Everything That Burns (Enchantée 2)

Written by Gita Trelease
Review by Judith Starkston

Trelease’s follow up novel to Enchantée (now retitled All That Glitters) continues her portrayal of a Paris during the French Revolution where magic is a force that some people can wield. Camille, an orphaned young woman who must fight to keep her sister and herself safe, is again the main character. She is an appealing hero, and in this second appearance, she grows into her own as a magician and a woman hard-driven by her belief in social justice. Magicians have always been treated with suspicion, but when the French king uses magicians as a scapegoated “other” to distract the French people from his crimes and lack of revolutionary reforms, being known as a magician becomes deadly. Those whom Camille loves most beg her to forsake magic, but she must decide if that means giving up who she is. There’s a well-done romantic thread that reinforces the novel’s theme of nurturing dreams of a better world.

Trelease combines an exciting plot and well-rounded characters with a skillful style that brings Revolutionary France alive. The interweaving of social themes, description, and action is beautifully demonstrated at the beginning when the reader watches an impoverished flower seller navigating a dangerous world. Her flowers, kept fresh on stolen ice, offer an illusion, and in that description, Trelease introduces the novel’s world: “passersby couldn’t help but think of a dewy garden…A place where trouble and striving didn’t exist… there were no bakers strung up from lampposts for the crime of running out of bread… There were no grain shortages or rumors of aristocratic plots…no beggars or bloodthirsty magicians. Amid the revolutionary chaos of Paris, this was no small illusion.” This is a delightful historical fantasy with plenty of food for thought accompanying its fun.