Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
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.

When I picked up - or better yet per-ordered - A Enchantment of Ravens I didn't know what to expect and maybe because of this I was not disappointed by it, quite the opposite. I found myself loving every word of it with a long forgotten child's wonder.

An Enchantment of Ravens is a nicely written romantic fairy-tale with dark undercurrents (Tim Burton would be proud). It is a sort of fantastical Romeo & Juliet but with much less drama and more sass. Full of enchanting landscapes filled and evocative images, the riot is swept along with a Isabel in whirlwind of leaves, colors and vine.

More times than on I imagined myself reading this story off of an old leather bound book emerged from ancient trunk discovered in some ancient castle ruins. Such was the timeless and diaphanous quality of the story.

Rook and Isabel were a real to treat to read (do you ear this noise? It is me sighing in a corner...). They are also the most well defined characters (not surprisingly since they're the protagonists). I would have liked for Emma, Gadfly, Aster, Lark, & Hemlock to have more page time but the book is so short that I understand why they did not. I would have liked to know more about the World Beyond or how the fair ones came to be but then again I understand the space limitations. I also would have loved to see Rook and Isobel interact some more before he spirits her away instead of being told how much time passes (I won't as far as saying it was insta-love, as I understand it isn't...). Let's say that I would have probably liked the book even more if it had been 50/60 pages or so longer, but I'll take what I get. Long story short, the book has its flaws but I loved it nonetheless.

I found this not only a nicely crafted and enthralling tale but also a story about the importance of change and how loved how in this beautiful faces and dazzling dresses were more often than not just a facade hiding emptiness and rot (quite literally too...)
And I must say that I appreciated that Isobel's feelings never falter not even when she sees the strangeness that lurks beneath the beautiful mask.

An Enchantment of Ravens was often compared to ACOTAR's series but I really don't see any point of comparison here, not in the story not in the messages hidden between the lines. In fact I'd reread this book anytime while I'd rather not touch (or read) Maas's series ever again, lol.

If you're looking for a dark (but also very romantic) fairy tale, easy and quick to read please do read this book and prepare to be enchanted, literally!


   4 blossoms

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