ARC Review: "A Fragile Enchantment" by Allison Saft


A Fragile Enchantment by Allison Saft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

In this romantic fantasy of manners from New York Times bestselling author Allison Saft, a magical dressmaker commissioned for a royal wedding finds herself embroiled in scandal when a gossip columnist draws attention to her undeniable chemistry with the groom.

Niamh Ó Conchobhair has never let herself long for more. The magic in her blood that lets her stitch emotions and memories into fabric is the same magic that will eventually kill her. Determined to spend the little time she has left guaranteeing a better life for her family, Niamh jumps at the chance to design the wardrobe for a royal wedding in the neighboring kingdom of Avaland.

But Avaland is far from the fairytale that she imagined. While young nobles attend candlelit balls and elegant garden parties, unrest brews amid the working class. The groom himself, Kit Carmine, is prickly, abrasive, and begrudgingly being dragged to the altar as a political pawn. But when Niamh and Kit grow closer, an unlikely friendship blossoms into something more—until an anonymous columnist starts buzzing about their chemistry, promising to leave them alone only if Niamh helps to uncover the royal family’s secrets. The rot at the heart of Avaland runs deep, but exposing it could risk a future she never let herself dream of, and a love she never thought possible.

Transporting readers to a Regency England-inspired fantasy world, A Fragile Enchantment is a sweeping romance threaded with intrigue, unforgettable characters, and a love story for the ages.



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REVIEW




I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Tackling 2024 with this lovely YA book, set in a magical world where emotions can be woven into cloth, blights can be made just with a thought and social class is everything.

Niamh is a dressmaker born with the rare ability to weave emotions to the clothes she makes. Living in a region conquered by Avaland she is invited to the royal palace to create the wedding ceremonial clothes of the Prince and Princess. But Prince Kit is abrasive and does not wish to marry, while Niamh is battling with her own secret; her magic is sapping her of her life force.

Add in the political unrest due to the disparities between classes; both will have to deal with that and their growing feelings for each other.

I enjoyed the Victorian-era-inspired world; the descriptions were beautiful and the setting unique. It has been a while since a YA book held my attention, and I may return to the category again. My only issue was with how sometimes Niamh would act like a ten-year-old, quick to judge by appearances and not look into the core of the issue, despite starting as a character who had the seriousness of the situation. There was character development, especially from Kit's side which I liked as also from the King and the rest of the secondary characters.

The ending was also good and felt complete.
Recommended for the lovely descriptions and the magic woven into them.



About the author:


Allison Saft is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic and Down Comes the Night. After receiving her MA in English Literature from Tulane University, she moved from the Gulf Coast to the West Coast, where she spends her time rolling on eight wheels and practicing aerial silks. She lives with her partner and an Italian greyhound named Marzipan.

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