by Margaret Rogerson
Published on September 26, 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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 among them. 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, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.
Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of 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.
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I NEED ANOTHER BOOK.
It feels like it’s been ages since I read a faerie book, and a good one at that. Though I’m sure I’ve read some since then, the only ones that come to mind are Holly Black’s Tithe/Modern Faerie Tales series and Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series (both of which are some of my favorite books in general).
I am absolutely adding An Enchantment of Ravens to that list!
Let’s start with the magic. Well, sort of magic. In this world, it’s called Craft, only usable by humans. Think of talents like painting, writing, cooking, sewing, and so on. These humans work their Craft in Whimsy where the Fair Folk come to visit them and purchase their Craft in exchange for enchantments. I loved the idea of Craft. It just felt fresh and new and while I’m sure it’s been done before, not in any book I’ve read and I thought it was a great addition to the inclusion of the Fair Folk in the book.
Isobel’s Craft is portrait painting, once again making for a stand-out element. She’s strong-willed and loyal to her family, willing to do what it takes to keep them safe. You won’t see Isobel putting up with any nonsense. Her practical nature (even when it appears at more impractical times) made her endearing and I just loved her character in general.
Then there’s Rook. Ugh, can someone just wrap him in a warm blanket and give him a hug? This absolutely over-the-top prince is such a sweetheart and you can’t help but love him. He’s stubborn and him and Isobel end up at odds often enough but who can stay mad at that face? I think what worked really well for him was the way Rogerson treated his interaction with “human” things (like emotions). He’s just so raw and genuine about everything. I need more Rook!
Together, they journeyed through the Fair Folk courts, on the run. I didn’t find their journey itself anything remarkable but I found I didn’t care either. I read for the characters who I loved almost instantly, and the writing which is very well executed and will immediately suck you in.
My only complaint (other than I simply didn’t want it to end) was that the ending itself felt a TAD rushed. But that might just be me and my new obsession with this book.
Honestly, I am in DESPERATE NEED of some sort of a sequel or companion novel or ANYTHING (I’d take word scraps on a napkin if I could). This book is all sorts of perfect for fans who’ve been missing that classic fae style with a new twist. You won’t be able to get enough of An Enchantment of Ravens.
I’m just all sorts of gushing right now, y’all. This book just rocked my YA fantasy list and if you don’t have it on your to-read shelf then there’s something wrong so get on that! Can’t wait for more by this author!