Love. Magic. Revolution...Gita Trelease’s debut fantasy about an orphaned girl who uses dark magic to save her sister and herself from ruin is “a soaring success” (NPR)!
Paris is a labyrinth of twisted streets filled with beggars and thieves, revolutionaries and magicians. Camille Durbonne is one of them. She wishes she weren’t...
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille must find a way to provide for her younger sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on magic, Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille pursues a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Using dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for magic. As she struggles to reconcile her resentment of the rich with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille meets a handsome young inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible.
But magic has its costs, and soon Camille loses control of her secrets. And when revolution erupts, Camille must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality of magic—before Paris burns.
On the cusp of the French Revolution, 17-year-old Camille Durbonne and her 15-year-old sister are struggling to survive after being orphaned, then robbed by their abusive alcoholic brother. Camille has been using la magie ordinaire to transform metal scraps into coin, but getting caught when it changes back is a constant threat, and the rent is far past due. With the help of more dangerous magic, her mother's enchanted dress, and a few drops of blood, Camille infiltrates Marie Antoinette's court in disguise. There, her talent for manipulating cards fills her pockets with currency. Rebellion is in Camille's blood, and she's shocked to find herself befriending young nobles despite their politics of privilege. But as she becomes addicted to the magic and the opportunities it affords, Camille begins to wonder about the price of freedom. While debut author Trelease's twist on the Cinderella story offers some diversity with gay and biracial characters Camille's love interest is an aeronaut of French and Indian descent too much attention is given to the minutiae and intrigue of court life, leaving themes of diversity under-explored. Nevertheless, Camille's desire to be a voice of change for the oppressed will resonate. Ages 12 up.