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January 3, 2024

A Fragile Enchantment by Allison Saft ~ a Review

by MK French

Niamh Ó Conchobhair travels to Avaland to design the wardrobe for a royal wedding. Unrest is brewing, however, and the groom Kit Carmine is abrasive. The two soon form an unlikely friendship, and a gossip columnist gives Niamh an ultimatum: uncover the royal family’s secrets or her reputation is ruined. There is incredible rot within the kingdom, but exposing it could destroy a future she didn't think she could have.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of young adult fantasy novel A Fragile Enchantment by Alison Saft
January 2024; Wednesday Books; 978-1250892836
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); YA fantasy

Niamh's homeland had been devastated by blight after being occupied and its resources ravaged by the Avaland monarchy before they freed themselves from rule a generation before. Their people are looked down upon as poor country bumpkins too lazy to work; Niamh's presence in the capital with the royal family is not only because of her ability to embroider enchantments into garments at the cost of her own lifespan but because of her heritage. Inspired by Regency romances, we see the Irish and British influences in the story's location, the characters' beliefs, and the stereotypes that the nobility have about Niamh. But at the same time, the desire she had for ladies back home is mirrored in Kit and his friend Sinclair's desire for men. While it's not approved of, it doesn't carry the same legal threats that homosexuality had in Regency England. This also makes the attraction between Niamh and Kit that much more of a surprise to them both.

Given Niamh's profession as a tailor, she focuses on color, texture, and the emotions of memory that she imbues into her pieces. She's scatterbrained and open-hearted, easily speaking with the royals and nobles as if they had been close friends all her life. Kit is gloomy and surly from the start, and his betrothed Rosa is similar. There's a bit of mystery related to Kit's brother Jack, the Regent who's supposed to be ruling the kingdom but instead avoids everything as much as possible.

Buy A Fragile Enchantment at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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