An Enchantment of Ravens
by Margaret Rogerson
ebook, 304 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Book
Every enchantment has a price.
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.
🍂 Soft, cozy fantasy
The story sets in a town called Whimsy that is connected to the faeries’ world but separate from our human ones. In this story, Isobel live on the outskirts of Whimsy and it’s located near the autumn court so it’s an eternal autumn there. From the description of the small shops, cobbledstone road, golden leaves and moving barley fields, the setting was very autumn-y and cozy. Isobel’s home life with her aunt and siblings also give another layer of softness and coziness as their bond was really strong.
When the adventure starts, despite the ruthless faeries and the scheming court, this story didn’t lose its softness as Isobel always remembers her home despite the friends and romance she finds along the way. Speaking of romance, she and Rook definitely had an enjoyable and well developed romance with some tender moments and a good amount of push and pull in between! 💃 We didn’t really see as much of the autumn court as I expected but the world building and the relationships the characters had really made this a perfect book to get comfortable and lost into.
🍂 Unique world building
While the seasonal division and the scheming faeries courts are not a new element, I love how the author adds and builds the faeries lore in this book. Each faeries court has different characteristics and lore and it’s really fun to see how each characters from the court represents these stories. I also love to see how human skills are called as Craft and how it affects the folk and their jealousy. It is interesting to see the irony in the story: Human admire the fairfolk for their beauty and power, but the fair folk imitates what humans do (eating utensils, food, clothes, etc) due to their prolonged existence. I especially love how the author creates Whimsy, which is a fantasy world but also giving us hints that it is somehow connected to our world by mentioning the World Beyond several times, which is a place with no magic.
There are some unanswered questions at the end of this book, the biggest one being the feud between courts and how Whimsy came to be but I enjoyed what we have in the story!
🍂 Great elements that work well together
I am usually not someone who enjoyed romance or cozy fantasy but all the elements in this book are just work well together! It has interesting world building, character development, great romance, close family ties, and atmospheric writing. While not all elements are the best (the romance might be seen as insta love and there are several aspects that are underdeveloped) overall this was a very satisfying debut! It certainly made me want to check out the author other works, especially Sorcery of Thorns.