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.
I was beyond thrilled when I received this book in the mail for review because I had heard so many amazing things about its gorgeous writing and enchanting romance as well as its beautiful cover, created by the extremely talented Charlie Bowater! I think it’s safe to say that Margaret Rogerson is a fantastic writer, and I loved this book to pieces. (Doesn’t that synopsis make you shiver in its glory?)
The plot is quite captivating, following Isobel, a prodigy artist who paints portraits for fair folk. When Rook comes into the picture, he takes her away to the autumnlands for her trial, but not everything goes to plan. I found the world-building to be utterly fascinating, especially in terms of the relationship between the fair folk and mortals.The only small quibble I have is that I wish that the world-building and magic system was flushed out a bit more. The ending totally whisked me away, and I find this little gem to pack up its plot fairly well.
Isobel and Rook had undeniable chemistry, though I do think that this relationship might not be the most favorable amongst readers who are incontestably against insta-love. There is an interesting discussion that can be made from a scene in the novel about consent, which I very much appreciate Rogerson including it. Rook touches Isobel’s hair to take out some twigs, and Isobel tells him to “never touch [her] again without [her] permission.”
“I can touch whomever I please.”
“Have you ever stopped to think that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should?”
This scene is incredibly imperative to young readers who may pick up this book; if you want to check out a previous discussion I wrote regarding consent in YA, check it out here!
Overall, I found AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS to be, well, absolutely enchanting and captivating. The writing was beautiful, and the fantastical elements and romance swept me off my feet. I’m definitely looking forward to Rogerson’s next works.
Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Alice is an 18 year old college student who loves the oxford comma, television shows, and the company of dogs. She finds writing in the third person odd yet enjoyable. You can find her scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, and forever organizing her shelves on Goodreads.