Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

by - 1:15 PM

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
| ISBN: 978-1481497589 | Pages: 300 |
Publication Date: September 26, 2017 | Source: Ebook/Own
| Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars |

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.

The hype surrounding this book when it first came out was enough to pique my interest from the get-go. Another novel that addresses the dynamics between the human and Fae world with a gorgeous cover? I'm sold.

The first thing that caught my attention was the absolutely breath-taking writing. Margaret Rogerson does a stunning job in creating the beautiful world of Faery and the lives of those who live beside the border. The village that Isobel lives in is teeming with those who can create as in this world, Craft is deadly to the faerie. I loved being able to imagine the vivid colors that Isobel used to create the paintings and they definitely were inspiring and gave me an itch to draw.

“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?

An Enchantment of Ravens is essentially a whimsical spin on classic fairytale that reminds me a lot of several other fairytale retellings/spins that I have read. The writing (again) was simply magical and atmospheric that it helped to propel the story forward. As for the plot, Rogerson introduces us to the conflict right in the synopsis and takes the readers on a thrilling adventure across the land of Fae.

“When the world failed me, I could always lose myself in my work.”

There are some moments during the adventure that felt either rushed or empty which is understandable as this is a debut and a standalone high fantasy. That however, did give me some pause as I would try to figure out how certain events were being led up to and unfolding.

“Soft and sharp at once, an aching tenderness edged with sorrow, naked proof of a heart already broken.” 

Something that I was aware of before going into this was the inevitable comparisons that ACOTAR this book was going to receive. Personally, I don't think these two novels have much in common other than a human female protagonist and a male Fae love interest. The characters themselves are incredible different (well, the Fae are still pretty arrogant...) and of course the story line is different.

“The ability to feel is a strength, not a weakness.” 

Isobel is a painter and her world is bursting with color. While she isn't as tough as a typical fantasy protagonist, she's still headstrong in her own right and has a gentle heart. The relationship she has with Rook can border on frustrating at times when the two cannot seem to figure out their feelings, but honestly, I wasn't complaining. I'll admit, I felt the romance to be a bit lacking in the emotions department, but they were still a cute couple.

“Walking along a blade’s edge was only fun until the blade stopped being a metaphor.” 

The progression of the story continues to build in tension and excitement as Rook and Isobel venture closer to their destination. The last 15% of the novel was...slightly confusing. It felt as if so many things were happening at the same time and I couldn't exactly wrap my mind around it all. There were just so many revelations and interesting turns in the plot happening all at once that it felt a bit overwhelming. Personally, I wouldn't mind if this was maybe 50-100 pgs longer if we could have a bit more development.

Regardless, I enjoyed An Enchantment of Ravens - it was a fun read and the author had a beautiful writing style that made the journey engaging to experience.

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