Friday 9 July 2021


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Liberté by Gita Trelease   {Reviewed by STELLA}
The French Revolution meets magic in the sequel to Enchantée. Gita Trelease’s Liberté pitches us back into the world of the compelling heroine Camille Durbonne. Living in relative safety with her sister Sophie in Paris, she has gambled and won against the court of Versailles and a sinister powerful magician. From the streets of poverty, Camille almost sacrificed her sanity with the murderous dress and the power it gave her, the sisters have survived and risen in the ranks inheriting a beautiful (if enchanted) home and independence. A career as a milliner for Sophie and a writer (following in the footsteps of her printing press father) for Camille. Yet Paris is unsettled and the people are rising. What should be the end of heartache and danger for the two sisters is anything but! Magic has a role to play despite Camille’s desire to keep it at bay. When she witnesses a flower girl’s harassment at the hands of a gentleman, she gets involved with a group of streetsmart girls who live by their wits and skills. When the girls are threatened with eviction from the makeshift home they have built under the bridge by the Seine, Camille uses her writing skills and her printing press to woo the people to the girls’ cause and pressure the authorities to halt the destruction of their home. Surprisingly her ploy begins to work, but at the edges of this success is a question nagging at her and doubt about her abilities gnaws at her. Can she repress her magic, even if she wishes to? It doesn’t help that her house seems to have a mind of its own, opening and closing off parts of itself, calling to her with whispers and bangs to get her attention. Yet the real threat lies outside —  in the words of the King, desperate to hold onto power, and in the actions of the people, hungrier and increasingly determined to seek change. But who do they turn on in their hour of despair? The magicians! Camille and her friends are in dire straits. France is no longer safe and the magicians and those that love magic must think on their feet, and quickly, if they want to save their necks (literally). Meeting in magical spaces (enchantments built over centuries to hide magicians and ward away enemies), they make a plan to escape. The only problem is they need a book, and that book is hidden, along with several vials of tears — sorrow is the necessary ingredient to become momentarily invisible. In Enchantée, Camille is burdened by her magic. Her sister is wary of it and her lover, Lazare, is troubled by its power. Yet in Liberté, to be truly free, she needs to embrace it. Is it possible to survive and keep those she loves close to her? Can Camille retain herself as she slips back into the dark edges of enchantment, and will words make her safe or put her in mortal danger? An excellent sequel to Enchantée — just as much adventure, romance and daring.

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