About the Book:
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.
An Enchantment of Ravens is one of the most beautiful and whimsical debuts I have read in 2017. Written in first-person narrative, the story wraps you in a decor of words submerged in vivid and embellishing descriptions. Margaret Rogerson’s prose of faerie lore is as wistful and rich as the season of autumn. As some of you might know, Autumn is a magical season for me. When fall approaches, I find the aura of the season to be lively and energetic; for me, fall is filled with change, restoration, and reawakening. And subsequently, Rogerson’s debut novel encompasses this enlivenment.
In An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson provides a longing and detailed scope of the dangerous fairy folk and their world. Their rules and enforced traditions are tested by the skillful human, Isobel (the main character), who is a notable painter. Isobel is highly-praised for her portraits, which are adored and prized by the fairy court. Often Rogerson’s tome focuses on the seriousness of the fair ones, but she also provides Isobel, and other characters, the opportunity to sneakily assert derailed humor throughout the chapters. I loved that these hilarious quirks regularly begged for a crooked grin and a mischievous side-eye directed at the faeries and their strict rules.
Additionally, in An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson has created two of the most vigorously spirited characters that I loved swooning over. When they first meet, Isobel and Rook have immediate chemistry, and not to give too much away, but this is not an instant-love story. Instead their relationship begins with a bewitching encounter that slowly burns and then ignites. Isobel is cautious but daring. She’s stubborn, fierce, and now one of my most beloved, confident heroines. Rook is adorable, serious, and cordial. But what I love most of all about Rook is that he is the epitome of autumn: warm, brooding, and comforting. I found the repartee and banter between these two characters to be intense and passionate. Even if a potential relationship between these two characters would break the Good Law among the fair folk, I was rooting for them the entire time.
In the end, An Enchantment of Ravens is a well-paced story that focuses on the importance of family and daring societal traditions. As previously stated, I loved Rogerson’s florid detailing that flows throughout the pages. She litters the pages with full and vibrant warm colors, earthy smells, and a hint of magic that consumes my autumn-loving soul. Fall is approaching, and if you are looking for the perfect book to read while you curl up in a cozy blanket and sip warm apple cider, I highly recommend that you also have An Enchantment of Ravens opened in your hands.
NOTE: Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Simon & Schuster/Simon Teen for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.
Please note that all graphics and photographs were created by me. All quotes are from the an advanced reader’s edition of the novel and are subject to change upon publication.