Title // An Enchantment of Ravens
Author // Margaret Rogerson
Publisher // Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date // September 26, 2017
Synopsis // A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts— even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5)
I may have been setting myself up for disappointment reading Margaret Rogerson’s debut after absolutely falling in love with her second novel, Sorcery of Thorns, which is next level amazing. I mean, this book was good, but it wasn’t that good because like nothing can be that good??? But this book was still very good!! (But also you should go read Sorcery of Thorns. And now I’m getting off topic…)
This book is a lush, beautiful, fantastical romance. It’s set in a magical whimsical fairy world, where the fair folk live forever but feel no human emotions and can’t perform any Craft, so they turn to the vulnerable humans for Craft. I felt so transported to this whimsical world, especially with the vivid descriptions! The fairies have different courts based on the seasons, and reading about the changing autumn, to the gorgeous sprouting spring, and even some of the more ugly descriptions such as those of the fairy monsters, was all so descriptive and beautiful that I could totally close my eyes and picture myself there.
I really loved the way Isobel’s love for her Craft, painting, was described. I loved hearing about her paint, and I could really feel her love for painting come through the page. I felt her passion, how it was her life, and she couldn’t bear the thought of living without painting! This book was beautiful in that it completely captured the feeling of loving something you do.
I really liked how the book talked about emotions too, and showed how Isobel could really see emotions and capture then with her paintings. Joy, laughter, sadness, regret, anger–all human emotions that are a part of our lives, yet the fair folk cannot feel them. Especially since I’m reading this during scary quarantine, it really made me appreciate the complex range of emotions we can feel–made me appreciate my ability to be happy, and even the more negative emotions, like regret and anger that come along with positive ones, are what make life worth living for.
One problem I had was the pacing though. The book felt rather slow to me for most of it, despite being so short, and then the ending felt like it happened all really quickly and suddenly and I was like–wait what’s going on? I did really enjoy the ending though, with some crazy twisty things that I hadn’t foreseen, but it felt rushed, and I wish all the action at the end had been expanded more instead of the earlier slow parts.
Despite the fantasy exterior, at its heart this book is pretty much a romance book, and I’m very conflicted on the romance. At times I loved it! Rook is plenty swoon worthy, and I loved reading about him and Isobel traveling through the woods, making funny banter as they annoyed each other, and seeing them open up to and understand each other!
On the other hand though–it was very, very much instalove. I feel like they had all of, like, 3 conversations within the book before the first declarations of love and I was like what’s going on here how can you be in love I don’t even know you. Also, some of their decisions they made because they’re “in love” were questionable like really?? You’re this thousands of years old fairy prince and you’re just acting like a weak fool because you’re in love aren’t you.
Overall, although this book was by no means perfect, and there were definitely parts that annoyed me, it was a really enjoyable fantasy romance, and I definitely enjoyed it!
Did you enjoy this book, or do you want to read it? Do you like books about faeries? Do you love Margaret Rogerson’s books? I’d love to chat in the comments below!