Original title: An enchantment of ravens
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: September 26th, 2017
Finished date: September 29th, 2017
Read in: English
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.
I picked this up on a whim. I had heard it being compared to A court of thornes and roses, which I didn't particularly enjoy, but was a quick fantasy read, and since I was in a mood for that I decided to try it. It immediately surprised me. I wasn't expecting the writing to be this compelling and intricate, since this is Ms. Rogerson debut novel, but I quickly found myself immersed in the story.
Is is similar to A court of thornes and roses, at least in the beginning. The main character Isobel is a painter who is largely responsible for her family, and is kidnapped by her love interest, a centuries old brooding fae. Sounds familiar?
I thought so too. But while they sound very similar, the books are actually very different. Up until about 25% of the book, I was loving it. I was getting everything I wanted when I read A court of thornes and roses and didn't get. Unfortunately, I had some problems with the rest of the book. I didn't really like Rook, and while I actually really liked Isobel, one of her actions during the book completely ruined her character for me.
I feel like I should warn you this is a travelling book. Most of the book is spent with the two characters going from one place to the next, and then the next.
I found it very original in terms of the magic system, the worldbuilding was incredible and the writing, especially the descriptions were beautiful. There were some problems with it, some things didn't really make sense and the ending was kind of anti-climactic. Still, I am very curious to read more from this author; I see lots of potential here. Overall a good fantasy standalone read.
The following extended review contains spoilers
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