Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
About the Book
Isobel, a prodigious portrait artist, highly coveted for her Craft by the fae, is suddenly plucked from her dull and rutinary life in her town of Whimsy, where it is always summer, and her days consist of taking care of her little twin sisters and her aunt, painting portrait after portrait of vain faerie lords and ladies in exchange for enchantments, when the Autumn Court Prince pays her a visit. Struck by the emotion in his eyes, Isobel captures it in her painting, unaware that she had just committed a crime. Faeries consider human emotions to be a sign of weakness but to Isobel, he appeared to be full of sorrow. Kidnapped by the angry prince, she is taken far away from home to his court where she is to be tried. However, along the way, she and her captor encounter greater foes: dark, beastly creatures determined to hunt them down, an ancient powerful king that rules over all courts and, the biggest danger of all, love.
I savored this book like a refreshing, tall drink of water. I absolutely loved this world and how different it is to other books about fae going around these days. Most of the others, or at least the ones I’ve read and I can assure you I’ve had my fair share of faeries, portray them as completely superior to humans, in strength, in looks and both in physical and mental abilities. While this may be true in An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson gave a unique and powerful quality to the humans of this book, and not just the heroine or a select few, a simple quality that made them indispensable to the fair ones: Craft. Meaning, anything ranging from writing, singing, painting, cooking… It was refreshing to see not only that humans could hold something over the fair ones, but that the fair ones also had more than their fair share of shortcomings. They couldn’t feel certain things or they’d be pounced on by their kind, they were compulsively polite, they were truly ugly and unnatural behind their glamour and they could not touch iron or do any sort of labor without melting away. All in all, the fair ones seemed absurd and for the first time I did not find myself wishing the main character to be one of them. As for the plot itself, I was not very satisfied. Sometimes, it did feel like Rogerson used some weak plot devices to get her characters where she wanted them. There was often a lot of buildup and suspense leading to a big confrontation or resistance the characters had to face only to resolve it easily and without much effort at all. However, some things that happened towards the end that will be left unmentioned in this review for the sake of avoiding spoilers, were pretty redeeming.
Gadfly, I’m looking at you!
Rogerson’s writing was so light and seemed so effortlessly beautiful it made every single page a pleasant ride. The humor she inflected in Isobel’s thoughts and actions were truly entertaining. Her descriptions so very detailed and elaborate you could easily see what was being talked about in your mind’s eye. It was narrated from Isobel’s perspective in a past tense, which most often than not can be annoying but wasn’t in this book. At the beginning, I thought this was yet another typical case of insta-love and, while it definitely was insta-attraction, I think the progression of the love story (
ROOK’s declaration omg Pride and Prejudice much?) was done really well, although I do wish they had spent more one-on-one time getting to know each other better. Their dynamic and dialogue was so witty and funny it had me goofily smiling at certain scenes so I wish there had been more of that.
Now, kill me please because I did not know that this book was a stand-alone until I reached the very last page. I rushed to Goodreads, in search of any possible publication dates, names or blurb for the sequel only to find the author herself had announced there would be no continuation to this story and that is why I had to give this book 3.5 stars instead of the 4 I thought to give it at some point. Too many loose ends and questions left unanswered, and that would be great if they could be addressed later on, but they won’t. The ending was a tiny bit rushed and I felt that Gadfly’s reveal was not addressed properly or given enough recognition.
I mean, he DID practically save them.
Overall, I can safely say this was a great and satisfying read. An unconventional faerie lore-based YA romantic fantasy that serves for anyone looking to do some fun, light reading.
B & L
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