Warning: this post may have spoilers!
One of my most recent reads is An Enchantment of Ravens. And this is my review of the book.
Synopsis: Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with dangerous clients: fair folk. Fair folk are sinister and cunning and they are unable to create anything that humans can. Fair folk crave this human Craft, and Isobel’s expertise in painting portraits is highly prized. When Isobel receives her first royal patron, the autumn prince, Rook, she mistakenly paints human emotion into his portrait. An emotion that could cause him his throne – sorrow. Rook furiously takes her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. But, waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the corruption of the Alder King, and terrifying monsters rising from barrow mounds, Rook and Isobel must rely on each other for survival. This alliance blossoms into trust and eventually love – love that is against the fair folk’s set of laws. Both of their lives are on the line unless Isobel can use her Craft to fight the fairy courts.
An Enchantment of Ravens is beautifully written. I didn’t expect a standalone fantasy to be done as well as this. Most fantasy stories require multiple books to account for the amount of world building that needs to happen for the world to feel real. But Margaret Rogerson is able to build a fantasy world that makes sense within 300 pages. The magic system that is within the fair folk is explained/shown very well, especially given the length of the book.
I personally love Rook and Isobel as individual characters and as a couple. Their love isn’t completely instantaneous. While we don’t get all of the information about the time they spent together while Isobel painted his portrait, we do know that they most likely spent several days, potentially weeks together since oil paintings take forever. I do feel like the love may have happened relatively quick, there wasn’t an exact distinction of how much time had passed besides when Rook and Isobel were running from the Wild Hunt. Even though the romance is a tiny bit fast, it still feels real and authentic. They each seem to question whether or not they actually have fallen for each other, probably because of the overarching law that a fair folk and a human cannot be in love, but I still think that a good amount of people may question their feelings for someone at first.
I really enjoyed how Margaret writes fantasy. I know she has another book out now and I really want to read that one as well. I didn’t think I would enjoy a standalone fantasy as much as I did. I think I subconsciously expected to find holes in the plot or in the magic system or in the world building. I was pleasantly surprised with how well all of that was written within the 300 pages. I ultimately gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I definitely will read more of Margaret Rogerson’s books in the future.
Here is the link to the book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30969741-an-enchantment-of-ravens