Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Page Count: 300
Release Date: Sept 26, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
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.
Dim as it was, the forest glowed. The golden leaves flashing by blazed like sparks caught in the updraft of a fire. A scarlet carpet unrolled before us, rich and flawless as velvet. Rising from the forest floor, the black, tangled roots breathed a bluish mist that reduced the farthest trees’ trunks to ghostly silhouettes, yet left their foliage’s luminous hues untouched.
The world of Whimsy and the magical lands of fair folk are woven together with their traditional roots in that they cannot lie, are (supposedly) emotionless, harmed by iron and they appear human-like until they unveil their true fae forms.
One hilarious aspect that I enjoyed about these fae in particular is the fact that they must bow anytime someone curtsies/bows to them first…which leads to quite a few interesting encounters considering that the fae must bow…even if the person bowing to them is hidden among a crowd or walking down the street.
Isobel is a portrait artist renowed for her Craft- skills that only humans can perform such as cooking, dress-making, painting and more. She is visited often by the fair folk who seek her abilities and in return they offer her enchantments for their portraits. Isobel is clever during these encounters and will ensure that then enchantments will be worded in a way that they will not cause harm to her family or home considering the fae are quite mischievous in this book. One of her regular clients is Gadfly, who after one of his visits, suddenly announces that Isobel will be painting the reclusive Autumn Prince.
And then enters Rook in a fashion quite befitting of a fae prince! He’s adorable to say the least with his innocent and curious questions about humans. And he can shapeshift into a horse and raven! But then he has the haughty and proud fae side of him that never fails to show-which leads to much banter between him and Isobel on their journey to escape the Wild Hunt and other creatures that seek to harm them. Rook also has a tender side which makes him a target for other fae that seek his position of power. And then there is the Good Law stating that if a mortal and faerie fall in love they both must die…or at least one of them…but I won’t go into any further details!
And if the gorgeous details and characters don’t leave you breathless then the hilarious dialogue will! One of my favorite moments in the book involves a certain prince having a “deadly encounter” with a teapot!
When the I turned the last pages of this book it was hard to believe that the story reached a conclusion- not because there were loose ends, in fact everything wraps up quite nicely! But I desperately wanted more! Hopefully Margaret can work some magic in the future and take us back to Whimsy, the Autumn Court and other fae territories.