Title: Everything that Burns
Series: Enchantée #2
Author: Gita Trelease
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: February 2nd, 2021 (Flatiron Books)
Synopsis: Camille Durbonne gambled everything she had to keep herself and her sister safe. But as the people of Paris starve and mobs riot, safety may no longer be possible…
…Not when Camille lives for the rebellion. In the pamphlets she prints, she tells the stories of girls living at society’s margins. But as her writings captivate the public, she begins to suspect a dark magic she can’t control lies at the heart of her success. Then Louis XVI declares magic a crime and all magicians traitors to France. As bonfires incinerate enchanted books and special police prowl the city, the time for magic—and those who work it—is running out.
In this new Paris where allegiances shift and violence erupts, the answers Camille seeks set her on a perilous path, one that may cost her the boy she loves―even her life. If she can discover who she truly is before vengeful forces unmask her, she may still win this deadly game of revolution.
After the events of Enchantée, Camille and her sister Sophie are now living in Séguin’s mansion, and it seems they have everything they ever wanted. Sophie is making beautiful hats in a store of her own that are in high demand everywhere and Camille finally has a printing press and is working on making pamphlets. One day, she saves a flower seller named Giselle, and this act leads her to a group of girls in desperate need of aid, Camille uses her pamphlets to share their stories and they become wildly popular, convincing people across the city to help. She soon realizes that their success is not due to only the words, but the magic she unwittingly put into the pamphlets while printing them – the very magic she has sworn to give up. As she struggles with this revelation, conflicted that this magic she worked was able to do some good instead of the havoc it has wrought so far, revolution is afoot in Paris. And Camille is all for revolution and change – but she is now both an aristocrat and a magician, and the city is about to become a dangerous place for both. When Louis XVI paints all of France’s sufferings as the doings of magicians and proclaims them traitors and magic a crime, she must find a way to get her magic under control before it is too late.
Enchantée ended in such a good place that while I hoped for a sequel, it wasn’t really necessary to the story. I was super excited when I heard about this book because even after two years, the story still remained fresh in my mind and I was eager to return to this world and characters. In this strong sequel, Gita Trelease has managed to capture once again, the magic of the first book even as the backdrop of the story has moved from the glitter of Versailles to the chaotic streets of Revolutionary Paris. The writing flowed really well and made for an easy read, and the world-building was as fantastic as I remember. All the characters had significant growth in this book, and I loved Camille’s arc and how she came to accept her magic. I did feel that Camille was surprisingly naive at some times and dangerously reckless at others, but she remained a fierce protagonist, determined to find hope even in the darkest of situations.
I have to say however, that this book was not up to the standard set by Enchantée. While the story as a whole was engaging, there were too many subplots to follow and I couldn’t bring myself to really care about all of them because it jumped around so much. The Lost Girls in particular felt just like means to an end – after Camille met them and got their stories for the pamphlets, most of them don’t show up again for the rest of the book. By the end, I only wanted to know what was going to happen to Camille and her loved ones. Also, when magic is proclaimed a crime, it seemed like Camille was intent on saving all the magicians in Paris and the idea was built up for some time before being dropped entirely because of another twist the story took, which was rather unfortunate because I was looking forward to seeing how that would work out.
The author did a great job of building up the tension throughout and the ending was quite exciting. The last set of chapters were a complete whirlwind of action. Even though things ended very neatly, I’m actually hoping there will be atleast one more book in this series – there’s still room for more stories to be told about these characters and where the path they find themselves on at the end of this book will take them. I’m particularly interested to see if Camille returns to France to help her fellow magicians after all. Everything That Burns was a wonderful, magical read, and if you enjoyed Enchantée, I would definitely recommend this book.
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: