A Fragile Enchantment | Allison Saft


Coming January 2, 2024 from Wednesday Books; 384 pages 

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” (Bio from Goodreads Profile). 

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“Nothing is guaranteed, Niamh. We all die. You and I are dying right now, but we’re also alive. Love is what makes life worth living. Love is what makes us act when we most need to.”

Niamh Ó Conchobhair has the power to stitch emotions into the clothes she makes, earning her the opportunity to be the official seamstress for the royal wedding in Avaland. When she leaves her home to go to the palace, she is only thinking of providing for her family before her magic eventually kills her. However, things become far more complicated than she expected, and Niamh finds herself drawn to the abrasive groom, Prince Kit Carmine. While they continue to grow closer, unrest is brewing throughout the kingdom. The working class is protesting and demanding change, and an anonymous gossip columnist is calling out everything happening in high society, including the undeniable chemistry between Niamh and Kit. As Kit’s wedding day approaches and tensions rise, Niamh has to decide whether she wants to play it safe or risk it all for love and the betterment of her people. 

After finishing A Fragile Enchantment, I have some mixed feelings. It’s a Bridgerton-esque story set in a magical world reminiscent of England, and it even has an anonymous gossip columnist, just like Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton. I thought it was a fun setting, and it was really intriguing how the author mirrored the oppression of the Irish by the British with the fictional Machlish and Avalish. While I thought it was mildly interesting while reading, I rarely felt compelled to read it throughout the day. I liked the two main characters, Niamh and Kit, especially since Kit was an interesting character with a lot of levels. Niamh has a chronic illness that will eventually kill her one day, and I would’ve liked to see that explored more. You see her struggle with the effects of it, but the origin and true symptoms of the illness are very vague. Her relationship with Kit, while I enjoyed it, seemed a bit rushed as well. Overall, the book was fairly average. It was a great premise and had some exciting moments, but it had the potential for more. If you are looking for a sweet, simple Regency-inspired romantic fantasy book, you might enjoy this novel, but it wasn’t a life-changing book. 

A Fragile Enchantment releases on January 2, 2024.

Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and Wednesday for sending an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.

Sam Yanis, Pine Reads Review Writer