An Enchantment of Ravens

An Enchantment of RavensAn Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
First Published: September 26, 2017
Genres: Fantasy Romance, High Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

three-half-stars
Synopsis:

Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread 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, Rook spirits her away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously wrong in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending on each other 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.


My Thoughts

I won’t lie, I’m a sucker for beautiful covers and the cover for this book is easily one of my all-time favorites. The world-building in this book is pretty great, filled to the brim with fantastic imagery and seasonal-based nature magic. I also really loved that this book was heavily focused on the magic of art, which had power all it’s own totally separate from the actual fairy magic. My favorite part of the book was the darker take on fairy folklore that I found to be both beautiful and haunting at the same time. I liked all of the fairy side characters, their flamboyant personalities bordered on being monstrous and I really enjoyed the way that these characters were portrayed.

“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?”

Now this book suffers from two factors which made it hard for me to decide how I felt about it. One was the romance, which already spells trouble given that this is a fantasy romance novel. It was a classic case of instalove, and when romance is the central theme of the story I need to be convinced – the book just didn’t do that for me, even by the end of the novel. I liked both Isobel and Rook and wanted to root for them, but the romance between them felt a little forced.

The other issue I had was the basis for the plot itself, as outlined in the synopsis. Isobel paints human emotion in Rook’s eyes and is taken captive to stand trial, which sounds a bit lame and apparently was just a shaky excuse as the trial and punishment part gets dropped almost immediately. From there the reason the two travel together seems unclear and the middle part of the book dragged a little bit.

While An Enchantment of Ravens wasn’t a stellar read for me, it was still fun, fast, and broke my reading slump. I’m happy that I read it and I think it could be a favorite for the right readers, especially those that are into fantasy romance novels such as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Rogerson has the potential to be great and I’d be more than happy to read more of her books in the future.


In Summary

  • Read: if you enjoy fantasy romance stories with dark fairies and a love for art.
  • Avoid: if you find instalove and “road trip” fantasy novels to be tiring.
  • Warnings: mild violence

Overall Rating:

three-half-stars

6 Comments

  1. Hallo, Hallo Jamie,

    I read the first paragraph of this review as I’m eagerly *close* to starting to listen to this via audiobook from my library’s OverDrive catalogue. I mistook this as either a series or a duology – as this past May, I had checked out “Sorocery of Thorns” thinking that I had to read Ravens ahead of it; turnt out this past week I’ve found out that that isn’t actually the truth of it – instead, they are both one-offs! *le sigh*

    However, everything you put into your first paragraph is what implored me to check this out – I also loved the samplers in audiobook – however, in regards directly to your end of review Qs – I read a book several years ago which had elements of the ‘darker’ fae societies inclusive to it whilst this year as I move into October Daye, it is a re-affirmation of how dark the fae can be – I personally love lots of light interpersed into the stories I’m reading – I don’t mind if it goes dark but not so dark it cannot be illuminated by the Light. (if that makes sense?)

    I’m going to swing back after I make some progress with the audiobook and see if we can exchange better takeaways with each other. Nice to know we both gravitated towards the same read!

    1. Glad to hear you’re picking this book up, I hope that you enjoy it! I was nervous about the travel romance aspect, but ended up enjoying it regardless, it was a fast read and I loved the world. I can say that the faeries are dark but not overwhelmingly so, more like they’re misunderstood and have a different world. There are good fae even though they can be dark at times. As for the books being standalone, I kind of liked that both books by this author are standalone novels! I get nervous committing to a series sometimes, and liked that these books were a complete story that can be enjoyed. I definitely look forward to seeing your thoughts on this book, and definitely include your review link!

  2. I’ve been anticipating reading An Enchantment of Ravens (purely for the gorgeous cover if I’m honest 😂). I have a weakness for pretty covers! The premise sounded interesting too though. It’s a shame it didn’t meet expectations in some areas. Pacing is such a big part of my enjoyment in a book and it seems like there were some issues with this. I’ll still give it a try though. Lovely review! 💙 Jen

    1. Glad to hear that you’re still planning to give it a try, it was a fun magical read that I can comfortably recommend. It’s good even for a debut, and I’m excited to read more books by this author in the future.

    1. You should! It’s definitely a magical adventure. Not sure about how the audio will compare since narration I know can be important, but I imagine it would be a fun one to listen to.

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