An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Young Adult Fantasy
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
In An Enchantment of Ravens, the humans live in a city called Whimsy and Fae live in courts. Fae cannot create their own things in this world. The things humans create are called “craft.” Isobel is a master of her craft; she is a very skilled painter. Many faeries seek her to paint their portraits. Because faeries cannot make these things for themselves, they value them very highly.
One day, a royal faery comes to have his portrait done–the autumn prince, Rook. There’s something a bit different about his eyes….
In the painting, Isobel makes Rook’s eyes appear to be filled with sorrow. This is a human emotion that faeries see as weak. When Rook unveils the painting at court, he is horrified and seeks Isobel. He kidnaps her and together they go on an adventure through the forest humans are never supposed to enter.
The more time they spend together, the more they are drawn to each other. Isobel tries to keep her distance, for if they were to fall in love–him fae and her human–they would break the faery laws and their lives would be in grave danger. But can you really control your feelings?
I honestly hadn’t even heard of this one until recently. I had just finished A Cruel Prince and wanted some more books about faeries. A fellow Book Rioter recommended An Enchantment of Ravens and I was game. However, I did find out that there seems to be a lot of mixed reviews and opinions on this one! I for one loved it!
I will admit no, it’s not a perfect book. There were definitely a few things that, upon reflection, could have been improved upon or expanded. But the thing is, I didn’t notice until I had finished reading. None of it took me out of the book.
This is a fun, wild ride of a romance. The world building is super fun and the characters are engaging and believable. Many people complain about insta-love, but I didn’t get that vibe. In the beginning, Isobel paints Rook. I don’t know if any of you have tried to paint an oil portrait (I haven’t. HOWEVER), it takes a long ass time. Like Isobel says briefly in the book, first you have to sketch it, then you begin the painting, but you have to stop a lot to let the paint dry or the colours will mix togethert. This painting would have taken multiple sittings.
Then when he comes back and kidnaps her (not exactly attractive), they go on an insane journey together. Stuff like that tends to bond you with another person. Not only so, but while Isobel was attracted to Rook’s looks before, she now sees that she didn’t know him at all. First she finds this a negative thing and infuriating. He did just kidnap her after all. But as they journey goes on and they become vulnerable with one another, things change. In a world where they have no reason to like or trust each other, they come to do both.
At first I wasn’t exactly here for the supernaturally-strong-male-must-constantly-saves-the-weak-human-damsel thing, but I loved how Rook and Isobel played off one another and how their bond developed. I just loved this world, the characters, the Fae hierarchy, all of it. It was all richly imagined, carefully crafted, and well written.
That said, a few key plot points were not developed nearly enough and I found the conclusion a bit abrupt. This book suffers the opposite of what I think a lot of YA suffers from: instead of the plot being too thin, the author trying to carry the story into a series, this book didn’t have enough. The world could have actually benefited from more expansion in other books.
All in all, I really loved reading this one, but did wish there was a bit more. However, I’m totally here for whatever Margaret Rogerson comes out with next!
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.