Fantasy, romance

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Themes: YA fantasy, Romance, Standalone

The synopsis

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.

The review

I will try to be brief since this is a standalone and I do not want to spoil it.

This is my first book by this author and I can guarantee that I will be reading her other ones ASAP! An Enchantment of Ravens is following Isobel, a painter, who one day makes the mistake of giving human emotions to the fae prince of the autumn court while painting his portrait. I could stop here since it is saying it all for me, who has fallen in love with fae characters since I discovered Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas. By the way, I really liked the treatment of the faes here because the author is having a real reflection on one of the greatest human obsessions: immortality. I also loved the fact that they are compelled to answer politeness which gives place to funny situations since Isobel does not hesitate to use that to her own advantage.

This book really reminded me of The Cruel Prince in its settings and atmosphere. I loved Rogerson’s writing style which is efficient enough to create the different atmospheres of the human village, autumn and spring courts (among others) while concise enough to make the story a standalone. You can literally feel the danger lurking in the places Isobel is crossing. I also really liked the sort of balance that is existing between faes and their magic and humans and their Craft, which makes humans a bit less unnecessary than usual.

But my favourite part was obviously the dynamic between Isobel and Rook. Even if the fact that she is seventeen bothered me given the fact that she is acting like someone much older, I soon forgot the age discrepancy to fully enjoy this relationship. While Isobel is supposed to be the weakest one, she is clever enough to use all information and fae’s weaknesses to her profit. And for once, the girl is the one resisting her own emotions and trying to do what is right while Rook is pursuing her and looking at her with desperate puppy eyes! Rook’s bewilderment in front of Isobel’s practicality, human emotions and behaviour was so funny, he was so lost!

In brief: I totally fell in love with this book and its characters, especially Isobel’s family and Gadfly which are well developed and more complex than it first seems. Same feeling with the end which was a bit bittersweet but still beautiful.

My rating: 5/5

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