Fae and fae-lore is a topic often explored in YA literature and a favourite of many readers. An Enchantment of Ravens has been already been compared to Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses, which is also a book filled with fae-lore and loved by many. The novel uses Celtic folklore elements, such as the Wild Hunt, the fae worshipping nature, and features fae characters who are vain and overconfident, as well as those who wear glamours in order to conceal their true appearance.
An Enchantment of Ravens is Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel and her writing is gorgeous and one of the main reasons I was so pleased with the overall novel. It seemed quite surprising that this is her debut novel since her writing and the story are well-developed.
The world-building was another strong point of this novel because even though it was slow, the writing produced strong visuals and we are able to learn about the world through Isobel’s journey, rather than all at once. The descriptions of the scenery were gorgeous and they made you feel as if you were actually there.
Rogerson has produced strong characters within the novel, and this really pulls everything together. Isobel and Rook are the main characters who are both lovable and unique in their own ways.
For Isobel, she is an artist, and Rogerson really focused on researching her art terminology to give Isobel some authenticity as her descriptions from making paint to blending was done in such a way that she really invested herself in her characters. Isobel paints portraits for the fairy folk because they cannot do craft themselves, which only causes them to love craft more and to also collect it. Her character is incredibly clever and manages to trade her portraits for enchantments in order to make her life easier.
Isobel is also an incredibly enjoyable narrator from the first page, which is sometimes hard to come across. Her thoughts and dialogue with her quips and snide remarks are still paired alongside her very down-to-earth nature. Wise beyond her seventeen years, she shows that a strong female heroine doesn’t have to be a skilled fighter, she just needs something to fight for.
Our other main character is Rook, and he was a pleasant surprise despite being cocky and arrogant as a fae court prince often is, but he also has this whole other personality. He is caring and listens to Isobel, despite trying to seem above her in status. Rook is also good-natured and apologises when he believes he has upset someone.
The romance between Rook and Isobel was beautiful and felt authentic, as often in some novels it can feel forced. There was mutual respect for one another and eve though love between a human and fae is forbidden causing them to possible die because of it, their feeling are still there and they won’t dare to bury them. In this sense, they are almost “star-crossed lovers”, which makes the book that much more interesting, despite some thinking this is a boring trope.
You can’t have a book review without talking about the plot, and this novel’s plot is great. As we previously mentioned, its storyline has been compared to A Court of Thorns and Roses as this is the most popular fae novel at this time. There are quite a few similarities, but the element of sacrifice feels more real because the love between Rook and Isobel is more present. In comparison to ACOTAR, Isobel is very familiar and aware of the fae since she paints them for a living. When she paints human sorrow in the autumn prince’s eyes, he takes huge offence as it makes him look weak. Rook is determined to have her stand trial for her crimes so he brings her to the fae world, but of course, nothing goes as planned and Rook is soon targeted along with Isobel. The novel features many twists and turns, but there are plenty of peaceful moments to rest your heart for a minute or two.
Overall, this book exudes perfection and it easily one of the most well written books I personally have ever read. The characters are vivid, but flawed to make them feel realistic, and the writing is something that should be treasured with a plot that should be seen as unique. All that’s left to say is you like the fae, looking for a new author to discover, or a star-crossed romance, then you need to pick up this book!
Have you read An Enchantment of Ravens or are you planning to read it? Tell us in the comments!
SYNOPSIS | GOODREADS
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.