An Enchantment of Ravens
by Margaret Rogerson
read in March 2018
format: e-book (through rivetedlit.com)
This is a spoiler-free review!
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.
I’ve been interested in reading An Enchantment of Ravens ever since it was released. So many of my friends love this novel and I’m very keen to read more fantasy standalones. Sadly, this was a typical 3-star read: it was by no means bad, it just didn’t do much for me.
At first I was really enjoying this story. Isobel is a clever protagonist who is persistent, but not foolish. I was also getting some anxiety vibes from her, so that was relatable! I loved learning more about her Craft and the fair folk. There were also plenty of funny moments! As the story progressed, however, the world-building fell apart for me. At times, I had no clue what was going on. It’s as if Isobel understood more than the reader, but she didn’t explicitly state what she thought even though the story was from her point-of-view, so I was confused.
It’s no secret I am not a huge romance reader – especially ones about allocishet characters – so that’s probably one of the reasons why I didn’t fall in love with this novel. I didn’t dislike Rook and Isobel’s chemistry, but there were no swoon-worthy moments for me either. That said, there was an amazing scene in which Isobel teaches him about consent and I wish other authors would pay attention to this as well.
content and trigger warning for some ableist language (unchallenged), self harm (as a part of faery magic), descriptions of maggots and decay, blood, physical injuries
An Enchantment of Ravens wasn’t a memorable read for me. That said, I am convinced readers who enjoy reading M/F romances featuring faeries will enjoy this much more!
Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!