Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
By: Margaret Rogerson
Published: September 26th, 2017
By: Margaret K. McElderry Books
You can buy it HERE: Book Depository
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.
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Book #3 || The Book Junkie Trials Read-A-Thon || #MAGE
I feel so bad cause here I am writing a review about a book that I couldn’t enjoy as much as I expected, all over again, but hey, I must be honest above all. When I get myself into it, I was coming from reading a book that really hadn’t been a pleasant experience, so I needed a fantasy to love, and I really thought this one would be perfect. Unfortunately, despite having very good aspects, which I’ll talk about next, most of the book wasn’t for me. I was quite bored, I couldn’t connect 100% with the plot and the super obvious inta-love didn’t help much.
The story follows Isobel, she’s a very talented young artist who must work in the fae world, portraying fairy folk through her painting. These creatures can be very dangerous and treacherous, but they need Isobel due to her extraordinary ability and because they’re also not able to make or be part of any artistic situation without becoming dust. One day Isobel receives her first royal client, the prince of autumn, Rook, and she makes the terrible mistake of portraying him with pain and sorrow in his eyes. Due to this, Rook must take her to the faerie court to be judged for her crime. They embark on a journey through some woods full of fearsome and magical creatures, so their survival will depend on each other. This alliance soon becomes love, and since that is totally forbidden, now both could be in danger. Now it’s up to Isobel, to use her talent as an artist, to fight the fairies of the court and try to make them feel for the first time.
I really believed that I’d love this book, which is my mistake because I should never have got into it with expectations, I think that made it even worse. When I started with it I was loving the whole thing, especially because it has BEAUTIFUL descriptions, both of landscapes, and of the world in general. And in fact, I feel that I enjoyed this aspect during most of the book, which is good and that together with the author’s beautiful writing style, are the two things that make me want to read another book by her. I feel that was created in a quite old-fashion way, though. It all started being great and I think it stays solid til page 100 or so, and after that, it starts going downhill.
Before continuing I would like to mention something that I LOVED. At the beginning of the book, there are some creatures created of human remains that are incredible, are very well described, constructed and thought out. Creepy, but perfect for the world.
I think the pace felt very rushed for me. Although it reads very fast, it’s quite frustrating because I felt like during the characters’ journey, 1000 things were happening and none of it was connected or made sense. In addition to this, I’m not a fan of such long journeys in books and this one was SO long. In a moment they were circling in circles and I’d already completely forgotten where we were going. I think that this long scene of them trying to survive the journey is made with the purpose of making sense to the “romance” , which I’ll talk about later, and that’s why it was so prolonged. There are even many conversations and scenes that seem being there to fill the book until it reaches that crucial point. It doesn’t have a good development, although many things happen, nothing really makes sense and it doesn’t feel like the plot has a real plot, it’s like all over the place.
I think one of the main points why I couldn’t enjoy this book was romance, that damn inta-love thing, I just couldn’t with it. I love romance in books, don’t get me wrong, I just come from books with romances that don’t have a good and solid base, so it’s impossible to feel really committed to it, to feel that connection and less, to believe something of what’s happening. In this book, I feel it’s there for some reason, but it makes no sense. Isobel loves Rook from the first moment, like the third page, she sees him and that was all because he’s so mysterious or something.
>At first, I let it pass because I was enjoying other aspects, such as the family dynamics of Isobel with her half-goats sisters (YES!, that’s so cool! I love them) and her aunt, all characters that I liked. I like Isobel as a character, but at times I wanted to shake her and ask her what she was thinking?!, I don’t think there’s a single moment where her unconditional love is justified, this Fairy Prince kidnaps her and takes her to a place to be judged and she decides to trust him and chat as if they were life-long best friends. In addition, there are scenes of them making out, and then talking about their feelings, both scenes… hate them, they’re so pointless. At all times I remember Twilight, it’s that kind of relationship so weird, uncomfortable and creepy. There are also a couple of cliche scenes of him taking off his shirt and saving Isobel about a thousand times. (quality content)
This may be my mistake, but I expected the book to contain more political intrigue, castles, and character development, maybe some dark character of those I love so much, but everything felt so flat, it’s a shame, I thought I would love this one. I think this is a book with potential, I mean, it starts being great, and if there would be more development in aspects such as the world-building, the characters, and the plot, maybe I could have disregarded that awkward romance.
The ending is very convenient and rushed. It makes sense on the one hand, since it’s a book of only 300 pages, but on the other hand, I think that if the author had put more energy in the construction of a plot and less in the romance, the ending would have worked better, but well, it was just there and leave me with more questions than answers. Hopefully, I’m not really that interested in knowing the answers, so that’s fine. Even so, I think it’s very convenient, the typical happy ending.
I wanted to love this book, it didn’t work, I take with me a great writing style and the landscapes’ descriptions, which I loved, but I would like to forget the romance, it really didn’t work for me this time. I recommend it? Maybe, this is an unpopular opinion, so I think you might enjoy it if you give it a chance, but remember what I mentioned about the romance and long journeys, if that’s not something that bothers you then I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Even so, I want to try something else from the author, I would like maybe with another plot that appeals more to me
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