An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 26th 2017
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.
Goodness, where do I even begin with this review?
This book was not at all what I expected and I don’t mean that in a good way. I struggled so hard trying to read this book because no matter how hard I tried to make myself pick it up it felt like a chore. I mean there are just… times, when you can tell this, is truly the first book an author has written. I apologize if this review seems kind of harsh but I’m not going to hold back on my feelings for this book. I also did my best to not DNF this book because it was so short and I wanted to find out if it would get better in the end and well… let’s just get into it.
- I liked how the fae were depicted in this book. I thought it was interesting and kind of reminded me of Holly Black’s ‘Darkest Part of the Forest’
- I also liked Rook.
- Sadly, this is really the only two things I liked about this book.
- The writing. I was not a fan of the writing and I thought it felt out of place for a fantasy novel. I thought that it was quite modern like and just ugh it did not mesh well with the story itself.
- Also speaking of the writing, it was not that good either. It felt kind of juvenile and not what I’d expect from a fantasy book or the caliber of what everyone is suggesting.
- Also… did everyone rating this read a different book than I did? I seriously don’t understand how this book is the best book of the year, like… I know we all have our different tastes, but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
- Let’s talk about the characters. Isobel oh Isobel, the most boring main character I could have ever laid eyes on. I like that she’s a great painter because as an artist myself it just makes me happy. Other than that? Good lord, I could not care for her. I did not feel sorry for her, I just could not CARE FOR HER.
- All the other characters: with the exception of Rook and Gadfly, everyone else was boring and I could not care for them either.
- The storyline in it’s entirety? What was the damn point of it all? I mean perhaps if this was a longer book or expanded into a series and things were not rushed, it could have enjoyed it better.
At least the cover is beautiful.
NOW FOR SPOILERS, beware and enter at your own peril for this section will be me just ranting.
So we start off with Isobel who is a master of craft/painting and the fairies all admire her craft, especially Gadfly who is a patron of hers who really loves her work (I mean he has a room of portraits of himself he sleeps in once a month to stare at like what even) He tells her that the autumn prince is rumored to come to her for a portrait and lo and behold he does and it’s magical. She’s so overtaken by his beauty and oh my god guess what? She’s in love with him (or thinks she is) The book was good until this point and this is where it goes downhill.
Isobel accidentally paints mortal sorrow in his eyes and this could cost him his life. So he whisks her way to the autumn lands to stand trial for her crimes. The girl paints his eyes more humanlike or whatever in the world she does and honestly? It does not cost him his life, it just lowers his reputation and he gets pissed off about it and wants her to amend for her crimes. Which is ya know… okay, I get it. But midway through the damn book, he changes her mind and decides to take her home. Why? Who in the world knows.
This is where the love story comes in, and probably the reason why he changed his mind, but I don’t know and I could care less. This was instalove to the max and usually, I am okay with instalove. But this was SO forced and so not genuine, and it was just so…cringey! I guess he fell in love with her during the first part of the book and she realized she loved him and I have no idea if you read this, you understand what I mean.
The last half of the book was a whirlwind mess. All faes have to abide by the good law which I still don’t understand what the good law even is and why it is called that. And this is where we meet the Alder King which is my biggest disappointment of this book. During the whole book he was described as this impressive creature who reigns over everything and is super deadly and blah blah blah, but Rook challenges him and I was like oh my god cool there’s going to be a fight!
The Alder King is this super old Fae who has been asleep for a long time and doesn’t even know what is happening and he thinks the fae’s obsession with human craft is pathetic but also, a human has destroyed the green well which turns humans into fae (isobel does this throwing her iron ring into it) and the good law was broken so gotta fight! As I stated before, I expected a great and bloody fight between Rook and the Alder king and did that happen?
ROOK FREAKING RUNS AWAY AND TAKES ISOBEL BACK HOME, BRINGING THE ALDER KING TO HER DAMNED HOME. LIKE HOW STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE?! Long story short, she ends up killing the Alder King in the dumbest way ever and she and Rook become King and Queen of the fae lands.
There was SO MUCH DRAMA toward the end of the book, all because Rook and Isobel fell in love.
This book was just such a mess and I really would not recommend it to anyone.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017
- WILD GOOSE CHASE CHALLENGE