Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
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.Goodreads
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.
An Enchantment of Ravens was a quick and fun read, which is what I was hoping for when I started it.
When it comes to Fae romance books (which are most about Fae) I can generally expect something along the lines of this sort of plot:
Independent, don’t-need-no-man girl minding her own damn business meets Fae prince/king/other royalty idk and is somehow forced to spend a lot of time with him. Most of the time it’s by a kidnapping-type situation, but regardless she has no choice in the matter. The more time they spend together and slowly (or not – like in this case) fall in love with each other, but OH NO that’s against the law and they have to fight for their love and eventually win.
I see this time and time again in Fae books and while it’s repetitive I LOVE IT SO MUCH. An Enchantment of Ravens follows this basic plot almost to a T. Which I don’t have any problem with. I know some people might get frustrated with this but when it comes to books like this I crave it.
I think the best part of this book is the prose. The scenes and descriptions of the various fae are vivid and enthralling. I especially liked that Margaret Rogerson did not shy away from depicting the fae as the terrifying non-human creatures that, I believe, they should be. Normally this is where I would add a quote from the book to show how beautiful the prose is, but I listened to it on audiobook so I can’t. However, I can say that the way in which the author describes characters and the settings is that of someone who is clearly an artist and views the world as art. This is great because the main character is an artist and I felt like I was able to have a little more insight into how she views things through the descriptions.
Then there’s the worldbuilding. While the worldbuilding could have been expanded on, I enjoyed the premise that fae were obsessed with human creations and yet physically could not do it themselves or face death. It shows their lack of humanity clearly without explicitly stating it. I’d love to see more of that kind of fae in future fae books.
As for the plot I don’t really have a whole lot to say. It wasn’t super complicated but for the most part was well planned out. The pacing was a little odd though. I think towards the end everything happened very quickly, though tbh you could argue that everything happened super quickly in this book. I think I would have liked more build up to the “fight” scene though… and then after the fight scene I felt like it was even more rushed. Just a “and they lived happily ever after the end” sort of ending that left me wanting more.
My main gripe with the book, other than the pacing, was the insta-love. I was expecting it, which is why it didn’t bother me as much as insta-love usually does, but ohhhhhhh my god was it fast. There wasn’t even a little bit of a friendship period. I’m pretty sure she “fell in love” with him essentially the minute he came into her house.
I think my favorite character was Gadfly. He was a true fae in the terms of her world and I enjoyed every scene he was in, he’s a very interesting character.
Also, I have questions. WHY did Rook have sorrow in his eyes? Why was that a bad thing? Why is he unique for having that sorrow and if it’s so dangerous as the book claimed, why didn’t he face any repercussions or anything for it? Why did the other fae react as they did to seeing their own faces portraying human emotion? What is the danger in it? I WOULD LIKE SOME ANSWERS PLZ
All in all, I had a good time with this book and will probably come back to it again. If one of your book vices is fae then you’ll probably like this book too.
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