Saturday, May 12, 2018

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 26, 2017

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

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. 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—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight 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.

As soon as I picked this one up, I could definitely note the similarities in this book to ACOTAR. I get where people come from comparing the two. It's a fae book about a girl that paints.

Okay. But that's pretty much where the similarities end. The fae in An Enchantment of Ravens are much closer to the folk in (pick a Holly Black book). And yet they are still very different. I've seen many reviews discuss the plot of the book, so I'm going to stay clear of that. I wish to only discuss my thoughts.

An Enchantment of Ravens is a rather quick, if unremarkable read. There's nothing that particularly stands out about the main character or her love interest. Though, while I've seen people complain about instalove, I have to disagree. I understand how rushed it felt. The problem here is that weeks... months passed with them getting to know each other. It was just so. Very. Rushed. These weeks and months all happened within the span of a few pages, so yes. Readers felt like it was instalove. There was plenty of room to expand on these things here. And it's something I would have liked to actually read more of. Isobel (our human main character) and Rook getting to know each other.

Much of this book is a journey to the Autumn Court (see those ACOTAR similarities again?). Except one thing I think SJM did better was knock Feyre out when they traveled to the fae lands, because journeys tend to be boring to read about. So even though this was such a short read (and certainly had room for lengthening), there were times it dragged.

All in all, I think this was a fairy book for people that don't generally like fairy books. It didn't have a lot of the same qualities seen in many of the others I've read. If fae books are not generally your thing, you might really enjoy this.

2 stars

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