for her and her younger sister Sophie. They have an abusive, alcoholic brother who constantly takes their earnings (what little there are) and gambles it away. Camille has the power of magic, and uses it to procure food for herself and her sister. Basically it’s turning useless objects (mainly nails) into money to pay. One one occasion, Camille and Sophie head out to find nails to change, and encounter a runaway hot air balloon. Camille helps save the day, and in turn catches the eye of young pilot Lazare. He sounds so dreamy in the book. I was hooked.
Camille then learns that she can turn cards with her magic and decides to head to the palace of Versailles in order to win money for her and her sister to escape their life. She finds an enchanted dress and makeup, that transforms her into an aristocrat who can now enter into places that were barred to her before. Oh, and I did I mention she’s a revolutionary too? Her father printed anti-monarchy pamphlets and her dream is to follow in his footsteps.
He cast of characters she meets at Versailles are fascinating, and the book really takes on a Cinderella type feel. Will she be found out? Does her magic put her in danger? Will Lazare understand what she’s doing? Will her brother Alain get out of his situation?
The book held me enthralled until the end…..I want more! More revolutionary France, more magic, and more hot air balloon adventures.